Producers/hosts: Amy Browne and Meredith DeFrancesco
Correction: Recorded in January 2007, not 2001 as stated at one point during the program.
Note: Contains descriptions of torture.
Some of the sistering delegations from Maine to El Salvador have the opportunity to meet with Don Pablo Alvarenga, the local historian in a town called Cinquera, on the edge of a recovering forest reserve, in the mountains of Cabanas, El Salvador. Don Pablo meets with visitors inside a church that was bombed during the US backed war in the 1980s and early 90s, and tells about his experiences in his 66 years.
In the first 2 hours of his presentation, which aired in March, Don Pablo told of the severe poverty in the countryside of El Salvador where military governments have allowed a small number of very rich and powerful families to control the country’s land and resources. He talked about the role of religion, politics, and the U.S. government in the years leading up to the war in the 1980s and early 90s. Those first 2 hours of Don Pablo Alvarenga’s presentation, as well as photos of Cinquera, are now archived on our website.
Today Don Pablo picks up the story in the late 1970s as more and more people were being forced to flee from the U.S. trained death squads into the mountains. He talks about the decision to take up arms to defend themselves and how the resistance became organized. Jesse Dyer-Stewart translates.