Sunday, June 14, 2009

40th anniversary of the Soccer War

Almost 40 years ago, in July 1969, El Salvador and Honduras fought the "Soccer War", so-called because of tensions triggered by World Cup soccer qualifying matches played between the two countries that summer. Forty years later, those old animosities have subsided, and the countries played another World Cup qualifying match as this article describes:

I went inside, the only gringo in the room, and ordered a beer and sat down next to a big guy named Pedro. He was a Salvadoreño who had lived most of his life in the American capital, where virtually all the handiwork, construction, delivery, and gardening is done by men from the Latin republics, yet Pedro's passion for his fatherland -- and for football -- had never waned. Like all the others in the gaudy club, he had come to watch a World Cup qualifying match between his country and its neighbour, an important step on the path toward a place in next year's finals in South Africa, but more meaningful -- to me, at least -- as proof of the healing power of time.

It was exactly 40 years ago -- during the summer of Apollo 11 and of blissed-out Woodstock -- that El Salvador and Honduras went into combat for three deadly days in what came to be known as the Football War. The Salvadoran army pushed deep into Honduran territory before its supply lines were obliterated by the enemy's propeller-driven air force. Thousands of soldiers and civilians were killed and the enmity persisted for decades. But now the men of both countries could sit together in a foreign tavern and watch a rematch without fear.

The history books say that the Football War began as a dispute involving hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans who had migrated from their tiny, overcrowded republic to neighbouring Honduras, seeking land to till. Tensions simmered through the decade, then erupted into rioting during World Cup qualifying matches in each country in mid-July, 1969 -- the very week that Neil Armstrong was making his "giant leap for all mankind" on the Sea of Tranquility.

Honduras won the World Cup qualifying match this week, defeating the Salvadorans 1-0.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=882

Anonymous said...

"Soccer War" was a misnomer!

We Hondurans wanted those guanacos out of our country because they were simply moving in at will, and using Honduras as a safety relief valve for their overpopulation. It's something on the same lines that the guanacos are now doing the the Americanos up North.

The saying that best described the guanacos back during our little war was, "Guanacos de pie, porque no caben sentados."

Our concerned citizens from Olancho formed into patriotic "Manchas Bravas" and kicked out the invadores. Good riddence.

Didn't you just love the way we beat them silly and knocked them out of world cup competition.

Anonymous said...

Some good news, and some bad news!

The Salvadorean gangs have now declared a state of seige in that murder capital of the world. Commerce is closing early because of fear, fear of the 12 per day average of persons assassinated in that rat hole.

News from Mexico is that Salvadorean that they catch sneaking through Mexico on the way to the U.S. border is made to pay for the insults of their countrymen against the beautiful Mexican Golden Eagle during their latest soccer game.

Payback is a bitch!

Anonymous said...

The tone of the piece was conciliatory but some of the posters seem to hold on to old grudges. That's unfortunate. Many Salvadorans and Hondurans live out their brotherhood, realizing that the artificial states living side by side and flying flags with the same colors are hardly cause for emnity.

Anonymous said...

To the previous Posting:

I guess that when your mother's breasts have been cut off and she's, while you look on it's hard to forget.

More accurately, "it's hard not to forget" each moment, every scream ringing in your ears.

Scars don't heal, ...ever.

Anonymous said...

I agree! A Salvador priest came with his "flock" to our finquita and burned it to the ground. Then they herded our cattle to their side of the border. Along the way they stole whatever was at hand.

Anonymous said...

Concacaf Power Rankings 1. USA 2. Costa Rica 3. Honduras-Mexico (tied). Long gone are the days when it was Mexico and then everyone else.

Anonymous said...

U.S.A. will undoubtedly become the soccer powerhouse of Central and North America. Mexico by inertia falls into the same category of the other nations third rate clubs.

The all powerful U.S.A. has all the right components to become a world first rate soccer power along with countries as England, Germany, Argentina and Brazil.

Once that becomes realty, there should be a league just for the "other" teams, and so they at least have a chance at winning something.

If ever soccer becomes an important national sport, the U.S. will become unstoppable giant. The U.S. will become a league all to its self.

Anonymous said...

