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FMLN, Hegemony in the Interior of The Salvadoran Revolution. The ERP in Northern Morazán [JLAA vol.4]

FMLN, Hegemony in the Interior of The Salvadoran Revolution. The ERP in Northern Morazán [JLAA vol.4]

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hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution: the erp in northern morazdn

"War is a bloody experience from which only those who have clone nothing escape with clean hands. " Mauricio Chavez (former FPL commander, currently director ofCEPAZ, Centro de Pazj In his Between Two Armies in the Ixil Towns of Guatemala, David Stoll provides an interpretation of abstract Guatemalan history that divides This article offers a nuanced explanation of the internal politics of guerilla relations. It uses the conce; ts of hegemony, fields of power and habitus to aralyze the dynamics of guerilla strategies and efforts to implement them in the Peoples Revolutionary Army (ERP) in northern Morazaa El Salvador. The author argues that the guerrilla strategies involved them in a double process of hegemony construetion: hegemony over civilians and hegemony over their own combatants. This double process was crucial if ERP guerrillas were to compete on the field of power dominated by the US-backed Salvadoran military.
mas sac r n 1 1 ^(! earl> 19 8 s f ° between the G u e r r i l l a Arm o f the P o o r a n d the G u a t e m a l a n tr00 carried out

f P o n f b i l i * for * e **Ixi1 r e u g l ° n I n * e


Ps > scorched earth operations. Critiquing the naivete and pro-guerrilla stance of human rights groups (and simultaneouslj undermining their credibilin). Stoll argues that the ixil area was uninvolved in the conflict until the Guerrilla Army of the Poor appeared on the scene and "provoked" the state to respond w ith repression, thus forcing previously neutral peasants to lake sides in the conflict: "Judging from their stories the main reason Ixils cast their lot w ith the guerrillas
w h o actuall


journal of latin amencan anthropology 4(1):2-45 copyright ;•• 1999, american anthropological association


journal of latin american anthropology

leigh binford

university of Connecticut

was [sic] the coercive pressures created by the blows and counterblows of two military forces, a dilemma Nebajenos typically describe as being entre dosfuegos (between two fires).... Hence, just because an insurgency grows rapidly does not mean that it represents popular aspirations and has broad popular support" (1992:20, c.f, p. 91, emphasis in the original). I am supportive of Stoll's effort to counteract analyses that paint the world in black and white terms which hold Latin American gov- resumen ernments able to do no right and Este articulo ofrece una explicacion revolutionaries no wrong. If, in matizada de la politico interna de relaciones fact, this necessary corrective guerrilleras. Utiliza los conceptos de lay at the heart of his argument, hegemonia, campos de poder y habitui I would have little objection. para analizar las dindmicas de estrategias However, by parceling out re- guerrilleras y esfuerzos para implementaias en sponsibility for the death toll el EJerdtoRevolucionario del Pueblo (ERP) en equally between revolutionaries la parte norte de Morazan, El Salvador. El who struggled to alter a highly autor sostiene que las estrategias guerrilleras los involucraron en un exploitative economic system proceso doble de construccion de and a military that killed thou- hegemonia hegemonia sobre civiles y sands of uninvolved civilians in hegemonia sobre sus propios combatientes. order to defend it, Stoll produces Este proceso doble hubiera sido critico si las a work of historical revisionism guerrillas del ERP pensaban competir en el which in the end serves to dis- campo de poder dominado por los militarej credit all armed movements for Salvadorenos, apoyados por los EEUU. social change. For a logical, though unstated, implication of his argument is that an\ mass movement

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution


that aims to alter the balance of power must develop openly in civil society and gain a mass following through pacific (nonviolent) action before taking up arms as a desperate response to unprovoked violence on the part of the state. In fact, few if any contemporary neocolonial states have allowed such challenges to develop openly. By employing their self-proclaimed monopoly on the legitimate use of force, states systematically repress leaders and force oppositional movements underground long before those movements develop the majority following that Stoll deems their legitimate task. Apart from numerous methodological questions I have about StolPs work, it seems to me that the principal failing involves a lack of strategic vision, i.e., a failure to analyze the national situation in Guatemala and the specific role of the EGP and the Ixil zone within a much larger and very complex social field. In the pages that follow, I attempt to demonstrate how we can usefully approach guerrilla-civilian relations by grounding our analysis in two concepts: fields of power and hegemony. Rather than the Ixil region of Guatemala, however, my focus will be on northern Morazan, El Salvador, an area controlled from 1983 to 1992 by the Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo (henceforth ERP), one of five political-military organizations that made up the Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional or FMLN.1 Basically, I shall argue that within areas over which it exercised nominal day-to-day control, the ERP confronted a civilian population diversified along lines of age, gender, and political orientation. Although the guerrillas functioned as a quasi-state and dominated through force when necessary, attainment of their strategic objectives, if not their very survival, was tied to the development of a modicum of hegemony over civilians, who served as a recruitment pool and supplied food, labor, information and other forms of assistance crucial to the struggle. However, I will also argue that hegemony over civilians depended on the ERP leadership's exercise of hegemony over rebel troops and support personnel. Though incorporation into the ERP was voluntary, such hegemony could not be assumed but had to be created or deepened where it already existed. In short, maximizing its position on the military-political field ofpower (see below) of northern Morazan and contesting that field with the Fuerzas Armadas de El Salvador (El Salvadoran Armed Forces, henceforth FAES) led the ERP leadership to embark, at a particular moment of the conflict, on a double process of hegemony construction, in which the successful exercise of hegemony over civilians required the ERP leadership to deepen its hegemony over guerrilla combatants as well.

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differentiation in the interior of the revolution
Following the decline of the indigo industry in the last century, northern Morazan became an economic backwater and a low priority for the Salvadoran state, which partly explains the historically poor road, health and educational infrastructure there. Northern Morazan's heavily broken terrain and thin soils made it unfit for the large-scale production of coffee, cotton or sugar cane that formed the foundation of the nation's post-WWII agro-export economy (Williams 1986).: Rather, the land in northern Morazan \\ as divided into hundreds of small properties (and a few large ones) whose owners combined subsistence production of corn and beans with smallscale cattle raising, petty production and processing of henequen and sugar cane, logging in the higher altitudes (of growing importance following the Second World War) and seasonal wage labor to zones of export agriculture on the coast and in the central cordillera. Government officials apparently saw little reason to invest in Morazan's infrastructure or social services. In 1970 Morazan rivaled Chalatenango as the Salvadoran department with the least access to electricity, education and public health services; the poorest quality housing stock; and the worst roads (El Salvador Ministerio de Economia 1974). According to the 1971 national census, only 17 of 156,000 people reHonduras siding in Morazan department had acquired any post-secondary education whatsoever (El Salvador Ministerio de E c o n o m i a San Mguel La UniCn 1974:260). In El Salvador: Landscape and Society, David Browning included Morazan within the tierra olvidada.

For most of the post-WWII period northern Morazan was a

Map 1. Northern Morazan

• -Municipal Centers • - Departmental Capital

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution


bulwark of (often passive) support for the National Conciliation Party, closely allied to the Salvadoran Armed Forces (Baloyra 1982). In this socially and economically marginalized zone, political party development was attenuated, and the Treasury Police and National Guard, which maintained small, permanent barracks in most municipal centers, closely controlled elections. The local Catholic priest rather than political parties played the major, albeit indirect, role in political socialization. There are some important exceptions- a mayoral victory by the Party of Renovating Action (PAR) in Jocoaitique in the 1950s3 and the formation of Christian Democratic Party (PDC) clubs in some municipalities in the 1970s. The progressive political education of Morazanian peasants was a product of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1967) and the Latin American Bishops' Council held in Medellin, Colombia in 1968. In El Salvador groups within the Catholic church which followed liberation theology began to practice a "preferential option for the poor" that legitimized struggles for better wages and working conditions, and for land reform. One consequence was the creation of peasant training centers in each of the country's five dioceses (Richard and Melendez 1982). Most writing on liberation theology in El Salvador has focused on the work of Jose Incencio Alas and Rutilio Grande in the diocese of San Salvador, where they had the support of progressive Archbishop Chavez y Gonzalez (archbishop from 1939-1977). Nationally the training centers also played an important role "in spreading progressive pastoral and social ideas outside the Archdiocese of San Salvador, since most of the other dioceses had conservative bishops who prevented individual pastoral agents from forming CEBs [Christian Base Communities] or other parish-based projects" (Peterson 1997:56; see Richard and Melendez 1982:61, 72-74).4 Peasant-catechists in northern Morazan usually attended Centro Reino de la Paz (better known as El Castano) in Chirilagua, San Miguel where they gained experience in public speaking and organizing techniques and learned how to interpret their poverty and marginalization in the context of the Bible (see Peterson 1997:55-58). Many current and former catechists now use terms like "awakening" or "rebirth" to describe their experiences in the centers and they explain how they returned to northern Morazan anxious to share their new knowledge.5 However, Father Andres Argueta, the conservative Jocoaitique priest who had sent them to be trained as catechists on orders from his superior, strived to keep progressive politics out of church practice. He used his authority over the catechists to suppress their liberatory message for several years. This changed in 1973. Miguel Ventura, a young, radical priest of peas-

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ant origin trained in San Salvador's San Jose de la Montana seminary, arrived to take charge of the new Torola parish, carved out of Argueta's Jocoaitique-centered domain through the reassignment of the municipalities of Villa El Rosario, Torola and San Fernando. Ventura provided encouragement and direction for the work of the catechists. He also enlarged their ranks by sending more peasants to El Castano and other training centers. Against Argueta's single-minded concern with spiritual growth, he promoted the discourse of the integral development of the whole person, a key feature of liberation theology's doctrine. Ventura also visited the most remote communities, where his friendliness, humility and refusal to charge for masses, baptisms and weddings distinguished him from his predecessor. The National Guard began to monitor these "threatening" church activities, and Father Argueta denounced Father Ventura from his pulpit in Jocoaitique. In 1975 Ventura was transferred south of the Torola River to Osicala parish. In 1977, following an armed confrontation between the ERP and the Salvadoran military in Osicala, he was seized by the National Guard, severely tortured, and forced into exile following his release.6 Progressive Catholicism in northern Morazan possessed a solid constituency at the time of Ventura's departure, but absent his leadership and subject to escalating state repression, it never developed to its full potential. After Ventura left the area, many progressive Catholics, among them a number of the most dynamic peasant catechists, joined ERP Military Committees, initiated in 1975, and began to prepare for the civil war predicted by ERP founder Rafael Arce Zablah.7 From 1975 to 1980 "Chele Cesar" (Santo Lino Ramirez) and "Balta" (Juan Ramon Medrano), the former an ERP military trainer and the latter a political organizer, periodically traveled to northern Morazan from San Miguel (Medrano y Raudales 1994). They passed as cattle buyers by day, and by night they imparted military training and political orientation to ERP Military Committees throughout the zone. In 1978 the ERP formed the February 28th Popular Leagues (LP-28), an open mass organization that served as a recruiting ground for the clandestine Military Committees and a pressure group on the government. LP-28 members were frequently trucked to San Miguel, San Salvador and other cities where they occupied churches and government offices and marched with other popular organizations to protest government policies and human rights violations. During these actions, peasants from northern Morazan became the targets of violent reprisals from the military and security forces. Some even died when government troops fired on demonstrators. Often, the survivors returned to northern Morazan with a different conception of the Salvadoran state, which they

