Sat, 28 March 2009
14Mb 128kbps. Stereo 15:10 minutes
(Shortened interview with English voice-over by Warwick Fry)
(Note: This is a stereo recording with the English voice-over in the right hand channel. If the Spanish language background is too loud or distracting it can be faded down by turning up the right channel and fading down the left channel. Spanish speakers might want to do the opposite)
Meeting Gregorio from the Salvadoran Dockworkers Union (STIPES) was an unforgettable experience. Gregorio quietly and matter of factly exposes the Dickensian conditions imposed on Salvadoran wharf laborers since a military intervention in 2001 - supposedly to improve Port security after September 11 in New York, but in reality to break up the 40 year old dockworkers Union and force the wharf workers to work under a 'contract' system that yields them at best US$36 a month. Gregorio's account is a quietly understated expose of the true nature of the ARENA government that has run El Salvador for the last 20 years. Gregorio is cautiously optimistic that the new government which comes into power on June 1st might offer some change in the horrendous working conditions of these men.