USA USA USA USA USA!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

La deliciosa ganancia Catracha sobre los pandilleros Salvatruchos fue de los mas bello que se a visto por estos lados un muchisimo tiempo!

Anonymous said...

wow. i like all the comments posted. at last, tim's blog is starting to become a little interesting. regardless of its puny little size el salvador is as controversial as ever and it gives its neighbors things to talk about, even if they can be negative. but whatever.

Anonymous said...

They said that Honduras won the soccer game, but El Salvador won the war...

Anonymous said...

Above Post says:

"wow. i like all the comments posted. at last, tim's blog is starting to become a little interesting. regardless of its puny little size el salvador is as controversial as ever and it gives its neighbors things to talk about, even if they can be negative. but whatever"

If you lived next door to a den of thieves that would make "Alii Baba and the 40 Thieves" look like Mouseketeers, and on the other side you lived next to a smelly cess pool, don't you thihk your neighbors would have something to talk about.

Well, that's the situation we have living next to the terrorist Salvatrucho Salvadoreans.

Believe me, it ain't fun. They ran their own country into the ground and now they want to come here stealing what's not nailed down.

Anonymous said...

The above brayed:

"They said that Honduras won the soccer game, but El Salvador won the war..."

You terrorists didn't win squat! The soccer game took you out of the World Cup contention, thanks to the brilliant Catracho Natioanl Team. And the way, well we took the grips to La Haya and won back the land you had tried to steal from us. Our borders are now well defined internationally. So your thievery didn't pay off again.

Salvatrucho terrorists are nothing but emotionally insecure envious losers. Got that!

Anonymous said...

It's 2009 and how things have changed. Now it's Hondurans who illegally cross into El Salvador to do the jobs that Salvadorans won't do like cheap agricultural labor. Salvadoran's puruse the American dream while Hondurans pursue the Salvadoran dream.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"It's 2009 and how things have changed. Now it's Hondurans who illegally cross into El Salvador to do the jobs that Salvadorans won't do like cheap agricultural labor. Salvadoran's puruse the American dream while Hondurans pursue the Salvadoran dream."

From all realistic reports, all three countries are sinking into a rat hole, and fast. Guatemala went to Guatepeor and is run by a killer and criminal president, while the entire country is over run by mafia cocaine traffikers.

All decent people left those hell holes a long long time ago. Just like the first out of Cuba back in 1960. What's left is basically rabble, "chusma" in spainsh lingo.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, all hail the Cinchoneros and all the great signs of the Honduras renaissance, such as the contra war, the Chamalecon bus massacre, the La Ceiba prison massacre, and the San Pedro Sula jail fire. Honduras is CLEARLY superior to backwards El Salvador with its silly airline hub, modern port plans, functioning democracy and road to social reconciliation.

Anonymous said...

Wow, all of you Central Americans and Mexicans sure fight a lot with each other. Spend that energy in helping out your local community, getting involved, or anything more productive than spewing hate on a blog.

As a third party observer let me input some objectivity. Obviously everyone here is going to blindly defend their country and criticize others. Let's go to a nonpartisan source to look at the state of Central American countries and Mexico. (Other measures such as GDP per capita, literacy, life expectancy, etc.., generally have the countries in the same order)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index

50 Costa Rica
51 Mexico
58 Panama
88 Belize
101 El Salvador
117 Honduras
120 Nicaragua
121 Guatemala

It seems the region can be broken in to two groups. However, all countries listed can do much to improve their condition so help each other and yourselves.

Anonymous said...

previous post is based on human development index. the link doesn't fit in properly so you can just google it.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

I think it´s time to moderate your comments a bit more.... I have lost a lot of respect and interest in your blog. The comments section in a blog is to establish a dialogue amongst its readers. Most comments you get are trash! It is all pointless insults that don´t even reach those they are trying to insult.

If things don´t change, I think its unfortunate that your relevance and importance in the all-things-El-Salvador blogosphere. You have definitely been replaced by Neto Rivas as the best blogger on Salvadoran topics, not because of your posts, but because of the obnoxious frivolous comments you allow people to post.

