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Citizens In Solidarity With the People of El Salvador (CISPES) collection

Identifier: COU:2362

Scope and Contents

Papers of the CISPES Collection are divided into three Series based upon location, as well as two series dealing with publications and literature. Series I deals with the Boulder Chapter of CISPES, Series II contains information on Regional, Local, and National Chapters, while Series III deals with Special Topics Information. Series IV includes general alphabetical files and Series V contains publications. There are also oversized items including audio tapes and a calendar. Items contained in the collection include: calendars, meeting minutes, committee work, finance papers, petitions and letters, listings, statements of support, articles, leaflets and literature, newsletters, convention documents, press releases, protest evaluations, reading lists, and resolutions among other material. The last two sections contain literature, newspaper clippings, articles, etc.


  • Creation: 1980s

Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains or may contain private and personally identifiable information (PPII). Researchers must sign the University Libraries’ Private and Personally Identifiable Information Agreement in advance of access to collection materials. Contact for more information.

Copyright Statement

The University Libraries do not own the copyright to this collection. Researchers are responsible for contacting the copyright holder(s) for this material and obtaining permission to publish or broadcast. The University Libraries will not grant permission to publish or broadcast this material and are not responsible for copyright violations resulting from such use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers may not make notes, reproductions (including photographs), or other record of any private and personally identifiable information (PPII) located in this collection and may not publish, publicize, or disclose that PPII to any other party for any purpose. Exclusions may apply to researchers who have obtained authorization from the University of Colorado Institutional Review Board to produce human subject research records in de-identified form. All researchers must sign the University Libraries’ Private and Personally Identifiable Information Agreement indicating their understanding of the use restrictions for PPII found in this collection. Contact

Biographical / Historical

The following historical sketch taken from “A Short History of CISPES,” as included in their membership packet:

In 1980, during the last months of the Carter Administration, the U.S. government laid the groundwork for large-scale intervention in El Salvador by sending large amounts of military aid and advisors. In the fall of 1980 at two founding conferences in Los Angeles and Washington DC, CISPES was formed by dozens of groups and hundreds of individuals from across the country in response to these initial steps of intervention. Many of these groups had their roots in solidarity work with the people of Chile, Nicaragua and other Latin American countries and were already providing solidarity to the Salvadoran people.

The aggressive actions of the Carter Administration were followed by Reagan’s drastic increases in military commitment intended to suppress the growing popular movement in El Salvador. In response to the escalation, during the last months of 1980 and the first half of 1981 new groups were formed in dozens of cities and many of these joined the CISPES network.

The organization’s activities on the local scale have included: presenting speakers, slide shows, and films in churches, union locals, community centers, classrooms and homes. They have organized demonstrations, vigils and pickets, sent letters and telegrams. They also raised money for refugee aid. On the national level the organization sponsored in demonstrations in Washington DC on March 27, 1982 and November 12, 1983 protesting U.S. Intervention in Central America along with other groups. The organization also organized the national People-to-People Aid drive from January through April of 1983, aimed at providing medical aid to Salvadorans living in the FMLN-FDR zones of control, which raised over $150,000. Beyond that, the organization organized a door-to-door canvassing campaign, the National Neighborhood Protest, in 65 cities from July through November 1983. They also created highly visible protest actions at the following places: Fort Benning and Fort Bragg where Salvadoran elite battalions and officers are trained, at the State Department, and at the Port Chicago, California.


18 linear feet (11 Record boxes + 1 Oversize flat)

Language of Materials



The CISPES Collection contains the papers of the CISPES organization (The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) founded in 1980. This political organization was founded to oppose United States intervention in Central America, namely El Salvador. The goals of the organization included: “to end all forms of U.S. intervention in El Salvador and all of Central America and the Caribbean,” as well as “to provide direct support for the Salvadoran people through: material aid, and political support for the FMLN-FDR,” and “to support the people and revolutionary movements of Guatemala and Nicaragua,” as passed unanimously at the January 1984 National Coordinators Conference.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States