SOCORRO, N.M., Aug. 17, 2007 – New Mexico Tech Associate Professor of Humanities Rafael Lara-Martínez’s latest book, Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador: The Insurrection of 1932, Roque Dalton, and the Politics of Historical Memory, recently was published by the University of New Mexico Press.
The book is about the massacre of thousands of peasants in El Salvador that took place in 1932, and how those events are remembered from differing political perspectives. The 429-page book is comprised of six chapters and 24 appendices.
Lara-Martínez sees the potential for this publication to be used as a textbook. He explains, “The book describes the complexity of Salvadoran history and reveals the difficulty in restoring an event in a neutral manner.”
The first three chapters of the paperbound book cover the history of El Salvador prior to the 1932 massacre, as well as that of Roque Dalton, prior to his meeting Miguel Mármol (a Salvadoran communist who participated in the associated 1932 peasant uprising).
The fourth chapter of the book examines Dalton’s timeline and activities after he came into contact with Mármol. The remaining two chapters of the book look at how the different political sides recall the events that took place during the 1932 massacre.
The book’s appendices include several English translations of the notebook Dalton kept during his time with Mármol, notes of the events from both political sides, and letters sent to the Soviets and Caribbean Bureau of Investigation.
Lara-Martínez wrote the book in collaboration with co-authors Fordham University Professor of History Héctor Lindo-Fuentes and Furman University Associate Professor of History Erik Ching.
Lara-Martínez, who originally is from El Salvador, is also considered an authority on Roque Dalton. He describes Dalton as “a very important, influential, and complex writer.”
Among his other books, Lara-Martínez compiled the very first anthology on Dalton that was allowed to be published in El Salvador after the end of that Central American country’s civil war in 1992. He was also able to access the Dalton archives.
Lindo-Fuentes is a professor of Latin America and Central American economic history. Ching traveled to the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly known as the Soviet Union or USSR) to obtain information that was sent to the Soviets from the Salvadorans. Ching also worked to make certain that the English of the book was uniform.
Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador is currently available from UNM Press (www.unmpress.com). It will soon be available at bookstores and other sources by mid- to late-September.