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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