El Salvador Research Paper

2523 Words 11 Pages
Before Romero
In many ways, El Salvador was no different than many of its South American neighbors during the 1970 's and 1980 's. The oppressive government that existed in El Salvador had much in common with the violent regimes running Argentina, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and others. Death squads, supported if not organized by the ruling governments, murdered with no fear of reprisal those they saw as enemies of the status quo. However, it was the global setting, not simply a continental one, that made South America a hotbed for violent activity. Much as in other places around the globe, financial and military support flowed in freely from the United States to the ruling governments of many of these countries– El Salvador included– sent
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In the encyclical Populorum Progressio, Pope Paul VI extended the individual principles of the Second Vatican Council to nations and exhorted believers to pay attention to the way global economics holds under-developed nations down while enriching the developed nations that use them.”The same duty of solidarity that rests on individuals exists also for nations: ‘It is the very serious duty of the developed nations to help the under-developed’.” Pope Paul VI recognized the disparity that existed both in terms of economics and power between nations that have and nations that did. As it relates to El Salvador, foreign money had been keeping a small portion of the population (the “coffee oligarchy”) wealthy via investments and exports while the majority of the nation continued to experience poverty. In the 1970’s, the vast majority of people in El Salvador depended on agriculture for their day-to-day survival but did not own enough land to even feed themselves. Even so, agricultural products were exported by the wealthy landowners out of El Salvador in order to line their own pockets. Whether or not the Pope had El Salvador in mind when he wrote Populorum Progressio isn’t important. However, the way it is interpreted in Latin America shapes the church that Romero steps into

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