Anonymous said...

to above post - very well said. I'm sure Tim would like to allow as much freedom of speech as possible but my personal opinion is also that this blog's comment section has become a forum for people to bicker, insult, and hate. If more comment moderation were implemented, all of these people would know that if their comment contains vitriol than to not even post it because it will be removed. Tough decision to make Tim.

Tim said...

I don't delete posts because I disagree with the point of view. Offensive, racist, or personal attacks get deleted. If someone wants to suggest the line which I should draw, I'm willing to hear suggestions. (and I agree that Neto Rivas is the best person blogging about El Salvador)

Anonymous said...

Tim or whom it may concern:

Tim, as someone from the Midwest, you many not have realized that this Blog is about a violent and lawless land, a people who do not respect even the most basic rights of others.

This is a country where demagogues have destroyed its national character and economic base. The country now relies mainly on exports its own people whose remittances to their families are the country's principle source of foreign currencies. Decent people who simply wanted to live a peaceful life to it's fullest left long ago.

El Salvador is neither Capitalist nor Marxist or Fascist nor even Feudalistic as has been claimed by the more virulent of rhetoric (that would be an insult to all these workable doctrines). We're talking here about a land comprised of thieves, and of grab all you can while you can philosophy.

Tim, if you want a Blog that represents El Salvador for what it is, you'll never be talking about a delicate, sweet smelling white petal rose. To the contrary, El Salvador is the essence of hatred, envy and envelops a chronic national inferiority complex.

There are only two things that a Salvadoran wants in 2009; if he/she is in office, then the goal is to steal all they can while they can. And if the person is in the lower social strata, to get the hell out of the country and come up to El Norte as fast as he can pay the coyote his $5000.00.

Tim, this is your blog so go ahead and delete all opinions you find distasteful or overly aggressive, delete even those that the pencil pushers sprinkled with Old Spice after shave may percieve as frivolous or obnoxious, the only thing you'll never delete though is the truth. Now ain't that a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Tim, the whiners are basically your border hopper "hate America" types who can dish it out but who can't take it. Like the guy above says, they're just a bunch of slack jawed inferiority complex types who's feelings are hurt.

We're the greatest and most generous country in the world, but we're sure not a nursery for a bunch of sniveling whiners.

Anonymous said...

"If things don´t change, I think its unfortunate that your relevance and importance in the all-things-El-Salvador blogosphere. You have definitely been replaced by Neto Rivas as the best blogger on Salvadoran topics"

Oh please! Neto Rivas, no...

You must be in love. ahhhhhh

Anonymous said...

it's silly how hondurans, guatemalans, nicaraguans and mexicans come hate on us salvadorans on this blog. none of you is better than el salvador nor is el salvador better than any of you. we're all practically the same. i'm a salvadoran to the core but still can't pick a honduran apart from one of my countrymen. unless they say they are from honduras i would never be able to tell them from other salvadorans. so what's the big deal here? what is it y'all hating and fighting about? the soccer war is ancient history, honduras is a very promising place and el salvador with all its troubles is starting to get direction as well. let's support the central american cause, morazan's dream...not hate on eachother. we're the same sh*t anyways.

Anonymous said...

Blanket statements like some of these above demonstrate the degradation of the comments section. Every country has problems and third world countries have more than say the U.S. But it is not correct when Canadians, Irish, Scandivanians, and other Europeans characterize the U.S. as full of high school teens that shoot up schools, or inner city ghettos, or the South and so it's not correct when people make blanket statements of El Salvador or other Central American countries. I've been to Guatemala, Honduras, ES, and Panama and in all these countries there are both amazing people and a few others who garner attention for their crimes.

People here are either people with extreme blind hatred for El Salvador or people that defend El Salvador by harshly comparing it to other third world countries or the U.S. By the way Neto Rivas is a good blog and Tim I applaud you for supporting it.

Anonymous said...

"we're all practically the same." uhhh no, we might be the same but our countries are different. ES is a better country than Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. While CR, Mex, Panama and Belize are better places than ES

50 Costa Rica
51 Mexico
58 Panama
88 Belize
101 El Salvador
117 Honduras
120 Nicaragua
121 Guatemala

Anonymous said...

