The SHARE Blog

Action Alert: U.S. Senators Threaten to Cut Aid to El Salvador

July 18, 2012

Call on the U.S. State Department today and ask them to commit to neutrality.

The following press release is from CISPES:

On Tuesday July 17, Senators Rober Menedez (D-NJ) and Maro Rubio (R-FL) released a press statement calling for the Obama administration to threaten the Salvadoran government with the suspension of aid money and advisors if they do not resolve the “constitutional crisis”.   The so called constitutional crisis stems from a decision by the Constitutional Court of El Salvador to invalidate the 2006 and 2012 election of magistrates to the Supreme Court.  In an unusual show of unity parties from both the left and the right have rejected the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the Legislative Assembly.  Notably absent from this group is the right-wing ARENA party who stands to benefit from the ruling because they would be able to elect two thirds of the court.  Read more background on the dispute here.

In addition to encouraging the Obama administration to threaten the withdrawal of aid to El Salvador the Senators also demand that Obama deny visas for anyone “participating in the existing unconstitutional order”.  These demands are putting even more pressure on what is already a very tense situation which many have described as a right-wing attempt to destabilize the government.  The Salvadoran people and government should be allowed to resolve this dispute without interference by the United States.  

The Senators actions may forecast the types of threats that will be made in the lead up to the presidential elections of 2014.  Therefore it is urgent that we call on the State Dept commit to neutrality now and throughout the upcoming electoral period.

Join us in Calling on the U.S. State Department to committ to neutrality

Contact the State Department TODAY

1. Call Melanie Bower at the El Salvador Desk. 202-647-4161

Sample Phone script: I am calling because I am deeply concerned that members of the Senate have called on the State Department to threaten to cut aid to El Salvador because of the current conflict between the Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Court. Not only did these Senators misrepresent the facts of the situation, it is highly unacceptable for the United State government to use international aid as a threat to interfere in El Salvador’s internal and sovereign affairs. Will Secretary Jacobson commit to a position of US neutrality and noninterference?

2. Email Roberta Jacobson Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. 

3. Leave comments on articles discussing this issue. 

Leave a comment on articles in The Washington PostThe Hill, and Wall Street Journal and speak out against U.S. intervention.

Honoring Women Religious

July 13, 2012

SHARE El Salvador and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) invite you to join us in a Delegation

Honoring Women Religious

Celebrating the Legacy of Dorothy, Maura, Ita & Jean In El Salvador and the World



Delegation Cost: $950 plus airfare

(scholarships & group discounts available)

            * Walk the route of the martyrs

           * Honor Women Religious

           * Visit Women’s Projects

                                                                                    * Participate in a forum on Women’s Issues

 For more information: visit  or call 510-848-8487

Down load a copy of this flyer here

Madre Guadalupe’s Recent visit to the U.S.

July 12, 2012

Through SHARE’s partnership with CODEFAM (Committee of Families of the Disappeared) and other members of the Comite Promemoria in El Salvador we have launched a new initiative – The Campaign for Truth, Justice, and Reparations; a campaign which demands the Salvadoran government to address the issue of the Disappeared so that El Salvador can fully heal from the wounds of the civil war and create a culture of peace. 

Madre in New York at SHARE board members home event

It is in the hopes of enlightening the world around the issue of the Disappeared that SHARE recently had the privilege of welcoming Madre Guadalupe to the United States and join her as she traveled through various cities and spoke about her experience as an activist advocating for the thousand of disappeared victims of the Civil War.

During her tour Madre Guadalupe visited cities across the U.S. including New York (NY), Union City (NJ) , Washington D.C., Berkeley (CA), Sacramento (CA), San Francisco (CA) and San Jose (CA). With every step of her journey Madre touched the hearts and minds of those who attentively listened to her recollections of the civil war, about her work as the President of  CODEFAM and her passion that drives her to demand justice for the Disappeared for the past 30 years. Read More »

Power Battle Heats up in El Salvador and the People React

El Salvador’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that the National Assembly’s appointment of justices for the Supreme Judicial Tribunal is unconstitutional for the second time. In April 2012 the Assembly appointed Astor Escalante Seravia as Attorney General; which the Supreme Court claims violates the constitution by voting more than once to elect an attorney general. A similar practice occurred in 2006 when the National Assembly elected a justice to the Supreme Court for the next term, which at that time also violated the constitution.

