Popular Rejection of the SOA in Latin America


Popular Rejection of the SOA in Latin America
Summer 2006
Newsletter of the movement to Close the SOA
Popular Rejection of the SOA in Latin America
Argentina and Uruguay join Venezuela in Ceasing the Training of soldiers at the
School of the Americas / Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
In March 2006, SOA Watch activists Carlos Mauricio, Lisa Sullivan and
Father Roy Bourgeois set off on a three week journey to Bolivia,
Argentina and Uruguay to build relationships with social movements
and to dialogue with popular governments
in South America
around sending their soldiers to train
at the School
of the Americas. The following article
was written by Lisa Sullivan: Last November I stood before the fence
at Ft. Benning and placed the Venezuelan flag that my 17-year old daughter
Maia had carried throughout the procession. On it we had written:
“Venezuela, the only country to withdraw its troops from the SOA”. As
we stepped back its bright colors stood out against the sea of white
crosses, each
with the name of a victim of one of the
graduates of
the SOA, which lay beyond the fence.
Continued on Page 4
Also in this issue:
Prisoner Addresses
“If... the machine of government... is of such a
nature that it requires you to be the agent of
injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Vote in Congress
Build for the upcoming vote
on the SOA! Page 3
Local Organizing
Tips on how to build a local
SOA Watch group. Page 12
¡América Resiste!
No Más Soldados para la
Escuela de las Américas
En el mes de noviembre del año pasado, estaba
yo frente a la valla de Fort Benning y ahí coloqué la
bandera de Venezuela que mi hija Maia de 17 años había
acarreado durante toda la procesión. La bandera llevaba la
siguiente inscripción: ¨Venezuela, único pais que retiró sus tropas
de la SOA¨. Cuando nos alejamos vimos los brillantes colores de
la bandera destacarse frente al mar de cruces blancas, cada una con
el nombre de una víctima de alguno de los egresados de SOA. De
repente nos venció la emoción y al abrazarnos, se nos saltaron las lágrimas.
Quizás haya sido la nostalgia por un pais que había sido el único hogar de mi hija o bien la visión
de tantas cruces que representaban una mínima parte de todas las vidas destruidas por esa Escuela;
creo que fue más bien una sensación de miedo frente a tanto amor. Parados en ese espacio sagrado,
entre un lugar de tanta destrucción por un lado y por el otro, el amor sin compromiso de 20 000 personas
a gente que ni siquiera conocían; estábamos abrumados por la fuerza de ese amor. Continúa en la página 7
Para Más Información:
Summer 2006
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Stay updated about the campaign
to close the SOA/WHINSEC!
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The SOA Watch Update is the newsletter
of the movement to close the SOA/
WHINSEC. The newsletter is published
three times a year and sent to 30,000
people across the United States and
beyond. Contact the SOA Watch office
to subscribe or to order additional copies
for distribution in your community.
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Mission Statement of SOA Watch:
SOA Watch is a nonviolent grassroots
movement that works to stand in
solidarity with the people of Latin
America, to close the SOA/WHINSEC
and to change oppressive U.S. foreign
policy that the SOA represents.
We are grateful to our sisters and brothers
throughout Latin America for their
inspiration and the invitation to
accompany them in their struggle for
economic and social justice.
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SOA Watch Council see Page 11
SOA Watch Staff:
Pam Bowman, Legislative Coordinator
Roy Bourgeois, Founder
Aisha Brown, Development and
Operations Coordinator
Eric LeCompte, Event and Outreach
Christy Pardew, Communications
Carmen Rivera, Program Associate
Hendrik Voss, Networking Coordinator
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SOA Watch, P.O. Box 4566
Washington D.C.
Phone: (202) 234-3440
Email: [email protected]
Covergraphic: Haik Hoisington www.blackmustache.com
Check the box to receive a
November Organizing Packet for the
Vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, GA.
Building a Local SOA Watch Group
Many thanks to Incite! Women of Color Against Violence
for much of this organizing information. Visit them at
SOA Watch is made up of hundreds of local groups
around the hemisphere, doing work in their own
communities to lay the groundwork for a successful
campaign to close the School of the Americas. Your
work to connect with others in your own community
is a key part of our movement’s work to close the
Chances are, you do not need as many people as you
think to do effective organizing. Three people are
enough to begin a local group. Even if your group
does not attract lots of members, you can still do
important work in your area.
It’s important to understand that people will put in
varying amounts of time into organizing efforts. A
few people will do lots of work; some will contribute
every once in a while; others will show up at special
events; some will only contribute financially. Rather
than become frustrated that not everyone is putting
in the same amount of work, learn to work with what
people are able to do and make the most of what they
are willing to contribute. That way, they will not
become alienated from the work, and will hopefully
later increase their commitment to the group.
You do not need to know as much as you think to do
organizing work. Most successful organizers learn by
doing and by trial and error. Don’t become
disheartened by failure and mistakes. It is through
mistakes that one learns how to organize effectively.
For every successful event or campaign someone
organizes, they probably were
involved in ten events or
campaigns that did not work!
Graphics by Rini Templeton, www.riniart.org
SOA Watch on the web:
Local SOA Watch groups are listed
on the SOA Watch website here:
On this page, you can look at groups
by state and list your own group and
contact information so that others in
your area can find you.
Possible Activities for Local SOA Watch Groups
1. Form study groups to educate yourselves on the
issues of the School of the Americas, U.S. foreign
policy towards Latin America, institutional and
personal racism and militarism.
2. Do education in your community. Host a public
video showing of a film about the SOA. Table at
local events and hand out flyers about the School
of the Americas. Support the work of community
organizations in your region, and work to connect
local issues with the SOA. Cut and paste SOA
Watch’s flyers to make them relevant to current
community struggles. Host a
speaker in your community
to talk about the SOA.
(Visit the SOA Watch
website or contact the office
for a list of available
videos, DVDs and flyers).
3. Coordinate petition
or letter-writing
campaigns urging
Representatives to cosponsor HR 1217 to
suspend operations at the
SOA/ WHINSEC. Ask Senators to sponsor similar
legislation in the Senate. (Contact the office for more info
and for updates on the legislative campaign and visit the
website: www.SOAW.org/legislative).
4. Coordinate, sponsor and actively participate in
discussions, rallies and demonstrations addressing
issues central to militarism, to US foreign policy
towards Latin America, to racism and to the lives of
those most affected by places like the SOA.
5. Conduct teach-ins and consciousness-raising
sessions among your communities.
6. Promote activities which create dialogue and
coalitions among activists working for justice.
Local Organizing - continued on page 10
Fundraising for our movement
SOA Watch is grateful to the thousands of people across the country who are supporting the work to
close the SOA financially. It wouldn’t be possible without you!
To contribute, please make checks and
money orders payable to “SOA Watch.”
Donations of $100 or more are tax-deductible
if your check is made payable to our fiscal
sponsor, the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute.
Specify “SOA Watch" on the memo line. Due to
restrictions by our fiscal sponsor, donations under
$100 are not tax deductible, and must be made
payable directly to SOA Watch.
SOA Watch
If you prefer to donate by credit card over the phone,
please call our office at 202-234-3440. (Please note: credit
card donations are not tax deductible.)
