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 recognition, 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 spoke back to violence through taking to the hills. Molly Todd demonstrates that their flight was once now not hasty and chaotic, yet used to be a planned procedure that grew out of an extended historical past of collective association, mobilization, and self-defense.
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Additional info for Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees, and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War
31 What is particularly interesting about this in terms of the current study is that nearly half of the territory in dispute fell alongside El Salvador’s tierra olvidada. More speciﬁcally, both countries continued to claim sovereignty over nearly 150 square kilometers between Morazán province in El Salvador and La Paz, Honduras, along with an additional 90 square kilometers between El Salvador’s Chalatenango province and the Ocotepeque and Lempira provinces of Honduras (see chapter 3). This translated into a metaphorical and literal inbetween land, which offered many local inhabitants additional space in which to maneuver.
First, even as Honduran authorities and top-level ofﬁcials from Standard Fruit and other international giants often encouraged the immigration of laborers, campesinos also established their own grassroots networks. Salvadorans living along the border, for example, regularly sold their wares in Honduran villages and markets, and Honduran landowners often hired Salvadoran laborers during the planting and harvest seasons. Beyond these economic connections, Salvadorans also established social links with Hondurans through cross-border friendships and marriages.
Rental agreements were usually short term—either a growing season or a calendar year—and the arrendatarios (tenants) paid with money, in kind, or with a combination of the two. Until later in the twentieth century, there were few laws overseeing this tenancy system; thus, renters had no guarantees that landowners would respect the contract, 20 Remapping the Tierra Olvidada Chart 1. Large landholdings. (Data from El Salvador–Ministerio de Economía 1954) no recourse against high rents, and no rights to claim allowances for improvements made to the land during tenancy.
Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees, and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War by Molly Todd