Civil War & Archbishop Oscar Ramero
A large part of the Habitat for Humanity El Salvador and the HFH International – Global Village experience is cultural exchange. The HFH El Salvador team did a fantastic job of sharing the history of El Salvador, including both the impacts of the country’s brutal Civil War.
As the United States recognizes Martin Luther King Junior, the Salvadorans recognize Archbishop Oscar Romero. Ramero was a defender of civil rights for his people.
Executions, kidnappings and torture of the rural poor and activists who opposed El Salvador’s right-wing government had become commonplace in the late 1970s. Archbishop Romero himself, feared: that this small Central American country was set on a path of violence. He defended the right of the poor to demand political change, a voice that made him a troublesome adversary for some.
Archbishop Romero’s assassination in 1980 marked a turning point in the country’s history. His death and the violent clashes during his funeral in San Salvador’s main square, in which dozens died, sparked international condemnation. Thus began a bloody 12 year civil war that ended in 1992. An unknown number of people disappeared, and more than 75,000 were killed.
“Mounumento a La Memory La Verdad”
In memory of those who disappeared or were murdered during the civil war, a memorial wall was constructed to show images and names from this period. It was overwhelming to stand in front of this wall, listening to our guide tell the stories.
One would hope that all cultures, including our own, can learn from history and do what we can to maintain value of human rights, preventing a brutal history like this from repeating itself. The last panel was created to recognize those lost whose names we may never know.