To the editor:
It was enriching to read Michael Cook's response (Letters, the Times, Wednesday, Oct. 12) to the benefit and concert for El Salvador at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.
Mr. Cook is obviously extremely knowledgeable about and sensitive to the many complexities and difficulties on both sides of the U.S. and Central America borders.
Our event, although publicized as a benefit/concert, did attempt to address Mr. Cook's concern about information.
Rev. Kelly Asprooth-Jackson of First Parish Church in Beverly, spoke about the life and assassination of Archbishop Romero. Dr. Charlie Clements who wrote "Witness to War" and is the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard, spoke of his time as doctor among the "rebels" during their civil war, and his insightful knowledge of the present political situation. And lastly, Lucy Luna director of the Barefoot Angels for ASAPROSAR from El Salvador, spoke to many issues ASAPROSAR has encountered over its last 25 years of work among the rural poor, one being the issue of drugs, saying:
"Today 54 percent of the population In El Salvador is below 25 years, and because of the violence caused by gangs, our children and young people have become criminals.
"Violence in my country has the face of poverty and the lack of opportunity," she said. "The gangs are a result of hunger and poverty. in addition El Salvador has become the route of 80 percent of the cocaine that is consumed in the United States."
The champagne reception was a wonderful opportunity for people to ask more questions about El Salvador and the work of ASAPROSAR through questions to Dr. Clements and Ms. Luna.
The show in its entirety will be shown on Cape Ann TV (Channel 12) the week of Oct. 24.