Born on December 2, 1938, in Comarca San Ramon, Sonsonate province, Lisco’s older brother was a casualty in a violently suppressed 1932 peasant uprising. In 1954, his father started the National Association of Indigenous Salvadorans (NAIS) to maintain the customs, ceremonies, and language of the Maya, Lenca & Nahua peoples. Lisco inherited the title of spiritual chief in 1976. In 1980, NAIS won legal recognition by the Salvadoran government. During the Salvadorian Civil War (1980-92), Lisco made international news by publicizing the February 1983 army-led attack on an Indigenous farm cooperative in Las Hojas. He later came to Washington to meet with members of Congress which led to the release of over 100 Indigenous political prisoners in El Salvador, but also led to attacks and physical threats to him and his family. After leaving the leadership of NAIS, he continued on to act as its spiritual leader until 2005. Lesco died in San Salvador.

Source:  Adam Bernstein, “Adrian Esquino Lisco, 68; was spiritual leader of indigenous community in El Salvador,” Los Angeles Times, 9/25/2007.  Retrieved 3/10/2022, Adrian Esquino Lisco, 68; was spiritual leader of indigenous community in El Salvador - Los Angeles Times (
Photo:  Elhesinberg, 6/25/2021. President of El Salvador Arturo Armando Molina (1972) with representatives of indigenous communities (cropped). Permissive Use.

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