“Blowtorch Bob”: The Duty to Remember
During the Salvadoran Civil War, 75,000 people were killed; 8000 were disappeared, and one million were left homeless, slaughtered by D’Aubuisson and his Death Squads. They killed a group of Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter; and a group of Catholic lay nuns who had just arrived in
His crowning achievement was assassinating Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero: On March 24, 1980, one of his gunmen shot him in the heart as he was saying Mass. Romero’s offense? Demanding the end to the killing of innocent men, women, and children in
When throat cancer killed D’Aubuisson on
D’Aubuisson’s education at the School of the
Today, of course, the U.S.Army claims that it was mistaken when it published manuals on torture and related topics, but that admission has come only as a result of pressure from human rights groups to close the school. Despite years of civil disobedience, protests and intense lobbying, the SOA continues its nefarious work, nowadays touting a new name and a curriculum that includes a seminar on human rights: the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The name may be new but we are not deceived: The leopard may have changed its spots but it is still as deadly as ever, turning out military officers who are the heirs to D’Aubuisson and his henchmen.
People never cease to amaze me. In an Alzheimer’s-like delusion of the past, the Salvadoran government dedicated a statue of D’Aubuisson and has a memorial Mass for him each year. One could argue that if anyone needs prayers for his eternal soul, he does but there is something ignominious about a tribute to a mass murderer who killed with such glee.
A year after the memorial was dedicated, D’Aubuisson’s son and several other state officials were murdered in