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution

shared with friends and family members, or, in several instances, in risky, open meetings in town plazas. I have sketched the process through which state repression forced underground a counter-hegemonic project promoted by sectors within the Catholic church and led participating peasants to join an armed revolutionary movement. For most of its practitioners, liberation theology was not about seizing state power, but it did demystify long-standing supernaturalist explanations of the sources of wealth and poverty. Challenging the conservative wing of the Catholic church in rural El Salvador also involved challenging the weak hegemony exercised by the state, given the church's historic role in political socialization. However, many people in northern Morazan, who over time might have become inspired by the liberationist project and might have adopted both the discursive terms in which affiliates to it interpreted their social world and the concrete activities in which they engaged, were frightened away by government propaganda, threats and repression centered on progressive Catholic beliefs, activities and personnel. In my view, this history of Christian organization attenuated by state-sponsored repression goes far to account for the highly differentiated political terrain over which the ERP exercised day-to-day authority from 1983 until January 1992.8 Carmen Mercedes Letona ("Comandante Luisa"), who for much of the war headed the ERP's political section in northern Morazan, displayed an acute understanding of this situation when she divided civilians into the viejo contingente (old contingent) of dependable FMLN supporters, and the atrasados (backward elements) which "have developed some resentment as a result of their own situations." She noted of the latter groups that "because they have not had a concrete political practice that might raise their levels of consciousness, their lives have turned around hiding and fleeing [from the army]" (FMLN 1987:23).9 Many in the viejo contingente cut their political teeth on liberation theology, disseminated by Miguel Ventura and dozens of peasant catechist assistants, while the atrasados were the principal objects of the ERP's counter-hegemonic political project that I will discuss below (See CEBES n.d:24).

hegemony and fields of power
To situate that project, both temporally and spatially, it will help us to think of northern Morazan as a field of power (Roseberry 1994) situated


journal of latin american anthropology

near the bottom of a series of interlinked but hierarchically-ordered power fields. My analysis here owes much to William Roseberry and to Pierre Bourdieu's investigations of intellectual, educational, religious and economic fields as semi-autonomous components of an overall social field of power. For Bourdieu, each field is a social site in which actors occupying "positions" endowed with different amounts and types of "capital" (economic, cultural and/or symbolic) struggle against one another in order to improve their positions within the field (i.e., to obtain more capital) or to change the field's rules or its boundaries (Bourdieu 1988,1990a, 1990b; Robbins 1991).10 The rules that govern struggles in social fields are skewed in favor of dominant groups as one of the fruits of their victories in prior struggles. Bourdieu tends to focus on the analysis of particular French intellectual, artistic, economic or religious social fields. I am more interested in articulating local, regional, and global developments across fields or nesting fields within one another in the manner of Eric Wolf (1982), Sidney Mintz (1985) or, more recently, Florencia Mallon (1995). To this end I argue that the field of political-military power in northern Morazan was affected by U.S. government policy and even the civilian population of the United States, insofar as the U.S. population (or, rather, sectors of it) pressured the executive and legislative branches to reduce or eliminate military assistance to El Salvador. J. Michael Waller (1991) manifested a curious awareness of this when he labeled the U.S. Central America movement the "North American Front of El Salvador's Guerrilla War." But Waller treated the North American front simplistically as part of a vast global revolutionary conspiracy rather than the product of a partial rupture in U.S. imperial hegemony (For an alternative analysis see Smith 1996). I am driving at the point that we need to nest our analyses of local and regional fields of power in more encompassing national, international and even global contexts, even as we hone in on local/regional situations. Another key concept for Bourdieu, and a useful one for thinking about social fields of power, is that of habitus. The habitus consists of mental structures that take the form of "durable dispositions;" they are socially inculcated, with some priority given to early experience, and incline actors toward selecting operational strategies (economic, marital, consumptive, etc.) congruent with their positions in the social fields in which the habitus was formed (Bourdieu 1977:85-86). Workers and bosses or peasants and hacienda owners will see the world somewhat differently because those worldviews represent the structured form of distinct (and antagonistic) class experiences. Nonetheless, since the dominant group exercises more influence in historically structuring the field within which subordinate groups are

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution

formed and within which they must operate, the habituses of the latter will necessarily internalize features of that domination. Their subordinate position is, after all, an objective fact within which they were constituted and with which they must contend daily. Though habitus shapes understanding, it does not precisely determine it, since each social actor occupies a variety of social positions (ethnic, religious, class, gender, etc.), each of which (or some combination thereof) provides the basis for ideological construction as well as "a base for symbolic struggles for the power to produce and to impose a vision of the legitimate world" (Bourdieu 1990b: 131). Habitus can help us to understand how struggles can be meaningful to their participants even as they are usually constrained by the historical agency of the dominant, rule-setting group (e.g., Willis 1977) because it conceptually maps the limits of the assumed (orthodoxy), the debatable (heterodoxy) and the unspeakable or unthinkable (doxa). Though he did not do so, William Roseberry (1994:360-61) could have invoked Bourdieu when he defined hegemony as the manner in which "the words, images, symbols, forms, organizations, institutions, and movements used by subordinate populations to talk about, understand, confront, accommodate themselves to, or resist their domination are shaped by the process of domination itself." Roseberry opined that, "What hegemony constructs...is not a shared ideology but a common meaningful and material framework for living through, talking about, and acting upon social orders characterized by domination." This, I believe, is precisely what Bourdieu attempts to get at. Both Bourdieu and Roseberry imply that hegemonic domination does not terminate with revolutionary victory but persists into the post revolutionary period as a residual presence deriving from the objective conditions of domination under which both revolutionary and nonrevolutionary subjects were formed.

military strategies and fields of power in northern morazan
Now let us turn to the analysis of the wartime field of political-economic power in northern Morazan, bringing in, only insofar as necessary, those larger social fields in which northern Morazan was embedded (but with respect to which it occupied a relative autonomy deriving from its specific history and internal social relations)." This field ofpower was reconfigured four times between the mid-1970s and 1992. Taking some


journal of latin american anthropology

liberties with the FMLN's chronology (FMLN n.d.a), these periods can be defined as follows: (1) Years of Active Clandestinity (pre-1980), (2) Active Resistance (1980-82), (3) Military Initiative (mid-1982 to 1983), and (4) Heightened Guerrilla Control (1984-1992). It is convenient to break the last period into sub-periods (4a) 1984-89 and (4b) 1990-92, the dividing line being the repatriation between November 1989 and March 1990 of 8,400 Morazanian refugees from a United Nations-sponsored refugee camp in nearby Colomoncagua, Honduras to Meanguera, Morazan, where they formed Segundo Montes City, named after one of the Jesuit priests assassinated on 16 November 1989 at the Central American University.12 The regional field of power was reconfigured in each period on the basis of the results of the previous period's struggles both in northern Morazan and in more encompassing fields of power. For instance, between 1980-82 the FAES committed numerous civilian massacres in order to "drain the sea of civilians" and isolate the guerrillas (Binford 1996:100-5). That strategy responded, in part, to the earlier failures of ORDEN, the National Guard and the Treasury Police to contain peasant political mobilization. The ERP responded to large-scale government military operations with a largely defensive battle plan ("Active Resistance," where the motto was "resist, develop and advance") in order to avoid annihilation (FMLN n.d.a:20). At least sixty percent of the pre-civil war population left the zone or sought refuge in municipal centers where soldiers and security force personnel compelled them to form civil defense patrols. During this period the military struggle took precedence for both the ERP and the FAES, at least at the regional level. The ERP launched a counteroffensive (phase of "Military Initiative") in June of 1982. By the end of 1983, it had eliminated all army and security force installations from northern Morazan, thus reconfiguring the field of military power to its advantage. From late 1983 or early 1984, the beginning of the period of "Heightened Guerrilla Control," a dual power or "multiple sovereignty" situation existed there. Despite Timothy WickhamCrowley's doubts (1989), I believe that had the FMLN sustained its military offensive, it would have won a clear victory at that time, which quite possibly would have been followed by direct U.S. military intervention.13 By mid-1984, however, the window of opportunity had been slammed shut by the U.S. government. George Bush visited El Salvador in December of 1983 to caution military and business sectors on the need for a reduction in urban repression. And in June of 1984 Napoleon Duarte was elected president in what Edward Herman and Frank Broadhead (1984) cynically but accurately termed "demonstration elections." Elections (the first of which

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution

took place in March 1982 for a Constituent Assembly which appointed an interim president) provided the excuse that congresspeople from both Republican and Democratic parties were looking to open wide the aid spigot, and avoid being blamed for "losing" El Salvador to communism (as if the country was their's to lose). Military and economic assistance increased from $25 million in 1980 to $500-600 million annually in the mid-1980s. El Salvador, a country about the size of Massachusetts, became one of the world's largest recipients of U.S. military aid. This money provided U.S. military advisors the leverage they needed to "convert" their Salvadoran proteges to "low intensity warfare," one of the Defense Department's most striking oxymorons (See the articles in Manwaring and Prisk 1988). In El Salvador, low intensity warfare combined bombing of rural areas, military civic-action programs, civil defense, long range reconnaissance patrols into guerrilla-held territories and lightening strikes by helicopter-borne special forces troops against concentrations of FMLN guerrillas located by Salvadoran and U.S. intelligence sources. Briefly put, the objective was 1) to clear the guerrillas out of conflictive areas, restore government services and institute civil patrols as a first line of defense and 2) to break up concentrations of guerrillas in their rearguard areas and keep them on the run. Ultimately the military hoped to reassert government control in large areas of the country and hem-up the rebels in the mountainous regions of Chalatenango, Cabanas, San Miguel and Morazan, where they would be subject to continuous harassment and gradual elimination. The strategy depended on a doubling of the size of the army and a massive increase in the air force and airtransport capability paid for with U.S. military aid (Schwarz 1991; Byrne 1996; FMLN n.d.a). The U.S. military banked on the fundamental social and political conservatism of peasants, semi-proletarians and rural workers. Whatever the effects of the war and their responses to it, rural dwellers originated in "preexisting social groups whose mentality, ideology and aims," according to Gramsci, "they conserve for a time" (paraphrased by Roseberry 1994:360). U.S. Defense Department strategists reasoned that even if many civilians in war zones had lost confidence in the government, they might continue to interpret their realities in the terms that it had promoted historically. For this reason they were considered potentially recuperable by liberal projects.14 The U.S. government, working through the Salvadoran Armed Forces, rewrote the rules of social struggle in the mi\ita.ry-po\itica\fieldof power in northern Morazan and elsewhere in El Salvador. Had the ERP and other FMLN groups not devised an effective counter-response, investing scarce resources in novel ways to counteract the government threat, they might

