By Molly Todd
During the civil struggle that wracked El Salvador from the mid-1970s to the early Nineteen Nineties, the Salvadoran army attempted to stamp out dissidence and insurgency via an competitive crusade of crop-burning, kidnapping, rape, killing, torture, and grotesque physically mutilations. whilst human rights violations drew global awareness, repression and warfare displaced greater than 1 / 4 of El Salvador’s inhabitants, either contained in the kingdom and past its borders. Beyond Displacement examines how the peasant campesinos of war-torn northern El Salvador answered to violence by way of taking to the hills. Molly Todd demonstrates that their flight used to be no longer hasty and chaotic, yet used to be a planned procedure that grew out of an extended background of collective association, mobilization, and self-defense.
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Extra info for Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees, and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War
They are human beings facing the challenges of life with all the strength that they can muster and with every tool at their disposal. They are informed and competent members of a larger body politic who consciously struggle to be agents of positive change. 14 Introduction 1 Remapping the T ierra Olvidada Lost Peoples, Forgotten Lands El Salvador is an agrarian society. Generations of inhabitants of the region, as well as outside observers, have been able to agree on this. What has proven more difﬁcult to deﬁne is the role of the campesino in that society.
That the north, from an early point in time, developed paths distinct from those of other regions of the country is visible in a series of land surveys sent by departmental governors to the central government in late 1879. These department-level reports included data on communal land possession and use collected by individual village councils. According to David 24 Remapping the Tierra Olvidada Browning’s analysis, these data reveal signiﬁcant differences in practices and attitudes between regions.
They then put their new consciousness and skills to the test by petitioning the government for additional beneﬁts such as access to credit and land purchase rights. As will become evident, clear parallels exist between the Joya de Cerén project and community development programs carried out elsewhere in the country in later years. Another approach that Salvadoran ofﬁcials adopted to address the agrarian crisis was the promotion of cooperatives. Although many of the cooperatives that appeared between the 1940s and 1970s further beneﬁted those who were already quite comfortable, including the owners of large estates, the cooperative movement held signiﬁcance for many smallholders and landless campesinos as well.