Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Believe That's (not) All Folks!

To reference the cartoon Porky Pig, "I believe that's all folks"! Well almost. History will never end, nor will my contribution to the Ellacuria project end today. I completed the timeline of events leading up to the November 16th assassinations as well as the final reflection paper for the course this week. All of my tasks have been completed but there is always more than can be added to the project. The timeline ended a few hours after the killings took place, but I could go further to include the happenings of the trial and how that impacted El Salvador. That is a question I am sure many historians face, when to "end".

As possibly the last post for the project, I want to again thank everyone who has helped me through this process. The biographies and timeline could not have been completed without all those who guided, proofed, read, and reread my work.

Keep an eye out when November comes around and you will see the completed project featured on Loyola University's homepage as well as links to further provide information on LUC's Solidarity with El Salvador.

Thank You.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Personal Touch

First things first- belated shout out to Loyola University Chicago's Alumni Facebook page for posting this blog! Pretty cool!

These next few days are the end of my internship and I never spoke about how this project will help me out in the future. I do not have all the answers for what lies ahead, and I never will. God only knows.
With that being said, a few weeks back when I was researching the six Jesuits, my mom gave me the idea to check the Voice of Martyr's (VOM) website to see if they have an online archive. VOM is a not-for-profit organization that helps Christians who are imprisoned, tortured, and persecuted all around the world. It is an organization that my family and I have supported for years and is a very well respected nonprofit, in our opinion. As I was searching their website (VOM) I stumbled upon their careers/locations. Their only U.S. location is in Bartlesville, Oklahoma a town that very few people know about, but I had just visited the area back in May. Lets just say that there are a lot of people that mean the world to me living in Bartlesville/Tulsa area and I could see myself living there after college. It is no coincidence that the VOM is located in Bartlesville. Perhaps after the fall semester, I will be working for VOM. Nothing is set in stone nor have I reached out to VOM yet, but like I said, it is no coincidence how helping a professor on a project has led me to a possible post-graduation career in a small town that is close to my heart.

Osage Hills State Park
(outside of Bartlesville, OK)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

All in the Detail

One more week of research left for me and thankfully, I am on track. Only a couple phrases had to be adjusted in the biographies: the description of UCAII and Fe y Alegria. To clarify these two areas I delved into some Catholic history. UCAII was the result of internal disputes at the Universidad Centroamericana over a publication between the Jesuits (not just the six that were killed, but the entire Jesuit community at the university). Ellacuria was in favor of publishing the work so he lead a walk-out, splitting the university into two houses: UCAI and UCAII. The six Jesuits that were killed all belonged to UCAII as all were strong advocates for liberating the poor of El Salvador. Fe y Alegria I learned is an education organization that did not start in El Salvador. It began in the 1950s and Lopez y Lopez helped to expand the center to San Salvador. The organization is still thriving today and you can check it out here: Faith and Joy
There is much more information on these two areas in the biographies, I just thought it would be interesting to share how these two phrases turned me to learning even more about the Jesuits and Central America.

The remaining days I have will be left to creating a timeline of events leading up to the massacre as well as the actual massacre itself. Most information I have found thus far begins on November 11, 1989 when the fighting guerrilla forces (FMLN) set off simultaneous attacks in the capital of San Salvador. The Salvadoran army was caught off guard and responded poorly to the well supplied combatants. There are many events that occur in the next five days such as the censoring of all information to the public, a search at the Loyola Center, occupation of troops in the neighborhood where the UCA is located, and the chain of command that created the plan to eliminate the "threats" that they perceived as Ellacuria and his fellow Jesuits. I found a flow chart on page 279 in Martha Doggett's work Death Foretold (purchase it here on Amazon: Death Foretold) of the Atlacatl Commando Unit and those responsible for the attack and murders. Their positions and nicknames are included in the chart as well. Hopefully by having a timeline of events that lead up to the assassinations on November 16, 1989 will give readers a better understanding of the dangerous situation and environment that consumed El Salvador for over ten years.