SOAW Vigil 2019 – STOP militarism, detention and incarceration!
Rally & Vigil to Close the SOA in Georgia
Depart from Cleveland: Friday, Nov. 15, evening
Return to Cleveland: Monday, Nov. 18, early morning
Scholarships: email firstname.lastname@example.org
*$50 non-refundable deposit due Friday, Nov. 8
round-trip bus travel
hotel stay Saturday night
workshops & films
nonviolence training, media outreach training, orientation on the SOA and the demilitarization movement
We encourage ALL to attend
*required for scholarship; registration is recommended; time/venue TBA
The training at the School of the Americas (now called WHINSEC) is among the root causes of migration that forces people to flee their countries in Latin America. Our struggles stand together! Join us in November as we stand in struggle.
What is the School of Americas?
Since 1946, the SOA has trained 64,000 Latin American soldiers and police in counterinsurgency techniques, psychological warfare, military intelligence, and interrogation tactics. SOA graduates target educators, union organizers, religious workers, peasant organizers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. They have tortured, raped, “disappeared,” assassinated, and massacred thousands of Latin Americans.
SOA victims include:
Cleveland’s church women in El Salvador
Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador
Indigenous communities in Guatemala
Peasant communities in Colombia
Resistance movement leaders in Honduras
The SOA (now called WHINSEC) has been operating on US soil since 1984. It’s time to end the violence and close the SOA!
Victories for the Movement!
Across the hemisphere:
February 2004: Venezuela stopped training soldiers at the SOA
April 2006: Argentina stopped sending soldiers to the SOA
February 2008: Bolivia followed suit
June 2012: Ecuador
September 2012: Nicaragua
In the US:
September 2012: SOA Watch met with White House staff
April 2013: federal judge ruled in favor of SOA Watch: the Pentagon must release the names of all SOA/WHINSEC graduates! The Obama Administration is currently appealing this case
2014: The bill to close the SOA/WHINSEC gained momentum with more than 50 cosponsors
2015: SOA Watch continues to make connections between US-sponsored violence at home and abroad; connecting SOA violence to the root causes of migration, as well as the continued militarization of police in the repression of organized communities in cities across the US and the Americas
During the 1980s, the US government funded the war in El Salvador to the tune of $1million per day. By the time the war ended in 1992, more than 70,000 civilians had been disappeared, tortured, or assassinated. The United Nations commissioned a report called the “Truth Commission.” It found these graduates of the SOA responsible for several of the most horrendous human rights crimes, including:
3 of the 5 soldiers who raped and killed four US church women
2 of the 3 who assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero
10 of the 12 soldiers who massacred more than 900 people at El Mozote
19 of the 26 soldiers who massacred six Jesuit priests and two women at the University of Central America
Colombia receives more US taxpayer money for military training than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. It also has the worst human rights record in the hemisphere. SOA-trained soldiers collude and collaborate with illegal paramilitary forces to harass, torture and kill human rights defenders and peasant farmers.
SOA-trained army officers led a military coup d’état in 2009 that ousted the democratically elected president. Since then, hundreds of pro-democracy movement leaders and activists have been disappeared, tortured and killed.
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