By Molly Todd
During the civil conflict 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 ugly physically mutilations. while human rights violations drew international consciousness, repression and battle 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 spoke back to violence by way of taking to the hills. Molly Todd demonstrates that their flight was once no longer hasty and chaotic, yet was once a planned method that grew out of an extended historical past 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
In addition to the material beneﬁts associated with membership, involvement with the UCS had signiﬁcant consciousness-raising effects in that members became well aware of their worth to the government. ”45 That the UCS occupied a key position translated into a small measure of freedom for UCS afﬁliates to petition government ofﬁcials toward certain ends. When petitions went unheeded, UCS groups began to take their claims to the streets. Efforts along these lines often were successful, in large part due to their circumscribed and focused character.
These can be divided into two general categories, which, for facility’s sake, I will refer to as orthodox and progressive. The orthodox movement consisted of more conservative individuals and organizations that maintained links to the Salvadoran military government. Some of the more prominent groups within this sphere included cantonal patrols, the Unión Comunal Salvadoreña (Salvadoran Communal Union, UCS), and the Organización Democrática Nacionalista (Nationalist Democratic Organization, ORDEN).
Likewise, campesinos shifted over time from subtle forms of resistance to more contentious and “radical” actions. Through their organizations and actions, campesinos willingly engaged with state and nonstate actors and institutions and in so doing inserted themselves—consciously and as a group—onto the national sociopolitical and economic scenes. As a result, chapter 1 reveals, northern campesinos began remapping the nation well before the civil war. Whereas chapter 1 examines the preﬂight experiences of Salvadoran campesinos, the next ﬁve chapters focus on their experiences away from home as “mobile communities” between the mid-1970s and the late 1980s.
Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees, and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War by Molly Todd