Mail to: SOA Watch ~ PO Box 4566 ~ Washington, DC, 20017
Name _______________________________________________________________
Street _______________________________________________________________
City ____________________________ State ________ Zip ____________________
E-mail address ________________________ Phone (______) ___________________
$500 ____
$250 ____
$100 ____
$50 ____
$25 ____ Other ____
Visa or Master Card #: _________________________________ Exp. Date:___/____
Page 2
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SOA Watch Update
We are THIS close
Legislative Update Here’s what you can do.
Call Congress: 1-888-355-3588
It’s been almost six years since Congress has voted
on an amendment to close the School of the Americas
and as early as May of this year, the House of
Representatives will go on record and cast their votes
for or against an amendment that would suspend
operations at the school.
human rights and leadership credibility of the United
States is at an all-time low. Our relationships with nations
in Latin America are at a crossroads and now is the key
time for us to make strategic choices.
After decades of neglect in development assistance and
social programs, as well as graduates from the U.S.
Ar my School of the
We anticipate a CLOSE vote,
Americas committing
and if there was ever a time
some of the worst
where you dedicated yourself
It’s toll free, it costs you nothing:
human rights abuses in
to a few weeks of intense
their histories, Latin
organizing around issues
America is turning their
essential to peace and justice in
backs on a legacy of torture and terror. The government
Latin America, this is the time to get involved.
of Venezuela publicly announced they will no longer
send soldiers to WHINSEC. Several weeks ago, Uruguay
Don’t wonder “what if ?” in a few months! Let’s do
and Argentina followed suit and will no longer send
all that we can to win! Every call, every letter, every
their soldiers to the school. For civil society and a
person that you share this information with will be
growing number of new Latin American leaders like
crucial to the final outcome of the vote.
Verónica Michelle Bachelet, the president of Chile and
Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, the SOA stands
Below are the two things YOU can do to make sure
synonymous with torture and the repressive military
we win this vote, as well as a quick summary of the
regimes that killed their loved ones.
legislation and the amendment process. For more
information on the legislative campaign, visit This is our chance to suspend operations at the SOA/
www.SOAW.org/Legislative or contact the Legislative WHINSEC, investigate the legacy of torture manuals
Coordinator, Pam Bowman at [email protected] and atrocities linked with the school, build good
or 202-234-3440.
relationships and tr ust in the Western
Hemisphere and send a positive human rights
message to Latin America. One way that we
can reevaluate and reformulate U.S. foreign
military training is to support HR 1217.
As my elected official in Washington., I hope
you will represent me and support HR 1217.”
Call YOUR Representative, and for a list
of others in your state/region that we
need calls to go to, contact Pam in DC.
Looking forward…
The legislative campaign of SOA Watch has been
energized by the upcoming vote! With the help
of growing grassroots pressure, SOA supporters
are poised to loose seats in the House of
Representatives during the fall election, we look
forward to many legislative victories over the next
few years. We will continue to press for legislative
measures in Congress that address the operation
of SOA/WHINSEC, peace and justice in Latin
America, and anti-militarization legislation.
Our Legislative Working Group needs your help
to shape the legislative strategy of the future!
Contact Pam in the DC office to get involved.
Join the “Vote Alert” team!
We need a team of people quickly forwarding
our “Vote Alert” to as many peace and justice
chapters, Latin America solidarity organizations,
human rights groups, friends, family and coworkers. Think of it like a chain letter: if
everyone makes a call to Congress, gives the
email to 5 more people and they call, etc, our
voices will be heard in full force all over Capitol
Hill the week of the vote!
Join the “Vote Alert” team and receive an email
from the Legislative Coordinator that the vote
is coming with instructions on which House
Representatives to call. Contact Pam at
[email protected] t to be added to the list.
Make contact with your Rep in the House!
There are still Members of Congress that need our
new information, need to hear from constituents, need
to be visited, and need to be called. Pull together a
group of 3-4 people in your area to make a visit to
the district office of your Rep. before the vote. We
can help you with contacts for folks to join your
group! If you can’t attend a meeting, PLEASE make
a phone call to their DC office:
CALL CONGRESS: 1-888-355-3588.
When you reach the operator, ask for the
Representative’s office you want.
When the Rep’s office answers, ask for the
legislative director or foreign affairs aide. Here is a
suggested message/talking points you can convey:
“I am a constituent from (city/zip code) calling
Congressman/woman to alert her/him about a new
development in our foreign policy with Latin
After revelations about the involvement of the U.S.
military at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo Bay, the
Summer 2006
See also Nov. 17-19 - On the Roa
d to Justice on Page 8
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Page 3
Argentina and Uruguay reject the SOA
(continued from coverpage) Unexpectedly, we were
overcome with emotion and tears flowed as we
embraced. Maybe it was nostalgia for a country
which had been my daughter’s only home, or
the image of so many crosses representing only
a tiny fraction of the lives stolen by this school.
But I believe it was actually a sense of awe in the
face of so much love. Standing
on this holy ground between
a place of so much
destruction on one side and
the uncompromising love
of 20,000 strangers for
people they had never
known on the other, we
were overwhelmed by the
power of this love.
request: “We ask that you consider no longer
sending troops to the SOA which has brought
nothing but tragedy to your country and to all
countries in Latin America” I remember
translating Roy’s words and being a bit surprised
by the boldness of such a request. More
surprising, however, was the vice president’s
reaction. He picked up his cell phone and
dialed the defense minister and before long,
we were sitting in President Chavez’s office
deep in dialogue. Within weeks we had
an answer to our request. Venezuela was
removing all of its students from the
prisoners, many of them at the hands of SOA
graduates such as Banzer and Luis Arce. They were
as open and anxious to meet with us as we were
with them, affirming that a new moment had
arrived in their country.
The term we heard most repeated to explain this
new moment in was that of “dignity” which we
witnessed in the Aymara people of El Alto who
celebrate their language, dress, and traditions. They
also had no need for lengthy explanations about
the SOA, having lived first hand its consequences
in the 2000 and 2003 battles called the “water
war” and “gas war” where repression at the hands
of SOA graduates brought tragedy. After learning
of our proposal, they leaped ahead to organize
press conferences, radio shows, newspaper articles,
talks and campaigns to push the idea of
withdrawing Bolivian troops from the SOA.
Likewise, human rights activists in the city of
This victory for the movement made a
clear statement to all of us. The time
had come to join hands with those
It is this deep connection to
people who had directly suffered at the
those who suffered at the
hands of the SOA, If there were no
hands of the graduates of the
more students, there would be no more
SOA that has driven the movement
Graphic by Lee Miller
school. With the support of the
from its onset. For many years, those who knew
movement, Roy, Carlos Mauricio, and I set out
and loved these victims personally were unable
in early March to visit Bolivia, Uruguay and
to speak out, without risking the same fate. And
Argentina to attempt this same request: no
so others spoke in solidarity with them –
more troops to the SOA.
grandmothers from California, students from
Philadelphia, nuns from Iowa, teachers from
It seemed appropriate that this journey begin
Maine. Meanwhile, transformations were taking
in Bolivia where Roy had served as a Maryknoll Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos, El Alto
place in Latin America, including countries where
priest and was detained and expelled by the
some of the gravest atrocities learned at this
Cochabamba organized for weeks to host a series
military dictatorship of General Hugo Banzer.
school were carried out. Voices that were
of events on the SOA, even facing abuse and
Banzer not only was a graduate of the SOA, but
silenced were being raised, and in many cases
threats from employees of the current governor
a member of its Hall of Fame. I had also worked
those who had suffered atrocities were now part
whose attendance at the SOA they made public.
in Bolivia a few years later when elected
of their country’s leadership.
governments continued the practice of jailing
The most powerful symbol for the Bolivian
their opponents, such as my young friend Juan
Recognizing these emerging voices, Roy
people for this new moment, however, is their
Carlos. I had last heard from in a moving letter
Bourgeois and others responded to an invitation
new president Evo Morales who like the majority
written from jail. Learning of our visit, he invited
to visit Venezuela in early 2004, a country where
Continued on page 6
us to give a talk on the SOA his workplace - the
I worked for 20 years as a lay missioner.
office of vice
Graduates of the SOA had helped to orchestrate
president, to
a coup 18 months earlier, leaving behind a trail
whom he was
of bloodshed. They did not have the final word,
now an advisor.
