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KOREATOWN : Head of El Salvador's Rebel Radio to Speak

July 04, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

During the civil war in El Salvador, Radio Venceremos was the voice of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the rebel movement that led the fight against the Salvadoran government and its military.

Broadcasting underground and often under fire, Radio Venceremos (Spanish for "We shall prevail") was a vital source of information, propaganda and inspiration for the guerrillas and their supporters throughout the country.

With the 1992 signing of the Salvadoran peace accord, the once clandestine Radio Venceremos has become a legal, politically independent radio station.

Since the 1981 premiere of Radio Venceremos, Carlos Henriquez Consalves, better known as Santiago, has been at the controls as its director. Santiago will talk about the history and future of Radio Venceremos at the First Unitarian Church, 2936 W. 8th St., at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for the event are $8 at the door.

During the war, Santiago, a Venezuelan who was recruited by the FMLN to run its radio station, directed a small, mobile staff who broadcast daily from mountain encampments, tunnels and peasant households. After he was wounded in a 1985 attack, Santiago broadcast from a hospital cot.

Carlos Figueroa, a Salvadoran activist who worked with Santiago for six months last year and now has a show on KPFK-FM, said the role of Radio Venceremos has changed since the war, but it is as important as ever: "(It) is one of the only radio stations that gives opportunities to express different currents of thinking. It's introduced a new element of open debate to society."

Information: (213) 655-3116.

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