Segundo Montes, Morazán

Segundo Montes, Morazán (also called Comunidad Segundo Montes or Ciudad Segundo Montes) is a community in Morazán Department, El Salvador, formed in 1990[1] by repatriated refugees who had fled the country's civil war. The community was named in memory of Segundo Montes, a Jesuit priest and scholar at the Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas" who was murdered by right-wing forces in November 1989 together with five other priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter.[1]

When the settlement was first proposed, the national government opposed the return of the refugees, ceding their right to return only after the United Nations intervened on their behalf.[2] Among those who made their home in Segundo Montes was Rufina Amaya, known as the lone survivor of the December, 1981, El Mozote massacre.[3]

In 1991, Ciudad Segundo Montes became a sister city to Cleveland, Ohio,[4][5] home of Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan, two American churchwomen raped and murdered by members of the Salvadoran National Guard in 1980.[6] The sister-city relationship was a joint project among Central American Network, the Salvadoran Association of Ohio, the Commission on Catholic Community Action and the Community Relations Board of the City of Cleveland.[7]

The community's beginnings in a Honduran refugee camp and their return to their homeland were the subject of a 1992 documentary by WHYY-TV of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film was described by Philadelphia Inquirer critic Jonathan Storm as "hopeful," portraying how the town's founders increased local literacy rates "from next to nothing to 85 percent in a nine-year period" and showing the town's establishment while the war still was being waged.[8]

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