El Salvador: students demand justice on 35th anniversary of massacre

On July 30, hundreds students from the University of El Salvador took to the streets, accompanied by professors, staff and other sectors of the social movement. The march, filled with street theater, papier-mâché tanks and a 20-foot gorilla, was a commemoration of the the military regime’s massacre of student protesters that occurred on July 30, 1975.

Thirty years ago, university students took to the streets to protest military incursions on the Santa Ana campus and the repressive policies of the military dictatorship in power at the time. The peaceful march was attacked by Salvadoran army soldiers with gunfire and tanks. While there are no official numbers of how many students were killed and wounded in the massacre, it is estimated at least 30 students died and over a hundred more were wounded.

This year, student organizations including the Roque Dalton University Front (FURD), the Revolutionary Student Brigades (BRES) organized the march and all-night vigil that followed. Marchers and organizers demanded trials to bring justice to the victims of the 1975 massacre and a repeal of the country’s Amnesty Law—passed just after the end of El Salvador’s civil war in 1993 and considered by many Salvadorans to be the biggest obstacle to respect for human rights in the country.

Survivors of the massacre participated in the commemoration, speaking at the vigil along with campus leaders, musical groups, theater groups and a religious service. Students kept the vigil lively until dawn, singing revolutionary songs and crying out in unison, “The massacred will be avenged!” (CISPES, Aug. 9)

See our last post on El Salvador.

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