Indigenous Salvadoran spiritual leader dies
The Washington Post has the obituary of Adrián Esquino Lisco, a spiritual leader of Salvadoran indigenous peoples who died earlier this month:
Adrián Esquino Lisco, 68, who rose to prominence in El Salvador as a spiritual leader of the indigenous community and who called attention to atrocities committed during the 1980-92 civil war, died Sept. 8 at a hospital in San Salvador. He had kidney failure and other complications of diabetes.
El Salvador's small indigenous population, about 1 percent of the 7 million who live there, long endured bloody conflicts with the government, which has been led mostly by army officers or oligarchs.
A farmer and artisan, Mr. Esquino Lisco made international news by publicizing the Feb. 23, 1983, army-led attack on an indigenous farm cooperative in Las Hojas, a village in the western end of the country. He said the soldiers rounded up 74 men, tied their thumbs behind their backs and shot them in their skulls. A federal judge reported 18 deaths.
Mr. Esquino Lisco and his supporters blamed wealthy landowners troubled by the farm cooperative, which they considered subversive. Agrarian reform had blossomed briefly in the late 1970s but was soon revoked, causing a generation of resentment on all sides.
Mr. Esquino Lisco accused the landowners of using an army battalion to make their problem -- the cooperative -- disappear. (more)