Monday, January 22, 2007

Documentary about La Matanza

If you speak Spanish, you can learn more about the 1932 massacre known as La Matanza by watching the documentary film 1932, Scar of the Memory which is available for viewing over the internet at this link.

The documentary is from the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, the Museum of the Word and the Image. From the museum's web site:


The Museum of the Word and the Image (MUWI) is a privately funded, legally established non-profit organization, dedicated to investigating, rescuing, preserving, and presenting to the pubilc elements of the culture and history of El Salvador.

It possesses collections of manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, films, videos, posters, objects, and publications, donated to the museum through the enthusiastic collaboration of the society that has responded to the call “against the chaos of amnesia.” Since 2004, the MUWI has preserved and shown to the public “The Legacy of Salarrué.”

This important heritage, previously in danger of disappearing, is being classified, and progress is being made toward its digitization.

Permanently located in the capital, the MUWI brings temporary expositions centered on themes of identity, culture, and historic memory to the most isolated regions of the country. Additionally, the MUWI produces books, audiovisual projects, and numerous educational and cultural activities.

You can also purchase an English-language version of 1932, Scar of the Memory from the museum's online store.

7 comments:

Caminante said...

Thanks so much for posting the link. I have just spent time watching the video.

Tambopaxi said...

Tim,

I hadn't visited your blog in a while and just dropped in in time to see your postings about La Matanza. I was in El Sal 1980-83 during which time I went a little crazy and bought a bunch of books on El Salvador. One of them, Thomas Anderson's "La Matanza" (University of Nebraska Press) is (or was then, anyway) one of the definitive books on Revolt of '32. Anderson did another good book, by the way, "The War of the Dispossesed", which treats with the "Football War" of 1969, and its origins. I'd imagine that both of these books are out of print now.... T

El-Visitador said...

Wow, what a great video! Thanks for the link.

Consalvi has done a great thing saving the testimony of those old people he interviews. I should post a film review in my site at some point.

One point of note, however; just yesterday, arguments were bandied about that the 1932 rampage in rural areas had little to do with Communists.

Watch the video: every single elder mentions the fact that they were driven by Communism.



History revisionists are going to have a very hard time going against all of those elderly peasants, witnesses to the mayhem, talking about and singing Communist songs.

Anonymous said...

OOooooh visitador, always the fascist pig. I'm sure Martinez is part of your pantheon of High Lords along with Franco, Hitler, Mussolini...

In reality, I seriously doubt the peasants and natives that formed part of the uprising even cared about "communism", just as usual, they were exploited and abandoned people that were forced to live like dogs. Some of them even losing land, because some vulture of the oligarchy felt like expanding their fincas.

Tim said...

To anonymous:

The name-calling doesn't do anything to advance the argument and just lets people who share E-V's views say your side has no arguments based on a reasoned view of the reality on the ground.

To E-V:

I don't think anybody disputes that Socorro Rojo was a communist-backed organization and that Farabundo Marti was a member. In the 1930's, world communism had the heights of its popularity in countries all around the world including the United States. The question is how does a government respond to the unrest of the people -- a massacre of 1% of the population is a crime against humanity however you measure it. That lesson needs to be remembered in El Salvador. The other thing to note about the comments of "los ancianos" is the fact that they blamed "los ricos" and their control of the instruments of power and repression in the country.

El-Visitador said...

Than you Tim for your reasoned point of view.

There is no excusing of summary executions without a court of law, and, I beg anyone such as anonymous to scrutinize my recent postings to see whether at any point I have defended the Martinez regime.

- * -

Interestingly, the Consalvi documentary states as a fact that in the first night alone of the mayhem, the Communists looted and killed 20 innocent civilians... without so much as holding a Potemkin court.

Is anyone ever going to remember that the first ones to spill Salvadorean blood on the first night were the Communists?

Larry said...

There is certainly no denying that the Communist Party organized the revolt. It is important to remember, that many of the tens of thousands of people killed had nothing to do with the uprising. The oligarchy assumed indigenous = Communist and went after anyone who wore traditional clothing and spoke Nuhuatl, especially in the western region.

It is also important to remember that Marti and other Communist leaders had already been captured BEFORE the uprising took place. The Communist Party then made an unsuccessful attempt to call off the revolt.