EL SALVADOR — In 1980 I was among a group of people from El Salvador who went into exile in Honduras. I traveled in my grandmother’s arms, while my father and a sister stayed in El Salvador.
The “orejas” (snitches that spy for the police and army) murdered my mother and one of my brothers. When I was in Colomoncagua, Honduras, I remember Honduran soldiers massacring people in the camp where we lived. When the soldiers came, the people went out to yell at them. Once all of us children were locked in a house for safety, while the adults confronted the soldiers with machetes, sticks and rocks.
In 1990, when we returned to El Salvador, I was 11. The war was still on; before that I had never heard the sound and terror of bullets and mortars in full battle. One day around 4 A.M., I awoke to the sounds of shooting; during the night the soldiers had broken into our encampment in Morazán. For two days we heard the sounds of guns and mortars. Someone said that all the people had to go to the mountains.
By that time, the fascist army had murdered three brothers and my mother. My father was still alive along with myself and another brother; he joined the ranks of the guerillas with many of the youth from the encampment. Many who I knew died.
One night we saw a helicopter shooting and launching lights with flares. My father said, “I wonder if my son is there.” Until then, I still didn’t know the reason for the war.
After the 1992 peace accords, I always talked to veteran guerillas, asking them the reason for the war. After those 12 years of armed conflict, I was still only 13. These veterans taught me the history and I came to identify myself with the left.
I firmly believed that revolutionary politics meant power was won through elections. Given what I had been taught, I became a reformer in the FMLN, which capitalism turned into an electoral party. Many veterans and commanders have become capitalists or small bosses. Nevertheless, I thought that was moving the revolution forward.
Then a long-time friend began reading CHALLENGE to me. He spoke about the PLP, gave me the paper and invited me to a meeting in his house. Others there talked to me about the international situation.
When the question of ideology arose, I described my electoral party (the FMLN) thinking that was the course to follow. After several meetings, I was thrilled with the PLP, and was invited to meet with international comrades to discuss the Party’s work. Most important to me was how we analyzed reality. Meeting PLP has meant learning about a true revolution.
While the FMLN held sway in my infancy, now in the PLP I consider myself the fruit of those who spilled their blood defending me during my childhood and made it possible for me to fight for communist revolution through the international Progressive Labor Party.
A Young PLP member