More on protest shootings

Dominating the news from El Salvador are the shootings during street protests in front of the University of El Salvador which left two policemen dead and many wounded. Photos and video from the video taken by the media show masked persons firing an automatic weapon at police.

La Prensa has links to video reports here and here, and a photo gallery here.
El Diario de Hoy has a photo gallery from the protests. Diario CoLatino has its own photo collection here.

The Associated Press reports that police have arrested a participant in the shootings:

On Thursday, Interior Minister Rene Figueroa said police arrested Luis Antonio Herrador Funes, 37, who allegedly was captured on tape shielding a man who was shooting an M-16 rifle. Police were still looking for the shooter.

Herrador said he was a member of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, but denied participating in the violence.

President Tony Saca blamed the violence on the FMLN, which fought a 12-year civil war against the government before becoming a political party in 1992.

Figueroa said he would take the government's complaint about alleged FMLN involvement in the clash to the United Nations, which had mediated talks that led to the group signing the 1992 peace accords and disarming.

"There is no doubt that the FMLN, besides being an opposition political party, maintains armed groups," Figueroa said. "Even they have said so."

Authorities said they found five grenades, an antique bazooka and a military shirt when they searched the university after the clash.

The conservative papers La Prensa and El Diario de Hoy lead their internet editions with the fact that the suspects are FMLN members and have participated in protests such as street closings in the past. El Diario asserts that the shooter was trained in Cuba.

El Salvador's Human Rights Ombudswoman Beatrice Carillo stated her belief that the shootings appeared to be the work of snipers intent on executing police. She urged calm and that a thorough investigation be conducted. She also urged that the situation not be politicized, a remark clearly aimed at Tony Saca and ARENA government officials who are blaming the FMLN for orchestrating the attacks.


Anonymous said…
In a democratic state, Officers from the left wing, must help to capture those who commit criminal acts against police officers. If they do not help, the people know now who support them.
Anonymous said…
Para mi que el loco con el AR-15 era un chavo que se creia RAMBO. Punto. El FMLN, en mi opinion, no puede controlar a sus miembros, mucho menos a aquellos locos jovenes que se llenan la cabeza con romanticismos. Pero yo concuerdo, en que aun se puede ver disleal que este partido "abandone" a unos de sus miembros, deberian de funcionar en pro de hacer justicia a quien quiera que haya matado a los policias y reprimir a aquellos en sus circulus que CARGUEN ARMAS DE GUERRA ADENTRO DE LAS ZONAS URBANAS EN EL PERIODO DE PAZ!

Por otra parte, Casaca se puede ir a la mierda. Ojala que la Sra. Beatrice o alguien de el Frente lleve a la ONU la posible resurgimiento de grupos ESCRUADRONES DE LA MUERTE, investigue la propagandistico periodismo del pais, etc. Eso si vale la pena, y ojala que Casaca sea demandado por querer echarle fuego a las cosas con lo primero que hizo y hace "echarle la culpa al FMLN, envez de su incompetencia como gobernador y lo que la pinche "oligarquia mantiene en este pueblucho (el cual siempre a sido la causa por la cual gente tome armas desde tiempos de Anastasio Aquino, la revuelta de 1932, y la mera guerra civil reciente). Lo que este pueblucho necesita para ponerle alto a esto, y exiliar a los enemigos del progreso (los de la oligarquia) es otros movimientos en masa cono la Huelga de Los Brazos Caidos.
Anonymous said…
In a democratic state officers from the RIGH WING MUST also help capture those members of the death squads, who, not by coincidence, belong to ARENA. If they don't help, the people and the world will know(and we know already) that ARENA protects them.
Carlos X. said…
Isn't this a crucial hour, a defining moment, when everyone can see crisply and clearly, that violence is abominable? The left blames the right and says it is reprehensible. The right blames the left and calls it beyond the pale. Isn't this a core agreement that the acts are loathsome, and can't we agree on that in the abstract, without assigning blame, and proceed from there, and agree that this is not the way anyone can behave, and let the chips fall where they may? If we can do this, we will cross a very important threshhold into true reconciliation -- holding ourselves accountable, not just blaming the other guy, which is what we have been doing for thirty years.
Anonymous said…
Esto que acontecio en San Salvador deberian de ponerlo en el libros de records Guinnes, o Ripley's Believe it or not, ya que UN SOLO hombre armado con fusil M-16 fue capaz de "matar" 2 policias de la UMO, herir como a 15 mas, y evadir a los helicopteros y cientos de policias armados y decenas de francotiradores en la azotea del hospital Boom.


Wow! it sounds like an exciting movie! but it smells like bull shit.

Anonymous said…
"which is what we have been doing for thirty years."

There is an old saying that goes "An old dog can't learn new tricks", and 30 years sounds to me like a very freaking ancient dog (doggie years and all that ;) ). So the devil of habit has already settled in, and I believe it is impossible for this crapass system to stop doing what they've been doing and just throw rocks at each other (literally and metaphorically). We need a new system, then we could possible all agree that violence is abominable, that more than playing blame game, the matter of importance is finding a source and try to stop it (reforms, etc, etc.... violence in a society is an indication of a sick society).
Anonymous said…
Right.Passing blame is inutil.Reforms will help mucho.And balance in the system. Left will always be left and right will always be right.But they can work together.Why not.It is time for change towards a new thinking , a new way of doing things .And por favor, please dont blame the oligarchy for every ill in the El Salvadoran society.It is poverty that is evil in itself. The rich worked hard for what they have,the poor should try to work harder.
Carlos X. said…
Frankly I think that to say "the work should work harder" is callous and, with due respect, reminds me of Marie Antoinette, "let them eat cake." The rich have to, "live," as Archbishop Romero said. To "live and to let their economic power count towards the happiness of the people, and not in the disaster and ruination of the general population." This means adopting economic policies that lift up and benefit all sectors, and are not strictly designed to profit capital and gain.
Anonymous said…
For some reason we´re all anonymous today. 15 or 20 years ago the police would have responded to the shootings with a massacre. Whoever or whatever group decided to target the police miscalculated. If this is tied back to the FMLN, which has yet to be done conclusively, this has to cause them a lot of political grief. As for this young man having a Rambo complex, I doubt that, although someone may have been training him to be one. A release or leak of his migratory records show trips to Venezuela and Nicaragua. The good news coming out of this is the restraint and professionalism showed by the police. We have heard for years that El Salvador is developing into the most professional police force in Central America, and granted the competition isn´t all that steep, they showed something Wednesday in their response. A friend got caught in the crossfire Wednesday and he told us some of the reporters were exhorting the police to shoot the demonstrators. But they didn´t. People here still filter their responses through the memories of how the police acted during the war, and it will take some time to change that template. I´ve talked with some who don´t want to change. But continued responses like Wednesday´s will go a long ways towards changing that perception.
Anonymous said…
Why was there a street protest on the first place? That was totally unnecessary. I think the government did the right thing about the price increase. Street protests are for the radicals , the terrorists, the communists and the naive. People who know better will never go to the streets and cause uprising , especially during times of peace and progress.What can the present government of El Salvador achieve if everytime they make a decision that will benefit the majority if not all, these misinformed and misguided few start to protest in the streets.
There is still so much work to be done in El Salvador.Cooperation is a must.
David said…
I am worry about this situation, it is not necesary to do this violence attitudes, I don't want another war.

Hey tim, I am releasing my new website,, I won't post in SV Days and Vida SV anymore.