Religion: An Archbishop Without Fear

Romero fights for the peasants

Even by Central American standards, El Salvador is a vastly overpopulated, poverty-ridden feudal society. The elite 1.9% of the population, which owns 57.5% of the land, sells cash crops abroad while at home hunger and malnutrition are endemic. The oligarchy's prosperity depends upon plentiful cheap labor from landless, job-hungry campesinos, and, fearing bloody rebellion, it will do almost anything to prevent the peasantry from organizing. To eliminate political dissent, a sweeping new law decrees prison for anyone who perturbs the "tranquillity or security of the country" or "the...

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