SAN SALVADOR – Actress Jorgelina Cerritos, who is also one of El Salvador’s most notable playwrights, said on Wednesday that slain Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero represents the country’s “voice of conscience and memory.”
“(The) monsignor represents a utopia, the possibility of being a different country and society. If it were not so, the world wouldn’t be acknowledging him,” she said, referring to his upcoming canonization.
Cerritos, a member of the Los del Quinto Piso theater troupe, said that this image of Romero as a “utopia” is the main theme of her trilogy “Essays About Memory,” the last part of which will be performed Thursday at the capital’s National Theater.
The recipient of the 2010 Casa de las Americas award for her career in theater, Cerritos said that the figure of the archbishop – who was murdered by a right-wing death squad sniper while celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980 – is something that “strongly” permeates the country’s history.
She also said that her work – particularly the third essay of the trilogy, titled “13703, The Mystery of the Utopias,” a name inspired by the asteroid 13703 Romero named in the archbishop’s honor – is a tribute to the his words.
“Two stories are brought together,” she said, describing, on the one hand, a version of Romero’s childhood and the events leading up to his death, as well as the story of a sister and brother who follow clues found in the “Yellow Book” leading to their sibling – who disappeared during the civil war – on the other.
The “Yellow Book” is a compendium of names, aliases and photographs of people deemed “criminal terrorists” by the Salvadoran Army during the 1970s and 1980s, many of whom were arrested, tortured, disappeared or executed.