"is starting to get direction as well. let's support the central american cause, morazan's dream..."

The only direction is "North."

And both Morazan and Bolivar had basically the same dream, and both realized on their death bed that they had only plowed the ocean.

Anonymous said...

"ES is a better country than Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. While CR, Mex, Panama and Belize are better places than ES"

Now, that all depends on what you think is "better." It's like when you're talking about beer or women, there are only "good and better".. It's all in the taste.

As a rule of thumb, ususally the other side of the fence is better because of all the bull shit.

Anonymous said...

"By the way Neto Rivas is a good blog and Tim I applaud you for supporting it."

If that's true, then we've finally found something good about the land of the Salvatruchas.

Personally, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Canadians are just low tech gringos.

Irish are the reason God invented booze, so that none of them would ever amount to much.

Scandivanians, well, who wants to trudge through 4-foot snow banks and chase Reindeer. The blonds are OK, but you can get peroxide anywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Scandivanians, and other Europeans characterize the U.S. as full of high school teens that shoot up schools, or inner city ghettos, or the South"


Ever since Lexington and Concord, and the Stars Spangled Banner was recognized as our National Anthem, gunfire has been the sound of our freedom from European style God chosen monarquis.

Nothing like a Remington 700, or a Winchester Model 70 to make freedom ring in your ears.

Anonymous said...

"we're the same sh*t anyways"


Yeah, just different piles.

Anonymous said...

Tim
I believe that your blog is second to none, and that this blog as many that have follow it thru the years have come to understand that El Salvador is a nice place to be, and that the people of El Salvador are beautifull people that are trying to do the right thing.
I do not want to put down my Hondurenos brothers, because they are in their own right a very strong group of people...let's be realistic, they have a better soccer team, and that's the truth...
El Salvador has struggle trough a Civil War, and the post war has brought crime, caos, migration, and many enviermental issues. El Salvador was in the front pages of many American Newspapers for many years, not because of turism, but because it's struggle to find a true democracy.
The problem with the gangs as many people know, it's deeper than blaming all the population by labaling Salvadoreans "Salvatruchos." It's a socioeconomic problem.
Now, I challenge any of you to have a decent constructive conversation in this blog, that can help El Salvador...give us ideas of how we can became better, we'll take constructive criticism.
Last, Tim, Thank you for the labor of love for us, Salvadoreans, inside of the country,or outside of El Salvador...thank you for this forum.


M.A. Guevara

Anonymous said...

M.A. Guevara Post,

Reconcliation starts with taking responsibility for ones own actions, and not simply taking the easy way out and becoming the victim who blames everyone except oneself.

Then, learning that to become an integral and accepted part of society, one must respect the rights of others in all of its diverse and varied demensions.

Lastly, envy, hatred and greed never will lead to overcoming the terrible inferiority complex so ingerent to the diferent sectors of Salvadoran society.

Beyond that, welcome to humanity.

Anonymous said...

I can't agree with those who state that Tim's Blog is somehow inferior or up to par with Neto Rivas' Blog.

I find that Tim's Blog is very interesting, unpredictable and full of variety and energitic humanity.

If in turn, what I wanted was to read a senile or stagnated Newspaper or periodical, I'd be reading "El Pais."

No ones perfect, Tim, but you're good enough. That's the why of your diverse and fun following.

Anonymous said...

pijazo.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Para el Blog anterior,

Que sitio mas simplista y feo. En pocas y resumidas palabras, una "Basura" mas.

Anonymous said...

Dear A.

Thank you for your post, and your comment concerning my previous statement, and I appreciate your honesty and sincerity...and since you mention that "Reconcliation starts with taking responsibility for ones own actions," let's began with some honesty, and responsibility.

First of all, by no means I am giving an excuse for the gangs to be what they are, they are criminal thugs that need to be deal with a strong hand, and that's it.
The fact that you think that all Salvadoreans are thugs and criminals is ludicrous, and you might be one of those people that are misinform, but there is more to El Salvador than thugs and criminals. Maybe you should take some responsibility to learn about the people first, because in all honesty, your comment doesn't reflect any hint of knowledge about the people of El Salvador...it shows just plain prejudicism, Rush Limba type, or Michael Savage type of judgement...

