IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain and guitarist Janick Gers were photographed in El Salvador last week visiting the tomb of martyred Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was struck down during a mass in 1980 at the start of the Salvadoran Civil war. They can be seen in the picture with an unidentified woman at the grave in a basement below the city's cathedral.
During IRON MAIDEN's March 6 concert at the Estadio Jorge Magico Gonzalez in San Salvador, El Salvador's capital, a crowd of 9,000 people (as per La Página) cheered when McBrain put on a t-shirt featuring an image of the murdered priest and the slogan, "Saint Romero of the Americas."
On the night of March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot was shot dead while celebrating Mass at the small chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived. It is believed that those who organized his assassination were members of Salvadoran death squads, including two graduates of the School of the Americas. He was killed because he was giving voice to the needs of the oppressed.
IRON MAIDEN's web site put the number of people who attended the San Salvador concert at 25,000 and said it was the largest entertainment event in El Salvador's history.
"As a band, we have always insisted on getting to new places to see our fans and we have to thank these amazing fans from here and across Central America for making us so welcome and the concert such a historical event," MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson said in a statement.