glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 

   member name
  
   password
  
 
   
   Forgot Your Password?  
   
Not a Member Yet?  
   
JOIN TODAY. IT'S FREE!

 
  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy
  Copyright

 

 

 

 

 
social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

     
El Salvador  

El Salvador is located on the Pacific coast of Central America, between Guatemala, Honduras, and the Gulf of Fonseca, which separates it from Nicaragua. The small nation gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and from Mexico in 1823.

In the modern era, conservative governments have ruled the country, facilitating the exploitation of natural resources and the majority of the population, including the forced expropriation of lands from indigenous communities. Social standards of living have been among the lowest in the hemisphere, and the violent repression of dissident social groups (labor unions, teachers, leftist activists) has been widely reported.

Sponsor Message.

El Salvador is the most densely populated country in the mainland of the Americas, with an estimated population of 6.5 million people in 2003, over a million of whom live abroad, forced out of the country as a result of a twelve-year civil war, which raged between 1979 and 1991.

The armed struggle between the FMLN (the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation) and the U. S.-supported right-wing government resulted in over 80,000 deaths. A formal end to the war came with the signing of the United Nations-brokered Peace Accords in 1992, but a deep-seated culture of violence, poverty, and inequality remains today.

Traditional Roman Catholicism and right-wing military dictatorships have historically created a hostile climate for same-sex cultures and life in the country. Only in recent years have there been attempts to create a cultural, social, and political organization of glbtq people, although a semi-public social life has existed at least since the early 1970s through bars, especially in the capital city of San Salvador.

While El Salvador has no laws, violence against gay men and lesbians, and particularly against male-to-female sex workers, has been documented since the 1980s. Paramilitary death squads during the war made the situation even more challenging. In June 1984, for example, a military battalion tortured and killed 16 travestís. One of the clearest examples of the hostility to same-sex life is the common, derogatory use of the term "culero," roughly translating as "faggot."

The 1992 Peace Accords signaled the hope for a new democratic era. Minority groups in the country, including lesbians, gay men, and other members of the glbtq community, tapped into international funding sources to support human rights and social and economic development. As a result a non-governmental glbtq organization, Entre Amigos, was founded in 1994.

Since then Entre Amigos has promoted glbtq rights and spearheaded HIV and AIDS educational campaigns. It has also advocated for people living with HIV and AIDS. Entre Amigos has also tracked violence against glbtq people, including death threats against its executive director, William Hernández.

The organization has sponsored gay pride marches in San Salvador since 1997. In 1999, more than 700 women and men marched as a public statement of their political identities and struggle to make social space for glbtq people safer.

Still, the history of homophobic repression continues in El Salvador. Eleven transgendered people were assassinated in 1998, bomb threats were made in 1999, and the staff of Entre Amigos were the target of anonymous threats in 2000. In 2001 Hernández was granted police protection, given the unresolved threats made against his life.

This pattern of "social cleansing," reminiscent of death squad activity during the war, makes openness quite a challenge for Salvadoran glbtq people.

Horacio N. Roque Ramírez

     

 
zoom in
El Salvador and neighboring countries in 2004.
  
 interact  
   
Contact Us
 
Join the Discussion
 
 find 
   
Related Entries
 
More Entries by this contributor
 
A Bibliography on this Topic

 
Citation Information
 
More Entries about Social Sciences
 
   
spacer
Popular Topics:

Literature

 
Williams, Tennessee
Williams, Tennessee


Literary Theory: Gay, Lesbian, and Queer


The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance


Romantic Friendship: Female
Romantic Friendship: Female


Feminist Literary Theory


American Literature: Gay Male, 1900-1969
American Literature: Gay Male, 1900-1969


Erotica and Pornography
Erotica and Pornography


Mishima, Yukio
Mishima, Yukio


Sadomasochistic Literature


Beat Generation
Beat Generation

 
 


   Related Entries
  
social sciences >> Overview:  Guatemala

Although glbtq organizations have emerged in Guatemala, hate crimes against homosexuals continue to be a serious problem.

social sciences >> Overview:  Homophobia

Homophobia was originally defined as a "dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals," but it is now sometimes used to describe any form of anti-gay bias.

social sciences >> Overview:  Latin America: Colonial

Same-sex sexual practices among the indigenous peoples of Latin America were seen by their Spanish and Portuguese conquerors as evidence of their cultural inferiority and were repressed through both religious and civil means.

social sciences >> Overview:  Mexico

Although Mexico has had a long history of homosexual activity that began before the Conquest, its Latin American machismo has problematized the acceptance of glbtq people.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parades and Marches

Both parades and marches have served to render the glbtq community visible; whereas marches typically attempt to effect political change, parades and pride events affirm identity and community.

social sciences >> Overview:  Roman Catholicism

Historically, the Roman Catholic Church may be the institution most responsible for the suffering of individuals involved in same-sex sexual relationships.


    Bibliography
   

Argueta, Manlio. One Day of Life. Bill Brow, trans. New York: Vintage, 1983.

Equipo y vos. La Escritura Centromaricona. IMPACTO! (Aids Project Los Angeles). 2.4 (Summer 2003): 3, 7-17.

Equipo Maíz. El Salvador: Imágenes Para No Olvidar/Images We Must Not Forget. 1900-1999. San Salvador: Asociación Equipo Maíz, 1999.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Roque Ramírez, Horacio N.  
    Entry Title: El Salvador  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated December 29, 2004  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/el_salvador.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

This Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.

www.glbtq.com is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.