In reality, I do not mean to offend you, because you might be the nicest person in the world...but since you are welcoming me to humanity wit open arms, lets have a soul search of responsibility...now we know that George Bush was the America's embassador to the world for this last years, does it mean that you as an American are like Bush...he lied in order to go to Irak?? Did he not?? No, you are not like Bush...this is called guilty by association... and I bet nobady likes it.

In other words, just because there is some thugs like Mara Salvatrucha out there, that doesn't mean that all the people of El Salvador are like them...no, there is toons of Doctors, Teachers, Firefighters, and businessman in El Salvador. People willing to go the extra mile for anyone, even when all the countries left Iraq, El Salvador stayed.

I appologize if I had offended anyone, did not mean to...but let's be constructive instead of sarcastic...Who ever said that sarcasm is a virtue???

M.A. Guevara

Tim said...

To the Anonymous poster who blames my views on being from the Midwest:

Your post shows a complete ignorance of the El Salvador which I have come to know and love. I've traveled to El Salvador many times and have many Salvadoran friends. I have traveled all over the country and stayed in people's houses in many communities.

Salvadorans are some of the friendliest people anywhere and some of the hardest working. I have met dedicated community organizers, teachers, doctors and local leaders whose primary goal is to improve the lives of their neighborhoods and communities.

Does El Salvador have problems? Absolutely. I am no starry-eyed optimist -- my many posts on this blog about El Salvador's problems show that. Gangs are a scourge and victimize neighborhoods throughout El Salvador. Corruption and the drug trade are an issue. Poverty afflicts too many.

But despite its issues, El Salvador has the potential to make a turn for the better. You could see that belief and hope in the faces of the tens of thousands who turned out to celebrate the outcome of free and fair elections in March.

So if you despise El Salvador so much, don't waste any more of your time on this blog. Because this blog, and hopefully the comments from the left or the right, is dedicated to celebrating what is good in El Salvador and looking for ways to improve what isn't.

Tim

La Cueva del Murcielago said...

Tim,

Another Mid-westerner who cared as much for the human rights of Salvadorans as you appear to--Joe Sanderson, now deceased--would likely support your blog's attempt at dialogue.

Polin said...

US "war college" history versions of El Salvador's civil war lay much of the blame for the war's onset on the Salvadorans returned from Honduras post-1969 "Soccer War."

As an example of this narrow, selectively read, and misinformed interpretation I suggest reviewing the first few pages of "Strategy and Tactics of the Salvadoran FMLN Guerrillas: Last Battle of the Cold War, Blueprint for Future Conflicts" (1995) by Jose Angel Moroni Bracamonte and David E. Spencer.

Also, the text hails "El Mago" Martinez' Salvadoran military's bloody, genocidal response to the Nahuat Western rising in 1932 as an appropriate.

Historiography of this kind--required reading for US and Salvadoran jarheads at "war" colleges, no doubt--promotes mass murder, violations of human rights, racism, and the dominance of the agro-export order, at the expense of alternative interpretations rejecting such points of view.

The "Soccer War" anniversary has many political connotations, as we have seen in these and past posts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous; jealous that Tim prefers to catch toxic Mojarras from Lempa, rather than toxic Lakers from Michigami.

Tim, I'm a long-time follower of your Blog and one who attributes your naive and tainted views of El Salvador, to your no-fault Midwestern background.

Nonetnetheless, I find your Blog entertaining with its diverse and energetic group of contributors who bring their humanity and aspirations to a tiny dot on our planet that would otherwise remain irrelevant and oblivious to most.

Of course you express your convictions and a host of your personal experiences in that miniscule tropical paradise called El Salvador. But you, Tim, as an adult, must surely realize that two eyes only absorb so much, and that obviously there is much much more to be seen, learned, lived and appreciated El Salvador and anywhere else for that matter.

So therefore, Tim, no is "blaming" you nor does anyone doubt that this is your Blog and that you can manipulate its philosophy in whatever direction best suits your personal sense of reality.

Simply stated, if something doesn't meet your personal criteria or scheme of things, simply delete the Post. No one will offended.

