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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: 03 December 2021

Crisis and Rural Insurgency

Crisis and Rural Insurgency

(p.195) 7 Crisis and Rural Insurgency
Poets and Prophets of the Resistance

Joaquín M. Chávez

Oxford University Press

The chapter illustrates the fundamental roles that peasant leaders played in the transformation of the relatively small urban insurgency in the early 1970s into a massive rural insurgency by the end of the decade. It examines the political crisis that fueled the intensification of state terror, militant activism, and insurgency that led to the civil war. The chapter also describes a major realignment that took place within the left and right between 1979 and 1981. It considers the foundation of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) as an historical convergence between the Old and New Left that articulated the grievances and demands of vast urban and rural sectors. A new right-wing coalition made up of businessmen, middle-class activists, military officers, and paramilitaries formed the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), displacing the Party of National Conciliation (PCN), the official party created in 1962, as the main political force of Salvadoran conservatives, and becoming a key player in Salvadoran politics during the civil war and beyond. The chapter analyzes the transformation of the peasant movement into a massive rural insurgency in Chalatenango.

Keywords:   peasant movements, Sumpul massacre, rural insurgency, US counterinsurgency, El Salvador’s armed forces, Honduran army, civil war, FMLN, ARENA, Chalatenango, military history

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