Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering the names of the martyrs

Too often when we write about the murders which happened 20 years ago on November 16, 1989, we just refer to the "6 Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter." As people around the world commemorate them this weekend, let us remember these martyrs of El Salvador's civil war by name:

  • Father Ignacio Ellacuría, 59, was since 1979 rector of the UCA, and an internationally-respected intellectual and advocate for human rights and a negotiated solution to the Salvadoran civil conflict;

  • Father Ignacio Martin-Baro´, 44, was the vice rector of the UCA, a leading analyst of national and regional affairs, the founder and director of the respected polling organization, the Public Opinion Institute, former Dean of Students, Dean of the Psychology Department, an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of social psychology and pastor of the rural community of Jayaque;

  • Father Segundo Montes, 56, was Dean of the Department of Social Sciences and a sociology professor at the UCA, and the founder and director of the Human Rights Institute at the UCA (IDHUCA), who did extensive work on Salvadoran refugees in the United States during the period of the Salvadoran conflict, including providing documentation and advice to United States Members of Congress on refugee issues;

  • Father Amando López, 53, was a philosophy and theology professor at the UCA, former director of the Jesuit seminary in San Salvador, and served as pastor of the Tierra Virgen community in Soyapango, a poor neighborhood in the periphery of San Salvador;

  • Farther Juan Ramón Moreno, 56, was a professor of theology at the UCA, former novice-master for the Jesuits, and a tireless pastoral worker and spiritual guide;

  • Father Joaquín López y López, 71, was one of the creators of the UCA and the founder, organizer, and director of Fe y Alegrı´a (Faith and Joy) to address the lack of education in El Salvador, which opened 30 educational centers in marginalized communities throughout the country where 48,000 people received vocational training and education;

  • Julia Elba Ramos, 42, was the cook and housekeeper for the Jesuit seminarians at the UCA and wife of Obdulio Lozano, the UCA gardener and groundskeeper;

  • Celina Mariset, 16, had finished her first year of high school at the Jose´ Damian Villacorta Institute in Santa Tecla, El Salvador, and was staying with her mother the night of November 15, 1989.

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