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well have lost the war in the mid- to late 1980s. The encampments of large units that fought the pitched battles of 1982-83 were particularly vulnerable to aerial assaults and helicopter-assisted encirclement operations.15 However, by 1986 the guerrillas had made a successful transition from a war of position (large units defending territory) to a war of movement (small-scale guerrilla warfare, hit-and-run operations, sabotage) expanded to previously untouched areas of the national territory (Binford 1996:144-8; MacLean 1987; Harnecker 1993:252-274; Villalobos 1986; Byrne 1996). The war of movement reduced the effectiveness of air force bombing and eliminated the large encampments that were the initial targets of air mobile operations. Hit-and-run operations, the strategic placement of land mines and economic and infrastructural sabotage, combined with the occasional spectacular attack on an important military base, extracting high costs from the bourgeoisie and military alike. The civil war remained at a stalemate for the duration, despite an estimated total U.S. investment (1980-92 military and economic aid) of $6 billion (Schwarz 1991:2-3).

poder de doble cara
The FMLN promoted civilian organization in controlled and conflictive zones as a strategic response to low intensity warfare. In "poder de doble card''' (power with two faces or two sides) the FMLN instructed civilians to present a pretense of political neutrality (false face) but to struggle for their legal rights when government troops passed through on operations and to reveal their politically-committed (true) face to FMLN forces when they returned after the soldiers departed. To reduce the likelihood of government reprisals against civilians residing in conflictive areas, the FMLN urged civilians to cooperate with government troops and to accept the material and nonmaterial assistance given to them during military civic action programs. Civilians were also to insist on their political neutrality, i.e., their right to organize collectively in order to address fundamental war-related problems, the right to reside in conflict zones, and to resist FAES efforts to remove them to cities and displaced-persons camps. Che Guevara (1968 [orig. 1961]:74-102) long ago noted that a stable, sympathetic and organized civilian population presented revolutionary forces with many advantages. This was certainly the case in northern Morazan. The advantages included 1) relief from having to protect civilians during

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution

FAES operations, 2) protest of military human rights violations such as arbitrary captures and tortures, which were a regular part of government military operations throughout the country, and 3) regularization of civilian assistance rendered openly or clandestinely by the more politically-committed sectors to the FMLN war effort. Among these we can count peasantproduced food, transport services, armaments manufacture and storage, smuggling of materiel in and out of the zone, and information about the strength and location of government forces. Another key feature of poder de doble cara involved the organization and politicization of the politically "backward" sectors of the peasantry, unable to envision alternatives, had remained in northern Morazan following the mass exodus in the early 1980s. They continued to cultivate corn, beans and sorghum. In the mid-1980s both the FAES and the FMLN competed to exercise hegemony over these groups. The FAES used civic-action projects and propaganda that blamed the FMLN for the war and the suffering that accompanied it. The FMLN used activities carried out by the guerrilla's propaganda section and the political programs generated by the implementation of the doble cara strategy. Doble cara held out the potential of politically incorporating and "activating" such civilians. And, in the process, it changed their consciousness and obtained (or deepened) their commitment to the revolution. Carmen Mercedes Letona stated as much in El poder popular de doble cara, the key document detailing the strategy and its rationale. Basically we want to develop an effective model of organization in order to integrate and mobilize the masses in our [war] fronts and rear guard areas to struggle for their just demands, to educate them and raise their levels of consciousness and establish the political bases for their participation in the war.... In essence this type of organization is a school for the masses that will prepare them for the future and educate them in new values. They will discover through practice that the plan for the exercise of power promoted by the FMLN is superior because it breaks with centuries-old domination and gives the humble peasant the right to express himself and to choose. (FMLN 1987:26,33) She also noted that "In this organizational process we attempt not only to integrate the advanced masses but to attract the backward masses and

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to neutralize reactionary elements...." (31). In short, "poderde doble card" defined an applied sociology. Its object was to incorporate, ideologically and behaviorally, resistant peasants (the atrasados) into the revolutionary process. It detailed the steps to be taken in order for the ERP to strengthen its hegemony in the interior of the revolution.

doble cara and the limits of force
The FMLN adjusted doble cara to conform to the characteristics of the local social field (FMLN 1987:19). In northern Morazan the ERP's political organizers served as its "extension agents," charged with working with civilians as well as with guerrilla combatants and support personnel. These men (mostly) and women came from both urban intellectual (mainly student) and rural farming backgrounds. They functioned as interlocutors between zonal military commanders and the civilian population. They served as local agents of social control, maintaining social peace and policing political disobedience. Thus apart from their other duties, they investigated accusations of theft, rape and collaboration with government forces. Homicide, rape and betrayal often resulted in execution; chronic theft, prostitution and other ERP-defined violations were punished by expulsion from northern Morazan. A shifting political terrain along with a lack of time, resources and experience complicated investigations, leading both civilians and combatants to question some decisions handed down by zonal commanders (Binford n.d.: chap. 5; Garaizabal and Vazquez 1994). However, most civilians most of the time seem to have recognized the ERP as the legitimate authority in northern Morazan. And many people sought out political activists to resolve disputes and investigate abuses.16 Most ERP "laws" were compatible with both Salvadoran legal codes and peasant morality. Moreover, a generally shared notion of the limits of acceptable comportment and the belief that violators of those limits might be punished provided a modicum of social stability that made civilian life in a war zone slightly more predictable and thus tolerable. On the other hand, some people resisted collaborating with the guerrillas for fear of becoming the targets of FAES reprisals when the military invaded the zone.17 When the ERP sought to force compliance through dictates that exceeded the authority that local residents were willing to grant, then civilians simply left the area. This occurred during the ERP's forced

hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution

recruitment campaign carried out from March to September of 1984. The campaign was aimed at replacing rebel combat forces depleted during the 1982-83 offensive that cleared the zone of military and civil defense forces. According to "Nassar," all males between the ages of 12 and 30 were taken to a military school and given political, cultural, and (for those who became conscientized) military training. Both "Nassar" and "Dina," an ERP political officer from San Salvador, evaluated the campaign as positive- even though few forced recruits chose to remain in the guerrilla- because it provided previously unorganized rural youth with a more realistic vision of the FMLN than that disseminated in government propaganda.18 Notwithstanding these benefits, forced recruitment proved a political as well as a public relations disaster. Like the Sandinistas' forced recruitment of Nicaraguan youth during the U.S.-sponsored Contra War (see Lancaster 1992), the FMLN campaign provoked massive resistance on the part of the subject population. Several thousand civilians left northern Morazan in order to avoid the seizure of their children and in the process deprived the ERP of important sources of material and nonmaterial assistance. Many who remained drew away from the guerrillas andfromthe progressive church as well, when some guerrilla catechists were convinced to use their links to the population to support the recruitment campaign (CEBES n.d.: 19,33). Moreover, the campaign became a political liability in anotherfieldof power relevant to the war when U.S. newspapers published interviews with irate persons who had taken refuge in refugee camps in San Miguel and elsewhere. U.S. diplomats confidently opined that forced recruitment was a sign "that the guerrillas were losing popular support" following Duarte's election, and "were having a harder time waging their usual rural warfare" (McCarthy 1984; see Lemoyne 1984a), in these ways justifying higher levels of congressional funding for the Salvadoran government and military. In early October of 1984 the FMLN terminated forced recruitment (Lemoyne 1984b) and embarked on a concerted program to deepen civilian participation in the war effort through less coercive, political and ideological, means.19

forming revolutionary subjects: the erp and popular organizations
The ERP employed a variety of methods in order to engender a revolutionary consciousness among northern Morazan's youth and adults. Many children eight to fourteen years old, orphaned when their parents were

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murdered by soldiers during Salvadoran military operations, spent several years in the Escuela de Menores (Youth School) located for a time in Agua Blanca, a northern Morazanian canton of the municipality of Cacaopera. There they learned reading and writing, mathematics and social science from ERP educators and received a strong political indoctrination. According to one informant, most joined combat forces by the age of twelve because "there was a need for combatants." At the end of their training, students swore allegiance to the FMLN in a ceremony accompanied by flags and posters and overseen by top ERP brass such as Joaquin Villalobos ("Atilio") and Jorge Melendez ("Jonas").20 An important medium aimed at the civilian population both inside and outside the war zone was the clandestine Radio Venceremos. Its personnel employed radio theater, front line reportage from correspondents, political music, interviews with combatants and even youth-designed and -directed programs to engender and strengthen revolutionary morale (Henriquez Consalvi 1992; Lopez Vigil 1991). Film collectives such as Cero a la Izquierda and later the Radio Venceremos Network produced films such as Carta a Morazan (Letter to Morazan) and Decision a Veneer (Decision to Win) (Mraz 1982), which aired internationally. Late in the war they were shown on portable televisions trucked around to guerrilla camps and civilian communities alike.21 Finally, the ERP propaganda section organized political theater and dances presided over by Los Torogoces, an ERP peasant band (guitars, baso, violin) which sang about fallen comrades, military victories (the death of Domingo Monterrosa in 1984, the eradication of a company of government soldiers at Moscarron near San Fernando in 1982), combatant love and the future society that the people, working together, would create (Gonzalez 1994).22 However, the work of the propaganda section was dictated by the dynamic of the war and ground to a halt when the FAES invaded the zone (see Lievens 1989). Then the guerrillas melted into the bushes leaving the civilian population vulnerable to military threats and reprisals- and sometimes resenting that fact (FMLN 1987:23). Equally important, few of the above-mentioned methods of consciousness-raising penetrated to the core of inhabitants' daily practices, leaving the pre-existing habitus more or less unchallenged. As I understand it, doble cara entailed an effort to infuse politics by reconfiguring practices rather than projecting messages- in song or by means of political chats-which individuals could take or leave as they saw fit. We might say that the ERP pursued a "practice theory" approach to the creation of revolutionary subjectivities. This would include convincing people to alter their relationship to their objective situation, thus changing that situhegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution

ation in the process. Representations more appropriate to that situationthose promoted by the FMLN- would then stand a better change of becoming generalized. The representations would reinforce practices and the military's real and symbolic power would suffer continuous erosion. As Bourdieu (1990b: 137) noted, "To change the world, one has to change the ways of making the world, that is, the vision of the world and the practical operations by which groups are produced and reproduced." The method involved organizing civilians to confront collectively the economic, health and educational crises exacerbated by the Salvadoran military blockade (that had the goal of making life so miserable that they would be compelled to leave the area). Political activists encouraged the ERP's reliable base de apoyo (support base) in each populated area to form local councils in order to identify common problems and seek collective solutions. For instance, parents' concerns over the absence of schooling might be addressed by setting up primary school classes taught by some literate member of the community; the teacher would receive food and other economic assistance through communally-generated donations. In order to reduce food shortages the community might make a collective appeal to the International Red Cross for a fertilizer donation with the council taking charge of distribution. As the model evolved two concepts provided its orientation: participative democracy and self management. Each implied involvement- an acceptance of more responsibility for one's situation, and an active effort to confront and resolve difficulties rather than lament them. In order to take advantage of the political opening and to facilitate the participation of atrasados who sometimes blamed the guerrillas for their suffering, the ERP kept a prudent distance from the day-to-day operations of the organizations. Rather, ERP political organizers met with small groups of the most politically-committed civilians and urged them to volunteer for leadership positions in local citizen councils (referred to as directivas comunales). On the other hand, the progressive church remained closely involved. The following statement articulates clearly the convergence between the goals of CEBES and the doble car a strategy. We not only had to announce hope but sow it. The situation was really difficult because the population was internally divided. This called for work of greater depth. In this context we began to develop a pastoral team with the goal of evangelizing and promoting a clearer and more Christian consciousness among the population. The goals were clear: the creation of community and the organization through col-


