Violence and Torture in Religion and Human Rights in Mexico and El Salvador

By: Gloria Velasquez   Alba Elizabeth Melgar  

Violence, Torture and Human Rights are concepts intrinsically related. Violence and religion on the contrary are mutually exclusive given that Violence is "the intentional use of physical force against another person” and religion is based on respect and peace. Violence incited, perpetrated and justified in the name of religion is a shocking reality in different parts of the globe, and the brutality displayed in such acts frequently leaves observers speechless given that most Religions in one way or another are based on the Messianic principles of love, tolerance and mutual respect. Violence with religious undercurrents, moreover, is an extremely multifaceted phenomenon we will discuss in our presentation. It is known that Mexico and El Salvador are two of the most violent Countries in the Planet. In this work we will explore the causes and consequences of violence in those Countries. We will analyze if, in these countries Religion have been a cause or a deterrent of violence and torture. El Salvador offers a unique example in which the Catholic Church opposed violence to the point of sacrificing its priests defending the people against the violence committed by the governments against the citizens whose rights Government meant to safeguard. On the other hand, violence in Mexico also presents a unique case for its magnitude and the role of the Catholic Church.

Politics, Religions, Torture
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ms. Gloria Velasquez

Adjunct Associate Professor, Foreign Language Department, Austin Community College, United States
Texas, United States

Alba Elizabeth Melgar

Attended a Catholic School from Kindergarten to High School in her native Country, El Salvador. In 1968 completed her Teaching Degree from the Escuela Normal Superior de El Salvador majoring in Spanish, Literature and French. Fling from the Civil War she came to the United States in 1981 and completed her Bachelor degree in Spanish and Italian at the University of Texas at Austin then she obtained her Master degree in Spanish and Women Studies from Texas State University. Mrs. Melgar taught for 15 years: Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish and Literature at High School in several Countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador. Since 2004 Professor Melgar has been serving as a Senior Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at Texas State University. Professor Melgar professional duties include: Teaching and developing teaching materials for class. Attending meetings and workshops. Promoting the Department of Modern Language Mission and attending students during office hours. In addition Professor Melgar dedicates a great deal of time to GADiA, (Gloria and Alba, diversity in Action) an organization that she co-founded with her Colleague Gloria Velázquez to promote diverse and inclusive events for the University and the San Marcos community.