One thought on “10th anniversary of Romero’s Assassination”

  1. I will include my post here since in it addresses the broader CISPES-led domestic protest campaign of this era. I was present at this rally in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s assassination. It was a very large gathering despite pretty bleak weather – cold and wet! The wonderful New Haven CISPES chapter organized a bus trip that drew many peace and justice supporters who did not always attend CISPES functions. The DC event was big and boisterous – I remember Pete Seeger singing Guantanamera and Raul Julia reciting Archbishop Romero’s impassioned plea to Jimmy Carter to “Stop the Violence!” Would love hearing others’ memories of that day.

    One of my most memorable CISPES demonstrations from that era occurred in New York City following the tumultuous events of November 1989. So much government repression in El Salvador, so much brave Popular Movement and FMLN resistance; so much US government complicity in the Salvadoran genocide, and thankfully many brave voices including CISPES standing up to say no! I pause in respectful memory of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter whose lives were savagely ended on November 16, 1989. In response to this atrocity, the faith-based international NGOs withdrew their staff and suspended their work within El Salvador. Shortly afterwards, Salvadoran President and Arena Party leader Alfredo Christiani arranged a meeting with the leadership of the faith-based relief and development organizations to persuade them to re-start their work. I can’t remember the exact location where the meeting was held, but it was in mid-town NYC and CISPES was ready and waiting for Christiani. There were approximately 150 very well coordinated protestors and the NYC Police had the building and street well secured for Christiani’s entrance. When he stepped out of his limo, the chant was thunderous and unmistakable: “Assassino, Assassino, Assassino”. I can’t say what was going through his mind, but there was no mistaking that he heard us loud and clear.

    The struggle of the Salvadoran people for freedom, justice and peace made an indelible impression on me and I am so proud and grateful to have joined them in solidarity through CISPES. I went on to visit El Salvador five times and I think about those experiences everyday. CISPES was such a powerful organizing vehicle first and foremost because it embraced the spirit, philosophy, principles and practices of the Salvadoran revolution.

    I want to send a special shout out to the OUTSTANDING leadership that we enjoyed in the New Haven chapter: John Hannan, Ann Lutterman and Trisha Thorme, among many others. And also a special hello to Beth Perry, who with Ann led my first delegation to El Salvador in 1990 – forever changed my life!

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