Wednesday, March 24, 2010

30 years ago: RIP Oscar Romero

3/24/2010 ** El Salvador's president, Mauricio Funes, apologized today on behalf of the Salvadoran state for the death of the archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, which occurred on March 24, 1980.

"In my capacity as President, I apologize on behalf of the Salvadoran state for this assassination committed 30 years ago. On behalf of the Salvadoran State I apologize to the family of Romero, and I extend my condolences," said Funes, ... in the corridor between gates 8 and 9 of the airport terminal, where he unveiled a mural commemorating the religious leader.

Responding to the words of Funes, Gaspar Romero, brother of the martyred archbishop, said: "I accept with humility, love and gratitude the apology, albeit 30 years later. "

At the end of the ceremony, during a conference with local media, Funes said of the ritual of reconciliation: "I apologized because the state failed to investigate, but it is not for me to investigate, that is up to the judges of the Republic" he clarified. Translated from La Prensa Grafica

Photo caption: In 2006 Billie Greenwood (left) and fellow travelers from Dubuque, IA listen to one of the sisters who knew Romero explain the events surrounding his death in the very chapel in which he was assassinated. Note his portrait on the wall in the right of the photo.


No expressions of condolences or remorse were expressed by the U.S. that I know of.

New details of the actual murder have recently emerged. Get the story in the newly-uploaded YouTube video:

"D'Aubuisson told me: take care of it"
D'Aubuisson is a graduate of the U.S. School of the Americas.

(Yes, that is the same chapel as you see in the photo on the top.)

"May God have mercy on the assassins." (Last words of Oscar Romero)


claire said...

Great post, Billie!
The SOA graduates are quite something, aren't they?

Fran said...

Weeping. What a great post - thank you.

Spadoman said...

I have never been to the protests that take place every November at the SOA, (Now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHISC), but Mrs. Spadopman has, a couple of times. She has never chosen to cross the line and get arrested, but we both know folks who have.
As a member of Veterans For Peace, and Chapter 27 in Minneapolis, I support protest activity and the people who are willing to do what is needed to call attention to this "school" of terrorists and close it down.
This post is a good reminder of what goes on down in Central and South America in the interest of "United States Interests". Killing and torture are taught at this school and it needs to be closed. Ther USA needs to do what Mauricio Funes did, apologize and close the facility located at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Good Job BE

Peace to all.

TomCat said...

Excellent article, Billie. It's a sad commentary that, during the 20th century, the US overthrew more democratically elected governments than any other world power, and routinely practiced assassination of those who opposed economic imperialism by US Corporations. Most Americans do not realize that September 11 was originally a US terrorist attack on Chile.

What you do, Billie, is an inspiration for us all.

Border Explorer said...

All of you commentators honor me with your contributions to this post. This is yet another example of the comments topping the post, as far as I'm concerned. Thanks a million!

TomCat said...

Billy, as to my comment topping your post, I have one word: horsefeathers. :-)

Dave Dubya said...

Thanks for the sad, but appropriate, reminder of the Reagan era and the cruelties condoned by conservative American government. The list of such inhumane visciousness is frightenly long and a true national disgrace. Our nation is redeemed only due to the extent of those with a better nature to remember and grieve.

Fran said...

@Dave Dubya, I hate to even remotely appear as an apologist for the Reagan era, but sadly, my own beloved Jimmy Carter also ignored Romero's pleas for justice, as did the Vatican. There is good info at this link.

That is why I say we are all complicit at some level - and we can all help to redeem as a result.

And the SOA must close!

Dave Dubya said...

Thanks, Fran.
Yes, as I often like to say, even with a liberal in the White House we still have a very conservative government.

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