Negotiations or Total War
By Frank Smyth, August 7, 1989, The Nation

Morazan, El Salvador — Compa, read the posted handwritten note, “Why did the insurrection not occur?”… Many people at all levels of El Salvador’s leftist guerrilla movement genuinely believed that they would be raising their flag over San Salvador by March of this year. But at a base in the rebel stronghold of Morazan province,

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Mysterious Influx of Soviet & Chinese Arms for Salvador Rebels
By Frank Smyth, June 4, 1989, The Sacramento Bee

Title: A Mysterious Influx of Soviet and Chinese Arms for Salvador Rebels Source: The Sacramento Bee Date: June 4, 1989 Morazan, El Salvador — Seventeen-year-old Odilia playfully pushed her tongue through her teeth as she recalled how she shot seven Salvadoran army soldiers in an ambush a few days before. Odilia’s under five feet tall,

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Sand Diggers and the Strongman
By Frank Smyth, June 3, 1989, Dissent

Vista Hermosa, El Salvador — A powerful torrent during the high rains, Rio Las Canas is a trickle of muddy water from October to May. It begins ten kilometers from the city center, carving its way north past volcanic slopes, eventually feeding into the large, man-made reservoir that separates government-held terrain from…

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Waiting for Tet: Salvadoran Rebels Have a Plan for Sunday’s Elections
By Frank Smyth, March 21, 1989, The Village Voice

SAN SALVADOR – THE BRIGHT LIGHTS of San Salvador cut the cool night air. Large spotlights beamed from military bases along the perimeter. Closer to the center, more lights glowed atop the heavily fortified walls of the U.S. embassy. Dressed in black and armed with an M-16, one of my guerilla guides stopped along the

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U.S. adviser comes under fire in El Salvador
By Frank Smyth, February 22, 1989, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Original article can be found here. SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A U.S. military advisor at a Salvadoran army base came under fire yesterday in an early morning rebel attack that killed three Salvadoran soldiers, but he apparently managed to escape unharmed. It is at least the fourth reported attack involving U.S. advisers since they

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The Rebels’ Dirty Hands
By Frank Smyth, February 3, 1989, The Progressive

Certain guerrilla tactics are reprehensible. In the last year, the rebels have taken to placing car bombs in front of movie theaters and restaurants in the wealthier sections of San Salvador. In October, a group identifying itself as Manuel Jose Arce Commandos detonated two such car bombs outside a shopping center and a fast-food restaurant.

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Behind the Lines with the Rebels
By Frank Smyth, February 3, 1989, The Progressive

With an old straw hat, a soiled yellow shirt, ragged pants, and sandals, my weathered guide could easily have passed for the ignorant peasant he often claims to be. But he is far more sophisticated than he appears. Like most Salvadoran peasants in eastern Chalatenango province, he is intensely aware of the conflict at hand.

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