Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blowtorch Bob: The Duty to Remember Roberto D’Aubuisson


El Salvador’s Roberto D’Aubuisson (1944-1992) was uniquely malevolent. He would throw babies in the air and shoot them in midair, just for fun. The death squads of which he was the leader, hunted down and executed insurgents in the slowest, most exquisitely painful ways possible. The Spanish Inquisition could have learned a thing or two about torture from him: his favorite method involved a blow torch, earning him the nickname of “Blowtorch Bob.” I bet no one ever called him that to his face.


During the Salvadoran Civil War, 75,000 people were killed; 8000 were disappeared, and one million were left homeless, slaughtered by D’Aubuisson and his death squads. They killed a group of Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter; and a group of Catholic lay nuns who had just arrived in El Salvador. In El Mozote, they killed at least 794 townspeople: they separated the men from the women, locked them in a church, then took them out in small groups. After they raped the women, they murdered each one of them. Then they burned the bodies.

His crowning achievement was assassinating Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero: On March 24, 1980, one of his gunmen shot him in the heart as he was saying Mass. Romero’s offense? Demanding the end to the killing of innocent men, women, and children in El Salvador’s Civil War. What an odd demand from a Catholic priest: love thy neighbor.

When throat cancer killed D’Aubuisson on February 20, 1992 , sending him, one hopes, to join Satan’s own favorite sons, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Chauchesku in the first circle of hell, I vowed I would remember and celebrate his date of death every year. So today, I remember by telling my students, my friends, and you, my readers, about the fiend of El Salvador, Roberto D’Aubuisson.

D’Aubuisson’s education at the School of the Americas is particularly galling. The SOA, chartered by the United States Congress, and sponsored by the United States Army at Fort Benning, Georgia, gained its fame by training Latin American military officers in methods of interrogation, torture, kidnapping and executions. These methods were described by former United States Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) as “worthy of the Soviet gulag.” Our government allowed and encouraged this instructional program as part of a perverted foreign policy focused on maintaining stability in the region at any cost rather than in protecting the basic human rights of all of the citizens of the hemisphere.

Today, of course, the U.S. Army claims that it was mistaken when it published manuals on torture and related topics, but that admission has come only as a result of pressure from human rights groups to close the school. Despite years of civil disobedience, protests and intense lobbying, the SOA continues its nefarious work, nowadays touting a new name and a curriculum that includes a seminar on human rights: the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The name may be new but we are not deceived: the leopard may have changed its spots but it is still as deadly as ever, turning out military officers who are the heirs to D’Aubuisson and his henchmen.

People never cease to amaze me. In an Alzheimer’s-like delusion of the past, the Salvadoran government dedicated a statue of D’Aubuisson and has a memorial Mass for him each year. One could argue that if anyone needs prayers for his eternal soul, he does but there is something ignominious about a tribute to a mass murderer who killed with such glee.

El Salvador also built a memorial to General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez, its dictator from 1931 to 1944, who is best known for the massacre of 30,000 Salvadorans in 1932 in what is now called La Matanza, or massacre, which is the turning point of Salvadoran history. After that, the indigenous people of the country grew fearful of being seen as natives and their culture was virtually obliterated. Is it an indication of the continuing disenfranchisement of the peasants in El Salvador that these two monsters would be so honored?

A year after the memorial was dedicated, D’Aubuisson’s son and several other state officials were murdered in Guatemala on a diplomatic trip: the sins of the father visited once again on his son? A son who was carrying out the same regressive philosophies espoused by his father? Perhaps there is some justice after all.

Nunca más.

28 comments:

  1. Rosie,
    Major Blowtorch is the main protagonist in the musical about Oscar Romero.Have a look at
    www.Romerothemusical.com

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  2. If that man had become president of El Salvador the Salvadoran civil war would have had casualties numbering in the 100,000s because he was quite evil.

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  3. This article seems fairly biased...why don't you also comment on the guerrillas activities.

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    1. The usual horrific false equivalence of the pampered fascist sympathizer.

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    2. u are very ignorant,the both committed crimes against humanity but one side only to fight back.

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    3. d'abuisson was simply a piece of shit and died of cancer as he deserved.

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    4. Because they sympathize with the Marxists, who were terribly inconvenienced by someone using their own traditional tactics against them.

      As for me, I'll be convinced of their sincerity when they say the same sorts of things about Che Guevara and Vladimir Lenin. Until then, they're just another group of angry Left fascist hypocrites.

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  4. The article is not biased indeed Roberto D'Abuisson was the Hittler of el salvador and yes the all the brutal dictators of Latin America have graduated from the school of the Americas.

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  5. This lady has issues :S

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    1. Not all issues are negative. But your own immortal soul is in the gravest danger. And one day, if you stay on this course, you will have an issue of the first magnitude that could not be more negative.

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    2. Apart from the whole satanic culture created proximately by the South American 'caudillos' and the CIA, only a fiend of the lowest order would be shameless enough to shoot a bishop celebrating the Holy Mass.

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  6. I appreciate what you've done here. It's been useful to my understanding. Thank you.

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  7. I was born in San Salvador, and I lived through those years. The man was evil. Thanks for taking the time to share your views in this blog.

