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Poets and Prophets of the ResistanceIntellectuals and the Origins of El Salvador's Civil War$
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Joaquín M. Chávez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199315512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199315512.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 December 2021

Peasant Intellectuals in Chalatenango

Peasant Intellectuals in Chalatenango

(p.72) 3 Peasant Intellectuals in Chalatenango
Poets and Prophets of the Resistance

Joaquín M. Chávez

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the emergence of a cohort of peasant leaders in Chalatenango, a department in El Salvador, which led anti-oligarchic mobilizations of the 1970s and early 1980s. Peasant intellectuals were teachers of the escuelas radiofónicas (radio schools) and members of rural cooperatives, two pedagogical initiatives sponsored by the Catholic Church among peasant communities in the central region of the country. During the 1970s, they founded the Union of Rural Workers (UTC), a peasant movement that posed an unprecedented challenge to the oligarchic-military regime in El Salvador. The chapter also studies the division between peasant communities that formed the emerging peasant movement and those that joined right-wing paramilitary forces, as well as the ensuing confrontations between these factions. Particular focus is given to the contribution of peasant leaders to the insurgency’s massive expansion during the 1970s.

Keywords:   peasant movements, peasant intellectuals, diocesan priests, rural cooperatives, liberation theology, rural insurgency, counterinsurgency, paramilitaries, urban insurgents, Popular Liberation Forces (FPL)

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