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lective institutions that from below could encourage the population in the task of renewing itself (n.d.: 19, emphasis in the original) In the early 1980s the ERP Command allowed former catechists who worked in combat or support structures to return to full-time pastoral work under Miguel Ventura and Rogelio Ponceele. The priests through their sermons and periodic visits to communities and the catechists through Celebrations of the Word, Bible study and ministrations boosted the morale of civilians, encouraged them to organize, celebrated their projects and political victories over the army, and comforted them in their sufferings (CEBES n.d.; Lopez Vigil 1987).23 Democratic process (nomination of officers, voice or hand voting) were undermined by a hierarchical structure of control centered in ERP political activists and their superiors (political commissions and zone commanders who worked out of guerrilla headquarters). For strategic military reasons the ERP simply could not allow truly autonomous sources of civilian power. The election of a person uncommitted to the revolutionary process, a person who sowed dissent among the civilian population or one lacking the mental and physical fortitude to withstand pressure from the FAES could have had disastrous consequences for civilians and compas alike.24 Given the situation it was all but inevitable that independent civilian organization would be severely limited by the exigencies of the conflict. In 1991, seven years after the model was first put into practice, an internal ERP document stated that "[i]n the controlled zone there exists but a single political tendency: the revolutionary party. The civilian population is the party's social base and the social organizations or guilds (gremios) are mediums of power with the functions of the state" (FMLN Pleno de Comite Regional NorOriental 1991). Notwithstanding the limits on democracy, doble cara was a strategic success in northern Morazan and in other areas of eastern El Salvador (e.g., southern Usulutan, northern San Miguel) in which the ERP was active. From 1984 when political activists and collaborating civilians promoted the first local councils, the number of groups and level of coordination among them increased steadily. In 1988, the process culminated in the creation of the Patronato de Desarrollo de las Comunidades de Morazan y San Miguel (Community Development Council of Morazan and San Miguel or PADECOMSM), composed of fifty-five local councils coordinated from offices in Perqufn, Morazan (PADECOMSM 1988).25 The financial assistance and political backing obtained by councils from

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international church groups, solidarity organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) contributed to their growth and consolidation. Humanitarian and development assistance paid for projects that alleviated some of the worst effects of the war-induced economic crisis and proved an important attraction for previously unorganized zonal inhabitants, while international political and ideological support reduced the sense of isolation and boosted morale, especially when inhabitants had to confront abusive soldiers dismissive of their claims to civilian status. The first crack in the military blockade took place in 1985 when the Congregation de Madres Cristianas (Congregation of Christian Mothers), a nondenominational group connected to CEBES, picketed the Fourth Military Detachment in San Francisco Gotera and forced Colonel Vargas to allow passage of truckloads of food donated by the Catholic Archbishop's office in San Salvador. The next year the International Red Cross donated several hundred sacks of fertilizer to local community councils, soon followed by a donation of tin roofing material by Oxfam-UK. In the summer of 1988 the first foreign delegation braved military harassment and roadblocks to visit civilian organizations in Perquin, further reducing the region's isolation.26 In June of 1991, when I began fieldwork in the area, PADECOMSM operated its Perquin office out of the abandoned home of Hildebrando Umana, a wealthy owner of a large coffee plantation and coffee processing plant who fled the zone when war broke out. International donors contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars for 1) primary schools and literacy circles, 2) health posts and centers, 3) credit for the production of corn, sugar cane and other crops, 4) peasant leadership training, and many other projects. With the 1991 formation of a regional Asamblea del Pueblo de Morazan (Assembly of Morazanian People or APM) composed of representatives from PADECOMSM; Segundo Montes City; CEBES; and the Movimiento Comunal de las Mujeres [Communal Women's Movement or MCM]) and the release of a pamphlet, unsigned but composed by ERP strategists, detailing an alternative development model for the region (Anonymous 1991), northern Morazan presented the image of an embryonic state with a rudimentary state apparatus and a unique political economy.27 Throughout the period, the Salvadoran military referred to northern Morazanian popular organizations as FMLN "fachadas" (facades). It argued that the food, medicines, fertilizers and other materiel supposedly destined for civilian use were being diverted to guerrilla camps, military hospitals and armaments workshops. Accordingly, the army destroyed crops and equipment, detained food and materiel at roadblocks, and captured and in-

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terrogated- often torturing- area residents up until the signing of the Peace Accords on 16 January 1992.28 U.S. and European church groups, solidarity organizations and NGOs with links to northern Morazan formed an international network of supporters who disavowed U.S. and Salvadoran government efforts to discredit civilians residing in conflict zones and regularly inundated both their own local and national political representatives as well as Salvadoran officials with letters, telegrams and faxes protesting FAES human rights violations. They gathered significant force from Reagan and Bush administration officials' violations of national and international laws, the eyewitness testimony of thousands of Salvadoran refugees to the human impact of U.S. military assistance and public and elite fears of U.S. involvement in another Vietnam-type situation. The U.S. Central America Peace Movement exploited these opportunities, forcing the Reagan and Bush administrations to expend large amounts of political capital in order to sustain their interventionist policy in El Salvador and elsewhere (see Smith 1996:87-132). Finally, let me note that the ERP extended the PADECOMSM model to much of eastern El Salvador between 1990 and 1991 through the formation of three additional regional groupings and the creation of an umbrella organization called the Patronatopara el Desarrollo de El Salvador (Community Development Council of El Salvador or PADECOES), which had a budget of almost two million dollars, and (as of June 1991) a San Salvador office which maintained regular contact with the national and international press, NGOs and international solidarity groups.29

hegemony within the erp
In its efforts to exercise (or deepen) hegemony over the civilian population of northern Morazan, the ERP leadership could not neglect its own combatants and support personnel, many of whom rushed to join the guerrillas in order to avenge army massacres or to avoid being killed themselves. Probably no single event contributed as much to swell ERP ranks as the massacre of over a thousand men, women and children by the U.S.trained Atlacatl Battalion between 11-13 December 1981 (Danner 1994; Binford 1996). As the war dragged on, numerous war orphans and children of combatants also joined. Many early recruits into the Military Committees developed their social consciousness through participation in Christian Base

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Communities, while many, perhaps most, of those who joined later had only the vaguest conceptions of Salvadoran history, the ERP's analysis of it and the FMLN vision of postwar society.30 This potentially volatile mass had to learn to accommodate itself to military discipline and the vertical chain of command before, after as well as during battle. Thus the ERP High Command set about training and politicizing its "force assets" in order to secure active obedience to military orders and to ensure that the compas treated the civilian population with the proper respect. Early in the civil war, rebel commanders assigned political cadres to work in the camps during the lulls between Salvadoran military invasions and rebel offensives (Binford n.d.:Chap. 5). When the FMLN reconfigured its military strategy in the mid-1980s- breaking down large units into small ones and expanding the war to previously-nonconflictive areas -all ERP combatants were required to attend the ERP political school set up in the abandoned town of Jocoaitique, where each was expected to acquire the rudiments of political education and the ability to organize the civilian population (Lievens 1989:139-142,151-153). A key to internal discipline was the 15 Principios del Combatiente Guerrillero (15 Principles of the Guerrilla Combatant) which every combatant had to memorize. These principles described alcoholism, drug use and robbery as "vices practiced and encouraged by the rich" (FMLN 1986:9), urged respect for enemy prisoners because "we are not a vengeful army but an army that constructs the future for the poor," (FMLN 1986:15) and cultivated mutual respect between officers and troops (FMLN 1986:22). Although the Principles asserted that "our enlistment is voluntary as is our acceptance of the disciplinary norms and the tasks that each of us must carry out as revolutionaries" (FMLN 1986: 22), it also sustained that "[a]ll our activity is directed by a revolutionary ideology and party. We accept its leadership and we share its thought" (FMLN 1986:25). An undated (though probably from 1990 or 1991) pamphletfromthe ERP's Cmdt. Lilian Mercedes Letona Revolutionary School reinforced this last point. Though the pamphlet drew distinctions between "bourgeois military discipline" and "revolutionary military discipline," it also stated that revolutionary discipline "is vertical" and that every unit is headed by a field officer who makes the decisions. "Military discipline begins with the principle that orders are not discussed, assuring that the plans and decisions of the commander are carried out in practice without vacillations [and] in an energetic manner which will permit all the troops to act as a single body with a single head, which is the leader" (FMLN n.d.b). Most important for my purposes here, however, is the eighth of the

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fifteen principles, which treated the relationship of combatants to civilians. "We must be the people's friends, understand their problems in depth, orient them and recruit them to the struggle everywhere. In this way we will convert our country into an immense sea of guerrillas and organized people." An even clearer statement of this policy appeared in a thirteen page FMLN memo dated 1991. The document stated that members of the National Democratic Army, the name borne by FMLN forces from 1990, should treat both civilians and one another courteously and respect one anothers' property. It characterized contrary behavior as being typical of the enemy: In general we believe that every act or attitude carried out by one of our companeros that departs from our revolutionary principles and values damages our prestige and our image as revolutionaries, but more importantly the prestige and image of our Revolutionary Army and of the FMLN are damaged when these improper behaviors or deviant attitudes occur in the presence of the civilian population. (FMLN 1991b) This message was hammered home on every possible occasion: during political training, in speeches by high-ranking commanders and in articles and stories in El Combatiente, a widely-distributed FMLN news and information bulletin that presented revolutionary messages in simple language and through cartoon-like stories drawing on rural speech and social relations. However, despite the rural roots of the vast majority of the combatants, the message did not always take. Rebel troops occasionally abused civilians: threatening them, swindling money, stealing property or raping women. When discovered, either by chance or following civilian complaints to FMLN political organizers or commanders, the accused parties were investigated and severely punished ifjudged guilty (Binford n.d.: Chap. 5). For instance, Karen Lievens, a Belgian journalist who worked with the ERP for three years beginning in November 1983, reported the expulsion of a political organizer, "Alfredo," who drank alcohol (forbidden in FMLN zones of control), demanded food from peasants without paying for it, and harassed women in the communities in which he worked (1989:130). Ipsofacto, the FMLN simply could not tolerate such indiscretions which, unpunished, would have undermined its claims that its popular army was qualitatively different from the abusive government military. In this sense, control of if not internal hegemony over combat and support forces played a crucial role in the doble