Over the past couple months, grassroots initiatives against anti-immig
however, as Venezuelans poured down from the
Like Juan Carlos,
legislation received a tremendous response. Tens of thousands of high school
populous hillside barrios of Caracas to turn the
more than half
coup around. After being restored to power
Federal offices and freeways
were taken over and shut down. Workers in Chicago, Atlanta and other
by those who had elected him, however, Hugo
Chavez had continued to send troops to the SOA,
rallies took place in at least 100 cities across
officials with
where over 4,000 Venezuelan students had
over three million people flooding into the streets.
whom we met in
attended through the years.
Bolivia had spent
“The demonstrations embody a surging constituency demanding that illegal
time in jail as
immigrants be given a path to citizenship rather than be punished with prison
We met with Venezuela’s vice president early in
p o l i t i c a l
terms,” the New York Times—belatedly—observed. “[Their demands are] being
the trip, and Roy wasted no time in making his
pressed as never before by immigrants who were long thought too fearful
deportation to risk so public a display.”
Immigrants Rising!
SOA Watch supports the struggle for Immigrant Rights. We understand
many immigrants to the United States are victims of U.S.-sponsored military
training and atrocities in Latin America. In our fight to close the SOA, we continue
to work towards a world that is free of suffering and violence. We recognize
the SOA as being a part of the same racist system of violence and domination
We ally ourselves with those most affected by SOA violence and their
families in our effort to create a better world.
Many immigrants that come to the United States
from Latin America are victims of SOA
graduates who carry out violence against
civilian populatio ns in their own
countries. Right now in Colombia ,
paramilitary groups are terrorizing villages,
which causes displacement and migration. But
this is hardly a new phenomenon. In the 1980s,
during the civil wars in Central America, military
and paramilitary groups uprooted people from
their homes, and many fled to the United States.
We urge all people to become more educated
about the life stories and experiences of recent
immigrants and to support human and civil rights!
Page 4
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SOA Watch Update
Americas in the News
Colombia: In February 2006, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe
promoted the SOA graduate General Mario Montoya, to become
the new head of the Colombian Army. The SOA graduate Mario
Montoya attended the SOA as a guest instructor in 1993, after his
implication in paramilitary activities in 1978-79 became public. Over
10,000 Colombian soldiers have been trained at the SOA and their
names consistently top the lists of perpetrators in human rights reports.
SOA Watch has documented cases in which SOA graduates, instructors,
and guest speakers have been involved in massacres, the killing of striking workers, assassinations and
torture. The 1993 human rights report State Terrorism in Colombia cites 247 Colombian officers for
human rights violations. Fully one half of those cited were SOA graduates. Some were even featured in
the “SOA Hall of Fame” after their involvement in such crimes. With 256 Colombian soldiers projected
to be trained this year, Colombia will again be the biggest SOA client in 2006. Thus, the United States
continues to support military solutions the ongoing conflict, at times even suggesting deploying troops
in Colombia. In a March 24th announcement cited by human rights groups in Colombia but barely
publicized in the United States, Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson told Radio Caracol that,
while the United States would not initiate any unilateral military action to capture leaders of the FARC
indicted by the Justice Department, it would intervene if invited by the Colombian government.
United States/Honduras: A federal judge in Miami has ordered Colonel
Juan López Grijalba, a former military intelligence chief from Honduras and an
SOA graduate, to pay $47 million to torture survivors and relatives of civilians
murdered by Honduran military forces in the early 1980s. Judge Joan A. Lenard
held López Grijalba legally responsible for torture, extrajudicial killings and
disappearances in the Central American nation, stating that his conduct was “highly
egregious”. In a written opinion, Judge Lenard ruled that López Grijalba had
ordered the detention and murder of Manfredo Velásquez, a university student
leader, in 1981. The judge also found that López Grijalba played a key role in a
military operation in 1982 that led to the torture and murder of innocent civilians. On July 8, 1982,
members of the Honduran Armed Forces abducted
and tortured Oscar and Gloria Reyes during a raid of
their Tegucigalpa neighborhood. Oscar and Gloria
testified at trial that they were subjected to beatings,
continuous electrical shocks and a mock execution. The
case against López Grijalba marks the first time a
Honduran military leader has been held responsible for
human rights abuses committed in the Central
American nation. López Grijalba was an SOA student on four separate occasions between 1963 and
1975, and was invited to speak at the School of the Americas in 1991 and 1992. He moved to the
Miami area in 1998 where he lived until immigration officials arrested him in 2002.
Ecuador: On April 5th, the Ecuadorian government suspended free trade negotiations with the
United States for at least three weeks after the two nations’ representatives reached a deadlock in the
talks. The suspension comes as massive numbers of protesters,
led by indigenous groups such as the National Confederation
of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) are
demanding that President Alfredo Palacio end the negotiations.
There is a deep distrust of U.S. motives in Ecuador and
displeasure over its perceived excessive influence. There is
also fear that authorities will use military force against civil
society groups. In February it was reported that Ecuadorian
Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin suggested that the country
might need a multinational force to come in to help subdue
protests at an oil pumping station, and that protest was only
a fraction of the size of the anti- free trade agreement mobilizations. Meanwhile, local forces detained
some protestors and journalists in the town of Ibarra, where threats of further repression caused one
mobilization to be canceled. Terrorist training camps like the School of the Americas exist to protect
the elite few who benefit from neoliberal economic policies like free trade agreements. SOA graduates
are trained to kill Latin American people who are resisting power structures that maintain U.S. hegemony
across the hemisphere. (upsidedownworld.org; ecuador.indymedia.org)
United States: SOA Watch has joined together with national
and international religious, human rights, student, and labor
organizations in the Alliance for Fair Food, which was successfully
launched on March 8th at an exciting ceremony in Immokalee.
The new alliance will work for, “fair wages and working
conditions, fundamental human rights and an end to modern-day
slavery in the agricultural industry”. The campaign is based on the
successful effort led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
to get Taco Bell’s parent company Yum! Brands Inc. to pay a
penny more per pound of tomatoes. Its first target is McDonald’s,
in part because of the company’s name recognition and because
McDonald’s has a reputation for corporate responsibility. SOA
Watch is grateful for CIW’s invitation to accompany them in this CIW street theatre at the gates of Fort Benning
struggle, which is a struggle not just for better wages for the people of Immokalee but for a better
world for all of us. We will follow CIW’s lead in the effort to bring McDonald’s on board to help end
human rights abuses in its supply chain. (allianceforfairfood.org)
Summer 2006
Support the Prisoners
Prison witness has been a core element of the SOA
Watch movement since its beginning. In the tradition
of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Aung
San Suu Kyi and countless others, SOA Watch activists
have used peaceful, nonviolent resistance to expose the
horrors of the SOA/ WHINSEC and to express
solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Latin America.
