Rozum was disappointed by the turnout. “The turnout was very low,” she notes, “disappointing, 50 percent of those eligible didn’t vote, despite the expanded presidential voting. People have little faith in their political parties, partially because the FMLN [the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front] finally came into power as a political party and hasn’t been able to expand the benefits of its reforms to the majority of Salvadorians. They’ve only been able to really reach out to the people who have been most marginalized. There is serious abject poverty in rural areas, no health clinics, no schools, no sanitation.”
What to do with an expanded conscience
Rozum says that pursuing these issues is not part of her day job as an organizer at the Syracuse Peace Council, although she finds a supportive environment there. “I would like to meet with people who have struggled with the issues of drugs and decriminalization in relation to Central American policies,” she maintains. “El Salvador is now the newest front in the U.S. War on Drugs. We’re spending so much money on building prisons and sending weapons to Central America, and it’s not working to stop drug use in the U.S. I haven’t figured out how to make it happen yet, but we’ll start with a forum at la Casita on the Westside, 109 Otisco Street, May 17 at 6:30 p.m.” For information, call Ursula at 472-5478.