Hear My Testimony: Maraia Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador

By María Teresa Tula; Lynn Stephen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14

THE PEACE ACCORDS

On December 31, 1991, when the FMLN and the government agreed to sign the peace accords in El Salvador, we all felt joyous and hopeful that the situation was going to change. And on January 16th, when the peace accords were actually signed in Mexico, it was broadcast live on Spanish-speaking television. I planned to stay home to watch it. On my way home through my Salvadoran neighborhood in Mount Pleasant I could see that there were televisions and radios on everywhere—in restaurants, in bars, in stores. Everybody was interested, and waiting.

When they finally signed it, I was very moved. I could not believe that our dreams had come true. I could not believe that the FMLN and government officials signed the agreements. It was amazing to see each of them embracing and shaking hands with enemies they had been fighting for years. I felt so moved that I cried with those on the television when their voices cracked with emotion.

It was hard to believe what was happening because a few weeks earlier it looked doubtful. There was intervention from the United Nations. And we can't forget the role of the U.S. government, pressuring the president of El Salvador to sign the peace accords. Cristiani did not want to sign the agreements. And then I could see that even though the U.S. government promoted this war for so many years, they also wanted it to end. That is what we all hoped for, but certainly we don't believe that those who supported the war for so many years are going to be our best friends now.

We did have a revolution in El Salvador. In my opinion there was and still is only one revolution because there is only one Frente, only one Frente Farabundo Martí (FMLN) which has been struggling and fighting

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