As a result, more than 200 human rights defenders
have collectively spent over 80 years in prison. Nearly 50
people have served probation sentences. Their sacrifice
and steadfastness in the str ug gle provide an
extraordinary example of love in action and have given
tremendous momentum to the effort to change
oppressive U.S. foreign policy and to close the SOA/
WHINSEC. Thirty-one activists are currently
incarcerated in federal prisons throughout the
United States for their nonviolent direct action
during the November vigil in 2005:
Buddy Bell, 23, is a student at DePaul University in
Illinois. Buddy has a philosophy that says nurturing
the conscience of generations to come is the path to
both their own personal empowerment and the
transition to a world where people are finally valued
more highly than materials. Buddy was sentenced to
three months in prison and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until
Buddy R. Bell #92561-020
FCI Oxford
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1085
Oxford, WI 53952
Joanne Cowan, 56, is from Boulder, Colorado. Joanne
was born in San Francisco and earned a degree at UC
Berkeley in 1973. She was diagnosed with multiple
sclerosis in 1976. Joanne has a dog, a Master’s in
Anthropology. She is a vegan and a natural hygienist.
Joanne was sentenced to two months in prison.
Imprisoned until 06/09/06
Joanne Cowan #92566-020
FCI Phoenix
Satellite Camp
37930 N. 45th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Fred Brancel, 79, is from Madison, Wisconsin. Fred
was born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. He is
a retired minister who worked in Africa for 20 years.
Fred was sentenced to three months in prison and a
$500 fine.Imprisoned until 07/09/06
Fredrick Brancel #92562-020
FCI Oxford
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1085
Oxford, WI 53952
(Fred has asked to receive any
correspondence through an e-mail account. Mail will be
forwarded by his son: [email protected])
Anika Cunningham, 26, Bowling Green, Ohio. Annika
was sentenced to one month in prison and a $500 fine.
Imprisoned until 05/11/06
Anika D. Cunningham
FMC Lexington
Satellite Camp
PO Box 14525
Lexington, KY 40512
Robert St. Clair Call, 72, is from Hasbrouck Heights,
New Jersey. Bob is married to Theresa Gallagherhas
and has two daughters and three grandchildren. He has
supervised development of shelters for the homeless,
day care-, and senior centers in NYC. Bob was sentenced
to three months in prison. Imprisoned until 07/09/06
Robert Call #92563-020
FCI Fort Dix
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1000
Fort Dix, NJ 08640
Continued on Page 6
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Page 5
Sarah Harper, 36, is from Emeryville, CA. Sarah lives
with her daughter and their two dogs. She is working
as a landscaper and as organizer with Peace Action. She’s
a volunteer with the GI Rights Hotline. She writes: “I
believe this year we have the best chance ... to win a vote
& close the SOA.” Sarah was sentenced to three months
in prison and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until 07/09/06
Sarah C. Harper #92571-020
FCI Dublin
Satellite Camp
5765 8th St. – Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568
Ken Crowley, lives in Washington, DC. He works at
Witness for Peace and was a volunteer educator with
abusive parents and abused children. He was found
guilty of “aiding and abetting” and sentenced to six
months in prison and a $1,000 fine - the first time that
an SOAW activist has been prosecuted for this
charge.Imprisoned until 10/08/06
Kenneth Francis Crowley
FCI Beaumont Low
Federal Correction Institution
PO Box 26020
Beaumont, TX 77720
Argentina and Uruguay reject the SOA
(continued from page 4)
of the population is indigenous and from a very
humble background. In spite of our positive
meetings with other government officials, we felt it
was essential to meet the president, a feat we were
able to achieve helped by the fact that he shows up
to work every day at 5 a.m. The meeting was
positive and Morales showed great openness to
looking Bolivia’s involvement at the SOA. He asked
for more information and committed to meeting
with military leaders to discuss this possibility. We
now hopefully await his response.
Evo Morales and Carlos Mauricio
Scott Dempsky, 30, is a janitor and lives in Denmark,
WI. He started coming to SOA protests in 1998. He
writes: “After years of hearing stories from many nuns,
priests and other people working with our Latin
American sisters and brothers, I decided to wage preemptive peace and help close down the SOA.” Scott
was sentenced to three months in prison and a $500
fine. Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Scott Dempsky #92568-020
FCI Terre Haute
Satellite Camp
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
Joe DeRaymond, 55, Freemanburg, PA. Joe is an
activist who has spent much time in the Americas. He
is a nurse and writer. Last year, he worked in the Peace
Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia. The
same month, eight of their members were massacred.
Joe was sentenced to three months in prison and a
$500 fine.Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Joseph DeRaymond #92569-020
FCI Schuylkill
Satellite Camp
PO Box 670
Minersville, PA 17954
Immediately after our visit with President Morales,
we flew to Uruguay where the hard work of Andres
Thomas Conteris opened up dialogue with many
human rights groups and government officials.
Andres was part of a coinciding delegation to
Uruguay and Argentina, which was organized by
the Marin Interfaith Task Force and Nonviolence
International. Uruguay, this tiny country which was
once considered the “Switzerland of Latin
America” had gone on to achieve the unfortunate
fame of holding the record for more political
prisoners per capita than any where on the planet.
During the late 70’s and early 80’s over one in every
50 Uruguayans were detained, deemed by the
militar y government as a threat. To nobody’s
surprise, many of these officials learned their art of
torture and repression at the SOA.
One person who was clear about the military’s
involvement in human rights abuse is Azucena
Berrutti, a former lawyer who had defended
numerous political prisioners and now was Defense
Minister under Uruguay’s President Tabare Vazquez.
A gentle woman in her mid-seventies, she received
us warmly into her office. Since Vazquez’
inauguration a year ago, Uruguay had not sent
troops to the school. Until our visit, this had not
been made public.. However, a week after we left
Minister Berrutti made her announcement: no more
Uruguayan troops to the SOA.
Stephen Clemens, 55, is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Steve is a member of the Community of St. Martin in
Minneapolis. He is married to Christine and is the father
of two. Steve has been active in peace and justice concerns
his whole adult life. Steve was sentenced to three months
in prison and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Stephen Douglas Clements
FPC Duluth
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box 1000
Duluth, MN 55814
Christine Gaunt, 49, lives in Grinnell, Iowa. Chris
pled guilty at her arraignment in November, was
sentenced to six months in prison and immediately
incarcerated. Imprisoned until 05/19/06
Christine Gaunt #91356-020
FCI Pekin
Satellte Camp
P.O. Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555
Charles Carney, 47, is from Kansas City, Kansas.
Charles has been a war tax resister for 26 years. For the
last five years he has worked as painting contractor and
landscaper to finance his activism. Charles was sentenced
to 12 months of probation and a $500 fine.
Page 6
so far to share this moment. Nunca más - never
again - was their theme.
