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Causes of the War

Cástulo shares his thoughts on the causes of the war, the injustices and oppression he witnessed, and how that fueled political organization.


The cause [of the war] was that the government wanted to rule as it pleased. They treated the people however they wanted. Look, there was a crisis here in El Salvador. People were starving to death thanks to the crisis. They forced people to endure that situation and to be on their side. So they unleashed more and more repression. Anyone who was organizing in favor of the people's struggle was their enemy, and they would come and kill their families. That's what made a lot of people join the war. 

They said, "Instead of letting the army come and get me in my own house. I'm going to run, and we'll do something about it. Maybe I can defend myself." 

Look, there were villages that were completely deserted, without any people or houses, because the houses had been bombed, and the stores of maize. So, how were we supposed to be on the side of the armed forces if they were murderers? There was so much injustice, so we said, 

"If we're going to die anyways, one way or another, better to die on the side of the poor and not on the side of an army that only creates injustice."