CISPES Statement in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives
The Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) affirms our solidarity with the uprisings throughout the country demanding an end to white supremacy and police violence. Policing institutions in this country are born from slavery and continue to serve the purpose of protecting the interests of the elite at the expense of the lives of the dispossessed. We join Black-led organizations in their calls for justice, including the calls from the Movement for Black Lives to defund the police, invest in Black communities and end systemic racism.
May the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and all those whose lives have been taken by white supremacy and state violence compel us all to join forcefully in these demands.
As an organization committed to accompanying the Salvadoran popular movement in its revolutionary work to realize an inspiring vision of participatory democracy and economic justice, we recognize that Black leaders have for centuries led an intersectional fight for liberation and advanced internationalist struggles.
Be it Franz Fanon, whose contributions to the development of international solidarity have influenced generations, activists such as Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman credited for her leadership in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, Dorothy Lee Bolden, who helped establish the Domestic Workers’ Union of America in 1934, or the countless Black organizers whose leadership across all movement sectors have largely gone unsung, Black people have been and continue to be at the forefront of movements for justice and liberation in the United States and abroad.
We honor the legacies of Black liberation struggles and commit to following the leadership of the Black organizers building the movement for Black lives.
The legacy of anti-Blackness also continues in Central America and within the Central American diaspora, which is another reason why for CISPES, solidarity with El Salvador must actively undermine white supremacy. We see that Black struggles are often erased from Central American history despite Black organizers’ contributions to revolutionary struggles across the region. In 1930, when Prudencia Ayala, an Afro-Indigenous, anti-imperialist Salvadoran, ran for president in El Salvador on a platform that advocated for the equal rights of women, including the right to vote, she became the first woman presidential candidate in all of Latin America.
In El Salvador, Black and Afro-descendant Salvadorans continue to fight for visibility and an acknowledgement of the historic violence that the Salvadoran state has perpetrated against them. Black and Afro-descendant Salvadorans living in the diaspora also share this history of struggle and continue to fight against anti-Black racism not only within the Central American community but in the United States. In Honduras, Garifuna communities are targets of state repression as organizations such as OFRANEH (Black Honduran Fraternal Organization) lead campaigns to defend economic and social rights in Honduras.
Thus, solidarity with the people of Central America is incomplete without the fight for Black lives.
CISPES has accompanied the popular struggles in El Salvador for 40 years and we understand well how the racist police institutions in the United States that endanger and cruelly end Black lives are exported to the rest of the world. From the years of the Salvadoran Civil War to the present under the Bukele administration, the United States has funded and trained Salvadoran armed forces and police on the violent tactics used in the U.S.
We recognize that U.S. imperial violence abroad and police violence at home serve the same brutal project of racial capitalism, that our struggles are connected and that we must continue to rise up together against state violence.
We challenge ourselves to continually learn and do more to end violence against Black people.
Black lives matter.