Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees, and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War (Critical Human Rights) (Paperback)
During the civil war that wracked El Salvador from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, the Salvadoran military tried to stamp out dissidence and insurgency through an aggressive campaign of crop-burning, kidnapping, rape, killing, torture, and gruesome bodily mutilations. Even as human rights violations drew world attention, repression and war displaced more than a quarter of El Salvador’s population, both inside the country and beyond its borders. Beyond Displacement examines how the peasant campesinos of war-torn northern El Salvador responded to violence by taking to the hills. Molly Todd demonstrates that their flight was not hasty and chaotic, but was a deliberate strategy that grew out of a longer history of collective organization, mobilization, and self-defense.
About the Author
Molly Todd is assistant professor of history at Augustana College.
“An utterly original story, well told and absorbing. Todd shows that Salvadoran peasant communities had developed a strategy of mobility and hiding even before the point of international displacement, adapted it to conditions of international refugee camps and transnational solidarity politics in Honduras, and used the camps as a base to push a repopulation movement in tandem with a peacemaking strategy. A new history of the war for El Salvador begins here.”—Steve J. Stern, series editor
“Draws from the best of historical and anthropological methods to document the ways in which courageous individuals and heroic families forged deeper ties of solidarity and built humane communities. Written with great passion and analytic precision, this book contributes to our understanding of an often overlooked facet of El Salvador’s civil war and fitful democratic resurgence.”—Greg Grandin, author of The Last Colonial Massacre
“Reading Molly Todd’s thorough and engaging book brought me back to Los Amates. . . . Todd provides rich detail and some surprising revelations distilled from a diversity of sources, including government, human rights, and the U.N. archives, as well as private collections. She effectively incorporates media and literature reseach and draws on powerful oral history interviews. She enhances interpretations with songs and poetry as well as art and posters produced by Salvadorans in exile.”—Ellen Moodie, The Americas
“Beyond Displacement . . . is an ethnographic account of the turbulent El Salvador–Honduras border region in the latter part of the twentieth century so authentic and engaging that it should become a classic in the field of refugee studies.”—Mark Bonta, Journal of Historical Geography