By Cassandra Kislenko

It was January 1932, and the richest man in Canada had a serious problem.

Nova Scotia-born Izaak Walton Killam had made his millions through pulp, paper and hydro-electric projects across Latin America. His Montreal-based International Power company controlled a monopoly on electrical power in El Salvador and charged extremely high rates on the country’s exploited workers.

When these Indigenous peasants began an organized uprising, Killam called in a personal favour to protect his capital. This would end in a civilian massacre that would usher in decades of military dictatorship, and ultimately help establish prestigious cornerstones of Canadian arts, culture and academics.

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