Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist Biography - Raised In Poverty, Learned Shoemaking And Politics, Joined The Workers' Movement, Survived His Execution

Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist - Lived In Exile

salvador national political workers

Mármol, whose wife had left him, remained enmeshed in the internal conflicts of the weak and fragmented CP until the early 1940s. He eventually established his own shop, specializing in cheap sandals, and he became president of the National Alliance of Shoemakers. His opposition to the Nazis and fascists helped him develop relationships with the American and British ambassadors to El Salvador.

The 13-year reign of terror under Martínez came to an end in May of 1944 and Mármol joined the national organizational committee of the National Workers' Union. However, in October of 1944, another military coup forced Mármol to flee San Salvador. Hiding in a cave, he produced propaganda for the opposition. After serving as a delegate to the founding congress of the General Federation of Guatemalan Workers, Mármol stayed on in Guatemala. He worked with the Claridad School, a center for political and union education, and wrote for their newspaper. Mármol was elected organizational secretary of the Trade Union of Guatemalan Shoemakers and ran the newspaper The Unionist. He began organizing the textile and other industries and became a salaried professional within the union. He also was a founder and leader of the communist Guatemalan Workers' Party.

Over the next few years, Mármol traveled to Mexico and Cuba and worked with indigenous peoples in Guatemala and with the CP in El Salvador. In 1954 he found himself fifth on the Guatemalan execution list and clandestinely made his way back to El Salvador. During the populist movement of the 1950s, Mármol was a leader of the resurrected Salvadoran CP and a member of the political bureau of the party's central committee. Late in the decade he traveled to the People's Republic of China for a course on political and trade union leadership and peasant organizing. Mármol served as general secretary of the National Peasant Commission during the 1960s, with responsibility for rural organizations and the editing of publications. He supported himself with a bread business. In 1963 he was captured again by the National Guard, held incommunicado, and tortured for many months. When the workers' movement demanded his freedom, he was exiled to Mexico, where he requested political asylum before secretly returning to El Salvador.

Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist - Interviewed By Roque Dalton [next] [back] Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist - Survived His Execution

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