News Highlights, romero

Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero has been Raised to Sainthood

October 14th, 2018
A crowd of 70,000 faithful huddled in St. Peters Square witnessed as Pope Francis elevated Oscar Arnulfo Romero to Sainthood. Among them were five thousand Salvadorans who made the pilgrimage to Vatican City to venerate their prophet, El Salvador’s cherished archbishop who was martyred (español) by the Salvadoran army on March 24, 1980.

The Pope, wearing the blood-stained rope belt that Romero wore when he was shot, also bestowed sainthood to Pope Paul VI, Nazaria Ignacia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano and Mary Caterina Kasper and Nunzio.

Across El Salvador, and in many latin American countries, tens of thousands held vigils and over the night watched the Mass live on giant TV screens in public squares.

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Romero, after witnessing the constant repression by the Salvadoran government towards its own people, preached nonviolence and denounced injustices, amid an escalating civil war that would go on to displace over 1,000,000 Salvadorans and cost the lives of an estimated 80,000 people.

Cecilia Flores de Rivas is recognized by the highest authorities of the Catholic Church as the living miracle that allows the canonization of Archbishop Romero.


Click here for the full coverage including transcripts.

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Climate Change, Disasters, Environment, News Highlights, Water/Agua

MOVIAC: COMUNICADO SOBRE HURACÁN MIGUEL

 ENGLISH VERSION HERE

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PRONUNCIAMIENTO DEL MOVIAC ANTE LAS AFECTACIONES PROVOCADAS POR EL HURACÁN MICHAEL, EN EL SALVADOR

El Salvador está siendo influenciado por el huracán Michael, este martes 9 de octubre alcanzó la categoría 2, provocando lluvias copiosas, principalmente en la zona costera y región oriental del país. Situación que llevó a las autoridades de Protección Civil a decretar Alerta Amarilla en 31 municipios mayormente impactados y Alerta Verde a nivel nacional.

Las autoridades informan de tres personas fallecidas, 14 lesionadas, 28 carreteras dañadas, numerosos árboles derribados que han obstruido el tránsito peatonal y terrestre, 6 ríos desbordados, 57 deslizamientos de tierra, 427 viviendas inundadas y 719 personas albergadas, principalmente en los municipios de San Miguel y Joateca, del departamento de Morazán.

En los países vecinos también se reportan daños. Seis personas fallecieron en Honduras, cuatro en Nicaragua y en Guatemala un niño fue arrastrado por un río. Si bien la mayoría de las precipitaciones se atribuyen a un sistema de baja presión en la costa del Pacífico de El Salvador. La presencia del huracán Michael en el Caribe habría contribuido.

La reflexión que nos debe ocupar, es que este fenómeno meteorológico contrasta con la severa y prolongada sequía que ocasionó la pérdida de más de 80,000 manzanas cultivadas con maíz, con una cosecha proyectada de 4.1 millones de quintales; y es en la misma región oriental, en donde ahora llueve de forma cuantiosa, lo que nos llevar a afirmar que dicha situación es producto de los efectos del Cambio climático, que se acentúan con mayor intensidad en nuestro país.

Ante esta situación, el Movimiento de Víctimas, Afectados y Afectadas por el Cambio Climático y Corporaciones (MOVIAC) Comunica:

Reafirmamos que esto es una manifestación del cambio climático que ha venido afectando a nuestro país y a toda la región centroamericana durante los últimos años. Además, la proyección o escenario futuro está lleno de incertidumbre. La única certeza es que los impactos del cambio climático se van a profundizar, con un consecuente incremento de la pobreza, la migración y la violencia.

El Salvador es un país empobrecido con limitada capacidad para enfrentar estas dificultades, por lo que se vuelve aún más imprescindible que el Estado tome las medidas necesarias y oportunas para prevenir una crisis de mayores proporciones. Para lo cual el MOVIAC propone:

          a)    Que el Estado salvadoreño asuma el cambio climático y sus actuales y futuros impactos como eje transversal de todas las políticas públicas.

     b)    Que se ponga en marcha, con sentido de urgencia, una estrategia de sobrevivencia que incorpore medidas como: La protección de las zonas de recarga acuífera; la descontaminación y cuido de los cuerpos superficiales de agua dulce; la promoción de la agricultura sustentable; la protección de los pueblos originarios y de su cultura; la creación de reservas estratégicas de granos básicos, entre otras.

          c)    Que en los presupuestos de la nación se establezca una partida especial para que el Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería cuente con recursos para finalizar y dar adecuado mantenimiento a las bordas, sistemas de drenaje y caminos internos de las cuencas bajas de los ríos: Lempa, Paz, Jiboa y Grande de San Miguel y demás obras de mitigación en otros zonas del país.

          d)    Que se evite la implementación de proyectos mineros, megaproyectos turísticos, e industria urbanística que provoque deforestación de las pocas áreas forestales que aún tiene el país, impedir los monocultivos de caña de azúcar, debido al excesivo uso de agro tóxicos, la creación de zonas económicas especiales, que contribuyen a incrementar la vulnerabilidad de los pueblos y de la región.

          e)    No asumir proyectos de falsas soluciones al cambio climático en el marco de las negociaciones a nivel mundial, así como proyectos REDD+, que son estrategias de engaños que utilizan las trasnacionales, por lo que se deben asumir medidas reales de adaptación y mitigación que contribuyan a restablecer el equilibro en la madre tierra.

