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October 06, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-06

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0

OPINION___
Page 4 Friday, October 6, 1989 The Michigan Dolly

The U.S. and El Salvador:

a portrait of state terror

By the Latin America
Solidarity Committee
Does the U.S. bomb El Salvador's
peasant population? It depends on what
you mean. 74% of the $1.5 million
dollars Washington sends there each day
directly or indirectly goes to the
Salvadoran military. U.S. dollars provide
the planes allowing El Salvador's airforce
to fly bombing missions. U.S. dollars
provide the bombs. U.S. advisors train
Salvadoran pilots on how to fly the
planes, and they accompany them on
bombing missions. But, literally, the
U.S. does not do the bombing. El
Salvadorans in El Salvador's airforce do.
So one might well answer the question
with which we began with a ringing "No!"
It is this sort of specious logic which
pervades Roberto Javier Frisancho's piece
in yesterday's Daily, "Daily skews facts
on El Salvador." Bristling with facts and
figures, citations and quotations,
Frisancho's piece exudes an air of
responsible authority and reasoned
consideration. But as we shall
demonstrate, its numbers and citations
willfully deceive-when they bother to
consider the truth at all.
Much of Frisancho's piece revolves
around efforts to portray the FMLN-
_Salvador's decade-old liberation

movement-as a dissembling gang of
human rights violators. He quotes Aryeh
Neier, respected director of Americas
Watch, testifying in June that FMLN
human rights abuses were on a par with
those of "uniformed members of the
[Salvadoran] security forces." He cites
testimony from Tutela Legal, El
Salvador's Catholic human rights
organization, indicting the FMLN for the
murder of four peasants from Apopa last
October. He points to the FMLN
campaign to discredit El Salvador's
mayors, eight of whom they have killed.
He condemns the FMLN's use of land
mines. It looks like a damning case. And
it is built on sand.
Let us begin with Tutela Legal, since
this is where Americas Watch receives its
El Salvador information. Frisancho does
not mention that its human rights figures
include innocent by-standers accidentally
killed by FMLN car bombs directed
against military installations. Nor does he
mention that the FMLN has publicly
acknowledged that using such bombs was
a mistake, or that the FMLN has pledged
to discontinue their use-and, for similar
reasons, the use of land mines-despite
the enormous impact of both upon the
military (NACLA, Sept. 1989; in the last
three months, according to Americas
Watch, the only Salvadorans who have

been killed by land mines have been
victimized by government mines). And
Frisancho never pauses to contemplate
whether those accidental, albeit regrettable
deaths are comparable with the intentional,
cold-blooded assassinations carried out by
El Salvador's military against those
Salvadorans brave enough to stand up for
their rights.
Furthermore, according to Alison Calls,
Americas Watch specialist on El Salvador,
Tutela Legal is the more conservative of
El Salvador's two human rights
commissions. It refuses,, for example, to
attribute numerous right-wing death-squad
killings to "uniformed...forces" unless it
has "incontrovertible" (more than
circumstantial) evidence; this brings the
statistical number of government killings
down.
Even so, according to Calls, more recent
reports from Tutela Legal and from
Americas Watch confirm what the Human
Rights Commission of El Salvador
(CDHES) has been saying all along:
FMLN "atrocities"-accidents-pale
before the Arena government's escalating
pattern of arrests, disappearances, and
murders. The government crack-down
against unions is "unprecedented,"
according to Calls, who adds, "almost
everyone who is being detained is being
tortured" (phone interview; October 5,
1989 with the source Frisancho claimed
we have never quoted and which he
himself cites as responsible and informed).
Moreover, Tutela Legal has made
egregious mistakes-one of which,
predictably enough, Frisancho cites to
support his case. Their testimony
notwithstanding, the Apopa victims' own
relatives dispute Tutela Legal's testimony,
claiming that the Army's First Infantry
Brigade-not the FMLN-killed their
relatives (El Sol, October 31, 1988).

When the FMLN does kill non-military
personnel, it always admits doing so,
arguing that such cases involve
collaborators or members of the army's
intelligence network-vestiges of the
infamous ORDEN death-squad network set
up with U.S. assistance in the 1960s. El
Salvador's mayors-in a country that has
not had one fair election in the twentieth
century-are part of that network. They
are appointed by the military, not elected
by the people, and even Washington has
admitted that they are an integral
component in the U.S. counterinsurgency
program. The FMLN treats them as the
members of an occupying. army that they
are; they deserve no sympathy, and
Frisancho has no right playing for any on
their behalf.
Frisancho's fall back position-once
one finishes refuting his bogus litany of
human rights abuses-concerns the
FMLN's purported lack of support in El
Salvador. He cites a poll conducted by the
Jesuit-run University of Central America
(UCA) which claims that only 6% of the
population supports the FMLN. And he
argues that earlier Daily editorials had no
right to imply that the 59 organizations
affiliated with the independent Permanent
Committee of the National Debate for
Peace in El Salvador support the FMLN.
Again, Frisancho substitutes half truth
for the real truth-when he bothers with
getting his numbers straight at all. A
feature on the UCA's polls in the most
recent bulletin from the North American
Congress on Latin America-again, a
source Frisancho himseif quotes-states
that 30% of the Salvadoran population has
adopted "radicalized" politics, and argues
that the number would be significantly
higher were it not for the "pervasive fear
remaining among most of the population

from the repression of the early 1980s."
Were it not for this repression-through
which the government has already
murdered over seventy thousand
Salvadorans- people might answer a
stranger's questions about who she or he
supports a bit differently. Frisancho
conveniently forgets to mention this
repression-along with UCA Vice-Rector
Ignacio Martin-Baro's willingness to
consider that, despite the repression, the
FMLN might well command the
sympathy of the majority of all
Salvadorans.

