Life as a Salvadoran wharf laborer - English Voiceover

(Shortened interview with English voice-over by Warwick Fry)

(Note: This is a stereo recording with the English voice-over in the right hand channel. If the Spanish language background is too loud or distracting it can be faded down by turning up the right channel and fading down the left channel. Spanish speakers might want to do the opposite)

Meeting Gregorio from the Salvadoran Dockworkers Union (STIPES) was an unforgettable experience. Gregorio quietly and matter of factly exposes the Dickensian conditions imposed on Salvadoran wharf laborers since a military intervention in 2001 - supposedly to improve Port security after September 11 in New York, but in reality to break up the 40 year old dockworkers Union and force the wharf workers to work under a 'contract' system that yields them at best US$36 a month. Gregorio's account is a quietly understated expose of the true nature of the ARENA government that has run El Salvador for the last 20 years. Gregorio is cautiously optimistic that the new government which comes into power on June 1st might offer some change in the horrendous working conditions of these men.


La Vida de un Trabajador Portuario Salvadoreno - Espanol (Spanish)

Entrevista con Gregorio, Secretaria General del STIPES. Gregorio cuenta las condiciones de trabajo inhumanos, impuesto por el Gobierno de ARENA desde una intervencion militar en Enero 2001, sobre los trabajadores Portuarios de Acajutla.


Sounds of a Salvadoran Election - Red Sunday: March 15 2009

An eyewitness account of election day in San Salvador. As an accredited international observer Warwick Fry spent 15 hours at a voting centre recording his impressions, then followed the massive 6 hour street party that erupted as the results were announced, declaring a convincing FMLN victory.


27.1 Mb. 128kbps stereo 30mins.

El Salvador - Post election review from CISPES

North American Nestor, and Australian Nick Everett recall Sunday March 15 2009, the sweeping FMLN electoral victory (in spite of attempts at fraud) and their experience as international observers of the tense ballot. They assess what this significant and historic result could mean for El Salvador, both regionally, and internationally.


More Australians in El Salvador - Ovidio Orellanos

The day before the elections a group of Australian volunteers met at one of the FMLN headquarters to prepare themselves for their role of international mobservers. Many of them were Salvadorans who had been forced to emigrate to Australia as political refugees, in the 1980s. They were keen to be present at a time when the ARENA `party, founded by the people responsible for their forced exile had to face an electoral defeat.

Ovidio Orellanos is a Guatemalan by birth. The death squads of El Salvador modelled themselves on a similar movement in Guatemala, called ¨The White Hand¨. Ovidio tells us what these elections mean to him.


Australians in El Salvador - Juan Campos

Juan Campos is a Salvadoran who spent two years in prison and was tortured in the early 1980s. He was rescued by Australia´s special humanitarian program and has lived in Australia ever since. Juan was one of the 15 Australian´s who came to El Salvador to observe the critical Presidential elections. He explains to community radio what these elections mean to Salvadorans, and people like himself.

La Impunidad y el Gobierno Salvadoreno - Martin

Enrevista entera con Martin de la CSTS (Confederacion Syndical de Trabajadores Salvadorenos). Martin explica la politica del nuevo gobierno FMLNista sobre cambios en la ley de Amnistia por violaciones de derechos humanos.


¿Fin al Impunidad? - The end of Impunity? - el Salvador (Spanish)

(Spanish Language - en Espanol)

(note: the picture is of a political bill board. The ARENA government has a billboard that says ¨Vote wisely¨ Although the FMLN has limited resources compared to ARENA they spend it with surgical precision. The billboard above, on one side says ¨Vote wisely¨and on the other side ¨would you vote for an ex-cop? The ARENA Presidential candidate is the former head of the National Police, and Director of Intelligence)

Interview with companero Martin of the CSTS (Union Confederation of Salvadoran Workers, or Confederation Syndical de Trabajadores Salvadorenos). The CSTS is one of the biggest Union confederations with 23 Unions as members. Martin talks about the policyof the FMLN on the Amnesty Law that was part of the 1992 Peace accord, granting amnesty for those who committed atrocities during the civil war. The FMLN believes that the ARENA government has reneged on its side of the agreement, with political assasinations on the rise, and plans to change the Amnesty law if they come to power in the elections this weekend (March

Martin es un dirigernt del CSTS, uno de los syndicatos mas grandes de El Salvador. El habla sobre la politica del FMLN a proposito de la ley de Amnistia, que regala impunidad a los que siguen cometiendo violaciones de derechos humanos y civiles.


Australians in San Salvador

A strange mix of tension and exuberance in the days leading up to the Presidential elections in El Salvador on Sunday March 15. A number of Australian observers are here, including a team of Australian Salvadorans who were forced to seek refugee status in Australia at the height of the civil war of the 1980s. There are high hopes that this election will close that chapter of Salvadoran history for once and for all, but there are fears too, that this government, one of the last bastions of the ultra right and fascism remaining in Latin America, will not lose gracefully. Walking around the streets of San Salvador Latin Radical producer, Warwick Fry, bumps into Jim McIlroy and Coral Wynter, who flew over to El Salvador from Venezuela. In Warwick´s hotel room, they discuss their experiences and their view of events here in San Salvador, including the 300,000 strong rally in support of FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes, last Sunday.