This is a picture of Marvin taken when I met him 6 years ago. It was easy to remember Marvin -- he was the boy who loved to jump on the bus with us when we were in his community. Yesterday, while working as a fare-taker on a bus, teen-ager Marvin was shot 7 times and killed instantly by a robber, becoming another victim of the senseless violence in El Salvador.
I don't know what to say in the face of such tragedy -- not just the loss of Marvin, but the countless other sons and daughters of El Salvador, whose lives are cut short by criminal violence.
Perhaps there is some hope to be found in these words of another victim of a murderer's bullet, archbishop Oscar Romero:
No, brothers and sisters,From The Violence of Love, available for download
El Salvador need not always live like this.
I will tear off the veil of shame
that covers it among all peoples.
I will wipe away the tears
of all those mothers who no longer have tears
for having wept so much
over their children who are not found.
Here too will he take away the sorrow
of all those homes that this Sunday suffer
the mystery of dear ones abducted
or suffer murder
That is not of God.
Gods banquet will come;
wait for the Lords hour.
Let us have faith;
all this will pass away
like a national nightmare,
and we shall awake to the Lords great feast.
Let us be filled with this hope.
OCTOBER 15, 1978
This is why El Salvador needs to double or treble the number of policemen on the street: so we can have as many cops per citizen as Washington (700 cops per each 100,000 people) or Chicago (470 cops per 100,000 people).
Right now, at 16,000 officers, we have about half as many cops per citizen as Philadelphia. No wonder El Salvador is such a dangerous place.