POR LA DEFENSA DE LA VIDA Y EL TERRITORIO.

MOVIMIENTO DE VÍCTIMAS, AFECTADOS Y AFECTADAS POR EL CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO Y LAS CORPORACIONES.

San Salvador, 9 de octubre de 2018

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News Highlights

Fernando Llort, El Salvador’s “National Artist” Has Died

Fernando Llort
Foto: LaPaginaSV

The iconic artist Fernando Llort (7 April 1949 – 10 August 2018)


Before becoming the catalyst of the artisan movement in La Palma, Chalatenango, a small mountain town in northern El Salvador, Fernando Llort studied architecture, art and theology in France, Belgium and the United States.

8268736808_c3a504b761_bThe area of La Palma played a significant role in the ideological development of the revolutionary movement during the civil war. The area is agriculturally developed, and benefits from tourism, yet art is the town’s primary industry, in fact, three-quarters of area residents live from it. Fernando Llort and other young artists are recognized as the founders of art and culture in La Palma.

“Fernando’s art is heavily influenced by the Mayan culture, and has been able to mix modern ideas with a naive style of drawing. He utilises mixed techniques and materials, from paintings to wood, ceramic, and seven glass.” –Fernando-llort.com

Aprender más sobre Fernando Llort

News Highlights, romero

SAN ROMERO: Ayer, Hoy y Siempre

SAINT ROMERO: Yesterday, Today and Forever

web3-oscar-romero-procession-march-el-salvador-000_was7371671-jose-cabezas-afpOn this date, 38 years ago, the Archbishop of El Salvador was assassinated while giving mass in his own chapel by right wing forces opposed to the people’s revolution of the 1980s. Romero was not a subversive, nor a communist, but one of the greatest examples of a Christian that one can be. READ MORE.

Every year, on and around this date, thousands of Salvadorans and thousands throughout the world commemorate his martyrdom with marches, special masses and prayer ceremonies. Young children are taught about him while the elderly reminisce about his radios sermons that would be transmitted via short and long wave frequencies. His voice and his words helped multitudes during and after the bloody civil war in El Salvador heal and keep moving onward towards the peace that they and he aspired for.

He is, indeed, the World’s Saint and today we commemorate his fierce love amidst times of great hate.

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“Sabemos que todo esfuerzo por mejorar una sociedad, sobre todo cuando está tan metida esa injusticia y el pecado, es un esfuerzo que Dios bendice, que Dios quiere, que Dios nos exige.”
Advocacy, annual report, education, Environment, Food Security, News Highlights, Voices Developments, Womens issues, Youth Development

Celebrating 30 years of Solidarity with the People of El Salvador – 2016 Annual Report

2016 was a dynamic year for Voices. We said goodbye to old friends and opened the door to new ones. We began an extensive education revitalization project in Bajo Lempa, started supporting women’s empowerment in Morazán and even joined in on environmental justice protests in the capital San Salvador.

This year is even more special because we turn 30! Since our inception in the refugee camps until now, we have never deserted our communities and are committed to being a critical source of support for them now, and in the future.

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Read our report to find out what our partners have been up to, the large scales issues they are facing and how Voices has been working hard in collaboration with leaders to find solutions to issues and pathways to accomplishing goals.

News Highlights

Urgent! President of ALGES (Association of War Wounded) and Son Kidnapped

On Friday afternoon, the President of ALGES (Association of War Wounded) and his son were disappeared between Zacatecaluca and San Vicente. His family, friends, and compas at ALGES are very concerned for their safety and this morning published this Press Release: This is a serious issue and we call on the Salvadoran Diaspora and members of the international community to call for his release, or contact ALGES with any information about their whereabouts. We will post more information as it becomes available.

ALGES Press Release

The Association of War Wounded of El Salvador, Heroes of November 1989, ALGES publicly denounces the disappearance of our president, Mr. Israel Quintanilla and his son Carlos Alberto Zavala.

Click here for Spanish and Photos
Click here for Spanish and Photos

Mr. Israel Antonio Quintanilla and his son Carlos Alberto Zavala disappeared on Friday May 1, 2015 around 3:30 pm while driving near the Litoral Highway between San Carlos Lempa (where they live) and capital of the province of San Vicente. They were traveling in a grey 4×4 Double Cabin Toyota Hilux, license plate 129950-2011.

