HIST 115 Coastline Community

QUESTION 1 ON MODULE 10: With *specific references to the Articles & the El Salvador Coverup Video*, what shocked you most, or changed your view of the overall impact of outside / US influence in Latin America and the long-term consequences since the Cold War?

(Note: focus most of your answer on the second part of the question)

(Note: be detailed! No simplified “USA screwed everything up!” answers will be accepted)

Overview:

This week, we will focus on how much of the Western Hemisphere and particularly Latin America were torn apart during the Cold War by the USA, China, the Soviets, Cubans, etc. — and how this outside interference exacerbated deadly Civil Wars, Coverups, War Crimes, Proxy Wars, and Genocides — from which *much of Latin America in particular still struggling.*

Focus on the long-term: how might the legacy of US and outside influence create PERMANENT distrust in Latin America for US interests?

*NOTE: Proxy War means when different countries are funding competing factions in a Civil War. They do this SECRETLY to avoid a full-scale global war, but eventually the winner will control the government if their faction wins. The main victim is **the societies themselves.**

Why Should I give a Crap?:

  • the brutal Civil Wars of Central America that created permanent refugee crises and even genocide (?) are partly our fault
  • because with the rise of the USA as a superpower, we like any country tends to focus on “our victory” after the Cold War and forget our atrocities
  • to see how big countries often take advantage of smaller countries like Chess Pieces
  • to see why anti-US and Communist movements are so popular in Latin America

Concepts & Issues to Focus on:

  • why did USA, the Soviets, China, Cuba, etc. create Proxy Wars in Central America?
  • what role might USA’s Operation Condor (funding Latin dictatorships) play in fostering long-term corruption?
  • how might our atrocities have created permanent distrust in Latin America for USA and Capitalism?
  • why would anti-US, anti-Capitalist Communist movements be so popular in Latin America?

Required Readings/Videos:

(this isn’t as much as it looks; just SKIM them for the basics!)

  • required: see my POWER POINT (just the basics!) on the next page
  • just skim about Operation Condor, the secret US plan to fund dictatorships in Latin America
  • (note: the above newspaper, TeleSUR, is funded by Venezuela – so it is very BIASED, but gives a Latin Socialist perspective)
  • skim how Paraguay and Brazil’s military dictatorships were allegedly complicit in a “secret genocide” of Indigenous Natives
  • skim a left-slanted argument that Proxy Wars created a permanent immigration crisis to USA (that we are now dealing with as D.A.C.A./DREAMERs)
  • watch the entire Video Below on El Salvador’s US-backed military dictatorship and its brutal coverups (for Accessibility, see the Captions) Killed in El Salvador An American Story – CAPTIONED

Below is my Power Point to give you a simplified view of the larger relationship between the US and Latin America at the height of the Cold War, including some of the atrocities and genocides we are accused of helping or covering up.

Remember I am NOT expecting you to know anything about these countries or keep them all straight! Just look for patterns and get the main ideas.

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HIST 115 Coastline Community

Overview:

This week, we’ll be watching a documentary on Gang Violence in Latin America, particularly MS-13, also known as “America’s Deadliest Gang.” MS-13 has become important for several reasons.

First, MS-13 shows us some of the long-term effects of America’s troubled relationship with Latin America. At least according to some (usually Liberal) analysts, MS-13 was borne of the extreme poverty, corruption, violence, and collapse in El Salvador partly caused by the Proxy War between USA, the Soviets, and Cubans that you saw in Module 10.

Second, some (more Liberal) analysts claim that MS-13 members were “average” Salvadoran criminals who were “radicalized” by the alleged conditions of US prisons, deported back to El Salvador where they are pressured into working with Gangs and Drug Cartels, and made into hardened criminals in the process.

Third, MS-13 is important because some (usually Conservative) politicians — as well as President Trump — claim that dangerous MS-13 criminals are infiltrating the US through illegal immigration. Anti-immigration activists claim that MS-13 is part of the Migrant Caravans coming out of Central America into USA and begging for Asylum. While this is factual and undeniable, MS-13 criminals are a *tiny* fraction of the total illegal immigrant population.

As a result, MS-13 and alleged “immigrant violence” have played a huge role in shaping America’s overall immigration policy in the Age of Trump.

Why Should I give a Crap?:

  • because this is America’s Deadliest Gang and is responsible for murder, sex trafficking, rape, and theft
  • because at least according to some analysts, America’s foreign policy is partly responsible for these problems
  • to see how immigration, violence, and drug wars are GLOBALIZED and become a hemispheric problem

Concepts & Issues to Focus on:

  • what role might America play in MS-13 and Gang Violence across Latin America?
  • what role does the global War on Drugs or Mexico’s Cartel War play in these problems?

Required Readings/Videos:

  • watch the full 30-minute clip of the Video below on MS-13, “America’s Deadliest Gang” (if the Video doesn’t load, click here; for Accessibility, see Transcript)

– Using *specific examples from the Articles & the Documentary,* what in your mind are the main factors to blame for making MS-13 grow into the deadly threat it is now?

(Hint: you can argue however you want, but don’t be oversimplified like “this is America’s fault,” considering the role of corruption in El Salvador, gang-vs-gang violence, Cartel wars, etc….)

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