Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Spain Demands that El Salvador extradite military personnel processed for the massacre of the Jesuits

December 9, 2011

The Council of Ministers also resolved to request that the United States of America extradite the two other military personnel accused in the killing who reside in that country. One of the defense lawyers said that the call for extradition does not worry them because they are certain that the Supreme Court of Justice will deny the request.

Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ

By Efren Lemus / Published December 2,  2011
Translated by Bethany Loberg.  Original in Spanish here

This Friday the Spanish Council of Ministers agreed to request that Salvadoran and U.S. authorities extradite 15 Salvadoran military personnel accused of participating in the assassination of six Jesuit priests and two of their collaborators, a crime which occurred the 16th of November of 1989. 

Europa Press stated that in accordance with the proposal of the Spanish Minister of Justice, Francisco Caamaño, the Spanish government has emitted 13 requests for extradition from El Salvador and two from the United States. Caamaño presented the application for extradition at the request of the Supreme Court, the institution prosecuting the military personnel for the crimes of assassination, terrorism, and crimes against humanity.   Read More »

Thanksgiving Day Protest in Solidarity with the 99% Global Occupy Movement

November 26, 2011

On Thursday, November 24th, as people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, US citizens in El Salvador and Salvadorans gathered outside of the US Embassy to stand in solidarity with the global “Occupy” and “Indignados” movements.  Their demands include an end to neoliberal, capitalist free trade policies, the militarization of the Central American region, and environmental destruction that has led to climate change. Tedde Simon, SHARE staffer, (right) said of the morning: “This is a symbolic event to express our solidarity with the millions of people around the world that have stood up to say, BASTA!, enough.  We believe that a better world is possible, and we are working together to create it, every day.”

Read about How the Occupy Movement Came to El Salvador here!

The group published the following press release:

Capitalist globalization has forced governments all over the world to prioritize the economic interests of the richest 1% of the global population over basic needs such as education, health care and employment for the other 99% of humanity.

Faced with a corrupt democratic process, staggering social inequality and an ecological crisis which threatens life itself, the 99% has risen up against this injustice in over 1,500 cities all over the world, through the Occupy Movement in the United States and the Indignados Movement in Spain and other European countries, and through a wealth of local and national alternatives in Latin America and around the world. Read More »

Fire with more Fire: Reflections on Living with Violence

September 26, 2011

The following is an excerpt of a longer article written by former SHARE staff Danny Burridge.  Today, Danny works at the María Madre de los Pobres Parish in La Chacra.

Sometimes we do a dinamica to help cultivate the kids’ creativity. We have one of them tell a story that includes actions, and as the kid is telling, the rest of us have to perform the actions as they come up. When it was Oscar’s turn he had us walking to the corner store to buy some queso fresco, chips and a two liter of Coka. Then Naomy took us staggering and gasping through the desert with no water to get to the United States. 

With Jonathan, we were just minding our own business, walking down the street outside the parish, when suddenly the soldiers rounded the corner, grabbed us and threw us up against the wall of the nearest house, shouted obscenities at us, kicked out our legs, hit us with the butts of their guns, and then searched us. They didn’t find anything but they thought we were gang members, so they kept us there, all of us, the 40 year old third grade teacher Deysi, our 17 year old drawing instructor Bryan, myself, and a smattering of 15 or so boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 13. We were left kneeling down on the mildly clean beige tiling of the Open School, sweating, our hands crossed on top of our heads, acting out the blows in the back, our faces embodying the submission, the humiliation, but stifling our laughter too. And Jonathan was there smiling intently, loving the sinister control he had, framed by posters of non-violence and pastel artwork on the walls, the fans whirring oh-so-slowly overhead.

And this is supposed to be part of the solution to the violence: that entire geographic zones be black-listed and militarized; that overwhelmingly good and honest people there be treated like criminals and thereby come closer to embodying the rage and violence of that criminalization; that the artisans of institutional violence (the soldiers) combat capitalism’s superfluous youth organized into networks of peripheral violence (the gangs).   Funes has acquiesced to the perverse logic of an inhuman system that convinces us that the only way to fight fire is with more fire. 

And so now we’re ablaze. 

Read on here.

Residential Voting in El Salvador

September 17, 2010

Campesino casting his vote

What if you had to ride various busses three hours to vote? Would you still vote? This is the reality for the people who live in the communities on the Tamarindo Beach in La Union, El Salvador. On voting day, the nearest poll where they can vote is in the town of Conchagua, which is a three hour bus ride from where they live.
Or take for example the residents of the Ciudad Corinto, a middle class residential neighborhood of mostly confiminiums in Mejicanos. The nearest voting center for those residents would be in the Montreal neighborhood, where intense gang violence has increased in recent months, as we saw with the burning of a bus with passengers aboard in June. Would you venture into one of the most dangerous neigborhoods in El Salvador to vote? Read More »

Anti-Mining Activist Disappears!