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cara strategy.31 Where abuses were not discovered or not punished because of a lack of oversight or because the perpetrators were high up in the chain of command, they often had disastrous consequences for FMLNcivilian relations.32

women and hegemony in northern morazdn
Whereas the ERP and other FMLN groups expended considerable effort to engender the "common meaning and material framework" that Roseberry judges to be the hallmark of hegemony, they made only limited and feeble efforts to alter pre-war gender ideologies. Although FMLN propaganda emphasized the equality of life in the organization and especially in the rebel camps (see Alegria and Flakoll 1983; Duntley Matos 1994:21,61; Reif 1986:160-161; Pearce 1986:274, but also Mraz 1982:39), a large gap separated words and deeds.33 Social scientists have consistently observed that as much as thirty percent of the guerrilla force (between combat and support personnel, which are not always clearly distinguished in guerrilla warfare) was female, quite possibly the highest percentage in Latin American history (e.g., Vasquez 1997:2). Although women did fight in combat and some attained high rank and positions of considerable responsibility, most "gravitated" to support areas, working as radio operators, cooks and health brigadistas- wartime forms of pre-war caretaker occupations (secretary, domestic worker, nurse) (Rivera et al. 1995:119-120).34 Lievens (1989:124-125) recounts an experiment in which men and women reversed tasks for a short time- the women fighting and the men making tortillas, as well as her participation in an Escuelapara Mujeres (Women's School) designed to provide ERP women with "cultural, political and military training" following which they would choose the area in which they wanted to work. She concludes that "everyone agreed that women were equal beings with full rights" but "the following step, that women might be able to carry out the same tasks as men, turned out to be much more difficult" (Lievens 1989:125; c.f. Duntley Matos 1994:28-30,62-66). On the other hand, where women proved capable of performing those tasks, they sometimes gained respect in men's eyes (Duntley Matos 1994:30; Rivera etal. 1995:178). Generally the ERP leadership displayed little interest in altering gender ideologies and considerable interest in using female recruits to further the

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organization's revolutionary agenda. Rural Salvadoran women, schooled in a relatively rigid separation of male and female spheres, generally proved easy prey. The mostly male commanders employed entrenched beliefs to control female labor and female sexuality, linking mandates to the needs of the revolutionary struggle and putting off questions of gender equality to a remote socialist future following the final victory. At times the minority of women were called upon to share their sexuality liberally with the much more numerous men, but as their numbers increased they were pressured to pair up so as to counter the promiscuous image that some peasant fathers had developed of FMLN camps (Binford n.d.:Chap. 5; Duntley Matos 1994:27-31; see also Vasquez 1997:7-8; Hipster 1997:7-8). The ERP commanders also held women, never men, responsible for birth control and on occasion pressured women to abort pregnancies in order to remain active in the struggle (Duntley Matos 1994:28,31, 160; Rivera etal. 1995:231-232; Vazquez etal. 1996.191-192, 199). Female commanders, practically all of urban origin, may have sympathized with their sisters, but many attained their positions by proving themselves in male terms. They seldom intervened actively in party affairs on behalf of women's rights. Lacking an institutional form of support, female resistance to mandates that conflicted with deeply felt religious and cultural beliefs was individualized and involved dropping out of the struggle for a time, if not permanently.35 Apart from the entrenched sexism of many male commanders (and combatants), ERP leaders were unwilling to formulate, and particularly unwilling to enforce, policies that contradicted pre-existing beliefs about gender held by the vast majority of its affiliates and partisans, male and female alike. I believe that is because they feared that public discussion of genderand sexuality-related issues would generate internal dissension and a decline in male morale and possibly fighting strength as well. To these mostly male commanders challenging machismo in its more virulent forms just seemed too conflict-provoking.36 It was much easier to utilize a pre-war male hegemony over females, rooted in male and female habitus, to adapt existing personnel to strategic and tactical necessities. On the other hand, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to disentangle the strategic military issues, those related to maneuvering within a particular social field, from the personal ones. Some male rebel leaders- and the cases do not appear to be isolated either- who were accused after the war of having been notorious wartime mujehegos (womanizers), hand-picked young, attractive women to serve as their personal radio operators, transferring their boyfriends to distant fronts and even occasionally sending them on dangerous combat missions in order to "eliminate" the competition.37

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Still, women's political conscientization, their exploitation of previously unavailable opportunities in the areas of health care, education and logistics, the self-confidence many gained in combat, and the undoubted egalitarian characteristics of many areas of guerrilla life had repercussions for the development of a progressive feminist movement following the signing of the Peace Accords. However complex and contradictory the situation of female members of the ERP and other FMLN groups, they were probably better off, on the whole, than women who remained in controlled zones like northern Morazan but did not join the guerrilla forces. Duntley Matos (1994) provides detailed material demonstrating the ERP's use of the Communal Women's Movement (MCM) to divert funds targeted for women's development into the war effort. At times MCM administrators were not even notified of projects, drawn up in San Salvador by ERP-linked NGOs, for which they had ostensibly solicited funding from international donor organizations.38 Apartfromtheir economic function, organizations of rural women played key roles in protesting government human rights abuses and appealing for international sympathy and support on the basis of the ostensibly politicallyneutral status of daughter, wife, mother or grandmother. During the second half of the 1980s women were at the forefront of demonstrations against the military. Among other actions, organized northern Morazanian women secured the release of food and materiel embargoed by the colonel of the Fourth Military Detachment, refused efforts of the special forces Arce Battalion to expel them from Nahuaterique in 1985, achieved military recognition of a chicken production project in El Zancudo following protests in the Third Battalion headquarters in San Miguel in August of 1987, and marched to demand freedom for PADECOMSM leaders captured in 1988 (CEBES n.d.:36-43). Like the better known COMADRES based in San Salvador, the Madres de la Plaza del Mayo in Argentina or the GAM and CONAVIGUA in Guatemala, women of the Congregation of Christian Mothers, the Communal Women's Movement and, after 1989, women of Segundo Montes City suffered threats, intimidation, capture and torture by soldiers and government officials who accused them of being FMLN supporters (e.g., Cooper 1988:98). Finally, the overwhelmingly male leadership of PADECOMSM often used the presence of separate female organizations in northern Morazan as an excuse to minimize discussion of gender issues in the organization, which hogged the lion's share of the external funding from the late 1980s into the postwar period, and wielded considerable political clout in the zone. Soon after the Congregation of Christian Mothers pioneered popular organization


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in the zone, local citizens' councils formed in Perquin and the surrounding area. According to one informant, in 1985 the two organizations were completely segregated with the all-male local citizens' council composed in large part of the husbands of the all-female Congregation of Christian Mothers.39 By 1991 PADECOMSM had become a region-wide organization with a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and contained but a single female among the thirty-one members of its Executive Board.40 Often PADECOMSM administrators failed to even advise MCM headquarters, located a few hundred meters from the PADECOMSM office, of the imminent arrival of foreign delegations or representatives of European or U.S. NGOs. When women voiced complaints about male discrimination, they were browbeaten with the ERP party line, often conveyed by female political organizers. The ERP removed recalcitrant individuals from leadership positions and replaced them with more tractable women whose husbands worked for PADECOMSM. While the frequently-made accusation that the women lacked the technical and organizational skills to manage the projects they sometimes acquired was not incorrect, neither PADECOMSM nor the ERP did much to remedy the situation.

doble cara and guerrilla hegemony
In northern Morazan doble cara accomplished many of its strategic goals. From their creation in 1984 local councils grew rapidly in size, number and degree of coordination. They attracted the participation of many previously unengaged people and deepened the commitment of existing ERP civilian supporters. The council model encouraged people to take active measures to resolve their problems, it provided a framework through which organizations could channel humanitarian assistance with some assurance that it would reach the target population, and it presented a politically-neutral public image that facilitated the incorporation of the politically "backward elements" that the ERP was concerned to reach. When soldiers invaded the zone and arrested civilian literacy teachers, health promoters and others, burned newly planted fields, confiscated medicines, and destroyed sugar processing equipment, they also drove many civilians closer to the FMLN camp. On the other hand, had the FAES done nothing, the councils would likely have developed at an even more rapid pace, further eroding the military's position in the northern Morazanian political-military^/^ of power.

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The ERP also realized many tangible benefits from the process. Popular organizations channeled an estimated twenty percent of each grant or donation to the ERP-sometimes with the knowledge of the funders- as a contribution to the war effort.41 The opening of the zone to regular traffic through the restoration of bus service and the 1990 construction of a temporary bridge spanning the Torola River made it much easier to smuggle money, materiel and people in and out of northern Morazan. When 8,400 refugees returned from the United Nations-sponsored camp in Colomoncagua, Honduras between November 1989 and March 1990 and formed Segundo Montes City in hills strategically-located above the Torola River, the guerrillas gained additional material resources, political support and sources of intelligence information, an expanded recruitment base, and renewed contact with family members from whom many combatants had been estranged during the refugees' nine-year Honduran exile.42 This leads me to take up once again to the issue of the battle for hegemony in the northern Morazan social field. To what degree were PADECOMSM (and other regional organizations) merely ERP facades? How and in what manner did the ERP exercise control over them? And to what degree can we assert that control over civilian organization entailed hegemony over the base? I will deal briefly with each question in turn. First, during the lulls between Salvadoran army invasions, the ERP operated as the dominant political authority in northern Morazan by virtue of its monopoly over the use of force. Much public activity required the explicit or tacit permission of rebel officials. Beyond this, we have seen that the ERP created a model of organization and assigned political activists to work with civilians in order to concretize it. To limited degrees, rebel leaders promoted participative democracy as a means of providing a space for civilian self determination and self management in order to involve noncombatants in collective practices that would benefit them materially and transform them ideologically. As events unfolded the ERP accommodated civilian organization to strategic requirements of the war effort. For instance, each of the five geographic sub-zones of PADECOMSM corresponded precisely to one of the five military subzones into which the ERP divided northern Morazan, while the five organizations under the PADECOES umbrella were distributed among the five strategic zones composing the
Frente Oriental Francisco Sdnchez.Ai The ERP controlled the election

process to guarantee that important posts would be held by members drawn from among its loyal supporters, who could be counted on to carry out the policy designed by rebel political strategists. Thus the guerrillas colonized the commanding heights of civilian organization in northern Morazan, de-


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signed strategy and tactics, and advised, praised and sanctioned civilian administrators.44 On the other hand, a substantial degree of autonomy existed at the local level, the locus of most activity, where women mixed powdered milk and sugar in the Pany Leche program designed to provide school children with twice-a-week nutritional supplements, volunteers collaborated to repair bombed-out buildings for the installation of rudimentary rural health posts, and community members worked together to organize sugar cane harvests and processing. In carrying out these and other activities Morazanian peasants organized locally, analyzed problems collectively, and worked out glitches independently. Neither the ERP nor PADECOMSM possessed either the will or the personnel to supervise every step of the process. The depth of ERP hegemony over the participants in the programs of popular organizations is another, difficult question. Many, perhaps most, people were attracted to civilian groups by the prospect of alleviating pressing needs for food, medicine and schooling. However, events showed that once programs demonstrated tangible benefits, participants were quick to defend them from assaults by the state. On various occasions civilians traveled, often by foot, to the Fourth Military Detachment in San Francisco Gotera in order to demand the freedom of captured leaders, the release of embargoed food and materiel contributed by humanitarian and development agencies, and, toward the end of the war, the investigation of military massacres committed in the early 1980s (Binford 1996:122; CEBES n.d.:28). These collective protests, whose participants placed themselves at considerable risk, were among the most important fruits of civilian organization for they provided concrete evidence that poor people working together could win concessions from the military. In the process, the ERP deepened and broadened its moral and intellectual leadership in northern Morazan. The enormous efforts that the FAES made to destroy popular organizations evidences the high levels of government concern over the political (and military) toll that it was suffering. However, I also think that FMLN hegemony benefitted from situational responses to extreme social stress. The motives of many participants remained instrumental, accompanied by only minor changes in consciousness, even if for some persons these new practices contributed to the development of the "common meaningful and material framework" that is the sine qua non of hegemony (Roseberry 1994:360-361). That that emergent framework never consolidated into a new "structure of feeling" (Williams 1977:132) owed much to the short duration (eight years) and limited scope of the doble cara experiment, which failed to reverse at the regional level well-

