MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Truthout just finished a ten installment series called Truthout on the Mexican Border. The last article concludes with the killing of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador in 1980, and the people in the State Department, the Reagan administration and congress who supported the death squads in El Salvador.
One of the leaders of the right wing paramilitary killings in that Central American nation â€“ as pointed out in the Truthout series -- was Roberto D'Aubuisson, who was lionized by the likes of Jesse Helms.
As The Huffington Post reports in a detailed article, some of the initial backers of the death squads in El Salvador also provided a significant part of the financing that launched Bain Capital. Of course, Mitt Romney denies that his initial investors had anything to do with the thousands of persons killed because they were indigenous or protested of fought against the oligarchy, but as the Huffington Post reveals, the relationship is pretty clear:
"Romney confirms Bain had investors in El Salvador. But, as was Bain's policy with any big investor, they had the families checked out as diligently as possible," the Tribune wrote. "They uncovered no unsavory links to drugs or other criminal activity."
Nobody with a basic understanding of the region's history could believe that assertion.
By 1984, the media had thoroughly exposed connections between the death squads and the Salvadoran oligarchy, including the families that invested with Romney. The sitting U.S. ambassador to El Salvador charged that several families, including at least one that invested with Bain, were living in Miami and directly funding death squads. Even by 1981, El Salvador's elite, largely relocated to Miami, were so angered by the public perception that they were financing death squads that they reached out to the media to make their case. The two men put forward to represent the oligarchs were both from families that would invest in Bain three years later. The most cursory review of their backgrounds would have turned up the ties.
The connection between the families involved with Bain's founding and those who financed death squads was made by the Boston Globe in 1994 and the Salt Lake Tribune in 1999. This election cycle, Salon first raised the issue in January, and the Los Angeles Times filled out more of the record earlier this month.
More importantly, as has been the tradition with US supported violence in Latin America (detailed in the Truthout on the Mexican Border series), the right wing paramilitaries, the national armed forces and police representing the government interests in supporting the privileged ruling class were responsible for most of the torture, deaths and disappearances in El Salvador:
In 1982, two years before Romney began raising money from the oligarchs, El Salvador's independent Human Rights Commission reported that, of the 35,000 civilians killed, "most" died at the hands of death squads. A United Nations truth commission concluded in 1993 that 85 percent of the acts of violence were perpetrated by the right, while the left-wing Farabundo MartĂ National Liberation Front, which was supported by the Cuban government, was responsible for 5 percent.
Currently, death squad and military and police killings are being ramped up in Honduras, after a US supported coup against a democratically elected president. This is the way things are according to a perverted notion of the Monroe Doctrine as applied by the US government over the years.
If you disagree, name any populist or democratically elected government in Latin America that has tried to redistribute wealth and land that has been supported by Washington DC?
Given Romney's record of launching his vulture capitalism firm with the backing of the bloody hands of the oligarchy in Central America, you can expect the dirty wars to return there under a Romney administration.
But the sad reality is that they are being rekindled in some Latin American nations already, including Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The embers of suppression by murder and torture are starting to glow again.
"Over the years, these Latin American friends have loyally rolled over investments in succeeding funds, actively participated in Bain Capital's May investor meetings, and are still today one of the largest investor groups in Bain Capital," a former Bain executive wrote, as quoted in the Huffington Post article.
Not only have a lot of people been fired to make Romney wealthy; now we learn that a lot of people have also died in order to sustain the oligarchical rule of some of his key backers at Bain.