Hundreds of Salvadorians demand respect to the Constitution. San Salvador

Hundreds of Salvadorans protested against the Assembly’s violation of the constitution. Although the “white marches” (marchas blancas), are a symbol of peace, many participants have been injured and many have even been confronted with tear gas. The right wing party ARENA, was noted to be the prime instigator of the march in efforts to criticize other parties who oppose the the recent decision of the Constitutional Chamber. Local social networks have reported that the national elites transported citizens from the interior regions of the nation and provided them with white shirts, white flags and even money in order to promote their participation in these marches. 

The constitution reiterates the electoral power to the people by limiting the National Assembly’s electoral power of justices to one; therefore  this violation not only overrides the constitution but their citizen vote as well. 

To learn more, read Tim’s El Salvador Blog 


SHARE Supports Youth Fighting for Social Justice as they Take Activism to the Next Level

July 9, 2012

The following blog is a personal memoir from SHARE intern, Blanca Vazquez, one of the youth leaders of the DREAM Act Movement.

Undocumented youth in the Unites States are facing the constant struggle of living in a country in which they are not acknowledged as citizens and are therefore victims of constant racial profiling. Under the Obama Administration over 400,000 undocumented individuals are being deported PER YEAR; this is a record number of deportations under any presidential administration. Youth activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance took the struggle for social justice to the next level by taking over several of Obama’s campaign offices last month. Although this was a very risky move, their efforts seemed to have resulted in President Obama announcing a Deferred Action in which the President stated the he would halt deportations and even provide undocumented youth with a work permit for two years.

The following is a personal memoir from one of the youth who participated in this inspiring civil disobedience, Blanca Vazquez. Her story and the story of undocumented youth in the US is very similar to that of countless youth in El Salvador who also face educational and social struggles. The fight for social justice is universal and youth are the soldiers who continue to demand justice when its own government has turned its back against them. Youth will continue to fight for our past, present and future.

Undocumented students in Oakland, California take over one of Obama’s Headquarter offices in demands to stop deportations of DREAM Act eligible youth

It was not an easy decision, the thought of being confined for days without any sense of freedom held me back from agreeing to partake in this civil disobedience action. And plus my family would not agree with my doing it either. But then, the unknown faces of my undocumented people being kept captive in much worse conditions relieved me of my worries and the answer was YES. Three other undocumented youth and I would take over Obama’s Campaign office in demands that he provide the undocumented people with an executive order which would halt the deportations of innocent people. I didn’t need to prepare mentally or physically because the constant struggle of my family has been my life long preparation. A couple days from the action, I began to tell those closest to me of what I was about to do, and felt as a war soldier would when he says his goodbyes before going off to war.

Read More »

CDH Delegation Returns Home in Solidarity with El Salvador

July 6, 2012

 After 10 days in El Salvador, the Cretin Derham Hall Delegation returns home to the United States but their spirit and solidarity will remain in the hearts and minds of the Salvadorian people. It is important to acknowledge the new sense of liberty that our young delegates experienced, because after embracing the history of El Salvador, their sense of liberty is likely to be different. Upon their return the youth are welcomed in the mist of the celebration of their nations’ Independence Day; a celebration which has now taken on a new meaning. Their understanding of what true liberty and justice is, has now been reshaped and their appreciation for the privileges they took for granted has increased. This particular fourth of July has a different taste;  although the time is right to celebrate, their solidarity with the people in El Salvador will move them to join in the efforts to build a better El Salvador. 

July 4, 2012

Cretin Derham Hall

Twenty-four students and 4 faculty members from Cretin Derham Hall high school in Minneapolis wrapped up their visit to El Salvador yesterday at Ecoparque El Espino with a short but steep hike up to the platform overlooking the “valley of the hammock” where San Salvador is located.  They spent time there sharing their feelings and thoughts about their visit before breaking into groups to brainstorm ways that they can carry their experience home and continue to support for social and economic justice in El Salvador.