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entrenched cultural systems based on individualism and authoritarian control. Bourdieu has noted that habitus can change, particularly in extreme conditions, where past patterns- formed in very different circumstancesprove of limited current utility. However, internalized histories "are modified by the new experiences within the limits defined by their power of selection...." which "brings about a unique integration, dominated by the earliest experiences, of the experiences statistically common to members of the same class" (Bourdieu 1990a:60). Although the war demanded novel responses (to novel situations) particularly in the areas of collective action, much of the FMLN's wartime success organizing civilians can be attributed to the fact that it promoted viable solutions to practical needs by drawing on many of the "durable dispositions" formed in the context of pre-war social inequalities.45 When the war ended and the "external" constraints that it had imposed were lifted, many northern Morazanians again privileged household over collective production and individual over communal activity.46 Had the conflict lasted longer or ended differently, perhaps the changes would have been more enduring, particularly among the younger generation. The verticalism and authoritarianism practiced by the ERP during the war- a partial product of the prewar habituses of the rebel leadershipundoubtedly contributed to the process of demobilization by restricting the political space within which relatively autonomous organizations might have proliferated. But given the conditions and the stakes, it is hard to imagine how things might have unfolded otherwise. Just as the ERP set limits to civilian initiative so it, too, was subject to amorphous but nonetheless quite real rules of warfare which placed limits to its strategic maneuvering in a military field of power over which its day-to-day control was constantly challenged by a repressive state supported by the world's dominant, imperialist power. Civil wars are, at best, about opening up political space for the development of alternatives to capitalist social relations. They do not resolve the contradictions that gave rise to them, even though the disruption of capitalist markets, flight of landlords and elimination of most signs of the state apparatus may provide a fertile field for social experimentation, as occurred in the Colomoncagua refugee camp (See Cagan and Cagan 1991) and to a lesser degree in northern Morazan (Macdonald and Gatehouse 1995; Thompson 1995). No less than the "politically-backward sectors" discussed by Carmen Mercedes Letona, many revolutionaries are imbued with mentalities, ideologies and aims which they, too, conserve for a time -"durable dispositions" or habitus (in Bourdieu's terms)- engendered by the very


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prewar conditions against which they struggled. Thus sexism, paternalism, and verticalism were written into the structures through which the ERP sought to incorporate civilians and develop hegemony over their actions. We should critique these shortcomings and the rebels' repression of those who sought alternatives to them, but it is also important that we acknowledge the fact that they unfolded in situations in which strategic miscalculation or tactical error often had fatal consequences for combatants, civilian supporters and possibly even the revolutionary movement itself. This means, of course, that in the best of cases, i.e., where leftists take power as in Nicaragua or obtain a quota of it as in El Salvador, the end of formal military conflict opens up new struggles over the organization of the present (and future) society. Without doubt, popular organizations formed in the midst of war should assume an important role in that process. But in many cases, of which El Salvador is one, they must struggle for political space against their former guerrilla allies, who demand "party discipline" and attempt to extend vertical and patriarchal forms of authority to postwar situations where they can no longer be either compelled or justified and/or dilute demands for wealth redistribution in an effort to broaden their electoral appeal to the middle classes and national bourgeoisie (Petras 1997).47 At the national level this is precisely what has occurred in the case of several women's organizations, whose members are frustrated by the FMLN's peacetime failure to include a women's agenda in its political platform (Murguialday 1997; Soledad Herrera 1997; Vasquez 1997), and among popular organizations which find the FMLN's "capitalist strategy," pact-making, and consensual rhetoric unresponsive to their needs (Petras 1997:46, 51).

David Stoll described Guatemalan civilians as caught up in a vicious struggle "between two armies," innocent victims of military repression brought on by a largely unsolicited guerrilla presence. I have argued that, beginning in the mid-1980s in northern Morazan, FMLN guerrillas and the Salvadoran military did, indeed, struggle to obtain the collaboration of the civilian population. But I have also emphasized that that struggle unfolded on afield of power not of the guerrillas' choosing. Absent the denial of democracy and the suppression of organized mass movements for social change in El Salvador- and the history of such suppression and denial is a

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very long one- the armed left either would not have developed or it would not have gained the mass following that it did. That was as true in Guatemala as well. As the military field ofpower assumed an increasingly important role in social conflict, the ERP and other groups that composed the FMLN sought, quite naturally, to harness all potential material and nonmaterial resources ("capital" in Bourdieu's terminology) in order to defeat U.S.backed government forces, whose dominant position allowed them to dictate the rules that shaped struggle in the social field there. Potential ERP resources included the support of northern Morazan's civilian population, which the guerrillas sought to broaden and deepen through the doble cara strategy. Attention to the historical dimension of the conflict and the embeddedness of local social fields in more encompassing ones allow us, I believe, to move beyond the moralizing tone of Stoll's critique. Historical and ethnographic analysis of multiple and embedded social fields should lead us to conclude that in civil-military conflicts civilians are never completely "innocent" victims nor rebel forces the totally "free" actors that Stoll seems to presume.48 The practices of civilians, leftist guerrillas and government military forces are constrained, without being determined, both by their durable dispositions and by the specific positions they occupy in complex, contemporary social fields of power.49

acknowledgements. My thanks to John Holloway, Sergio Tischler. Julie Cottle, Stephen Streeter and Nancy Churchill, as well as to John Hammond, Mark Edelman and Lynn Stephen, referees for JLAA. for helpful critique and suggestions for improvement. Adam Flint hosted a short visit to El Salvador in June 1998 during which I was able to gather materials that strengthened several sections. This paper is based out on fieldwork carried out over twenty months between June 1991 and January 1996. Financial support was provided by the University of Connecticut Research Foundation (1992, 1994) and a Fulbright-Hays grant (1994-95); it was written in Puebla, Mexico at the Benemdrita Universidad Aut6noma de Puebla where I was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnologia (CONACYT) during 1997-98. Thanks also to Roxanna Duntley, Phyllis Robinson. Shelli McMillan. Samuel Vidal Guzman and Jacinto Marquez for their work on the project. The FMLN formed in October 1980 as a coalition of five political-military organizations; apart from the ERP they were the Fuerzas Populares de Liberation (FPL), the Resistencia Nacional (RN), the Partido Comunista Salvadorena (PCS) and the Partido Revolucionario de Trabajadores Centroamericanos (PRTC).


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The area around Perquin, over 3,500 feet above sea level, is the singular exception. There small coffee plantations, dominated by the Umafla, G6mez and Ventura families, coexist in close proximity to pine forests. ' This rejection of the dominant party owed much to the leadership of Dore" Castro, a wealthy and sophisticated populist, who was the first northern Morazanian to serve as departmental governor. Many inhabitants of Jocoaitique municipality developed self-images as political rebels, which proved beneficial to the ERP when it began organizing there in the mid-1970s. The Jocoaitique hamlet of Santa Anita (code-named El Centra) became an early and important focus of ERP recruitment, and a number of important persons in the municipal center (a nurse, schoolteacher, and telegraph operator) assisted the rebels at great risk--at cost in several cases-to their lives. 4 An excellent example of the didactic material distributed in the schools is Conozcamos Nuestra Patria (Let's Get to Know Our Fatherland) edited by the Centros Rurales de la Iglesia en El Salvador (1974). Lengthy sections of this eighty page pamphlet deal with the history and economic and social development of El Salvador, as well as the nation's physical and human geography. The longest chapter (Chapter V) treats "Means of Production" with sections dedicated to land, capital, labor, industry and commerce. Chapter V is followed by a "reflection" in which the reader is asked to ponder questions such as, "Do you believe that the system of land ownership is just?" "Does Minifundismo cause rural unemployment?" "What do you view as the solution to the unjust system of land ownership?" (1974:76). 5 For instance, Samuel Vidal Guzman, Fabio Argueta and Abraham Argueta discussed El Castano in these terms in interviews carried out in 1994-95. 6 Ventura returned clandestinely to northern Morazan in 1982 and served both civilians and ERP combatants for the remainder of the war. 7 I have simplified a relationship that was, in reality, quite complex. One former catechist related that Ventura arranged the first meeting between Arce Zablah and Christians of the base community movement at the request of catechists concerned about increasing surveillance and harassment by security forces and the paramilitary Organizacion Democrdtica Nacionalista (ORDEN). Like many ERP leaders, Arce had once been a member of the progressive Christian Student Youth (Alegria y Flakoll 1983:26). He apparently maintained links with the Catholic church following the formation of the ERP in 1971 because the first meeting with Morazanian catechists was held in April 1974 in a convent at Planes de los Renderos in San Salvador (Binford n.d.:Chapter 4). 8 The church was not the only way station to participation in the revolution. Some informants became radicalized as they reflected on their harsh treatment as seasonal laborers in agro-export zones or as domestics working in the wealthy San Salvador neighborhoods of San Benito and Escalon. Another related to me how his internal map of the world was redrawn by the short-wave broadcasts of Radio Havana. An extended debate has existed over what rural groups are most likely to become revolutionaries: rural proletarians, semi-proletarians or middle peasants under duress (Wolf 1969; Wickham-Crowley 1992; Paige 1975). In the only detailed ethnographic work treating the rural politics of the prewar situation, Cabarriis (1983:183-186, 366), working in rural areas of Aguilares and El Paisnal, found that semiproletarians were more likely than rural proletarians or middle peasants both to develop political affiliations (of any sort) and to join revolutionary organizations. I cannot address the northern Morazanian situation in detail but will note that since unpaid attendance at peasant training centers presumed a margin of savings generally unavailable to the landless and land poor, most catechists came from the middle sectors of the peasantry. My main point in this section is that state repression halted a Christian-based radicalization that, considering its early successes, gave every evidence of continued growth. 9 Carmen Mercedes Letona is not listed as the author of the cited work, issued by the FMLN in 1987, but it was attributed to her by several, former high-ranking ERP informants. The same point was mentioned frequently in CEBES's Dios en Morazan. For instance, speaking of the period between mid-1983 and mid-1985, the author/s stated, "Although the army entered the zone, most of the activities they carried out were designed to terrorize the population. They continued with their scorched earth policies, the destruction of homes and crops, and captures


