Circle 023: Bianca Jagger and James Shannon, Central American Turmoil, February 18, 1982

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Acting as Co-Discussion Leaders, Bianca Jagger and Massachusetts 5th District Representative to the U.S. Congress, James M. Shannon, gave Circle guests special perspectives on the human toll taken by the turmoil in Central America.

Bianca believes strongly that the United States should not arm the government forces in El Salvador, a position shared by Congressman Shannon, an original co-sponsor of a bill which prohibits any U.S. military assistance to any El Salvador force.

Instead, the two agreed, we should provide medical and economic aid only, and put our financial power to bear on getting the two sides to sit down and resolve a conflict that has more roots in hunger than in political ideology.

"People who are hungry, and who do not own land in a country where only a handful of families control everything, do not think of themselves as Marxists," Bianca said. "To talk about the conflict there as a Marxist revolution is not to reflect the nature of the people." She supplemented her remarks with a collection of photographs taken during a visit to the country. The photos depicted armed guerrillas taking men from a refugee camp near the border, apparently with intentions to execute these victims caught in the crossfire of that country. Fortunately, Bianca and her colleagues were able to intercede as neutral observers, and they saved the lives of some twenty individuals who otherwise might have been added to the roll of thousands who have died in a perplexing struggle that is tearing a country to pieces.

By John Brady (Editor, Boston Magazine, Boston, MA)


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