Statement on the 30th Anniversary of the Killing of the Jesuits


On the 30th anniversary of the killing of the Jesuits, we reaffirm our solidarity with the People of El Salvador

Statement by Angela Sanbrano, Board of Directors

Nov. 16, 1989: that day will never be forgotten. CISPES committees and allies throughout the U.S. were following closely the "final offensive" that the FMLN had launched a few days earlier. The FMLN had entered San Salvador and had taken key posts throughout the capital. On that fateful early morning, we learned of the horrifying murders of six Jesuit priests, the housekeeper and her daughter during a rampage by the U.S.-backed military. The slaughter of the Jesuits once again unmasked the fascist nature of the Salvadoran military.

The killing of the Jesuits reminded the world about the killing of other religious martyrs, such as Father Rutilio Grande, a Jesuit, killed in 1977. His death inspired Archbishop Óscar Romero to speak on behalf of the poor. Romero was later killed while giving mass by snipers hired by Roberto D'Aubuisson, an extreme-right fascist and founder of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. Later that year, in December 1980, four North American nuns were killed by the military.

Today, we feel the same sense of urgency we felt on that tragic day: To stop U.S. intervention in El Salvador and Central America. The imposition of neoliberal policies that have resulted in the erosion of worker's rights, the privatization of public resources and militarization continue to exacerbate the conditions that force Central Americans to migrate north facing dangerous and inhumane conditions in their journey.

We feel a sense of urgency as the U.S. imposes its neoliberal model at any cost and moves to oust those governments who reject the neoliberal economic system.

Today, on the anniversary of the killing of the Jesuits, their housekeeper and their daughter, we join the popular movement in El Salvador and throughout our hemisphere in reaffirming their commitment to defending working class interests and advancing social justice.



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