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and murders of the people. All this was aimed at engendering desperation so that people would abandon their places of origin. With its destruction, terror and death the war had two consequences for the consciousness of the people: on one side, a consciousness of terror and on the other, a prejudice against the revolutionary process" (n.d:18, see also pp. 20, 23, 25-26). 10 Bourdieu's theory points us methodologically to important relationships even if some concepts, such as "symbolic capital," overly simplify their analyses (Free 1996). 11 I do not want to imply that there existed a single, uniform field of power in northern Morazan during the civil war. Rather, fields of power are multiple and cross-cutting. My focus here is on the principal forces that defined the military conflict between the FAES and FMLN (in this case the ERP faction). For instance, it would be possible, indeed desirable, to analyze what might be designated a gender field defined by the unequal relationships between males and females. I will discuss such relationships briefly in a later section but wish to note here that they deserve a much more detailed and finer-grained analysis. Vazquez et al. (1996) have taken a step toward developing that analysis in their seminal Mujeres-montana: Vivencias de guerrilleras y colaboradoras del FMLN. 12 The FMLN referred to the fourth period as La Guerra Revolucionaria de todo el Pueblo (Total People's War) (FMLN n.d. a:3l). In substituting "The Period of Heightened ERP Control" I employ a label with regional-historical rather than national-strategic referents. 11 Wickham-Crowley argues that "collective military regimes" of the Salvadoran type "are particularly strong in the face of insurgencies" compared to "personalistic military regimes" like those of Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba, which frequently succumb to guerrilla forces that establish cross-class alliances to depose the dictator (1989:514, 519-20). Wickham-Crowley also agrees with Che Guevara that "one should never try to start a revolution against an elected government" by noting that as a result of the March 1982 legislative assembly elections, "the military strength of the insurgency ... weakened during the decade, and Salvadorans consistently indicate in interviews that they want their elected officials to fix the economy and to secure a peace" (1989:514). Wickham-Crowley downplays the enormous investment made by the Reagan and Bush administrations in order to maintain El Salvador as an imperialist redoubt. Interestingly, in his Guerrillas & Revolution in Latin America (1992:68-85) he limits consideration of the role o f - direct and indirect U.S. assistance to Latin American militaries to the "first wave" of guerrillas (1956-1970), failing to reassume the theme when discussion turns to the "second wave" (1970-), relevant to the Salvadoran case (especially pp. 287-292), thus ignoring the fact that both Salvadoran government military strategy and political strategy (e.g., elections) were designed in Washington and foisted on its "Third World" counterparts as conditions for continued U.S. military and economic assistance. And nowhere- neither with respect to the first or the second wave does Wickham-Crowley treat the aid rendered right-wing Central American governments by South Korea, Taiwan, Argentina and Israel. 14 Elsewhere (Binford 1996:145-6) 1 compare Salvadoran military strategy to B.F. Skinner's model of operant conditioning and note how the military discounted the role of historical memory. 15 According to Mauricio Chavez ("Joaquin"), a former FPL commander, the FMLN reached a low point in 1985 when air force bombings and air mobile operations took serious tolls in the guerrilla ranks. Interview with Chavez, 20 June 1998, San Salvador. 16 Toward the end of the war the ERP ceded many social control matters to grassroots organizations such as the Patronato para el Desarrollo de las Comunidades de Morazdn y San Miguel (PADECOMSM) and the Asamblea del Pueblo de Morazdn (APM). In April of 1991, the latter disseminated a memorandum which contained its position on the felling of trees, alcoholism, irresponsible fathers, family planning and road repair, among other issues. In mid-1992, following the Peace Accords but prior to the return of mayors to northern Morazan, 1 attended several meetings in San Fernando in which the local PADECOMSM president sought to litigate land inheritance disputes among feuding family members. 17 This was noted by, among others, "Ulises." a 26 year-old commander, interviewed 19 November 1992 in Campamento Quincho while awaiting demobilization, and by Pedro


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Rodriguez, a former catechist and ERP political organizer interviewed 21 December 1992 in Pcrquin. 11 Interviews in Perqufn with "Nassar," a 28-year-old FMLN political activist, on 5 November 1992 and with "Dina" on 8 November 1992. None of the political activists whom 1 interviewed interpreted forced recruitment as a response to FAES forced recruitment of civilians in northern Morazan and other areas controlled by the FMLN, which was the explanation that FMLN spokespersons disseminated to the international press (Lemoyne 1984a). 19 U.S. journalists discussed forced recruitment only in northern Morazan, lending the appearance that it was exclusively an ERP initiative. In fact, forced recruitment was a generalized FMLN policy which failed as badly in Chalatenango and elsewhere as in Morazan (Harnecker 1993:245-246). 10 Interview with Jacinto Marquez in Ciudad Segundo Montes, 15 July 1993. 21 In the course of developing a project of El Museo de la Palabray la Imogen, Carlos Henriquez Consalvi has collected an estimated four thousand hours of video tape and a thousand hours of film produced by FMLN videographers and camerapersons. Interview, 19 June 1998, San Salvador. 22 By the end of the war the Torogoces were well-known even in San Salvador due to their many musical broadcasts on the clandestine Radio Venceremos. For a time they were in great demand and even recorded several cassettes of songs. Two of the band's members were former catechists. The ERP also organized Cutumay Camones, a slick, professional-sounding group, which toured Europe and the United States and recorded two records. Three members of Los Torogoces and two members of Cutumay Comones died in combat during the war (Gonzalez 1994:74-84). 23 The relationship between the church and civilian population was not without contradictions. The church was close to the ERP Command. Though released from combat, the mostly male catechists continued to carry weapons for their protection and this alienated some congregants. Finally, lower level commanders sometimes convinced catechists to use their influence with civilians to recruit them to military-related tasks. This sowed considerable confusion among many people and played into the hands of government propagandists who railed against the "guerrilla priests" and threatened to punish those who attended services or activities which the priests or their catechists organized or in which they participated. (Interview with Miguel Ventura, 2 July 1993, San Salvador; CEBES n.d.). 24 Compa is short for companero, a term with numerous glosses (partner, mate,companion) but which here might best be understood as "comrade-in-struggle." The term was a standard sign of mutual recognition among Central American revolutionaries and their supporters. 25 In 1984 councils often formed clandestinely. A year later five councils in the vicinity of Perquin joined forces to form the Patronato de Desarrollo de las Comunidades de Perquin. These were a few of the steps on the road to the establishment of PADECOMSM in 1988. Besides forty-eight local councils in Morazan, PADECOMSM represented seven councils in adjacent northern San Miguel, another ERP zone of control. 26 An excellent chronology of these events, couched in the language of Liberation Theology, can be found in Dios en Morazan (CEBES n.d.). 27 ERP-linked groups in Morazan never received the levels of assistance available to civilians linked to the FPL in eastern Chalatenango and northwestern Cabaflas. Early in the war the FPL sponsored the formation of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) in the United States and through that organization and Medical Aid to El Salvador obtained a practical monopoly over U.S. solidarity-based assistance. ERP officials failed to appreciate the value of international solidarity early in the war. When they did begin to operate, later, the U.S. field of solidarity was already dominated by the FPL, albeit neither CISPES nor Medical Aid to El Salvador officials every publicly acknowledged the limited destinations of the funds and materiels they collected. Much assistance channeled to ERP areas came from groups based in Europe. In essence, then, conflicts between FMLN organizations were transmitted to solidarity

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supporters, at times generating more rancor, perhaps, than they did even in El Salvador and undoubtedly weakening the solidarity lobby in the process. The situation provides an interesting example of the interconnectedness of distant social fields and the mutual impacts of the struggles therein. 28 Within a short period following public announcement of its formation in April of 1988, every one of the thirty-three members of PADECOMSM's Executive Board was captured by Salvadoran army troops and taken to the Fourth Military Detachment in San Francisco Gotera where they were interrogated and usually tortured. 29 Apart from PADECOMSM the groups under the PADECOES umbrella included: CODELUM, founded in 1990, which organized northern La Unidn and southern Morazan, COMUS, founded 2 June 1990, which worked in northern Usulutan, COSDECSAN, founded 29 June 1991, focusing on northern San Miguel, and CODEMl which organized the residents of Cacahuatique and was still in the process of formation when the war terminated. Nonetheless, PADECOMSM accounted for the largest share of the PADECOES budget and provided PADECOES with many of its most experienced administrative personnel. 10 Interview with Samuel Vidal Guzman, 2 October 1995 and passing discussions with other ex-combatants. Another FMLN internal document, titled Sobre el trabajo urbano, mentioned the difficulties that urban youth had incorporating into the rural guerrilla: "[T]hey have a romantic vision of the process [which] leads them to develop moral and paternalistic relations toward rural militants..." (FMLN 1991a). 31 Without doubt, the most serious offense, generally punished by execution if the individual was apprehended, was betrayal. Even if low in rank, traitors were repositories of invaluable knowledge of the social and geographical terrain of struggle which, shared with the FAES, could have disastrous consequences for rebel forces and their civilian supporters alike. A member of the Torogoces musical group who collaborated with the Salvadoran military following his capture (and likely torture) was seized, tried and executed by the ERP when he made the mistake of making an unaccompanied visit to Ciudad Segundo Monies late in the war (Gonzalez 1994:80-82). In northern Morazan the two sides carried on a constant propaganda war through radio broadcasts and wall graffiti. The FAES offered money and promised immunity to combatants who surrendered and turned in their weapons. Their propaganda also emphasized the difficult living conditions of combatants and claimed that the FMLN leadership was getting rich off the suffering of its supporters. On its side, FMLN wall writings focused on the shared class identity of their "brother soldiers," emphasized that the guerrillas were fighting for a cause rather than a "miserable salary," and urged FAES soldiers to desert and return to their homes so as not to die in a war that benefitted the rich. The propaganda war was another feature of the wartime contest for hegemony. ' 2 For instance, an ERP political organizer working in Joateca in the late 1970s participated in the assault, robbery and even murder of local peasants. Later, in the early 1980s, the reticence of the remaining civilians there to cooperate with ERP requests led another hardline activist of urban Mexican origin and relatively insensitive to rural Salvadoran culture to expel various families from northern Morazan after accusing them of pro-government sympathies. Also exacerbating tensions was a 1982 confrontation between Joateca civil defense forces, organized by local National Guard personnel to protect the community from "Communist guerrillas," and an invading ERP unit which eradicated the civil defense to the last man, refusing to take prisoners. According to informants (supported in their claims by testimony collected by the Segundo Montes Human Rights Commission), the Joateca civil defense had assassinated scores of innocent men, women and children in the preceding years, some of whom were friends and relatives of the invading ERP force (Binford n.d.:Chap. 6 plus interviews). Nonetheless, the vengeance taken by combatants violated the sixth principle of the combat code (FMLN 1986:15-16) not to speak of international human rights conventions. As a consequence of these and other errors, the FMLN never really gained a foothold in Joateca. During the March 1994 municipal and legislative elections, the FMLN polled a distant fourth in Joateca, its worst showing among northern Morazan's eight municipalities. In 1997 neither the FMLN nor the Democratic Party, formed in 1995 by former ERP and RN leaders, even ran a candidate there.


