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Tue Sep 12, 2017, 01:32 AM

Forgotten El Salvador, Again


If you go to the room on the second floor of The Crimson, fondly called the Sanctum, you’ll find our archives. Decades worth of the daily print version of the newspaper line the walls of the room. Critical moments in which Americans learned to understand themselves are immortalized in its pages: South African divestment, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq. But among the pages and pages of thin newspaper paper, one story has been remembered in the archives and forgotten by American memory.

Last week, I opened one of these bound books to find a story from December 14, 1981. It spread across an entire page of the paper, included two photographs, and had the glaring headline: Forgotten El Salvador. It rebuked the American public for ignoring the escalating state violence against Salvadoran citizens, even though Americans had just held protests in response to the killing of an American missionary and three American nuns by the Salvadoran National Guard just a year before. As the article claims, “It is an old axiom that only the threat of American deaths will arouse American concern; El Salvador seems a case in point.”

What the Crimson editor who wrote 35 years before me might have guessed, but couldn’t have known for sure, is that America would continue to forget El Salvador. The Reagan Administration continued funneling hundreds of millions of dollars towards a repressive El Salvadoran government that killed over 1,000 peasants in a single day in 1981, a fact that the Salvadoran Ambassador in Washington then falsely denied.

The final death toll of the conflict was over 750,000 Salvadoran men, women, and children and millions more displaced. Despite its heavy involvement in the Salvadoran Civil War, the United States government has not apologized for training murderers, and the American public has largely forgotten its repulsive involvement in the Salvadoran Civil War.


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Reply Forgotten El Salvador, Again (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2017 OP
tirebiter Sep 2017 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 05:38 AM

1. When I travelled through El Salvador awile back

I learned to my dismay there there were no good guys. Not Right, not Left and not apolitical. Too many wounds for too long.

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