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Exhibit Highlights

burns library

The Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador
The 20th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition

November 30 - December 12, 2009

During El Salvador's civil war through the 1980s and into the early 1990s, more than 70,000 people were killed: most were civilians killed by the Salvadoran government’s armed forces and paramilitary death squads.

On Nov. 16, 1989 six Jesuits and two women were murdered in the Jesuit residence at the University of Central America in San Salvador. Those killed were: Rev. Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., 59, Spanish-born Salvadoran citizen, rector of the University of Central America; Rev. Ignacio Martin-Baro, S.J., 50, also a Spanish-born Salvadoran citizen, the founder and director of the Public Opinion Institute; Rev. Segundo Montes, S.J., 56, a Spanish-born sociology professor; Rev. Amando Lopez, S.J., 53, a Spanish-born philosophy professor and Jesuit priest; Rev. Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, S.J., 71, born in El Salvador, director of a center for humanitarian assistance; Rev. Juan Ramon Moreno, S.J., 56, born in Spain, director of two University of Central America programs; Julia Elba Ramos, 42, a cook, and her daughter Cecilia Ramos, 15.

Father Monan, who was president of Boston College at the time of the killings, worked tirelessly to marshal the Jesuits' response to the murders, urging the United States Congress to pressure the Salvadoran government to bring the killers to justice.

"I return to the full set of events that took place [in November 1989] very, very often," says Fr. Monan. "It sounded an alarm to me as an educator, as a university person, as a Jesuit and as a human being. What happened was so atrocious and such a public attack on all of these things, we wanted to do something."