El Salvador: Political Pamphlets

Scope and Content

Reports, pamphlets, platforms, constitutions, conference proceedings, manifestos, newspaper advertisements, histories, testomonies and letters issued by American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International, Archbishop Oscar Romero Christian Legal Aid Service, Asociacin de Trabajadores Agropecuarios y Campesinos de El Salvador (ATACES), Bloque Popular Revolucionario (El Salvador), Catholic Church, Catholic Institute for International Relations, Center for National Security Studies, Central America Human Rights Committee, Comisin de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador, Comit de Madres y Familiares de Presos y Desaparecidos polticos de El Salvador, Comit Mexicano de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Salvadoreo, Comisin de Refugiados Salvadoreos, Comit pro Libertad de los Presos Polticos de El Salvador, Conferencia Sindical Internacional de Solidaridad con los Trabajadores y el Pueblo de El Salvador (1981 : Bogot, Colombia), Coordinadora Revolucionaria de Masas, Ejrcito Revolucionario del Pueblo (El Salvador), Faculty for Human Rights in El Salvador and Central America (U.S.), Frente de Accin Popular Unificada (FAPU), Foreign Policy Association, Foreign Policy Association, Frente de Accin Popular Unificada (El Salvador), Frente Democrtico Revolucionario, Frente Farabundo Mart para la Liberacin Nacional, Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America, International Commission of Jurists, Law Union of Ontario, Movimiento de Liberacin Popular (El Salvador), Movimiento Nacional Revolucionario (El Salvador), Organization of American States, Parliamentary Human Rights Group, Partido Comunista de El Salvador, Partido de la Revolucin Salvadorea, Partido Demcrata Cristiano (El Salvador), Partido Union Democratica Nacionalista (El Salvador), Radio Farabundo Mart, Socorro Jurdico Cristiano, Unidad Nacional de Trabajadores Salvadoreos, United States Dept. of State, United States House Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on Foreign Operations), and World Council of Churches.

Administrative / Biographical History

Most of the materials held here date from the late 1970s and early 1980s, a period in which the tensions that had plagued El Salvador since the 1930s finally erupted into civil war. The war with Honduras in 1969 had exarcebated economic problems and the demand for land reform, whilst the rigging of the 1972 election against the Christian Democratic Party (PDC)'s Jos Napoeon Duarte diminished people's belief in the likelihood of effecting peaceful change. Authoritarian rule and human rights abuses on top of the above led to the formation of a plethora of leftist political and guerrilla groups, which subsequently allied in the alliance between the Frente Democratico Revolucionario (FDR) and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). Despite elections and new constitutional guarantees the continued operation of paramilitary death squads with the support of the army meant the FDR-FMLN fought on until the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in 1992. The roles of the United States (which continued to supply aid to the country throughout the 1980s) and the Catholic Church (including that of Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered in 1980) in the civil war are covered by the materials here, as are the problems of refugees and the terrible human rights abuses and state violence that occurred. The materials originate from NGOs, Church groups, revolutionary organisations, trade unions and political parties, as well as from the United States government.


Randomly within boxes (at present)

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.


Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The majority of the materials held in the political archives of the Library of the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) originate from the Contemporary Archive on Latin America (CALA), a documentation and research centre on Latin America which donated its holdings to the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) upon its closure in 1981. In 2004 ILAS merged with the Institute of United States Studies (IUSS) to form ISA, which inherited the political archives. The core collection has continued since 1981 to be supplemented by further donations and by materials acquired through the visits of Institute staff and their contacts to the relevant countries.


Further accruals are expected

Related Material

See also Political Pamphlet material for other countries in the region, as well as related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held in the ISA library.