CDH Delegation in Eco Parque de Esquina, embracing their final day in El Salvador

Each student had a few minutes to reflect:  On this trip when did you feel most excited, really nervous or uncomfortable, overwhelmed in good or bad way, loved or saw love, surprised or shocked, angry, happy and filled with joy?  Then the group shared what was most on their minds – and what they are taking back home.

A few of the comments:

I’ll remember the people I met here and the hope in their eyes – and they work harder than most of the people I know back home.

When I think of the challenges of our home state, I’ll remember how other people in the world are living. Read More »

2012 Cretin Derham Hall Delegation in El Salvador

July 2, 2012

SHARE is very aware of the impact that youth can have in the social justice movement, especially in a country where the opportunity for growth is very limited. It is for this reason that SHARE has teamed up with CRIPDES to provide  youth in the United States the opportunity of combining their experiences with those of young people in El Salvador. By sharing their feelings and thoughts about social justice, we open the doors to new partnerships and new social movements. As two worlds are combined, we follow their activities and their journey in El Salvador, remembering the past and honoring the country’s history.

CRIPDES San Vicente students enjoying a lunch with students from Cretin Derham Hall

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Students from Cretin Derham Hall in Minneapolis spent today with their peers from CRIPDES San Vicente getting to know one another, learning about each other’s lives and schools, having fun, and sharing their feelings and ideas about justice and social change.  The CRIPDES students live in an area prone to natural and human disasters – flooding, hurricanes, volcanic activity and the civil war. The program at CRIPDES offers high school scholarships and other training and enrichment activities for students in San Vincente.  Cretin Derham Hall is a high school with a curriculum embedded in a social justice perspective and the students on this trip are trying to understand a reality very different from their own back in Minneapolis.  By arranging this exchange, SHARE and CRIPDES offer a way to learn that is rooted in sharing personal experiences.  Read More »

International Day of Support for Torture Victims

June 26, 2012

This January, El Salvador celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords. In 1992, these Peace Accords signified the end of a brutal civil war that claimed thousands of lives. These innocent civilians, including many children, were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered without any official recognition or record during the civil war, today they are referred to as the “Disappeared”. Between 1980 and 1991, it is estimated that more than 8,000 people were disappeared during the civil war.  Countless relatives of the Disappeared have sought answers from the Salvadoran government over the past decades as to their relatives’ whereabouts, where their remains are located, how they died, etc. Many of these families have formed community organizations to pressure the government to provide these answers and to assist in their rehabilitation (through psychological and monetary assistance).

Banner with the faces of the Disappeared held at the Metropolitan Cathedral in El Salvador , by Pro-Memoria Histórica and the families of the Disappeared

 Today the El Salvadoran Commission on Human Rights held a forum in honor of Victims of torture along with  the  Comite  PRO-MEMORIA- together with the families of the disappeared they  demanded that the 30th of August be declared the ¨The National Day of Disappearance¨ by the Legislative Assembly.  Last Thursday, June 21, this motion was defeated by a right wing majority.

The struggle for acknowledgment and reparations In El Salvador  for the victims of the war is still going on and is gaining worldwide attention.  In 2005, Madre Guadalupe was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work and founding CODEFAM (Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared). CODEFAM is supported by SHARE El Salvador and is one of the leading community organizations demanding justice for family members of the Disappeared who continue to fight for truth.

Madre Gudalupe is touring the United States speaking about her quest for justice, to read more about the tour, press here.

Mesa Grande and World Refugee Day

June 20, 2012

“The Repatriation: A Triumph for the Refugees and the Salvadoran People.” SHARE Foundation Archives, taken by Anne McCarthy, OSB

June 20th is World Refugee Day. The United Nations moved to declare this day World Refugee Day in order to bring awareness to the more than 43.7 million refugees, internally displaced and stateless people around the world right now. Today, as the UN Refugee Agency stated: “is an opportunity to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.”

Read More »

SHARE applauds DREAMers for obtaining temporary relief for eligible, undocumented youth from the Obama Administration

June 15, 2012

Today saw a historic moment in the struggle for immigrant rights. President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to grant temporary relief from deportation proceedings as well as the ability to apply for work permits. SHARE El Salvador is overjoyed at the news that the amazing youth we have been accompanying through this struggle gained a victory today.

Photo Courtesy of Diane Green Lent

In a statement made at the White House, President Obama said: “Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people…Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”

Read More »

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