26 November, 2022

“The spawn of war” in Salvadoran photojournalism

Jose Eduardo Cubías, Journalist, ex-faculty of the Department of Journalism of the University of El Salvador (UES).
By José Eduardo Cubías Colorado

As the starting point and premise of our comment, we recognize that it was the photojournalists, correspondents of international news agencies, including several Salvadorans, that covered the war of the 80s, in El Salvador, those who, with their “heartbreaking “images, they put a “Enough already” the dehumanization of the conflict that victimized the civilian population, with the violation of their Human Rights, and the most sacred: “The right to life”.

The photographs of the correspondent photojournalists were broadcast internationally, and the Salvadoran conflict gained prominence in the news agendas of the mass media, and thus the war in El Salvador transcended.

It is appropriate to mention the names of the Salvadoran photojournalists who set a precedent in this coverage of the war: the names of Iván Montesinos stand out, Yury Cortez, Edgar romero, Luis Alberto Romero, Francisco Campos, Luis Galdámez, Teyo Orellana, and others, what years later did they join the group “Back cover ” with photographic exhibitions and talks on the coverage of the armed conflict in El Salvador.

“The spawn of war”. With this name the “Apology for Violence” featured by photojournalists and the media as a post-war sequel, We testify to this with the following experience (*) “Photojournalism was formed and developed during the civil war in El Salvador.

Photojournalists exploited and saturated their news agenda with war events, However, this style was a substantial contribution to ending the conflict., by establishing a worldwide complaint, expressing a “Enough with the war”.

They were images where close-ups were used, loaded with pain, suffering, of blood, of aggression, death, where the foreground ( focus ) it was the corpse, and the second , the duel the fear of the population. This was War journalism, that was a style of complaint that had its fruit and achieved its objective.

Postwar journalism steeped in violence

Despite the ceasefire and the signing of the Peace Accords, War journalism did not stop, ya el “spawn of war” was in the lens of their cameras and in the mind of the photographer, that prolonged a style of warfare into a period of Peace, of course those images sold and so the publishers considered. Over time they changed the style through a pact between the media not to publish scenes of violence, because they realized that violence generates violence, crime rates rose considerably to the extent of qualifying El Salvador as one of the most violent countries in Latin America.