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However, nothing that occurred in northern Morazan matched the massacre of thirty to forty young FMLN recruits ordered by an FPL commander working on the San Vicente volcano, who accused them of being FAES plants. The youth had been sent to San Vicente from a refugee camp in San Antonio, Honduras. Following this debacle, the San Antonio refugees passed from the FPL to the PRTC, with which they continued to identify when they repatriated from Honduras to Nuevo Gualcho, Usulutan, in the early 1990s. Following the end of the war, the FPL leadership, fearing the political fallout of negative publicity, continued to cover-up the event and even refused to assist surviving family members to locate and recover the remains. (I visited Nuevo Gualcho in October of 1994 and also discussed the case with journalist Tom Gibb, who had gathered a substantial amount of information on the FPL comandante who ordered the mass execution in preparation for a book about the civil war and control of information.) As these few examples indicate, guerrilla abuses did occur and historical memory demands that, no less than FAES violations of human rights, they be discussed openly. As former FPL commandante Mauricio Chavez noted in an interview, "all of us who have participated in the war know too well that we cannot assume positions of moral superiority over anyone, because war is a bloody experience from which only those who did nothing escape with clean hands" (Binford 1998). Despite Wickham-Crowley's (1991:50) assertion that the FMLN committed "many thousands of admitted 'executions'" against the citizenry, I found that on the whole FMLN policy and actions tended to be extremely supportive of civilians and respectful of local customs and beliefs. And there is simply no comparison between cases of abuse such as those mentioned above and the repeated maltreatment of noncombatants by the FAES. After the war the United Nations-sponsored Truth Commission assigned 95 percent of the more than 6,000 cases of human rights violations investigated to the Salvadoran army (85 percent) or paramilitary groups connected to it (10 percent) and only 5 percent to the FMLN (Naciones Unidas 1993). 33 Indeed, one interviewee with considerable experience of camp life stated repeatedly that in the guerrilla forces, women were equal only insofar as they died the same way as men! 34 In the mid-1980s when the FMLN changed its strategy, every structure (health, propaganda, etc.) had to be light and mobile and provide for its own security, with the consequence that "every compa would have to be able to defend herself militarily" (Lievens 1989:140-141). Nonetheless, the disproportionately high percentage of women in the lowerranking support sector had ramifications after the war when higher-ranking guerrillas enjoyed better reinsertion terms (Vazquez 1997:9; Vazquez et al. 1996:220). It is important to note that the authors of the most comprehensive study of women in war zones provide evidence to the effect that guerrilla camps became more egalitarian when they were reduced in size in response to the conversion to guerrilla war in the mid-1980s (Vazquez et al. 1996:111). 35 Many ERP women who became pregnant during the war gave birth in the Colomoncagua refugee camp and soon thereafter returned to the front, leaving the infants in the care of relatives. Others remained in Colomoncagua until the 1989 repatriation. Resistance did take forms other than flight to a safer social arena. One female francotirador (sharpshooter), whose nickname of "Matacuilios" (loosely translated as "Enemykiller") was based on her supposedly having killed seven enemy soldiers in a single day, refused to pair up with any male guerrilla in order to show that she did not need a man. 36 My use of "machismo" is not intended to reference a single, widely shared Latin American or Salvadoran ideology, but is a loose gloss for a variety of ideas and behaviors that sustain male dominance. For an excellent discussion of the problems involved in the unqualified use of the term see Guttman (1996). 37 More generally, one female informant stated that male combatants referred to new female arrivals in camp as culos (asses). When male competition for female attention appeared to get out of hand, commanders generally took the path of least resistance and removed the woman by reassigning her to another war front. L6pez Vigil (1991) discusses the jealousies and bad feelings that developed among male members of the Radio Venceremos collective who vied for the affections of "Mariposa" whom the commanders eventually removed from the scene.

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38 In one case cited by Duntley Matos and discussed extensively in the area around Perqufn, the MCM learned that it had submitted a project only when the funders requested a final report regarding the use of the funds. 39 Interview with Lola Carrillo, 11 December 1992, Perquin. 40 Interview with Kathleen Lynch, 16 July 1991, Perquin. More generally, Reif (1986:161) noted a similar division of labor in the FMLN/FDR: "While the FMLN/FDR tacitly support women's issues and encourage women to share tasks and leadership with men, they do not seem to have a formal feminist agenda, leaving such concerns to their affiliated women's groups." 41 The figure is a general one based on discussions with several civilian leaders; it may have been higher or lower depending on FMLN financial needs and civilian negotiating abilities. ERP attempts to continue to extract its quota following the signing of the Peace Accords led to problems both with funders, who demanded higher standards of accountability from civilian organizations, and with many recipients, who felt that the rules of the game had changed and that the ERP should look to its international supporters for postwar financial backing. 42 During the war the Colomoncagua refugee camp carried out many functions of a clandestine satellite guerrilla community, an extension into Honduras of the northern Morazan social field. Several former ERP guerrillas maintained that without the human and material resources contributed by the Colomoncagua refugees the ERP would have had great difficulty sustaining a consistently high level of military activity. Despite its obvious importance, the strategic role of Colomoncagua falls outside the main focus of this paper. 41 Interview with "Dina," 5 December 1992, Perqufn. Interview with "Carlos," July 1992, San Salvador. It seems clear that the success of the council model in the northern Morazan rearguard encouraged the ERP to expand it to other areas where day-to-day rebel control was less secure. 44 I do not want to suggest that civilian members of PADECOMSM and other civilian organizations were mere puppets lacking individual initiative or the power of decision. Dayto-day administrators, many with only a few years of formal schooling, developed impressive planning, logistical, problem-solving and public relations skills which they have employed to good benefit in the postwar period in individual enterprises, municipal administrations and nongovernmental organizations, apart from the popular organizations in which some continue to work. Thus another product of wartime popular organization was the development of a homegrown cadre of generally progressive managers, technicians and bureaucrats with roots among peasants and rural workers. 45 Wickham-Crowley (1991:33) contrasts "predatory authority," based largely on violence, with "rational authority," based on exchange. The exercise of rational authority, the basis for legitimacy, requires governments to defend the civilian population, maintain internal peace and order and contribute to material security- all features of a panhistorical, pancultural social contract. Wickham-Crowley simply takes for granted that exchange relations are asymmetrical and materially favor the dominant classes. His examination of legitimate and illegitimate authority presumes rational actors who know their interests and are unencumbered with ideological baggage; he never asks just why workers and peasants would be willing to give so much more than they receive. Wickham-Crowley (1991:38-44) goes on to note that where states become predatory or otherwise violate the terms of the "implicit social contract," citizens may shift their allegiances to revolutionaries, especially if the rebels are able to provide for defense, internal security and contributions to material security. Undoubtedly, rational calculation was at work in northern Morazan, but the terms that actors wielded in those calculations were historical products of, among other things, political struggle, a point that both Bourdieu and Roseberry make clear. Centering the analysis of civilian-guerrilla relations on a hypothetical "social contract" does not eliminate the need to subject the terms of that contract to critical historical and cultural examination, for which the concept of hegemony is quite useful. Finally, positing a uniform social contract oversimplifies a complex social situation in which civilians collaborated with guerrilla forces for many different reasons.


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The slow pace of the land program and the paucity of funds available for the reinsertion of combatants into civilian society, not to speak of the minuscule assistance provided to civilians, also affected the ERP's hold on its wartime supporters. To this must be added the ERP's abandonment of the FMLN, its incorporation into the Democratic Party and that party's steady march to the right. Nonetheless, the FMLN, of which the ERP remained a part at the time, won five of eight mayorships in the March 1994 elections held more than two years after the end of the conflict. In March 1995 the ERP (and the RN) left the FMLN to form the Democratic Party and in June betrayed the interests of northern Morazan's poor by voting with ARENA to raise the regressive value added tax (IVA) from ten to thirteen percent. The split from the FMLN and this conservative turn exacerbated political divisions on the left in northern Morazan. In 1997 municipal elections the FMLN retained but two of these mayorships (Meanguera and Jocoaitique), while the Democratic Party won only in Villa El Rosario. Nationwide the Democratic Party obtained only 13,533 votes, a mere 1.2 percent of the 1,119,603 votes cast. It would have lost its legal registration for having less than 3 percent of the vote but for the 39,838 votes (3.55 percent of the total) acquired by PD-PDC coalition candidates. It is likely that the Democratic Party experienced a backlash against its detailed, public airing of supposed FPL, PC and PRTC wartime and postwar human rights violations, made on the eve of the 1997 elections (Partido Dem6crata 1997). By June of 1998 many former supporters had abandoned the party, the future survival of which is questionable. Finally, it is important to note that many young people passed their formative years in the Colomoncagua, Honduras refugee camp where all work was collective and the money economy nonexistent (This camp was supported by donations from the United Nations and a number of international NGOs). Since the refugees returned in November 1989 to March 1990 to form Ciudad Segundo Montes, these youth have struggled unsuccessfully to preserve the collective features of the social fabric in which they were raised. The intensity and density of social relations in Colomoncagua made of it a much more likely setting for the inculcation of a different set of "durable dispositions" than the rebel controlled area of northern Morazan. 47 According to Petras, the FMLN "is largely a party of the upwardly mobile, lower middle class, ex-combatants set on the new course of finding a niche in the society and in the interstices of the 'neoliberal' economy. In large part, the FMLN looks to the Center politically and upward to the national bourgeois for political and social alliances.... The FMLN has increased its electoral position and influence in local and national government. However, the advance of its 'capitalist strategy' increasingly dilutes its welfare program: the party of social democracy increasingly resembles a social-liberal party" (1997:43, 46). Petras's assessment, while not without merit, overly simplifies the situation. For some time the FMLN has been internally divided between what some refer to as the "progressives" or "renovators," led by the recently-elected party chair Facundo Guardado, and "the orthodox wing," presided over by former chair Salvador Sanchez Ceren (Lindo 1998, CIDAI 1998). The scission recently became public when members of the "orthodox line" argued in an anonymous document ofthe need to return to the socialist values that provided the organization's historical orientation (Anonymous 1998). The Centro de Information, Documentation y Apoyo a la Investigation (CIDAI) of the UCA maintains that the ideological problems ofthe left are compounded by its failure to renew the leadership, i.e., to "retire" some of the wartime comandantes who currently dominate the party heights and replace them with younger people: "At bottom, the FMLN has the problem of coming to terms with the values and commitments that it championed in the past. Up to now the Frente has not made a responsible effort to begin a self-evaluation which surely would aid it not only in reaffirming its most cherished values, but in weighing the real capacity of its current leaders in order to carry forward the necessary institutional renewal... There is no doubt that it is urgent that the party ofthe left begin to renew its executive leadership, which supposes, in many cases, their replacement by younger leaders less bound to ideological and political principles resistant to change" (1998:3). 48 Innocence has a plurality of connotations which are frequently confused or juxtaposed when discussion turns to the role of civilians in civil-military conflicts. In the North reference


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to "innocent" victims of human rights violations generally suggests not only innocence in the politico-legal sense of people who had done nothing to merit their repression, but also innocence in the sense of ingenousness, possessed of a guileless childlike quality. Such characterizations are little more than exercises in colonial discourse that for centries have been used by wealthy groups to justify their right to intervene and decide for those supposedly lacking rational decision-making power of their own. 49 Though Stoll castigates EGP guerrillas for provoking military reprisals among otherwise uncommitted rural dwellers, he never explains why the military's response was so indiscriminate and so vicious. He analyzes revolutionary attacks on the army near civilian settlements as a tactical move to force people to choose sides. The military's violent responses hover in the background as an obvious response that requires no sustained discussion. In my examination of the El Mozote massacre (Binford 1996:37-47), I made an attempt, albeit partial and inadequate, to address the issue of repressive military forces, incorporating both national and international dimensions.

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hegemony in the interior of the salvadoran revolution


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