Letters and Politics

The Military Dictatorship in El Salvador and a Witness to the Civil War

The Farabundo Marti Liberation Front was formed when five politically different organizations joined forces to overthrow the Salvadoran military government. This was preceded by 50 years of military dictatorship supported by the U.S. government and the national oligarchy that kept a vast majority of Salvadoreans in extreme poverty and squalid working and living conditions. The dictatorship became far more brutal during the ’60s and ’70s when a strong social movement mobilized against economic policies and social inequalities. The military regime target workers, students, peasants, religious and humanitarian workers. Thousands were disappeared, tortured, and/or killed.   At the beginning of the 1980’s a civil war started, the conflict opened several war zones in El Salvador. The war lasted for more than 12 years.  Today, we talk to professor Carolyn Forché about her experience in El Salvador in the years leading up to the war, as well as her relationship with one of the most mysterious figures associated with the war, Leonel Gómez Vides.

Guest: Carolyn Forché is a renowned and distinguished poet, translator, and human rights advocate. She is a professor of poetry writing and literature at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books including her latest What You’ve Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance.

Photo by Harry Mattison -harrymattison1@gmail.com
Photo by Harry Mattison [email protected]
Share This