El Salvador - can the left take power? Comment from CISPES

Burke Stansbury, coordinator of CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) is about to fly into El Salvador to see the inauguration of the FMLN backed President of El Salvador. The election of Mauricio Funes as President has created a sense of political turmoil ... and hopes. Burke puts this event in perspective.

San Salvador - Noticia Syndicalista. Union Europea y impuestos. (Espanol - Spanish

(Spanish language - Espanol)

Daniel Ernesto Hernandez Castillo (Secretario General del Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria de Procesamiento de Alimientos - SITIPA - ) explique lo que esta pasando ahorita con el Sindicato de procesadoras de comida, y los pescadores de La Union, ciudad puertuario de El Salvador. Hay contratos con empresas espanoles por la venta de atun. Pero tambien hay violaciones de derechos sindicales, y el gobierno ARENA-ero no esta en la onda para corregir estos atropellos de los derechos de los trabajadores y sindicalistas.


Central America corruption - Guatemalan scandal

While the maggots of curruption crawl out of the carcase of the neo-fascist Arena party in El Salvador, in neighbouring Guatemala a leading lawyer has busted the President, his wife, and top officials in the biggest bank in Guatemala with a death message - A leading Guatemalan journalist made a video of a statement by a lawyer whose clients were killed in April for their ability to directly implicate the President and his wife in money laundering, involving the biggest bank in Guatemala.

The journalist made the video last Thursday "... If you are watching this, it is because I have been murdered... " he was murdered on Sunday.

There are strong links between drug trafficking and neo-liberal, and neo fascist governments. Governments don't actually do 'hands on' drug trafficking, but they are essential to the money laundering required to pay the lip service to the US Drug Enforcement Agency. There are proven links between the drug traffickers, money laundering, and high officials in the Salvadoran ARENA government that is now on the defensive after last month's presidential election victory agains them.

This news is only breaking locally, but watch this space for further revelations that are emerging in the local press, that has only recently found to the courage to publish stories of police and high level governmental corruption.


Torogozes de Morazan - Una historia personal de una guerra civil. (uncut spanish interview with surviving founder of guerilla band).

Felipe 'Torogoz' nos regale una narrativa, que incluye una historia muy personal, de sus experiencieas de la guerra civil de El Salvador, de como se hizo el conjunto legendario guerillero de 'Los Torogozes de Morazan', como el grupo cambio sus integrantes cuando uno por uno, varios cayeron en combate. Y mas que todo, como se motivaron en la lucha, con experiencias que no todos enfrentaron, ni saben como enfrentar. Felipe sigue, humilde, comprometido, vive como campesino y un fuente de una historia que vive en el pueblo.


Where are they now? The guerilla band "Torogozes de Morazan' still out there (lo-fi mono)

6Mb mono 32 kbps 25 minutes

Mayday 2009 in San Salvador - still buzzing enough to catch a 6:am bus to Morazan where I had an interview with another living legend - Felipe 'Torogoz', the founder and songwriter for the guerilla band 'Los Torogozes de Morazan' - Morazan being the 'liberated zone' during the Salvadoran civial war and 'Los Torogozes' being the 'official' guerilla band for the FMLN and radio Venceremos. Felipe claims that he was 'just another guerilla' (and before the formation of the FMLN, an activist), but was coopted into forming a guerilla musical group when a Spanish journalist overheard him making up a song during a moment of relaxation by a riverside. The journalist persuaded the guerilla commandante to get Felipe to recruit a guerilla band, and the rest is history.

Felipe was a bit burnt out after doing two gigs back to back in villages over a hundred kilometres apart, in celebration of the inauguration of newly elected FMLN mayors, but we held the interview to the next day, and Felipe privileged community radio with an impromptu performance of the first song he ever wrote.

Oh ... and quite by chance, wandering around the village before my interview with Felipe, I came across a 'garage band' who turned out to be the sons and daughters of ex-combatants - in fact, the lead singer was Felipe's son!


Mayday San Salvador - Bilingual soundscape (Hi-Fi Version)

Mayday in San Salvador ... a very different Mayday from years before when marches were attacked with bombs, buzzed by helicopters and had to take measures to protect themselves. An FMLN backed Presidential candidate won the Presidential elections on March 15. It was the first defeat for the right wing ARENA party(founded by the Death Squad runner, Roberto D'Aubuisson) in twenty years. The people are jubilant, but most importantly, they were allowed to march in fairly peaceful conditions after forty years of heavy repression - when still they marched. El Salvador has always featured some of the most solidly supported Mayday marches in the world.

Warwick Fry compares his experiences of the Mayday marches of the 1970s and the the 1980s with this year's march of 2009, at a time when an FMLN President is about to step into the administration of the country after a convincing vote of support from the FMLN. The neoliberal neofascist ARENA party still has a strong grip on the legal system, but it is being challenged with the prospect of a President who is not a puppet of those interests. He has a hard walk ahead of him.


El Salvador - Schafik Handal habla (Spanish) FMLN representative talks about El Salvador's political future