“A Latino friend of mine pointed out today that what we are seeing in Portland is a light version of CIA operations in El Salvador, Columbia, Chile and other Latin American countries in the 70s and 80s. The US propped up dictators and organized coups. The US helped train paramilitary death squads that disappeared people off of the streets. We’re not at that level, thankfully, but don’t give an inch or they’ll take a mile.” -Vince Rinehart
That is exactly right. Read my book on the civil war in El Salvador if you want to know how these things work. As class relations in the US continue to more closely resemble those of Latin America, it is likely Latin American models of repression will become more commonplace as well.
The Central American nation of El Salvador was consumed by a bloody civil war between 1980 and 1992. The principal players in the conflict were the right-wing government of El Salvador, a coalition of rebel groups operating under the umbrella of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, and the Reagan administration in the United States. The U.S. supported the Salvadoran military at an estimated cost of $6 billion dollars. During the course of the war, in a nation whose population numbered slightly more than five million, an estimated 75,000 people were killed; 18,000 disappeared, and one million people were left homeless. Investigating the background and history of the war Keith Preston provides not only an in-depth analysis of the conflict, but fills in many of the knowledge gaps that have existed surrounding the relationship between the US administration and the Salvadorian army. His research clearly demolishes the US argument that the FMLN were motivated by a commitment to hard-line Marxist-Leninist ideology, but rather by a newer kind of radicalism with its roots in the progressive wing of the Catholic Church of Latin America. Without the role of the Catholic Church, the Salvadoran resistance would never have developed in the form that it did, and perhaps it would not have developed to nearly as significant a level as it did at all.