A Voice for the Voiceless: How American Religious Activists Spoke Out Against the U.S. Government's Role in Cold War Central America
Through an analysis of two case studies, this thesis works to understand how Catholic activism within the United States used media outlets to raise awareness about injustice in Central America and contribute a critical stance to repressive U.S. foreign policies there. A more comprehensive historical account is added to a lacking scholarship on U.S.- Central American relations by placing less emphasis on the implications of intervention, and instead focusing on the ways in which Americans were able to positively engage with Central America from 1975- 1989, analyzing activism on both a national and local scale. Archival research was conducted on the media publications of Maryknoll, a national Catholic foreign mission society with a wide reach of membership and influence, and the Denver Justice and Peace Committee, an example of more local religious activism. Through an analysis of monthly newsletters, press releases and interviews the value of advocating for change in a region devastated by United States economic and political interests is highlighted. In the face of injustice, U.S. Catholic activism demonstrates the historical importance of providing a voice for the voiceless.