Salvadoran Attacks U.S. For Supporting Duarte
The Reagan Administration should not support the El Salvadoran government as it violates human rights and has no respect for scholarly political opposition, a student from the University of El Salvador said in a speech at the Law School last night.
Rene Hernandez, U.S. representative of the General Association of Salvadoran University Students (AGEUS), criticized President Jose Napoleon Duarte's government for using the military and "death squads" to stifle political debate throughout the country.
"All Duarte is really interested in is power," Hernandez said through an interpreter. "He was not elected because he had the capacity to lead but because the Reagan Administration needed to put a person in who looked like a centrist."
Hernandez spoke here as part of a week-long tour of New England universities, sponsored by the New England Central America Network, which is trying to drum up student support for the University of El Salvador.
The El Salavador army destroyed many of the buildings on the University of El Salvador campus during the four-year military occupation, before Duarte came into power. The school reopened in 1984 but has thus far received no money from the government to rebuild its facilities.
Under Duarte's leadership, the university has once again become the focus of government repression, Hernandez said. Death squads, often linked to the military and the government, have killed several members of the university community in recent months, he added.
"During this year alone they have assassinated the president of our student organization and left a professor deadin the main entrance to the university," he said.
In addition to the known deaths, facultymembers have been abducted and received deaththreats, while students who have organizedpoltical protests and demonstrations have beendenounced in full-page newspaper ads, Hernandezsaid.
"The government's intervention at theuniversity has been, for us, like living throughthe third world war," he said. "They have calledus communists, they have called us terrorists, butthey are the real terrorists.