6
a

As for the Permanent Committee, yes,
it is independent. Which is not to say, as
Frisancho implies, that it is neutral. The
Committee has met with consistent
governmental harassment, largely because
it has endorsed both the FMLN's January
and September proposals as the firmest
available basis on which to conduct peace
negotiations. Most of its membership
organizations, including its largest, the
National Union of Salvadoran Workers
(UNTS), are pro-FMLN, although-
because of the repression-they are
circumspect about saying so.
It is Frisancho's systematic disregard for
this repression-and who conducts it-
that we find especially disturbing. Like the
group of which he is President, which
calls itself a coalition for democracy even
as it actively works to suppress anything
remotely resembling the same,
Frisancho's piece is a maze of doublespeak
denying the U.S.-supported Salvadoran
government's crimes against its own
people.
LASC opposes U.S. intervention in Latin
America and meets Wednesdays, at 8:00
p.m. in the Michigan Union. All are wel-
come.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. C, No. 22

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Recycle the red tape
AS USUAL, the University is wasting programs. Many of the University li-
the resources it has at hand. While the braries voluntarily recycle old newspa-
Ann Arbor City Council considers per and other waste products through
mandatory recycling ordinances with their own buildings or the
fines for those who do not comply, the Undergraduate Library.
University timidly follows the city's Although these efforts have been a
ead by phasing in a voluntary recy- commendable response to University
cling program over the next two years. inaction, they have not been compre-
-In light of the economic and environ- hensive enough.
mental benefits of recycling, the In the Graduate Library, for example,
University's virtual inaction is unac- recycling has been done out of in-
- eeptable. dividual department's concerns, not
Currently the United States is the because of University policy - and
' 4orld's largest consumer of paper although office paper is recycled, stu-
'products and the paper industry is dent paper waste is not.
among the largest users of fuel oil in As students and members of the
"America. Voluntarily recycling efforts community continue to call for a com-
ilready save approximately 200 million prehensive waste management pro-
trees each year. The practice has also gram, the University, the greatest cre-
been economically efficient because the ator of waste in Ann Arbor, essentially
actual production of recycled goods is stands mute in its own refuse.
less costly than making finished prod- Cornell University in Ithaca, New
ucts from raw materials that require York has recycling facilities for up to
.complex production techniques. one half its total waste. While this is
While Ann Arbor residents have al- not perfect, it is far superior to the
ready been active in voluntary recycling skeletal program that is here.
for the past 18 years, the University Mandatory recycling has proven to
has just begun to deal with the waste it be most effective in programs instituted
creates. around the world, and yet the
In 1987 students first approached University refuses to take a leadership
housing officials with a plan for a role in solving the dilemma. The im-
University administered recycling pro- plementation of the voluntary program
gram. In response a recycling coalition is a beginning, however the adminis-
of the Housing Administration, tration has yet to commit the resources
Recycle UM, the Residence Hall needed for the mandatory recycling of
Association, the School of Natural its own red tape.
Resources, and Recycle Ann Arbor set
up the Housing Division and Plant Not only does the University have
Department Solid Waste Management the responsibility of providing students
Task Force. with an education which enables them
Last January this task force began to to address society's needs, but the
implement a voluntary recycling pro- University must as well address those
gram. This year all the dormitories ex- needs. Clearly, environmental conser-
cept Oxford, Bates, Fletcher, and mar- vation is a societal concern and clearly,
ried housing units the task force asks the University is flouting its responsi-
students to separate newsprint and bility.
cardboard. Wrongly students only, and The University must take a leading
riot the University as an institution - role to teach and implement environ-
bear the burden of implementing this mental conservation policies. If
program. Duderstadt s efforts to lead the
Until this year, the University has University into the 21st century are to
had no type of comprehensive waste have any meaning at all, the University
management program. Previously, in- must, at the very least, institute a
dividual buildings on campus have mandatory recycling program, a pro-
been left to fend for themselves. gram for which the University, and not
Dormitories such as East Quad and only a few concerned students are ac-
South Quad implemented student-run countable.

