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Farabundo Martí
Augustín Farabundo Martí Rodríguez (May 5, 1893 – February 1, 1932) was a social activist and Communist leader in El Salvadormarker.

Early life

Martí was born in Teotepequemarker, a farming community located in Departamento de La Libertad, El Salvador. After graduating from the "Salesian Secondary School" of Saint Cecilia of Santa Tecla, he entered the University of El Salvador in San Salvadormarker. Early on, Martí recognized the exploitation of the country's poor for the profit of the rich, and he became known as a Salvadoran revolutionary and a martyr for the Salvadoran Left.

Revolutionary Activity

Categorized as a hard-working and intelligent young man, he decided to drop out of his Political Science and Jurisprudence program at the University of El Salvador to fight for his community and nation. In 1920, he was arrested for taking part along with other students in a protest against the Meléndez-Quiñonez dynasty, which was then ruling the country. His arrest subsequently led to his exile from the country, and he took up residence in Guatemala and Mexico until his return to El Salvador in 1925. Returning from exile, Martí was appointed as a representative to go to the conference of the Anti-Imperialist League of the Americas in New York Citymarker, New York. Upon arriving in New York, he was once again arrested, but later released. In the meantime, he also worked with Nicaraguanmarker revolutionary leader Augusto César Sandino, although they parted ways over political disagreements.

Martí became involved in the founding of the Communist Party of Central America, and led a communist alternative to the Red Crossmarker called Socorro Rojo Internacionál, serving as one of its representatives. Their goal was to help poor and underprivileged Salvadorans through the use of socialist ideology. In December 1930, at the height of the country's economic and social depression, Farabundo Martí was once again exiled due to his popularity among the nation's poor and rumors of his upcoming nomination for President the following year.

Attempt at a Revolution and Death

Once the new president was elected in 1931, Martí returned to El Salvador, and along with Alfonso Luna and Mario Zapata, began the movement that was later truncated by the military. They helped start a guerrilla revolt of indigenous farmers. In the government reprisals against the movement, over 30,000 indigenous people were killed in 1932, which became known as La Matanza (The Slaughter). The peasant uprising against dictator Maximiliano Hernández Martínez was crushed by the Salvadoran military ten days after it had begun. The Communist-led rebellion, fomented by collapsing coffee prices, enjoyed some initial success, but was soon drowned in a bloodbath. President Hernández Martínezmarker, who had himself toppled an elected government only weeks earlier, had the defeated Martí shot after a perfunctory hearing.

Legacy

Martí remains a martyr figure for El Salvador’s Left, and he is the namesake of the leftist Salvadoran political party Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional), which fought a bloody guerrilla war against the Salvadoran military government (backed by the U.S.) in the 1980s. That war is to this day renowned for grave human rights violations committed by both sides. The FMLN is today one of El Salvador’s two major political parties.

Notes

  1. Página Oficial de la Juventud Farabundo Martí at jfarabundomarti.org


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