Tengo Un Peso En Mi Corazón.

27 Sep

Listening To: “On Love, In Sadness” – Jason Mraz, Waiting For My Rocket To Come

And El Salvador continued…

On Wednesday we started the day at the Monument of Truth in San Salvador, a monument that was mandated originally by the UN Peace Accords after the war but was not erected because the government did not put forth the effort to do so. Eventually it gained outside support (mainly from the mothers of victims) and it was created. The monument is a wall that stretches through a park in San Salvador and has the names of the victims of the civil war. The names are divided between homicides and those who disappeared in other ways, and then is separated based on year so that it is easier to find the name of a loved one. The wall also lists the names and dates of all of the massacres that occurred throughout the time of unrest. And yes, I mean massacres, as in multiple. An entire panel of the wall is dedicated to the massacres…it is incredible to think that something like that would need to exist.

After the Monument of Truth we headed to the University of Central America, a Jesuit University, to learn about the murder of two women and six Jesuit Priests. There was a belief within the military that one of the priests was the leader of the guerilla movement (the murders occurred only five days after the FMLN launched a large offensive, but this claim was later deemed false), so there was an order to kill the priest and leave no witnesses, which lead to the death of the five other priests and the women. The military hoped that by doing so they could blame the FMLN (guerillas) for the death and escape backlash, but they had been seen entering the University, and the military had control of the area surrounding the UCA so it would have been nearly impossible for the FMLN to have gained access. At the university there is a museum that displays the clothes that the individuals were wearing when they were murdered, relics of each of the priests, and other pieces relevant to the civil war. We were also shown the rose garden to which the priests were dragged and killed, the room in which the women were found and killed, and were able to visit the church on the property. In the church there are the fourteen images of the Salvadoran Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross. However, instead of showing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the images show fourteen different ways in which Salvadoran citizens were tortured during the war. The fifteenth was left unpainted by the artist because he said it was the job of the people to make sure it never happened again.

After lunch we headed to visit the two main political parties in El Salvador. As I described earlier, the two main parties are ARENA (conservatives) and the FMLN (liberals). ARENA was created during the war as a response to the guerillas and was in power until 2009, when the FMLN gained the presidency.

Although all of this happened in one day, I have a lot to say about the meetings with ARENA and the FMLN, so I am going to make that its own blog post so that I can do it justice length-wise.



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