P.S. Trust that I'll stop Posting when I have nothing to say.

Anonymous said...

Above Post reads,


"Historiography of this kind--required reading for US and Salvadoran jarheads at "war" colleges, no doubt--promotes mass murder, violations of human rights, racism, and the dominance of the agro-export order, at the expense of alternative interpretations rejecting such"



Get Real! "Salvadoran jarheads" Now that's a joke. I guess you can only mean Salvadorean "Piojosos"

Salvadoran "agro-export order" Are you joking!!! What agro-exports?
Salvador has been recreated as a parceled state of useless homesteads that are up for sale. and it's chief export is the people who will do ANYTHING for a chance to get out to the place.

"Strategy and Tactics of the FMLN Guerrillas" is another good one!
Ask ERP commander, Joaquin Villalobos what the strategy and tactics were, and he'll just laugh becuase he was way ahead of all the loonies, and stole their entire war chest and split with his concubine and kids to England where he lives the live of a gentleman and writes now and then..

The "Cold War" went to that???? Do battling a rag tag group of terrorist thugs who were muduring every backwater mayor and intelectual. What a sick joke.

One last thing, haven't you realized that the sum of your view points are way over 100 years. It's time to get a life. Your referrences go form 19 years ago, to more than 67 years. That's a lot of water under your bridge.

P.S. would you like me to find out for you who Abraham Linclon's barber was? Or perhaps the years that Karl Marx was a feature writer for the New York Times.

By the way, I bet you can't name the first president of El Salvador can you? You see, you're all rhetoric just like my parrot, Polly

Anonymous said...

This Post if really humourous, a dedinite "must read"


"Historiography of this kind--required reading for US and Salvadoran jarheads at "war" colleges, no doubt--promotes mass murder, violations of human rights, racism, and the dominance of the agro-export order, at the expense of alternative interpretations rejecting such"


Hey Pal, sure sounds like you need a good refresher course on the "Inner Tube Republic of Cuba."

But I guess they wouldn't want you there either, they want tourists with dollars. So if you go, you'll be eating a whole lot of octopus. Have fun and then be sure to tell us all about it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous states: "The 'Soccer War' anniversary has many political connotations, as we have seen in these and past posts"


The much talked about "Soccer War" between two puny countries was in fact less that a three day skirmish. It certainly wasn't a battle, and definitely it was not a war by any stretch of the wildest imagination.

U.S. Military Attache-es to both countries had made-up each nations attack and defense plans as a hypothetical model for an afternoon war game.

That anyone took this for a real war only attests to that persons absolute ignorance and childish naivety.



The armies of the Central American countries have always been nothing more than territorial garrisons, to protect the territorial integrity of each country against terrorists, criminals and thugs such as was the FMLN's rag tag insurgency of 25 years ago, and perhaps the Indian uprising of the "indio Aquino" some years prior and which any other modern county would call a police action.



Anonymous, thanks for the laughs...

Anonymous said...

One above Post reads,

"Salvadoran FMLN Guerrillas: Last Battle of the Cold War, Blueprint for Future Conflicts" (1995) by Jose Angel Moroni Bracamonte and David E. Spencer."


This only serves to reaffirm that there is definitely a lot of garbage in written print, and that one big advantage to paper is that paper will stand up to about anything written on it.

For anyone to refer to tiny Salvador's "civil war" against the rag tag insurgent thugs of the then FMLN can not possibly consider that lowly conflict to a Cold War "last" battle.

And Salvadoran who actually believes that, is the personification of "The Mouse that Roared"

The Cold War per say was the stalemated Warsaw Pact and NATO stalemate that ended with the economic collapse of the U.S.S.R. and comunism as a viable economic matrix.

I hate being the one to cut anyones shade tree, but reality is that the Salvadorean situation was and is completely different.

Salvador's internal problems are in no way relevant to the world, and Salvador as a cuntry is a small and insignificant player who we all try to extend an open helping had to because of its obvious need.

Of course, we can't possibly take you all in as refugees as you'd all like. After all, this is beyond a doubt the most wonderful and desirable place on earth to live and reaise a family.

Good luck, but hold yourselves responsible for your oun actions.