Categories
Drug War

SOA Graduate Takes Control of Security in Michoacán, Mexico

[ WHINSEC/SOA Logo ]

by Simón Sedillo

Alfredo Castillo, the federal envoy in charge of security for the State of Michoacán since January 2014 has stepped down and is being replaced by General Pedro Felipe Gurrola Ramírez, a US Army School of the Americas (SOA) graduate. The School of the Americas is notorious for training a wide variety of infamous military officials from all over Latin America in strategies and tactics which include but are not limited to torture, coercion, kidnapping, rape, murder, mutilations, massacres, mass media manipulation, political manipulation, and paramilitarism. In 1989, religious based faith groups and concerned individuals created the School of the Americas Watch, an organization that has outspokenly opposed the SOA, demanded the release of the names of individuals trained at the school, and exposed a number of atrocities and crimes committed by SOA graduates throughout Latin America.

Categories
Repression

April Days of Action in Washington, DC

by SOA Watch

SOA Watch is mobilizing for a gathering in Washington, DC from April 4-11, 2011 to take our demands to the White House, the halls of Congress, and other places where military and foreign policy decisions are made. We’ll be joining with many of our partners in the Anti-Militarization conference, lobbying on Capitol Hill and for a march to the White House on Sunday, April 10, followed by a nonviolent direct action to shut down the SOA/WHINSEC and to resist the increasing U.S. militarization of the Americas!

Visit www.SOAW.org and/or call 202-234-3440 for more information.

Categories
Repression

Thousands Converge at the gates of Fort Benning for 20th Anniversary of November Vigil to Close the SOA

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Action Followed by Indiscriminate Arrests and Targeting of Journalists. Among those arrested by Columbus Police were three Journalists, including TV News Crew from RT America and Unrelated Bystanders.

Thousands of human rights activists, torture survivors, veterans, faith-based communities, union workers, students, musicians and others from across the Americas are gathered today at the gates of the U.S. military base Fort Benning to call for the closure of the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).

Following the SOA Watch rally, human rights activists brought their nonviolent witness to close the SOA into the street leading onto the military base. The activists briefly shut down the road with a large sign that said, “Stop: This is the End of the Road for the SOA.” Their action is part of a longstanding tradition of creative civil disobedience to call attention to the atrocities committed by graduates of the School of the Americas. 10-12 people were arrested, and others charged, including the 90-year old Jesuit priest Bill Brennan, and ordained Catholic priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska.

Categories
Repression

Congress Approves Release of SOA/WHINSEC Names But Serious Concerns Remain

Partial Legislative Victory!

by SOA Watch
October 8, 2009

For the first time in the history of the SOA Watch Legislative Campaign, the U.S. Congress has approved legislative language opposing the negative practices and secrecy at the School of the Americas (SOA), now renamed WHINSEC. Congratulations and thanks go to all who worked so hard this year to achieve victory! SOA Watch is encouraged and hopeful about the outcome, however serious concerns remain.

On June 25, 2009, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill by a vote of 224 – 190 that required the Pentagon to release information about students and instructors at the SOA/ WHINSEC. This language was not passed by the Senate, so for the past three months, human rights advocates embarked on a multi-level pressure campaign to ensure the House-Senate conference committee included the amendment language in the final version of the bill. It was the second year in a row that the House passed this amendment by a wide margin, giving hope to many that the practice of secrecy at the SOA/WHINSEC would finally end this year.

Categories
Repression Solidarity

November 20-22: Close the SOA/WHINSEC!

By School of the Americas Watch, SOAW.org

November 20-22, 2009 – Converge on Fort Benning, Georgia
Mass Mobilization to Shut Down the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC)!

The military coup by SOA graduates in Honduras has once again exposed the destabilizing and deadly effects that the School of the Americas has on Latin America. The actions of the school’s graduates are unmasking the Pentagon rhetoric and reveal the anti-democratic results of U.S. policies. It is time for a change towards justice.

From November 20-22, 2209, thousands will vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, to stand up for justice, to shut down the School of the Americas and to end the oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the school represents.