Violence in El Salvador is a two-way street: Massacre at rectory masking brutal acts by leftist FMLN terrorists

This article was originally published in the Macon Telegraph on December 7, 1991 and is republished here for readers of

Editor: This is in response to the letter by the Rev. Roy Bourgeois regarding the slaying of six Jesuit priests and two female employees of the rectory of the Catholic University in Central America on Nov. 16, 1989. This heinous act is not excusable, and it should never have happened.

It also has been covered extensively by the U.S. media and used as leverage on the Salvadoran government for concessions to the rebels.

Nevertheless, the fact is that this atrocity took place at a time of war during the tumultuous “final offensive” launched by the Marxist Salvadoran guerrillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, a terrorist organization that was reorganized by Cuba’s Fidel Castro in Havana in 1980. The offensive, which began on Nov. 11, 1989, placed San Salvador in a state of siege — 4,000 people died.

The highest ranking officer charged with these killings was Col. Guillermo Benavides, and he was duly tried, convicted and is now serving time in a Salvadoran prison. Leftist terrorists, on the other hand, remain free, preforming acts of kidnapping, sabotage, intimidation and wreaking havoc in the remote villages and small towns of the Salvadoran countryside.

They have even kidnapped children and forced them to join their ranks. They have, in fact, terrorized the very people whom they are professing to “liberate” — los campesinos and los trabajadores of El Salvador.

Until very recently, the U.S. media had inundated us with biased, misleading and frankly inaccurate information on El Salvador but had consistently refused to cover the terrorist acts perpetrated by the FMLN. Nevertheless, the tally of FMLN assassinations grew between 1989 and 1991.

Here is just a sample of the 1989-1990 statistics (from B.W. Aronson’s testimony to Senate subcommittee on Foreign Operations):

In January 1989, the FMLN executed the governor of Usulutan, and in February, it assassinated a former guerrilla, Miguel Castellanos, who had rejected violence and rejoined the democratic process. He was followed by Francisco Peccorini, a former Jesuit priest who was assassinated for being a conservative writer and thinker. Carlos Ernesto Mendoza, editor of a conservative journal, was maimed in an assassination attempt on April 5, 1989. On April 12, the FMLN assassinated the attorney general of El Salvador and the chief-of-staff to the president, Rodriquez Porth. It also slew Col. Roberto Armando Rivera on June 25.

During 1989 along, the FMLN assassinated 12 elected mayors and threatened 214 others with death (113 resigned). These mayors were humble people, many of them Indian elders, campesinos, who held those posts as heads of villages rather than as political appointments of the ARENA party.

The FMLN Marxist terrorists continue the rampage unabated. In fact, in January of this year, the FMLN executed two wounded Americans whose helicopter had been shot down. The Americans were alive and talked to their captors before they were summarily executed with gunshots to the head. Where were the U.S. media when all of these crimes were committed?  Where was Peter Arnett?

Bourgeois and his associates were tried and convicted, not for performing an act of civil disobedience but for throwing and spilling blood, destroying federal property — sheer vandalism. Their affair also was sympathetically covered by the media, including The Macon Telegraph.

Yes, while we should all shed tears for all of those victims of violence of both the right and let, the fact remains that the stories of those massacred by the left have not yet been heard. Our own Congress with its on-again, off-again policy in regard to aid to El Salvador has truly impeded the military defeat of the rebels and prolonged the agony of the Salvadoran people.

While the beltway stalls, Cuba and Nicaragua continue to provide the FMLN with military aid in the Salvadoran heartland; moral aid and comfort are given from the bastions of Marxist ideology and the politically correct: the universities, the mass media, the left-wing organizations such as CISPES and the liberation theologians — not in the USSR or Eastern Europe, but in the United States.

Bourgeois could perform truly needed work to help the needy in El Salvador by helping the orphanages and providing counseling at the hospitals of San Salvador.

Here one must remember the time when saintly Mother Teresa was asked her opinion about revolutionary movements and liberation theology, and she humbly responded that “before one goes about correcting the people’s social and political problems, one must first face God.”

Written by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Miguel A. Faria is a neurological surgeon in Macon, Georgia.

This article was printed in the Macon Telegraph on December 7, 1991, p. 12A.

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Violence in El Salvador is a two-way street: Massacre at rectory masking brutal acts by leftist FMLN terrorists. Macon Telegraph, December 7, 1991. Available from:

Copyright © 1991 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD

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