A

By Camille Cola
Today.in the U.S. won
most half of the labor
women will make up 51
workers. But the ideolo,
and of women's "natural
makes women's labor o
despite its prevalence, a
marginal. Two recent fed
couldn't make this pointn
Last week, the U.S. C
for the Seventh Circuit i
overwhelmingly (7 to 4)
Milwaukee automobileI
against the women emp
cused Johnson Control I
crimination.
According to the cou
may bar all fertile women
all women of childbearin
of whether or not they
from factory jobs which
risk to an unborn child.
Confirming the misog
women are primarily -
reproductive beings, th
women their rights as we
and citizens. Exploitativ
patronizing judges "prot
out of the good jobs" (K
National Organization fo
10/3/89).
Another federal judg
California handed down1
decision this past Wednes

handmaid's
The fact that the judge in this case - by r
tOSti Marilyn Hall Patel - was formerly a W
lawyer for the National Organization for 59 t
men compose al- Women makes this decision even more man
force. By 1990 heinous than the previous one. wor
percent of U.S. Filed by the California State fami
gy of femininity Employees' Association on behalf of coup
" role as mothers 60,000 or more past and present face
utside the home, secretaries, clerks, nurses and other female exan
ppear as if it is state workers in jobs held predominantly sent
eral court rulings by women, this potentially ground- wor
more clearly. breaking comparable worth suit won
ourt of Appeals convincingly argued that such jobs were - s
n Chicago voted underpaid. wor
in support of a Judge Patel ruled in favor of the state won
batteries factory not because she questioned the validity of
ployees who ac- the wage disparity. For the figures are R
nc. of sexist dis- indisputable; female state workers make "Am
approximately $200 to $300 less per U.S.
irt, an employer month than their male counterparts. Patel wish
n - this includes ruled against the union because it did not won
g age, regardless prove "that the state selected particular pay ism
are pregnant - policies because of any alleged mar
pose a potential discriminatory effects upon women state hope
employees" (NYT 10/5/89). raci
gynist belief that In other words, -not only must the union one
if not solely - prove the existence of discrimination, it gend
e ruling denies must also show that such discrimination dep
orkers, taxpayers was intentional. A 1985 ruling by the won
e employers and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth soci
ect women right Circuit, written by Judge Anthony M. ourc
im Gandy of the Kennedy, currently serving on the U.S.
r Women, NYT, Supreme Court, argued that states may
rely solely on market rates when setting
,e in the state of salaries even though market rates for jobs C
an equally sexist predominantly held by women are consis- stu
day, October 4th. tently below those for jobs held primarily Sol

tale

men.
Vomen workers on average earn only
o 63 cents for every dollar earned by a
. The sexist assumption that women
k not to support themselves and their
ilies, but simply for "pin" money, ac-':
nts for many of the'inequities women
in the labor market. The above two
mples, rather than exceptional, repre-
the situation faced by most women
kers in the U.S. today. This includes
men who work in non-traditional jobs
uch as factory labor - and those who
k in fields traditionally reserved for
men.
ather than accept the rhetoric of the ,
nerican dream," which pretends that all
workers can do and be whatever they
h, if only they try hard enough,
men must confront and oppose the sex-
institutionalized by both the U.S.
ket and the court system. Our sole
e lies in building a multi-issue, multi-
al and cross-class women's movement,
that works in coalition with mixed
der groups but which maintains an in-
endent identity, one which demands
men's right to participate fully in our
ety, to have control over our bodies,
employment and our lives.
amille Colatosti is a graduate
dent in English and a member of
idarity.

Asi

Brazil

confronts

L

By Sharon P. Holland
Activists who advocate to stop the vio-
lence against women in this country are
constantly looking for examples of cen-
tralized programs that would provide
quick, efficient aid to women and children
who are survivors of abusive relation-
ships.
Just south of us, feminists in Brazil
have devised a space for women who are
survivors of battering, rape and assault to
seek police intervention, medical care and
counselling. After the widespread protest
of 1980 where Brazilians were calling for
democracy, direct elections, and an end to
rampant police brutality, feminists there
united the country around the issue of
violence.

While the women's movement in Brazil
in the early '80's struggled to bridge the
gap between poor women and working
women in that country where the majority
of women are poor, the Delegacias have
served to unite women in Sao Paulo. As
the police stations gained popularity and
conservative men in the legislature began
to back down from claims that women did
not deserve "special treatment", women all
over Brazil began to organize together to
have similar stations in their states.
At the Sao Paulo station alone, over
80% of the complaints brought against as-
sailants are due to domestic violence, the
most frequent crime reported is rape, fol-
lowed by attempted rape, verbal harass-
ment and finally, neglect via abandon-

iattering1
the television set) -- the media in Sao
Paulo has responded by including nightly
coverage of police station activity so that
the public is informed about violence
against women on a consistent basis.
Contrary to the experience of counsel-
lors here that women are unable to leave
battering relationships because of eco-
nomic reasons, Sao Paulo figures show
that half of the women who come to the.
stations have their own incomes. But, so-
cial workers in Brazil also attribute this
difference to traditional relationships be-
tween men and women which are linked to
cultural, rather than socio-economic
causes.
Brazilian feminists still have a long way,
to go in confronting both the legal system?
one .r. r #nlin.,.1..A D......;1:.... - -I

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