Drawing by Mark Vallen

"Stop The War In Central America"
Mark Vallen 1986
Pencil on paper - 22.5" x 27.5" inches

Artist's statement:

Stop The War in Central America was originally a large pencil drawing I created in 1986 to express my opposition to U.S. military intervention in Central America. That same year I published the drawing as a large street poster.

The focal point in the artwork are three skeletal figures inspired by the Dia de los Muertos drawings of the great Mexican artist, Josť Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), only my skeletons represent the Escuadrones de la Muerte (Squadrons of Death) unleashed by Reagan in the nations of El Salvador and Nicaragua.

They are clothed in U.S. supplied military uniforms that have dollar signs as their camouflage pattern. Clutching U.S. supplied M-16 automatic rifles in their decomposing hands, they move threateningly towards the viewer.In the wake of the deathly trio one can see the graveyards of countless victims, the skyline blackened with acrid smoke and bomb-blasts.

When I released the poster a U.S. military cargo plane had been shot down over Nicaragua, killing three U.S. mercenaries serving as its crew. Eugene Hasenfus survived the crash and was captured in the jungle by the Sandinistas. The plane was on a covert U.S. operation delivering tons of leathal weapons to the anti-Sandinista "Contra" guerrillas, aid the U.S. Congress had forbidden in the 1982 Boland Amendment, and the Reagan administration denied it had been providing.


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