For me, it was hard to sleep above the busy streets
of Buenos Aires, as I tried to make sense of how
so many people – 30,000 by most accounts could have been murdered at the hands of their
own countrymen. At the time, in the late 70’s and
early 80’s, it was impossible to even denounce what
was happening. With trepidation, mothers of the
disappeared began to gather at the large Plaza de
Mayo in front of the government palace to gather
information about their missing children. Wearing
a white scarf to identify themselves to one another,
they began to meet secretly. One place was at Santa
Cruz church, where Roy was asked to celebrate a
mass on Sunday. It was there that the founder of
this movement was picked up along with a nun
from the church. They were tortured, then thrown
from an airplane into the Atlantic – the likely fate
of most of the disappeared. Their bodies washed
up shortly after, but were buried in unidentified
graves. Only in recent months, with new DNA
testing, were they identified and now buried in this
small churchyard where we gathering on this brisk
fall morning in the Southern Hemisphere.
It was thanks to the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
that we were able to bring good news back from
Argentina. With their leader Hebe de Bonafini, we
were able to meet with the Argentine Defense
Minister, Nilda Garre. Like Uruguay’s minister, she
has a personal experience of the previous
repression of her country’s military, as her own
husband was one of the many who “disappeared”
at their hands. During the meeting, it was hard to
say who was more excited: Minister Garre at the
news that so many US citizens had mobilized to
close this school, or ourselves upon learning of
her decision. She was able to share the good news
with us. After the lone Argentine currently at the
school finishes his course, Argentina will be sending
no more military to this school.
This November I will return to the gates of Ft.
Benning where like all of us I dream that there
will be no School of the Americas and Maia and
I will shed tears of joy and dance in the street.
But, short of that ultimate dream, I hope that the
flags of Uruguay and Argentina, and perhaps
Bolivia and others, will join that of Venezuela on
the fence, and in their bright colors we may feel
the strength and solidarity and unity of their
people as we join together in this
str uggle for justice in our
Lisa Sullivan and Azucena Berrutti
Crossing the wide Rio de la Plata by boat, we
entered Argentina the day after the 30th year
anniversary of a military coup which led to
unequaled brutality on the continent. Shortly after
arriving we joined thousands of Argentines in
marching for the first time into the notorious
Campo de Mayo military base, where 6,000 people
were tortured and killed. Tears flowed from mothers
who were looking for the first time onto the place
where their children had spent their last moments.
Nobel peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel spoke
before the crowd with words that we might have
chosen: what happened here was not happenstance,
but planned at a place called “the School of the
Americas”. We raised our banner high which said
“cierra la Escuela de las Americas”. Young and old
Argentines hugged us and thanked us for coming
The rejection of the
“Terror School” by the
Argentinian and the
Uruguayan governments
was a headline story in
“La Republica,” a major
Uruguayan Newspaper and in
many other print, radio and
TV media outlets (including
TeleSur) across Latin America.
Most of the mainstream media in
the United States was a little more
shy to report the news.
Continued on Page 9
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SOA Watch Update
(De la página 1)
Es este profundo vínculo con los que han sufrido
por culpa de los egresados de SOA que se han puesto
en marcha estas manifestaciones. Durante muchos
años, los que conocían personalmente y amaban a
las víctimas no pudieron hablar sin arriesgar, ellos
también, sus vidas. Otros hablaron por ellos: abuelas
de California, estudiantes de Filadelfia, monjas de
Iowa, docentes de Maine. Al mismo tiempo ocurrían
cambios en América Latina, incluso en países donde
se habían llevado a cabo las mayores atrocidades
aprendidas en esa Escuela. Se empezaron a oir voces
que antes se silenciaban y en algunos casos los que
habían sufrido esas atrocidades estaban ahora en el
Reconociendo esas voces que iban surgiendo, Roy
Bourgeois y otros aceptaron una invitación para ir a
Venezuela a principios del año 2004; en ese pais había
trabajado yo durante 20 años como misionero
Maryknoll laico. Unos meses antes, varios egresados
de SOA habían ayudado a organizar un golpe de
estado que derramó mucha sangre. Sin embargo, no
tuvieron éxito: los venezolanos aparecieron de todos
los populosos barrios de Caracas y detuvieron el golpe.
Reinstalado en el poder por los que lo habían elegido,
Hugo Chávez siguió mandando tropas a la SOA
donde, en el correr de los años, se habían entrenado
más de 4000 militares venezolanos.
Nos reunimos con el vicepresidente de Venezuela y
Roy, sin perder tiempo, dijo lo siguiente: ¨Le pedimos
que considere la posibilidad de no mandar más tropas
a SOA que sólo ha aportado desgracias a su pais y a
todos los demas paises de América Latina¨. Recuerdo
que al traducir las palabras de Roy me sorprendió la
audacia de dicha petición. Pero todavía más me
sorpredió la reacción del vicepresidente: llamó
inmediatamente al ministro de defensa y, al poco rato,
estábamos conversando en la oficina del presidente
Chávez . A las pocas semanas tuvimos la respuesta a
nuestro pedido: Venezuela retiraba todos sus
estudiantes de la SOA.
Esta victoria nos aclaró las cosas: había llegado el
momento de unirnos con aquellos pueblos que habían
s u f r i d o
directamente a manos de
Sin estudiantes la escuela
tenía que desaparecer. Con
el apoyo del movimiento,
Roy, Carlos Mauricio y
yo, decidimos ir a
Bolivia, Uruguay y
Argentina para tratar
de obtener el mismo
resultado: no más
tropas a SOA.
P a r e c í a
empezar por
Summer 2006
donde Roy había sido
sacerdote Maryknoll, había
sido detenido y expulsado por
la dictadura militar del
general Hugo Banzer.
Además de egresado de SOA,
Banzer era miembro de su
Pabellón de la Fama. Yo
también había trabajado en
Bolivia unos años después
cuando los gobiernos electos
seguían encarcelando a sus
oponentes como a mi joven
amigo Juan Carlos. Lo último
que había sabido de él fue
por una carta muy
emocionante que escribió en
la carcel. Cuando se enteró
de nuestra visita, nos invitó
a que habláramos de SOA en
su lugar de trabajo: la oficina
del vicepresidente de quien
era ahora asesor. Igual que
Juan Carlos más de la mitad
de los funcionarios del
gobierno con los cuales nos
encontramos en Bolivia,
habían sido prisioneros políticos y muchos de ellos a
manos de egresados de SOA, como Banzer y Luis
Arce. Estaban tan deseosos e impacientes como
nosotros de conversar y afirmaban que había llegado
una nueva época para su pais.
La palabra que más oímos para explicar esa nueva
época fue ¨dignidad¨ y lo pudimos comprobar con el
pueblo Aymará de El Alto que festejaba su idioma, su
vestimenta y sus tradiciones. No necesitaban largas
explicaciones sobre SOA, ellos habían experimentado
directamente la actuación de sus egresados y las
calamidades que habían provocado en las batallas de
los años 2000 y 2003 llamadas ¨la guerra del agua¨ y
la ¨guerra del gas¨ .
militar. No es sorpresa para nadie que muchos de
los militares aprendieron sus destrezas de tortura y
represión en la escuela de SOA.
