History and Latin America

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Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador: The Insurrection of 1932, Roque Dalton, and the Politics of Historical Memory


Héctor Lindo-Fuentes
Erik Ching
Rafael A. Lara-Martinez

In January 1932, thousands of peasants in western El Salvador rose up in armed rebellion. Armed mostly with machetes and a few guns, they attacked military garrisons, occupied towns, and looted or destroyed businesses, government buildings and private homes. In response, the army and local paramilitary bands killed thousands of citizens in a few days, most of them innocent of any involvement in the rebellion. Recalled as a massacre, the government's actions are regarded as one of the most extreme cases of state-sponsored repression in modern Latin American history. The "Matanza" left generations of Salvadorans and internationals alike attempting to make sense of the events.

Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador examines national and international historical memories of the events of 1932 and the factors that determined those memories. It also analyzes Miguel Mármol, by Roque Dalton, a well-known and influential narrative of the 1932 Matanza and one of the most important texts in modern Salvadoran history. The authors employ an array of primary evidence, including the personal archive of Roque Dalton, made available by the Dalton family for the first time. They argue that a systematic look at rivaling memories of the Matanza reveals the close association between historical narratives and political action. The book is complemented by a valuable appendix of primary documents that reveal the evolving memories of these important events in 1932.


Part of the Diálogos Series of Latin American Studies


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Héctor Lindo-Fuentes is professor of history, Fordham University, New York.

Erik Ching is associate professor of history, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina.

Rafael A. Lara-Martínez is professor of foreign languages, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro.

Lyman L. Johnson is professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is also the general editor for UNM Press's Dialogos series.

Héctor Lindo-Fuentes is professor of history at Fordham University.

ACCLAIM

"This is an extremely well-written book on a provocative theme. As a detailed study in the reciprocal relationship of politics and memory, its interest transcends the specifics of the case."

--

Hispanic American Historical Review




6 x 9 in. 432 pages 16 drawings, 11 halftones, 1 map