State terror supporting privatization in El Salvador

This video from the USA is called Democracy Now w/CISPES on repression in El Salvador [of protesters against water privatization].

By Lara Pullin in Australia:

El Salvador: Renewed state-sponsored terror

In what country does protesting against water privatisation — or better put, protesting against the removal of your only source of water — lead to the police killings of a protesting child, arrests and bashings of protesters and a threatened 60 year jail sentence under the “anti-terrorism” legislation?

And in what country does being head of a body — the National Civil Police — infamous for allowing complete impunity for flourishing death squads qualify you to be the presidential candidate for the governing party?

The answer is El Salvador — where some of the most notorious death squads in the world are still in operation, murdering selected targets with the aim of instilling fear among the population as a whole.

Death squad killings

On January 9, Wilbur Funes, the mayor of Alegria, was assassinated while visiting community projects in his municipality. Municipal staff member Zulma Rivera was also shot and killed. One of El Salvador’s youngest mayors, Funes was an activist in the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).

A January 11 statement by the US-based Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CIPES [sic; CISPES]) reported that Funes “was dedicated to creating projects for the benefit of the poorest communities in his area while defending the interest of public services still owned by the municipality”.

Funes carried out this task, according to the statement, despite his municipality being the victim of a privatisation scheme carried out by the previous right-wing municipal administration just before leaving office — part of a national campaign by the governing ARENA party aimed at stripping FMLN-run municipal governments of resources to implement the FMLN’s pro-poor social policies.

Only weeks earlier, an announcer at the progressive community radio station People’s Radio Chain was murdered after receiving death threats. Death threats continue to be made against the station’s staff.

El Salvador became a regular feature in world news headlines in the 1980s, due to one of the world’s bloodiest and dirtiest civil wars — with the US-backed dictatorship organising death squads to crush a popular FMLN-led insurgency.

The role of the US government in the organisation, training and funding of the death squads was described by US intellectual Noam Chomsky in his book What Uncle Sam Really Wants as “one of the most sordid episodes in US history — and it’s got a lot of competition”.

Update June 2008: here.

3 thoughts on “State terror supporting privatization in El Salvador

  1. Pingback: Salvadorean murderers of Spanish priests arrested | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Sri Lankan armed forces’ anti-worker violence | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Salvadorean right-wing murderer of Dutch journalists found | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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