Manifesto of the Marxist Tendency Militante against repression in El Salvador

Unable to employ the tried and tested method of direct and open repression, the ruling class of El Salvador has engaged in a series of measures to criminalise the struggles of the workers and youth, which can now be classified as “acts of terrorism”.

On July 2nd, the police of El Salvador captured Mario Belloso, whom they accuse of having shot at the police during a peaceful demonstration which took place on July 5, 2006.

This event has been used by the reactionary government of Antonio Saca to deepen a series of measures aimed at criminalising the struggle of workers and youth, restricting the freedom of expression, demonstration and association, and in general all the democratic freedoms won by the labour movement through decades of struggle.

The "anti-terrorist Law" is the clearest expression of this reactionary policy. This Law, passed in September 2006, is made up of 53 articles and describes 29 different types of activities which are now classed as "terrorist acts", and can be punished with between 5 and 65 years of jail. This means that any action that creates insecurity, disturbs the peace, causes alarm or fear in the ruling class will be classed as an act of terrorism and the Law will be used to criminalise the struggle of the people of El Salvador.

This policy is clearly aimed at stopping any mobilisation of the workers and youth fighting against this corrupt and degenerate government, particularly in the run up to the presidential elections of 2009.

The Marxist Tendency Militante is against any methods that are not based on the organisation of the broadest masses of the workers, under a genuine revolutionary policy. We are against replacing the conscious organisation of the masses by isolated actions which not only do not generate organisation nor raise the level of consciousness of the proletariat, but on the contrary are used as a pretext by the ruling class and the State to use repression against the organisations of working people.

At the same time, we denounce the hypocrisy of the ruling class, its government and parties, which allegedly decry violence, but through their actions exercise the worst violence - not only through the police and the army, but also through the exploitation of millions of workers and youth in the factories and the land. This indiscriminate violence pushes individuals to carry out desperate isolated actions which are not effective in the struggle against capitalist exploitation.

The government has used the above mentioned events to carry out a campaign of arrests and attacks on workers and revolutionary organisations. An example of this is the repression against a rally in the small rural community of Zuchitoto. The villagers were protesting against the privatisation of water at the time of the visit of President Saca on July 3. The elite "Police Reaction" unit arrested 5 community activists (amongst them 3 women) under the accusation of terrorism.

At the same time the president has made public statements slandering the Peoples' Youth Block (BJP), as well as other organisations, saying they are involved in the shootings against the police at the demonstration on July 5, 2006.

This is clearly a provocation on the part of the government against the workers' movement of El Salvador. The Peoples' Youth Block is an organisation made up of workers and youth, members of the FMLN as well as trade union organisations, which has always defended the rights of working people, and has participated in their legitimate struggles to improve their working conditions. It is precisely this record of struggle of the BJP which has earned it the hatred of the Antonio Saca government.

The government is threatening to initiate a campaign of arbitrary arrests of leading members of left-wing organisations, particularly from the most militant ones, like the BJP. For all these reasons we make a public appeal to workers and youth of the world to mobilise to stop this wave of repression on the part of the government of El Salvador, and to defend democratic freedoms, for the release of all political prisoners, against State terrorism and for the revolutionary unity of the proletariat in the struggle against capitalism and for a socialist society. Today more than ever the rallying cry of the First International can be heard around the world "Workers of all lands, UNITE"

Stop attacks and slanders against the BJP!

Immediate release of all political prisoners!

Against State terrorism, mass mobilisation!

See also: