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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fingers Did More Than Just Touching

It’s called International Right to Know Day and compared to other global initiatives of this type is probably one of the lesser known. So much so that wikipedia has only a stub in English and there are only three other listed languages in which the information can be retrieved: Arabic, Russian, and Ukrainian. Those, as you may find should you venture and click onto the hyperlinks, are also stubs.
A more detailed record about the project can be found at the initiative’s own website. I found out about the IRTKD more or less by accident. Sometime last week while surfing online for news about my native country, I came across this story published in Spanish by El Faro, the online Salvadoran newspaper.
The article referenced the upcoming publication of The Yellow Book, a detailed report on the Libro Amarillo, the over 260-pages document from the Salvadoran military intelligence files about some 2 000 people cataloged as “delinquent/terrorists” during the bloody 1980-1992 armed conflict.
From terrorist to top commander
From "delinquent/terrorist" to top Army commander
Framed in the yellow highlight on the Unfinished Sentences report that summarizes the work is Salvador Sánchez Cerén, nowadays President of El Salvador and top commander of the Armed Forces that back then included him in the Libro Amarillo.
“On September 28th, in recognition of International Right to Know Day, the Yellow Book was published in its entirety through a collaboration between the National Security Archive, the University of Washington Center for Human Rights and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group,” says Unfinished Sentences on its website.

You’ll find there a link to a youtube video about the report, as well as a link to Unfinished Sentences own facebook page.
If you visit the site and depending on how knowledgeable you are about Salvadoran affairs, it’s quite likely that some of the information will probably be known to you. It may all be a discovery, perhaps.
Whatever your knowledge may be, something I am sure won’t escape your attention: the irony of using “yellow book” as the title of something that was meant to be a tool for violence.
Closely associated for years with the call to action message of "Reach Out and Touch Someone" — meaning to try to stay in touch with friends and family via the telephone — the slogan "Let Your Fingers Do The TouchingWalking” was for many years synonymous with the nowadays almost vanished phone company Yellow Book.
Instead of walking or driving, you could get in touch with merchants via the telephone.
With this particular yellow book, fingers did more than just touching.

Looking for the victims names
From the youtube video: Looking for names