Alguien con las ideas muy claras sobre la
participación militar en la violación de los derechos
humanos es Azucena Berruti, ex abogada, defensora
de muchos prisioneros políticos, ahora Ministro de
Defensa con el Presidente Tabaré Vázquez. Es una
mujer amable, de unos setenta años, nos recibió
afectuosamente en su oficina. Desde que Vázquez
asumió el poder, hace un año, el Uruguay no ha
mandado fuerzas armadas a SOA; eso no era público
antes de nuestra llegada. Una semana después de
nuestra salida del Uruguay la Ministra Berruti dio
la noticia: No más soldados uruguayos a SOA.
Al enterarse de nuestra propuesta, empezaron a
organizar conferencias de prensa, programas de radio,
artículos de periódicos, charlas y campañas para Cruzamos el ancho Rio de la Plata por barco y
promover la idea de retirar las tropas bolivianas de entramos a la Argentina el día después del 30
SOA. También los g rupos
defensores de los derechos
humanos de Cochabamba
organizaron durante varias
semanas una serie de actos sobre
SOA, y eso a pesar de las
amenazas y de los atropellos
provocados por los empleados
participación a SOA se hizo
ENCUENTRO. Nilda Garré (izquierda), junto a Hebe Bonafini y Roy Bourgeois.
El símbolo más poderoso del
pueblo boliviano es su nuevo presidente Evo Morales, aniversario del golpe militar que encabezó una
un indígena de origen humilde igual que la mayoría de brutalidad inigualada en el continente. Poco después
la población. A pesar de nuestros encuentros positivos de llegar nos unimos a miles de argentinos que, por
con distintos funcionarios del gobierno, pensamos que primera vez, entraban en la famosa base militar del
era esencial reunirnos con el presidente: lo logramos Campo de Mayo, donde 6000 personas fueron
sabiendo que iba a trabajar todos los días a las 5 de la torturadas y ejecutadas. Se observaban las lágrimas
mañana. La reunión fue fructífera y Morales mostró de las madres que, por primera vez, veían el lugar
mucho interés en la complicidad de Bolivia con la donde sus hijos habían pasado sus últimos
SOA. Pidió datos suplementarios y se comprometió momentos. El premio Nobel de la Paz, Adolfo Pérez
en reunirse con los jefes militares para discutir lo que Esquivel habló utilizando palabras que hubiéramos
le planteábamos. Estamos ahora esperando su hecho nuestras: lo que aquí pasó no es casualidad,
respuesta con optimismo.
fue planeado en un lugar llamado ¨Escuela de las
Américas¨. Levantamos nuestra bandera que decía
Después de nuestra visita al Presidente Morales ¨cerrar la Escuela de las Américas¨. Nos abrazaron
llegamos a Uruguay donde el intenso trabajo de Andrés argentinos jóvenes y viejos y nos agradecieron por
Tomás Conteris facilitó el diálogo con muchos grupos venir de tan lejos para compartir estos momentos. ¨
de derechos humanos y con funcionarios del gobierno. ¡Nunca más!¨ era su tema.
Andrés era miembro de una delegación que iba a
Uruguay y Argentina organizada por el Grupo de Me fue difícil conciliar el sueño debido a las ruidosas
Trabajo Marin de Interfé y de Noviolencia calles de Buenos Aires; también quería entender
Internacional. Uruguay, ese diminuto pais, un cómo tanta gente, 30000 según los datos más
tiempo considerado la ¨Suiza de América Latina¨, fidedignos, podían haber sido asesinados por sus
llegó a tener la triste fama de ser el pais del propios compatriotas. En aquel entonces, fines de
planeta con más prisioneros políticos por los años 70 y principios de los 80 ni siquiera era
habitante. Desde fines de los años 70 hasta posible denunciar lo que estaba ocurriendo. Con
principios de los 80, más de un uruguayo mucho temor las madres de los desaparecidos
por 50 habitantes estaba detenido, empezaron a reunirse en la inmensa Plaza de Mayo,
considerado una amenaza por el gobierno
Continúa en la página 8
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Page 7
Dorothy Parker, 76, is from Chico, California. Dorothy
is a retired Mental Health Clinician. She is married to
Lou, has four adult children, 11 grandchildren, and two
great-grandchildren. She has co-led delegations to Central
America, which opened her eyes to the activities of her
government. Dorothy was sentenced to 60 days in
prison. Imprisoned until 06/10/06
Dorothy Parker #91432-020
FCI Dublin
Satellite Camp
5765 8th St. Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568
Edward “Naed” Smith, 38, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Naed is a Catholic Worker of St. Martin Depores House
and has worked as a Catholic Worker for 10 years. St.
Martin’s ministers to the poor by providing food,
blankets and shelter. Naed was sentenced to six months
in prison. Imprisoned until 10/08/06
Edward Smith #46994-083
FCI Schuylkill
Satellite Camp
PO Box 670
Minersville, PA 17954
Judith Ruland, 47, was born and raised in central
Massachusetts, and she moved to Springfield in 1978
seeking better opportunity because much of the
industry in her area had moved South. She married
Arthur Ruland in 1997 and became a Catholic revert in
2000. Judith was sentenced to two months in prison
and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until 06/10/06
Judith Ruland #91434-020
FCI Danbury
Federal Prison Camp
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811
Cheryl Sommers, 68, is from Berkeley, California.
Cheryl became aware of the struggle to close the School
of the Americas by attending an presentation by Fr.
Roy Bourgeois at a local high school, arranged by Civil
Rights activist, Fr. Bill O’Donald. Cheryl was sentenced
to three months in prison and a $500 fine. Imprisoned
until 07/10/06
Cheryl Sommers #91437-020
FCI Dublin
Federal Satellite Camp
5765 8th St. – Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568
Priscilla Treska, 66, Cleveland, Ohio. Mother of 15,
Grandmother of 21, Montessori Teacher, Priscilla is
involved in several ministries of St. Augustine Catholic
Church, especially with handicapped children. Her
family had been active in hosting Salvadorans making
their way to Canada. After serving 72 days in the
Muscogee County Jail, Priscilla was found guilty and
released on “time served.”
Jamie Walters, 41, lives in Columbia, Missouri. Jamie
is an active member of the Catholic Worker community.
In the fall of 2003,with his friend and fellow Catholic
Worker, M. Ruth O’Neill, Jamie founded St Brigid’s
Peace House to promote social justice. Jamie was
sentenced to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine.
Frank Woolever, 72, is from Syracuse, New York.
Frank entered the seminary in Rochester, New York
and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1959. He
married Mary E. Schmalzl. They have two daughters.
Frank was sentenced to three months in prison.
Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Francis Woolever #91438-020
USP Canaan
Satellite camp
PO Box 200
Waymart, PA 18472
Jerome Zawada, 68, is a Franciscan based out of
Cedar Lake, Indiana. Jerry was active in the Solidarity
Movement in the U.S. in the 1980s and has worked
closely with torture survivors. Fr. Jerry was sentenced
to six months in prison. Imprisoned until 10/08/06
Jerome A. Zawada #04995-045
FCI Terre Haute
Satellite Camp
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
Page 8
November 17-19, 2006
On the Road to Justice
We need you and all of your friends to raise your voices against the SOA at the gates of
Fort Benning this November 17th through 19th. Your work brings us closer to closing the SOA
and creating the world we know is possible; a world where all live free from torture, free of
terror and where everyone can live in human dignity.
