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'If Peace Breaks Out'

November 08, 1987

"If the United States is to cease being part of the problem, we must stop fueling strife in Central America." These concluding words in your recent series on peace in Central America ("If Peace Breaks Out," Op-Ed Page, Oct. 26-Nov. 1) must be heeded. Thus far the only solution the U.S. government has offered for Central America's problems is militarization, which undermines diplomatic efforts working toward negotiated peace and ignores the true root problems--the economic and political injustices suffered by a majority of Central Americans.

Until the American public demands that it stop, our Congress will continue to send hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars in the form of military and police training and bombs and bullets to Central America.

America is now reaping that which it has sewn. Latest figures show that 20 million Americans do not get enough to eat every day and one in four Americans live in poverty at some time during the year (Physician's Task Force on Hunger in America, Harvard University, Nov., 1987).

Equally troubling and inextricably related are the political repercussions. Reagan's Central American policy has undercut the development of democratic societies in that region at the same time it has compromised democracy here at home as seen in the Contra hearings and the promotion of interests of the rich and the failure to acknowledge the needs of the middle class and poor. We must remind our leaders that the best method to transmit democracy is to model it.

MARY BRENT WEHRLI

Executive Director

Southern California Ecumenical Council

Los Angeles

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