Archives for El Salvador

RadioActive 3/19/09

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne & Meredith DeFrancesco
Topics: FMLN wins El Salvador Election- Social Movement Response, and local Peace and Justice movement responds to the 6th Anniversary of the US war on Iraq.
Segment 1: Interviews with Esther Chavez, who is from El Salvador, now living in the United States. She has been working with the US El Salvador Sister Cities network since the early 90s and went down as an election observer on Sunday. She talks about her experience and the historical significance of the election of the FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, and with social movement leader Lorena Martinez, the President of CRIPDES, a network of over 300 organized communities throughout El Salvador, involved in community development projects and organizing around social and political issues, like free trade, water privatization and gold mining. She talks about the significance of the elections and the implications for the social movement in El Salvador FMI: www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org & www.cispes.org
Segment 2: A coalition of groups working on peace, justice and human rights issues held a press conference at the Peace & Justice Center in Bangor earlier today to mark the 6th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq & to announce plans for a Community Teach In Saturday called “New Organizing Strategies for the Obama Era”. Here are some excerpts of remarks from members of some of the coalition of 16 groups co-sponsoring the Teach-In (which will be held 3/21/09, 1-5pm at the UU Church on Park Street in Bangor). FMI: www.peacectr.org or 207-943-9343

U.S./El Salvador Sistering Report 3/14/09

Producer/Host: Kathleen March
Topic: Presidential Elections in El Salvador Tomorrow

This is Kathleen March. Welcome to WERU’s US El Salvador Report. This
week we discuss tomorrow’s presidential elections and US groups that
have voiced strong opinions on the matter – one for a free and fair
process and one against the FMLN. This report is produced by Spanish
496 Students at the University of Maine in collaboration with Radio
Sumpul in El Salvador and US – El Salvador Sister Cities.

