Ivan's Place
In honor of the greatest moralist who never lived
Copyright © 2004 by Bill Becker

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Fire From the Sky — Salvadoran Children's Drawings

The following images are scanned pages from the book Fire From the Sky — Salvadoran Children's Drawings, published May 1986 by the Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative; Copyright 1986 by William Vornberger.

I came upon the book recently, in a file cabinet containing many of the resources I collected as a worker ant in the movement opposing President Reagan's murderous programs against the poor of Central America. The Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative no longer exists, having been purchased and replaced by the For Beginners Publishing Cooperative. I have tried to locate Mr. Vornberger to no avail, and I have twice requested permission to post these pages on my website from For Beginners. I did not receive a reply. I have decided to take a chance, and post them anyway, on the chance that if a valid complaint is made regarding copyright infringement, I will not be punished beyond having to take this page off of my website.

The book contains several photographs, which I have not posted. Nor do the drawings themselves have information identifying the child artists. If a comment by a child artist is not included in the scanned image it self, I transcribe the comment above the drawing.

“The armed forces massacres the peasants. They go running through the woods and go shooting at them and they go falling dead. They don’t let peasant people live. They kill young people and children and old people until they kill enough people.”

“These soldiers came into Lanton to massacre our people. They burn their houses and when they see the soldiers they flee into the mountains and the forest maybe without eating and suffering from thirst.”

“This is life in El Salvador. These are the planes that bombarded the houses of us the campesinos. Here we see that we campesinos are murdered by the military. Our bodies are tossed ion the ground just like that and our campesinos are eaten by the animals.”

“I am a refugee boy. We came to El Salvador because they wanted to kill us. The civil guards assassinated the children and the old people. They killed our brothers. We have endured torments and we came from El Salvador because we were afraid that they would kill us and I thank God that I am still alive in the refugee camp.”

“A plane was throwing bombs and killed some children and burned some houses. Maybe the children were sick and they killed them and the plane was shooting everywhere there were people to kill. The people went to hide in the forest and there they found them.”

“This drawing indicates what has happened in El Salvador. What has happened is that they massacred the children and old people and pregnant women, that’s what happened in El Salvador. That’s why we feld through the mountains to Honduras and when we got to the refugee camps they received us well. By the will of God today we don’t suffer and things aren’t like they were in El Salvador. I am a little boy in the second grade.”

“A terrible thing happened there (the Lempa River). I was with my wife and three children, and we were about to cross when the shooting started; and then that lament, and that whimpering of the children, and the shock of the mothers who couldn’t find where to go as they burrowed into the rocks. We were just waiting for death there. The cannon mortars were coming down too. Since I was watching my wife and my children, I didn’t pay any attention to the cannon mortars.”

“... from three o’clock on the helicopter passed over us three times, firing machine-guns and bombing terribly. During that afternoon, many children lost their lives, and many older people fell that day too. A little boat sank with six children when the airplane fired its machine guns at it as it was being puled across the river.” [I have omitted the name of this adult contributor. B.B.]

“I had the naked children clinging to me and a mother next to me frantically trying to make her child stop screaming. Everything around us shook. Machine-gun fire cut up a line in the earth as close as I’m sitting to you right now. “We held hands and soothed babies for 20 or 25 minutes, while the helicopter tried systematically to massacre us all, riveting the river up and down, both shores with machine-gun fire, and then dropped some kind of mortar into the rocky banks. “A priest was saying, ‘Can you read anything on the plane?’ With all that technology, it seemed odd that I could see the person looking out the window searching for us. I could make out specific facial characteristics.” [An international worker at the refugee camps.]

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Page created March 17, 2013.