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Obama Visits El Salvador - Arena Honors Blowtorch Bob

posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:59 AM by Misha Romero   [ updated Mar 31, 2012, 12:12 PM ]
March 23, 2011: President Obama visits the tomb of Oscar Romero, who was killed by order of Arena's founder on March 24, 1980. (UN TRUTH COMMISSION)

Arena Salutes Pathological Killer (and Founder ) Major Roberto D'Aubuisson Arrieta

Fist pumping for "Blowtorch Bob"


August 1981, The Washington Post reported that D'Aubuisson "openly talked of the need to kill 200,000 to 300,000 people to restore peace to El Salvador.

With their right fists clenched and thrust into the air, leading politicians of ARENA commemorated  Major Roberto D'Aubuisson on the 19th anniversary of his death Tuesday.  Among those at the ceremony at D'Aubuisson's tomb were former president Alfredo Cristiani and current San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano.

 D'Aubuisson is the founder of the ARENA party.   He is also the man who ordered the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero and was the sponsor of right wing death squads during the 1970s and 80s.  This annual celebration of a war criminal by the ARENA party faithful shows that the culture of impunity is far from disappearing in El Salvador.  It's shameful.

Major Roberto D'Aubuisson Arrieta (23 August 1944 - 20 February 1992) was the Salvadoran Army officer and political leader who founded the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), which he led from 1980 to 1985. He was known as "Chele", or "light-skinned face", and was considered an organizer-leader of the death squads who tortured and killed thousands of civilians before and during the Salvadoran Civil War. To political prisoners, he was known as "Blowtorch Bob", due to his frequent use of a blowtorch in interrogation sessions.

In 1986, ex-US ambassador Robert White reported to the United States Congress that "there was sufficient evidence" to convict D'Aubuisson of planning and ordering Archbishop Romero's assassination, describing D'Aubuisson as a pathological killer, as early as his 1984 Salvadoran presidential run.

After the Salvadoran Civil War, the United Nations Commission on the Truth for El Salvador and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights confirmed that D'Aubuisson "gave the order to assassinate the Archbishop" to military officers

In April 2010, Alvaro Saravia, an ex-Captain who has admitted involvement in Romero's assassination, testified in an interview with the Salvadoran newspaper El Faro that D'Aubuisson had given the order to proceed with the killing of the Archbishop

On March 15, 1993, the commission published its report From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador. The Commission attributed the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero to the death squads, as well as the deaths of the victims of the El Mozote Massacre. The murders of six Jesuit priests in November 1989 were attributed to the Armed Forces of El Salvador. The extrajudicial executions of mayors and members of the government were attributed to guerrilla militias.