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  8. This article is mostly composed of lies. It is quite obvious that the writer has no idea of what actually happened. The sheer number of exaggerations and assumptions is enough to make the reader understand that this post came from a person who has never bothered to learned the real story and that what has been written here is been done from the perspective of the FMLN group (if the writer even knows what that is)

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  9. This is bullshit, I am from El Salvador and this article is mostly composed of lies and exaggerations. There is no proof that d'Aubuisson was linked to any if the cases mentioned above, even the Romero assassination. the credibility of this post can be thrown into the trash from its first couple of sentences, which have no substance, cohesion or facts. Roberto d'Aubuisson is remembered as a hero for a reason. He sacrificed his life and his family to free his country. He is not recalled for being malevolent, he is remembered as being lively, funny, driven and with vision. He is remembered for his kindness, for helping people, for not being corrupted by the political aspect of his life. He did not steal money, in fact, he pardoned debts and helped the people.
    What the ignorant author of this post calls an Alzheimer- delusion compares in no way to how people from outside El Salvador remember Romero. They talk about him as is he was sent from heaven to help the people when in reality he inspired the people to fight against each other. He told the poor that the rich were to blame for their state while he told the rich that the poor wanted to kill them so they (the rich) should not help or pity those who could work but preferred to complain and beg. this article is so one sided that the very reason as to why d'Aubuisson rose in popularity was due to how the country was led and the way the goverement treated its people. People were killed and kidnapped by the left party and the government. I know people who were kidnapped and then ransomed by the FMLN and I knew people who were kidnapped and murdered, even after the ransom money was given.
    I knew Eduardo d'Aubuisson, and it is bullshit to imply that his torture and assassination was due to him being evil. It is true that he was following his father's steps though, he wanted to help his country and he had vision and was driven by this. It has even been speculated that the ones who planed his murder were from the FMLN.
    To whoever wrote this piece of trash, know what you are talking about before you write about it.

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    1. you are a very stupid brainwashed moronic pedophile.I would love to meet you and have a nice Talk.

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    2. You are completely ignorant. You have NO IDEA what you are talking about. You were probably part of the death squadron. Can't fathom the thought of excusing and defending such evil man. The author is right-on. You are in all accounts-WRONG!!!! Complete idiot!

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    3. You sound like a spoilt little rich boy. Like those who who worship his memory and built a memorial for him. Not the mass of teh people at all aas you pretend.

      Shame on you people. One day, like D'Aubuisson, you will have to meet your maker. Being young (and foolish) you think that day will never come, but it's surprising how quickly the years pass, once you reach a certain age. Make sure your soul is not too inured to sin to repent.

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  10. Roberto d'Aubuisson is not a hero. He was a pathological killer as stated by US ambassador. What amazing me is that ARENA, still rest on his ideology, and that is why the political party is practically dead.

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  11. Thank you for posting this remembrance of D'Aubuisson. Yes, we should never forget these monsters and never cease to mourn the decent lives they despoiled and snuffed out. Also, we should never forget people like General Douglas MacArthur who slaughtered 3 million people just in Korea alone and proposed to drop an atomic bomb on China or Henry Kissinger an architect of the Vietnam, Laotian, Cambodian and Iraq wars, which took the lives of millions, and who knows what else. There are other monsters, of lesser stature or renown who we could also name, like Colin Powell who participated in the cover-up of Mai Lai and the "Road of Death" for the Iraqis. It's important to keep account if only to respect the memory of their victims and that their lives had value - much more value than the sociopathic mass murderers who killed them.

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  12. Alianza, republica, nacionalista de El Salvador
    Muerte a los Rojos !!!!! May God always keep you sacred Roberto !!!!!

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    1. Hilarious stuff, Unknown ! Mira debajo la cama, Tonto !

      Rojissimo Catolico

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  13. I don't know if Roberto did skeet shooting with live infants. But, the rest is easily verified with realiable sources. Including information from the US Military intelligence who, themselves, admit not only involvement, but also what Roberto D'Aubuisson did.

    Problem is, Roberto was a capitalist. Which clashes with the ageless narrative that all capitalists are nice, and all communists are evil. Except for Nelson Mandela. For some reason Nelson Mandela is okay to westerners.

    And I think that's where this Salvadorian Holocaust Denial stems from. Like most settler-colonial societies, El Salvador has a paid off aristocratic class who sold the country to the colonists. The traitor class. They have a big stake in making sure the colonial forces are prevalent. Because they know that people haven't forgotten what the aristocrats did to them.

    So Roberto's vindication is a matter of propaganda, really. It's nothing to care much about. I would like to know if anyone could confirm his skeet shooting act. If there's any source for it. Because that's very interesting if it can be verified. A CIA-backed mercenary who is literally a baby killer. Tragic as it is, it's just the thing to knock the wind out of pompous North Americans.

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    1. My brother in law knew Roberto very closely, he happened to be his bodyguard and has never mentioned some of the accusations placed on him by the blogger. Roberto was the Robin Hood of the poor and that's why the rich families hated him.

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    3. Do you think that D'Aubisson's atrocities against the supporters of the poor, such as Romero, as recorded by the CIA, are something your brother would have been proud to tell you about ? What next ? Pinochet was another Robin Hood character ?

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  14. Reminds me of the joke about Herod working as a baby-sitter. Better change Herod to D'Aubuisson.

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  15. María Luisa d’Aubuisson Arrieta. This lady is Roberto'she sister you might want to read her interview

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