Las elecciones presidenciales de cualquier país son importantes para
su pueblo, no importa el tamaño del país. Es más: son importantes
para otras naciones a causa de la consabida globalización.
Hay dos partidos principales en El Salvador: ARENA, cuyo
candidato es Rodrigo Ávila y el FMLN, cuyo candidato es Mauricio
Funes. ARENA, para algunos, está asociado con los escuadrones de la
muerte y el asesinato del Padre Romero en 1980. Para otros el FMLN
está relacionado con el comunismo o por lo menos con la izquierda. El
gobierno de Estados Unidos no ha tenido inconveniente en relacionarse
con ARENA, que lleva 20 años en el poder. Ha habido dos facciones:
una acusa al FMLN de asociarse con Venezuela y con las FARC. Desde
ambos países se acusa a esta facción de promocionar unas elecciones
sucias. Un anuncio de la tele afirma tajantemente que Funes es un
“peligro”. Lo que no dice es que Funes no promociona los intereses
de las multinacionales. Son sectores conservadores, con presencia en
el parlamento estadounidense, que afirman que El Salvador perdería la
amistad con su vecino del norte. Quieren que Hillary Clinton “pida
al FMLN que se abstenga de tomar acciones que vayan en contra de la
seguridad y los intereses de Estados Unidos”, que vigile las
elecciones para “detectar posibles amenazas a nuestra seguridad” y
que le pida al FMLN “que deje de usar en sus materiales de campaña
imágenes del presidente […] Obama que puedan dar la falsa imagen de
que está apoyando a ese partido”.
En cambio, 200 académicos de Estados Unidos firmaron una
carta a Clinton pidiendo que no se actuara en contra del código
electoral salvadoreño, ya que personas asociadas con la actual
administración, como Dan Restrepo, se han pronunciado o insinuado en
contra del FMLN. Dicen los académicos: “Estamos en contra de la
injerencia extranjera en los procesos electorales y en los asuntos
internos de otros países. […] el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos ha
intervenido descaradamente en las elecciones anteriores … y … una
vez más, parece estar realizando tal intervención. Entre [los] incidentes que llaman la atención están las declaraciones del
Embajador de los EE.UU. en El Salvador, Charles Glazer, en Mayo de
2008 sobre las supuestas conexiones infundadas entre … el Frente
Farabundo Martí de Liberación Nacional … y las FARC, organización
guerrillera de Colombia. … Glazer afirmó que “cualquier grupo que
colabora o expresa la amistad con las Farc no es amigo de los Estados
Unidos”. … En Febrero de 2008, el Director de Inteligencia de los
EE.UU, J. Michael McConnell, hiciera público un informe en el que, sin
prueba alguna, denunció que el FMLN recibiría “financiación
generosa” del presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez para su campaña. En
Octubre, … Glazer hizo pública referencia al informe”.
Uno de los resultados es que los salvadoreños temen la pérdida de las
remesas de sus emigrados – o cosas peores. El simple silencio del
gobierno estadounidense puede aumentar ese temor, favoreciendo la
candidatura de ARENA. Es hora, dicen muchos, de que se tenga en
cuenta la soberanía de cada país. Dicen: “Se trata de una amenaza
velada contra el pueblo salvadoreño que, en caso de que elija a un
gobierno no del agrado de los Estados Unidos, se enfrentará a su ira y
posibles represalias. Consideramos que esta injerencia viola las
normas internacionales y pedimos al gobierno estadounidense que
desista de inmediato de todas esas injerencias”.
Argumentan los académicos, que por su postura han recibido duras
críticas desde ambos países, que: “Esperamos que, con su renovado
compromiso para mejorar las relaciones diplomáticas con América
Latina y su mensaje de cambio político, esta nueva administración no
admitirá ninguna intervención en las elecciones salvadoreñas ni que
tolerará violaciones de los derechos humanos ni fraude electoral.”
O sea: Nada más ni nada menos que el derecho que se considera lógico
y merecido en Estados Unidos para sus elecciones…
This has been Kathleen March with this week’s report on Sunday’s
presidential elections in El Salvador and US groups that have voiced
strong opinions on the matter. This report is produced by Spanish
Students at the University of Maine in collaboration with Radio Sumpul
in El Salvador and US – El Salvador Sister Cities.

Weekend Voices 2/21/09

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Contributors: Carolyn Coe, John Greenman, Meredith DeFrancesco, Jessie Dyer-Stewart, Andy Jordan

Segment 1: Confronting the Iraqi Refugee Crisis conference at Colby College.  A report produced by Carolyn Coe and John Greenman.  How are students at Colby College organizing to address the Iraqi refugee crisis?  Why are Iraqis seeking resettlement in a third country like the U.S.?  What is the experience for those who have resettled and for the organizations working to support new immigrants? Speaker: Jason Opal, Professor at Colby.  FMI: www.refugeesinternational.org , www.thelistproject.org , www.preventinghate.org , www.ccmaine.org , www.afsc.org

Segment 2: The 2 major political parties in El Salvador are comprised of people who fought on opposite sides in the civil war there in the 1980s.  The right-wing ARENA party, of which the current president is a member, is the party of the repressive government and death squads that were financially supported by the US.  As a term of the Peace Accords, those who committed atrocities were never tried or punished, and many of them continue to be in power.  The left-leaning FMLN party represents the popular people’s movement who rose up against the repressive right wing regime.  In the recent municipal elections the FMLN were largely victorious, and the FMLN presidential candidate is ahead in the polls for that election, to be held next month.  As we’ve reported previously, there are widespread reports from El Salvador that the communities that support the FMLN are being targeted for harassment—- and on-going criminalization of dissent— by the current right wing regime.  This has escalated in recent days in the community of Cinquera.  Meredith DeFrancesco, Jessie Dyer-Stewart and Amy Browne spoke by phone yesterday with Francisco Amilcar Lobo, a teacher from Cinquera who described what has been happening.  FMI: www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org

