Robert Lovato wrote the article below in The Nation about his recent experience in Izalco, El Salvador. He relates the FMLN presidential victory to events throughout El Salvador's history, notably to the 1932 killing of around 30,000 indigenous peasants, known as La Matanza.
In Izalco, El Salvador, an idyllic but very poor village nestled under the gaze of the great volcano of the same name, I asked Juliana Ama to help me understand how the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the guerrillas-turned-political-party, had managed to triumph over the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) in the presidential election on March 15, ending the right-wing party's twenty-year reign. Ama guided me to a dusty, football field-size dirt lot adjacent to a church. The 61-year-old schoolteacher said nothing at first, staring meditatively at a round spot blackened by a campfire or some burnt offering. Then she said simply, "It's our dead."
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- Leslie O'Bray, SHARE Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern
* Picture taken from The Nation