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by First Quarter Storm network (FQSN)-USA
Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 at 7:20 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026
-- The First Quarter Storm Network-USA recalls some accounts on the campaign of assassinations that the US-sponsored ultra-rightist military regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala conducted against their political enemies during the 1980s. The hand of the ugly American, John Negroponte who headed the dirty tricks department was ever present then in Latin America. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that what is happening in the Philippines is uncannily similar to what was happening then in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1980s. Negroponte, after all, heads up the super-spy agency now that the US is waging a so-called global "war on terror" in tandem with shameless puppets like Gloria Arroyo conducting local campaigns like Oplan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch).
October 4, 2006
Reflections on the Recent Brutal Murder of Bishop Ramento
El Salvador, Guatemala Then, Now-- the Philippines
Los Angeles, California -- The First Quarter Storm Network-USA recalls some accounts on the campaign of assassinations that the US-sponsored ultra-rightist military regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala conducted against their political enemies during the 1980s.
The hand of the ugly American, John Negroponte who headed the dirty tricks department was ever present then in Latin America. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that what is happening in the Philippines is uncannily similar to what was happening then in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1980s. Negroponte, after all, heads up the super-spy agency now that the US is waging a so-called global "war on terror" in tandem with shameless puppets like Gloria Arroyo conducting local campaigns like Oplan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch).
With the brutal murder of IFI Bishop Ramento in recent days, let us reflect on the following incidents:
In 1989, at the height of the FMLN's failed offensive in El Salvador, six prominent Jesuit priests, including the rector and vice rector of El Salvador's most prestigious university, were killed along with two other persons at the house where they slept in the capital.
The priests were the most prominent victims of Salvadoran military death squad violence since 1980, when eight leftist politicians were gunned down by the military, three American nuns and a lay worker were shot dead, and Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was assassinated by a military marksman while saying mass.
Slain priest Ignacio Ellacuria, 59, was the rector of the Central American University and a widely respected leftist intellectual who was frequently denounced by the far right who claimed he was a spokesman for the Marxist-led Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).
The university's vice rector, Ignacio Martin-Baro, 50, also a Spanish-born Salvadoran citizen, was best known as an analyst of national and regional affairs and as the founder and director of the Public Opinion Institute, a highly respected polling organization.
A sign left near the bodies said, "The FMLN has executed the spies who turned on them. Victory or death. FMLN."
Guatemala City's Catholic Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi Conedera, was brutally murdered on the night of April 26, 1998. He was the most recent victim in a decades-long struggle to protect human rights in Guatemala. Despite the peace accords of 1996, and the wide-ranging legislative reforms of 1997, there continue to be sectors of Guatemalan society irrevocably opposed to progress toward peace, human rights and social justice.
Gerardi's assassination is grimly reminiscent of thousands of other killings that he himself investigated, as Coordinator of the Human Rights Office for the Archdiocese of Guatemala. Gerardi also directed the Inter-Diocesan Historical Memory Recovery Project (REMHI in Spanish) and its landmark study of human rights abuses during the 36-year civil war. On the afternoon of Friday, April 24, at a special Mass in the capital city, Bishop Gerardi released REMHI's final report, a scathing indictment entitled, "Guatemala: Never Again."
Several days later, he was killed; his skull was crushed with a block of brick. Later, after so many years, a military officer was indicted and was found guilty of the crime.
Days before his murder on March 26, 1980, El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero told a reporter:
"You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never perish."
The FQSN remembers IFI Bishop Alberto Ramento as a courageous defender of the poor and downtrodden. He staunchly took the side of the workers and peasants in their fight against the evils of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism and their struggle for social justice and human rights. Bp. Ramento never wavered in his commitment to serve his fellow Filipinos even in the face of adversity and death.
Like hundreds of other social justice activists and leaders who had perished in senseless political killings instigated by the military minions of the illegitimate Arroyo clique in power, Bishop Ramento is a martyr, a people's hero. To the Filipino people and to people of faith everywhere, his loss brings immense sadness and is doubtless a great one weightier than the Sierra Madre,as someone had earlier remarked.
Thus, the FQSN pays tribute to Bishop Ramento:
"Those who hope in the lord
will renew their strength,
they will soar on wings like eagle,
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint."
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