Guerrilla Comandantes during and after the Civil War
This chapter continues the coverage of the guerrilla-commander (comandante) memory community after 1980/81. The narrators adhere to a rigid chronological division: 1981-1983; 1984-1989; 1989; and 1989 to the present. These divisions correspond to the rising and falling of the guerrillas’ fortunes. The first period is a time of guerrilla ascendency, when the guerrillas gain nominal control over 25% of Salvadoran territory. The second period is a time of guerrilla contraction in the face of the army’s improved capacity. The guerrillas downsize their fighting units and resort to a “war of attrition” rather than a “war of position.” The third period, 1989, is a resurgent moment. The guerrillas launch a nation-wide offensive and force the government to the bargaining table. The fourth period, after 1989, covers the peace accords and the new post-war era. The comandantes strike an optimistic tone about the war’s outcome, thereby justifying their leadership in it.
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