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  • ALL OUT TO CLOSE THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAS!

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on November 14, 2007

    Greens from all over the country will be out in force at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia at the Close the School of the Americas Action.

    The Green Party of the United States opposes the continued operation of The School of the Americas – which was renamed in 2001 as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC) – and both calls for its immediate closure, and stands in solidarity with people across the Americas to support and endorse the nonviolent direct action proposed by School of the Americas Watch to shut down SOA/WHISCEC

    Resources

    TIMELINE: Until the school is closed

    RESOURCES: Press release from the Media Committee when proposal passes

    CONTACT: Gray Newman, 704-609-3160, dibloc (at) aol (dot) com

    References

    WWW.SOAW.Org

     

    Background:

    The School of the Americas, renamed in 2001 to Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC), located in Fort Benning, Georgia, was founded in 1946 with the purpose of teaching Latin American militaries the values of democratic civilian control over military forces while promoting “friendly” assistance to our Latin American neighbors.

    The School of the Americas (SOA)/(WHISC) teaches such things as assassination training, commando operations, counter-insurgency techniques, intelligence-gathering, psychological warfare, extortion, sniper training, and low-intensity conflict; and Pentagon
    documents released to School of the Americas Watch, in September of 1996, through the Freedom of Information Act, show that training manuals at least through the nineteen-eighties at the School of the Americas/WHISC included instruction in such things as extortion, assassination, threats and torture.

    There is documented evidence that many SOA graduates have been involved in murderous plots. This was demonstrated in the 1980 assassination case of Archbishop Oscar Romero in which two of the three Salvadoran officers responsible were graduates of the SOA. Further, nineteen of the twenty-six Salvadoran officers cited in the November 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, a housekeeper and her daughter, were also SOA graduates.

    Guatemalan Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, an SOA alumni, was implicated in the killing of U.S. citizen Michael Devine and Efraim Bamaca.

    It is estimated that there are more than 600 SOA graduates who have been accused of human rights abuses including the massacres of entire villages.

    Millions of dollars of US taxpayer money is spent annually to maintain the School of the Americas/WHISC at a time when budgets are being cut at the expense of our own schools and children, and the US Congress is currently reducing Federal spending on many social
    services.

    This history and the continued existence of the School of the Americas/WHISC stand in the way of moving our country’s relationships with Latin America towards emphasis on Human Rights and democracy.

    Nonviolent direct action has been part of many struggles for justice. It is also the backbone of the movement to close the SOA. Countless actions have taken place in this country as well as in Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Austria,
    France, Germany and other countries around the world. Thousands have put their bodies on the line, fasted and vigiled and hundreds have gotten arrested for speaking out against the violence perpetrated by the SOA and US foreign policy.

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