Related to the acts related to the disappearance of the President of our Association and his son, we demand the following:

  1. The competent security authorities open an exhaustive investigation to resolve the situation that has left the family, friends, and workmates worried about the President of the Association.
  2. That they increase the area in which they are searching to include the entire country and search until they have determined the whereabouts of the President of their Association and his son.
  3. That they use all the resources available in order to guarantee the physical wellbeing of our friend and his son.
  4. To the persons that have custody of them, we ask that they please respect his physical integrity of our friend and his son, and that you communicate with the family or with our Association at these numbers: (503) 2225-5726 or (503) 2226-7217.
  5. To the social organizations, unite with us in solidarity and have helped us disseminate information of the disappearance at all your contacts at the national level.
  6. To the general population, be aware that this event occurred and share any information related to this case.

Mr. Israel Quintanilla is a disabled person due to the armed conflict, and who since the signing of the Peace Accords has dedicated his life to the defense of human rights of this population and all disabled people. His son Carlos Zavala recently graduated in Agriculture from the National School of Agriculture and is studying agricultural engineering at the University of Monsignor Romero in Chaletenango. “They took them alive; we want them alive.” Please share any information by calling: (503) 2225-5726 or (503) 2226-7217.

For our right to work, the struggle continues!

ALGES, Unity, Solidarity, and Struggle

 

 

News Highlights

U.S. Federal Judge Considers Testimony of War Crimes in Immigration Case Against Col. Montano

Col. Montano
Col. Montano

This week, El Faro posted an article about Col. Orlando Montano who is being sentenced in a U.S. Federal Court in Massachusetts on immigration fraud and perjury. The court could sentence Montano to more than 40 years in prison and a million dollars in fines. He could also be deported back to El Salvador and possibly extradited to Spain, where a court indicted him and 19 others, for their role in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter.

Before the sentencing phase got underway, the federal judge hearing the case agreed to consider Montano’s alleged war crimes before sentencing him on the immigration fraud charges. The Daily journal quoted the judge, “my view is that, if proved, the allegations concerning Mr. Montano’s acts with the military are matters that would cause me to consider upward departure or variance,” meaning that he would consider an even greater sentence.

In January, prosecutors submitted a report from Stanford Professor Terry Karl that provides details about Montano’s military career, including his involvement in over 1,000 human rights abuses. Professor Karl is an expert witness in the case against the 20 defendants in the Spanish Court and has documented many of the war crimes that took place during the war.

Montano’s attorneys argue that by asking the judge to consider a more severe sentence, prosecutors violated the terms of the plea agreement the defendant signed in September 2012. Montano is due back in court sometime in March 2013.

Photo credit: AP
Photo credit: AP

Montano has been living in the United States since 2001 and worked as a human resource administrator for a candy factory in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), which filed the case against Montano and 19 others in the Spanish court, reports that Montano lied about his past military service and weapons training on his Temporary Protective Status (TPS) immigration form. He also lied about his date of entry into the U.S. in order to qualify for the TPS program. He was arrested on August 23, 2011 and indicted in February 2012. He plead guilty to six counts of federal criminal immigration fraud and perjury on September 11, 2012.

The Spanish Court names Montano, who was Vice Minister of Defense of Public Security, as one of the four top commanders of the Salvadoran Military in November 1989, when soldiers massacred the Jesuit priests. Following their in-absentia indictment in 2011, the court issued formal extradition requests for Montano and the 19 others.

In her report submitted to the Federal Court, Professor Karl testified that Montano had a 30-year military career, contrary to the information he gave on his TPS forms, and that he was involved in numerous human rights abuses. The Daily Journal article quotes Montano’s attorney as admitting that Professor Karl’s report paints him “as a war criminal of epic proportions.”

El Faro quotes a summary of the allegations detailed in Professor Karl’s report. She wrote, “during his 30-year military career, Coronel Montano ordered, incited, and assisted or commanded troops that participated in a strategy of terror by the State against civilians. This included: extra-judicial executions, torture, disappearances and arbitrary detentions, rural massacres of non-combatant civilians, forced disappearance of children, and the permitting of death squads led by the military and that operated within units under his command.”

The report also linked Montano to 65 summary executions, 51 forced disappearances, 520 cases of torture, and 533 arbitrary detentions. Professor Karl’s testimony includes the names of the victims, the dates of the human rights abuse, the place and battalion or unit involved.

More than 20 years after the Peace Accords were signed, Salvadorans continue the process of healing from twelve years of civil war and decades of oppression and human rights abuses. The country’s Amnesty Law has stymied this process by forcing victims and human rights activists to seek justice outside of their own legal system. While leaders within the right-wing ARENA party, which was in power in 1989 when the Jesuit priests were killed, has condemned the Spanish indictments for dredging up painful memories, it is important for that criminals be brought to justice, even if it’s in a courtroom in Boston or Madrid.