Agustín Farabundo Martí

Agustín Farabundo Martí
Agustín Farabundo Martí
Martí was born on May 5, 1893, in Teotepeque, El Salvador, a small town in the region of La Libertad. He was the sixth of 14 children born to wealthy landholding parents. His family estate consisted of two haciendas and five square miles of land.

He was educated at the academy of the Silesian Fathers, excelling in both studies and sports. He graduated around 1913 and entered the National University. However, he immediately got into trouble over differences of philosophy with his professors and even challenged one of them to a duel.

Martí was exiled from the country more than once because of his radical beliefs. Some sources have Martí taking part in the Mexican Revolution as a member of the "Red Guards," but this seems to be part of the myth surrounding him.

He most likely lived in Honduras and Guatemala. In 1925 he became a charter member of the organization that began communist activity in Guatemala. However, the organization's president did not want foreign leftists, so Martí was forced out.

In 1927 the government of El Salvador began to persecute Martí. While imprisoned he went on a hunger strike, and many university students rallied around him. Because of this pressure, he was released, and he went to New York in 1928.

He was picked up in a police raid and decided to return to El Salvador. He returned via Nicaragua and came into contact with Sandino's anti-American campaign. During the year he was associated with Sandino and his movement, Martí tried to convert him, unsuccessfully, to communism.

After leaving the Sandino forces, Martí went to Mexico City to visit his mother. At one point he was arrested and jailed for allegedly taking part in the coup of Daniel Flores. In 1930 Martí was in Guatemala and then returned to El Salvador in May.

He was arrested and put on an enforced ocean voyage. He returned in February 1931, determined to stir up trouble. Conditions were horrible in El Salvador, and Martí took advantage to lead uprisings. He led a march on the president's house and was arrested on April 9.

After being released from jail in 1931, Martí continued his activities. He was arrested again in 1932 during an attempted major uprising. Many bombs had been found throughout the capital city, and Martí said there were many more. Because of this he was tried, found guilty, and executed by firing squad on February 1, 1932. The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front was named after him.