Also, a 4 part special produced by Amy Browne in 2007 features Don Pablo Alvarenga, the town historian, telling about the oppression and atrocities in the years leading up to, and during the war.  Here are links to those programs in our archives:

archives.weru.org/specials/special-20070327_donpablo1

archives.weru.org/specials/special-20070329_donpablo2

archives.weru.org/radioactive/ra-20070405

archives.weru.org/radioactive/ra-20070412

U.S.-El Salvador Report 2/14/09

Producer: Kathleen March & Jennifer

Topic: Mining

U.S.-El Salvador Report 2/07/09

Producer/Host: Kathleen March

Topic: Immigration and Remittances

Voices 1/27/09

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Contributors: Cathy Melio, The Humble Farmer,  Kathleen March & her Spanish students at the University of Maine, Orono;  Music contributed by: Tree by Leaf and Andy Jordan

Segment 1:  The debut of Cathy Melio’s new monthly “Artist’s Voice” feature.  Today she interview Anna Hepler.  FMI: www.cmcanow.org

Segment 2:  A few gems from the Humble Farmer,  Robert Karl Skoglund

Segment 3:  Poetry from El Salvador

RadioActive 12/18/08

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne and Meredith DeFrancesco

Topic: Military Intimidation in El Salvador

We talk by phone with Francisco Martinez and Michelle Anderson in El Salvador for breaking news from Suchito where the right-wing ARENA party government military showed up in town this week, apparently to intimidate the people in the area where the left FMLN party is far ahead in the polls leading up to elections in January and March.

Francisco Martinez is with the PROGRESO “Directiva Regional” or regional coordinating board in the Suchitoto region.   PROGRESO is the regional branch of CRIPDES.  CRIPDES started under the name Christian Committee for the Displaced of El Salvador. After the end of the Salvadoran Civil War, the CRIPDES communities changed the name to The Association of Rural Communities for the Development of El Salvador, the Spanish acronym for which is CRIPDES

Michelle Anderson is the Co-Coordinator for the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities network, linking 16 cities across the U.S. as a movement in solidarity with the Salvadoran organized communities.  In addition to participating in this interview, she provides translation as well.

FMI: www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org

Voices 12/16/08

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The stage is set in El Salvador for the FMLN party to defeat the right wing ARENA party in the upcoming elections. The groups that eventually became the FMLN and ARENA parties, fought on opposite sides in the war in El Salvador in the 1980s.  The right had ties to the small number of wealthy families that had long controlled the country, and included paramilitaries who committed widespread massacres and other crimes against humanity, and assassinated Archbishop Romero. They received funding from the U.S. government, which labeled the uprising of the poor rural people against that right wing regime “communism”.
Since the peace accords that ended the war nearly 17 years ago, former paramilitaries—who have gone unpunished—-have been active in the right-wing ARENA party, and many of those involved in the people’s uprising are associated with FMLN.
The ARENA party has been in office and has had a close relationship with the Bush regime.  Now that polls indicate that the FMLN will likely win in next year’s elections, many in El Salvador believe that the U.S. will go to great lengths to prevent that from happening.
We spoke by phone yesterday to a community organizer in El Salvador, and a member of the Sister Cities organization that helps coordinate WERU’s relationship with our sister station Radio Sumpul, as well as the sistering relationships between Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Assoc and the rural communities of El Salvador, and PICA and Bangor’s Sister City relationship with Carasque.

Guests: Bernardo Belloso is a National Directive Council Member of the Association of Rural Communities for the Development of El Salvador,CRIPDES*.* CRIPDES is the largest rural grassroots movement in El Salvador which coordinates the organizing, education and mobilization of over 300 rural communities spread through seven provinces of El Salvador
Michelle Anderson is the Co-Coordinator for the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities network, linking 16 cities across the U.S. as a movement in solidarity with the Salvadoran organized communities.  In this interview Michelle is translating Bernado’s comments to English

FMI: www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org

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