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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ricardo Pelegrin-Taboada

Abstract

When U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) questioned Elliott Abrams about his involvement in the 1981 El Mozote Massacre — in which the Salvadoran Army brutally killed more than 800 civilians execution-style, many of them women and children — in front of the House Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs in February 2019, she awakened a monster that had been sleeping away from the public’s eye for nearly 40 years. The El Mozote Massacre, in which nearly one thousand Salvadorans were callously murdered —women and children included — helped to inaugurate the unprecedented and sadistic counterrevolutionary violence supported materially and ideologically by the Reagan administration. Through eyewitness accounts, political analysis and criticism of the state violence against rural leftists and villagers, the violent record of El Salvador and its biggest supporter — the Reagan administration in Washington — is brought under full question, the survivors of its many brutalities lifted up in a liberatory and long overdue history of the counterrevolutionary violence in Central America during the 1980s which shocked the largely rural and agrarian population into accepting economic violence under austerity and neoliberalism during the 1990s.

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