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HGMV Presentation: Remembering the Civil War in El Salvador: A Tale of Two Scorched Earth Operations

HGMV Presentation: Remembering the Civil War in El Salvador: A Tale of Two Scorched Earth Operations

Thursday, March 10, 4:00PM, 710 Social Sciences
HGMV Workshop presentation by Paula Cuellar Cuellar, PhD graduate student, History Department, UMN

"Remembering the Civil War in El Salvador: A Tale of Two Scorched Earth Operations"

Drawing from history and law, my article assesses the question of international crimes in El Salvador. Specifically, my intention is to debate whether the scorched earth operations, conducted as part of a state policy during their civil wars, indeed constituted practices aimed to destroy the social fabric of whole disadvantaged groups within those countries. Whether those crimes constituted genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes should be discussed in order to further develop measures of truth, justice and reparations in those countries. To test my hypothesis, I will explore two scorched earth operations conducted in El Salvador: El Sumpul and Santa Cruz. In Guatemala scorched earth operations aimed at the Maya have been labeled as genocide by the Commission for Historical Clarification because they constituted an ethnic group.