July 7, 2009

The SHARE Foundation denounces the disappearance of Marcelo Rivera, a renowned leader in the community of San Isidro in the northern department of Cabañas. Marcelo was last seen in the afternoon of June 18th near the town of Ilobasco, Cabañas. He was wearing a Bishop Oscar Romero t-shirt and blue jeans. Marcelo’s family, friends, and community members are desperately searching for him. They suspect that he may have been abducted for political reasons. Marcelo was one of the main FMLN leaders who denounced the presence of foreigners trying to vote illegally in San Isidro during the January 18th municipal elections. As a result, elections were suspended in the town and conducted a week later under strict oversight. Marcelo is a leader in the social resistance movement against the Canadian mining corporation, Pacific Rim. The mining company has been exploring for gold in the El Dorado mine located in Cabañas. Pacific Rim is currently suing El Salvador under CAFTA because the government has refused to grant the company permits to begin gold mining extraction.

Marcelo Rivera is a 37 year-old teacher who works as the Director of San Isidro’s Casa de la Cultura, a community center dedicated to promoting the local culture. Marcelo is also a founding member and Director of Friends of San Isidro Cabañas (ASIC), which is a member organization of the National Working Group Against Mining in El Salvador (La Mesa). In addition, Marcelo is an FMLN leader at the local level, serving as a party board member in the Cabañas chapter. This week, communities in San Isidro, ASIC, and other social organizations gathered in front of the Casa de la Cultura to express their concern and to pressure local and national authorities to begin investigations regarding the whereabouts of Marcelo. Students and teachers from San Isidro’s schools participated in the protest carrying signs asking authorities to stop violence, corruption, and impunity….Continue reading “Anti-Mining Activist Disappears.”

– Claudia Rodríguez, DC Policy Office Director

Vanda Pignato, El Salvador’s First Lady

June 18, 2009

As Mauricio Funes enters his 18th day as the first-ever leftist president of El Salvador, Funes’ wife, Vanda Guiomar Pignato, continues to quietly shape her role as the first lady. Vanda, a native Brazilian and current Salvadoran citizen, had an incredible influence over her husband’s presidential campaign and will no doubt have a strong influence over his presidency.

Vanda grew up in Sao Paulo and, while attending law school, joined the international movement in solidarity with the FMLN during the Salvadoran Civil War. Vanda’s strong interest in politics led her to join Brazil’s Workers’ Party, the political party of current Brazilian President Lula da Silva. One year after the signing of the Peace Accords, Vanda moved to El Salvador in the early 1990s to represent the Workers’ Party in Central America. She later became the director of the Center for Brazilian Studies at the Brazilian Embassy in San Salvador. On Inauguration Day, Funes named his wife the Minister of Social Inclusion.

Funes has often remarked that he hopes to model his government after that of Lula da Silva’s. Vanda will likely have a hand in making this possible, given her friendship with Lula and her years of experience with the Workers’ Party. Either way, Vanda will certainly be a strong political force guiding the future of El Salvador.

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator


Video of Inauguration Day

June 3, 2009


Also, here is a great photo album from Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador, where FMLN supporters gathered to celebrate the occasion.

– Leslie O’Bray, Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern


Funes sworn in as President of El Salvador

June 1, 2009

Today, El Salvador celebrated the inauguration of the country’s first leftist president, Mauricio Funes. Stay tuned for more information!

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator


Funes announces several members of his Cabinet

May 26, 2009

Several names of President-elect Mauricio Funes’ Cabinet have been announced over the last couple of days. The positions include:

  • Chief Advisor to the President and Chief of Staff: Alexander Segovia, Funes’ current economic advisor,
  • Treasury Minister: Carlos Cáceres, the former Executive Director of the Central Banking System,
  • Economic Minister: Dr. Hector Dada, current Democratic Change (DC) Legislator,
  • President of the Central Bank Reserve: Carlos Acevedo, an economist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
  • Agriculture Minister: Manuel Sevilla, another economist for the UNDP,
  • Environment Minister: German Rosa Chávez, former Executive Director of the Salvadoran Program for Investigation of Development and the Environment (PRISMA),
  • Public Works Minister: Gerson Martínez, current FMLN Legislator,
  • Coordinator for State Modernization: Hato Hasbum, Funes’ presidential campaign director,
  • President of CEPA (Salvadoran Port Authority): Guillermo López, former Treasury Minister in the Saca administration, and
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Hugo Martínez, an FMLN Legislator

*Photo of Mauricio Funes and Hector Dada from Amigos de Mauricio.

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

Workers’ Party begins process of becoming official political party

May 22, 2009

Yesterday, Diario CoLatino reported that members of the new Partido de los Trabajadores (Workers’ Party) picked up 50,000 ballots from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) for citizens to sign in order for the new party to be registered as an official political party. If the Workers’ Party, which was founded in 2002, is able to collect 50,000 signatures, the party will be able to participate in the next election. The party members stated that all wage earners can join their party. including those who work in the informal sector of the economy.

According to the Secretary of the Workers’ Party, Abel Quijano (pictured above at the TSE), the new party will represent the “true interests of the working class, which are not currently being represented anywhere else.” This statement may surprise some people in El Salvador, where the FMLN, the party farthest to the left, recently celebrated their first presidential victory. However, Pedro Zaldívar, another leader of the Workers’ Party, indicated the party’s interest in working with the FMLN. “I am a leftist, we are from the left, the FMLN defines itself as part of the left so hopefully we can work together.”

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

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