The movement continues to grow across the Americas.
Uruguay and Argentina have announced that they
will no longer send troops to the SOA and last
year we gathered more than 19,000 strong at the
gates of Fort Benning – will you be with us this
November as we gather in numbers too big to be
We need you to do more this year than you did last
year. Our movement must continue to grow at the
gates of Fort Benning and beyond. As we get closer
and closer to winning a vote in congress and more countries reject SOA training, we must continue
to mobilize.
Photo by Linda Panetta, www.soawne.org
If you weren’t able to come last year, we need you to come to the vigil this year. If you came last
year, the movement needs you to recruit friends and family to join you this year at the gates. If you
organized a van or bus last year, please organize two or more buses to the SOA Vigil this
year. Our ability to pressure this government and broaden the work of our movement
depends on our collective ability to mobilize. We know that the vigil is a transforming
experience, by introducing people to the vigil to the first time, you introduce them to the road that
journeys towards justice.
Every year our community at the gates grows and we organize more events to satisfy your thirst
for social change. This year we will offer more than 60 workshops that range from Latin
American policy to the death penalty to ending torture. Also you will have the opportunity to build
invaluable organizing skills, including organizing, lobbying and fundraising.
As in past years, members of our movement will bring our message of hope onto Ft.
Benning. Please consider crossing onto the base or
engaging in other acts of nonviolent direct
action this year. Our movement
continues to demonstrate its strength,
passion and determination by not
letting a fence protect the school of
assassins or hide the truth. If you are
considering joining us in nonviolent
action on Ft. Benning, please e-mail Eric
at [email protected].
Graphic by Rini Templeton
¡América Resiste!
(De la página 7)
frente al palacio de gobierno, para saber qué pasaba con sus hijos ausentes.
Llevaban una pañoleta blanca para identificarse; empezaron a reunirse
en secreto. Uno de los lugares de reunión era la iglesia de la Santa Cruz
donde se pidió a Roy que celebrara la misa del domingo. Ahí fue donde
la fundadora de ese movimiento, junto con una monja de la iglesia,
fueron detenidas, torturadas y tiradas al océano Atlántico desde un avión;
ese fue el destino de la mayoría de los desaparecidos. Los cuerpos
aparecieron poco después y fueron enterrados en tumbas anónimas.
Hace pocos meses, con las nuevas pruebas del DNA, se les pudo
identificar y están ahora enterradas en el pequeño cementerio de la iglesia
donde nos reunimos esa intensa mañana otoñal del hemisferio sur.
Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo nos permitieron traer buenas noticias de la Argentina. Gracias a
su lider, Hebe de Bonafini, pudimos reunirnos con la ministro de defensa, Nilda Garre. Ella, igual
que la ministro del Uruguay, ha experimentado personalmente la represión ya que su propio esposo
fue uno de los numerosos ¨desaparecidos¨ a manos de los militares. Durante la reunión era difícil
decir quién estaba más entusiasmado: la ministro Garre al saber que tantos ciudadanos
norteamericanos se habían movilizado para cerrar la escuela o nosotros mismos al conocer su
decisión. Nos informó que cuando el único argentino actualmente en la escuela hubiera terminado
el curso, Argentina no enviaría más militares a dicha escuela.
En noviembre de este año volveremos a las
puertas de Ft. Benning, donde, igual que todos
nosotros, sueño que no exista más la Escuela de
las Américas, que Maia y yo lloremos de alegría
y que bailemos en la calle. Además de ese
último sueño espero que las banderas del
Uruguay de la Argentina y quizas, la de Bolivia y
muchas más, se unirán a la de Venezuela en la
valla y que sus colores brillantes nos hagan sentir
la fuerza, la solidaridad y la unidad de los pueblos
luchando todos juntos por la justicia en nuestras
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SOA Watch Update
Strategy Meeting Report
Growing Stronger Together
the rest of the weekend’s activities by encouraging
The strategy meeting is the time for the SOA
us to think critically and strategically about how
Watch movement to come together for a
our campaign should move forward.
conversation about our past efforts and
aspirations for the future of SOA Watch. It is a
Other sessions on Saturday included a
time for all of us to share our work both
performance of Nightwing, an autobiographical
regionally and nationally and to coordinate our
theater piece by Hector Aristizabal, recounting the
efforts as we work to close the School of the
story of his detention and torture in Colombia.
Americas. On the weekend of February 18 th and
The solo performance portrays multiple characters
19th SOA Watch held its annual Strategy Meeting.
to answer the question, "With what love and faith
Thanks to the support of SOAW-West, we were
do I find the strength to kill the terrorist within?"
able to meet in San Francisco, California for the
Later, a panel of speakers including Pam
first time. The location allowed for the attendance
Bowman, Francisco
of many activists from
Herrera, Judy Liteky,
the West who had been
"There is enough love and good will
Carlos Mauricio, Gail
unable to attend previous
in our movement to give energy to our
Taylor (moderator),
Strategy Meetings in
Derrlyn Tom, and
struggle and still have plenty left over
Washington, DC. Moving
Gilberto Villaseñor
to break down and change the climate
discussed various
Washington to San
of hate and fear around us."
Francisco was a testament
campaign to close the
- Cesar Chavez
of our movement’s coastSOA. The last session
to-coast growth. San
of the evening focused on our legislative work
Francisco provided a new and refreshing setting
around HR 1217, helping to re-energize us as we
for the more than 80 activists and organizers to
prepare for a vote this spring.
debrief, evaluate, and re-envision the work of
SOA Watch.
On Sunday we reconvened and made time to
talk about the November Vigil. Working together
The weekend began with an activity facilitated
in small groups, and then as a larger group, we
by long-time SOA Watch activists David Solnit
brainstormed our ideas about the goals of the
and Laura Slattery, which helped us by defining
November Vigil and strategies to achieve those
commonly used terms and using those definitions
goals. In the final session of the meeting,
to develop a new way of thinking about the
participants had a chance to form small groups
movement’s work. A goal, we learned, is the main
based on the aspects of the campaign that most
objective that one hopes to achieve, while a strategy
interest them. After some lively discussion, we
is the “how”, or the plan of action designed to
came together and each shared one task we were
achieve that goal. Tactics are the specific activities
committed to do in the next year to strengthen
at a specific time and place; they are the multiple
the campaign to close the SOA. Participants
ways that a strategy is carried out. A campaign is a
imparted a wide range of commitments, from
focused mobilization, like the campaign to close
pledging to contact a Representative in Congress
the School of the Americas. Understanding these
to undertaking anti-racism training.
terms assisted us in envisioning next steps for
SOA Watch.
Thanks to the vital work of Strategy Meeting
attendees, the SOA Watch movement is coming
As a whole group, as well as in smaller breakout
into the spring ready to take on the challenges of
groups, participants had opportunities to talk
this critical moment in our campaign.
about the “pillars” that maintain the SOA (such
as public acquiescence, financial benefit to the
United States, racism, and pressure from
the Pentagon, among others) and
identify a “spectrum of allies” to
work with us as we attempt
to dismantle support for
the school. This broad
discussion informed
Robin Lloyd, 67, lives in Burlington, VT, and is the
mother of Jesse, 27. Robin is an activist and filmmaker.
She is also on the board of the Women’s International
League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Robin was
sentenced to three months in prison and a $500 fine.
Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Robin Lloyd #92572-020
FCI Danbury
Federal Prison Camp
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811
Delmar Schwaller, 81, is from Appleton, WI. Delmar
is a Catholic Christian, a World War II Veteran, and is
married with seven children. For ten years he was an
elected alderman. For the past eight years he has been at
the SOAW Vigils. Delmar was sentenced to two months
in prison. Imprisoned until 06/10/06
Delmar Schwaller #91435-020
FCI Oxford
Satellite Camp
PO Box1085
Oxford, WI 53952
Linda Mashburn, 63, lives in Brevard, North Carolina.
She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and from the
Hartford School of Nursing in 1964. She worked for a
year in India. Linda married William in 1973 and had
three children. Linda was sentenced to three months in
prison and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Linda Mashburn #91430-020
FPC Alderson
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box A
Alderson, WV 24910
Jonathan Robert is from Georgia. Charged with
destruction of government property, Jonathan was
convicted on Feb. 2 and is awaiting sentencing.
Jonathan Robert
Crisp County Detention Center
197 Ga. Hwy. 300 South
Cordele, GA 31015
Donte Smith, 19, is from Houston, Texas. Donte
Smith is a student, labor organizer and social justice
activist from the starry skies of Houston, Texas. Donte
feels that task of ‘tikkum olam’ - translated from Hebrew
as - “repairing the world” is a yoke that all humanity
bears. Donte was sentenced to three months in prison
and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Donte Smith #91436-020
FMC Fort Worth
Federal Medical Center
PO Box 15330
Fort Worth, TX 76119
Gail Phares, 66, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Gail
is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, a
mother of two daughters; she lives with her husband
Robert. In the l960s, she lived and worked in Nicaragua
and Guatemala as a Maryknoll Sister. Sister Maura
Clarke – raped and murdered by graduates of the SOA
– was one of Gail’s close friends. Gail was sentenced to
three months in prison. Imprisoned until 07/10/06
Gail S. Phares #91433-020
FPC Alderson
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box A
Alderson, WV 24910
David Sylvester, 54, is a writer living in Oakland,
California. In 1998, he joined a delegation to Iraq to
break the U.S.-led sanctions by delivering medical
supplies. David was sentenced to three months in
prison and a $500 fine. Imprisoned until 07/10/06
David A. Sylvester #91441-020
FCI Lompoc
Satellite Camp
3705 West Farm Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
Graphic by Mona Caron
Summer 2006
Father Louis Vitale, 73, is a Franciscan Priest from
San Francisco, California. Fr. Louis is a retired pastor of
an inner city church in San Francisco. Fr. Louis was
sentenced to six months in prison an immediately
incarcerated. He was released on April 30, 2006.
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Page 9
Rita Hohenshell #90280-020
FCI Pekin
Satellite Camp
PO Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555
Sam Foster, 70, lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sam
is a retiree and is a 40-year resident of MinneapolisSaint Paul. Sam is a member of Veterans for Peace
(VFP). He has been widowed for six years, but has met
and fallen in love with a lady from North Carolina. Sam
was sentenced to two months in prison and a $500
fine. Imprisoned until 06/10/06
Samuel Foster #91439-020
FCI Beckley
Satellite Camp
PO Box 350
Beaver, WV 25813
Michael Gayman, 26, is a seminarian in Davenport,
Iowa. Michael is a senior at St. Ambrose University
with a major in philosophy. He writes: “I feel that each
and every one of us has a roll to play in the world, and
each of us has a responsibility to others.” Michael was
sentenced to two months in prison and a $500 fine.
Imprisoned until 06/10/06
Michael Lee Gayman #92570-020
FCI Terre Haute
Satellite Camp
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
Jane Hosking, 37, lives in Luck, Wisconsin at the
Anathoth Farm. She is a volunteer with Nukewatch
and a civil disobedience activist. She was part of the
campaign opposing the “Extremely Low Frequency”
project. Jane was sentenced to six months in prison
and a $1,000 fine. Imprisoned until 10/08/06
Jane Hosking #05331-090
FCI Pekin
Satellite Camp
PO Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555
John LaForge, 49, lives at the Anathoth Community
Farm in Wisconsin. A native of Duluth, MN, John
works on the staff of Nukewatch. John has published
articles on nuclear weapons, militarism and nonviolence.
John was sentenced to six months in prison and a
$1,000 fine. Imprisoned until 10/08/06
John LaForge #03213-090
FPC Duluth
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box 1000
Duluth, MN 55814
Liam O’Reilly, 22, is from Maine. Charged with
destruction of government property, Liam was
sentenced to three months in prison and a $250 fine.
Imprisoned until 07/09/06
Liam O’Reilly #91431-020
USP Canaan
Satellite Camp
P.O. Box 200
Waymert, PA 18472
Mary Dennis Lentsch PBVM, 69, is a Roman Catholic
Sister who lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Mary is a
member of the Sisters of the Presentation. In addition
to her activities to close the SOA, she has worked for
nuclear disarmament with OREPA. Sr. Mary Dennis
was sentenced to six months in prison. Imprisoned until
Elizabeth Ann Lentsch
FMC Lexington
Satellite Camp
PO Box 14525
Lexington, KY 40512
Don Nelson, 62, lives in Summertown, Tennessee.
Don pled guilty at his arraignment, was sentenced to
three months in prison and incarcerated in January. He
was released in April.
Page 10
Local Organizing to CLose the SOA
(continued from page 2)
7. With your local group, write letters to the editor
of local papers responding to coverage of
militarism, of Latin America, of community
struggles for justice. (Visit the SOA Watch website or
contact the office for sample letters and tips on media
8. Promote activities which organize and advance
the leadership of youth, especially youth most
affected by places like the SOA.
9. Use media advisories, news releases and followup calls to get media coverage of your community
events, vigils, speakers or demonstrations. (Visit the
SOA Watch website or contact the office for sample press
releases and more).
10. Produce and distribute public information in
the form of flyers, stencils,
graffiti, posters, etc.
It’s important to hold structured meetings with a
rotating facilitator, and to let each person choose
her own role and title. The group can then
collectively agree upon expectations for each role.
In meetings, always let someone who has not
spoken talk before someone who has. Rotate
leadership positions.
It is critical to develop clear structures of
accountability. Establish a common understanding
of what should be done if someone is not able to
fulfill their assigned tasks. Often in more egalitarian
organizations, individuals may not hold formal
positions of power, but they do hold informal
positions of power. As a result, it is often difficult
to address these problematic dynamics because they
are informal. Establish within the group some
process that allows people on a regular basis to
assess and discuss the power dynamics within the
For major decisions,
vote using a consensus
model that requires
everyone to agree on an
outcome that is best for
the project. Remember
that smaller decisions
can be left to individuals. For the consensus model
to work, however, everyone must take
responsibility for the group process and realize that
consensus is built on compromise. Thus, if an
individual feels strongly enough to block consensus
on an issue, she should also come up with an
alternative suggestion that can bring consensus. Test
the impact of tough decisions with trial periods.
For more information and organizing
For many local groups,
organizing to bring people resources visit:
from their community to
the annual November
vigil is the primary focus
of their work for much of
the year. People mobilize around fundraising for
travel scholarship, filling a bus or van and getting
the word out about their group’s trip to Georgia.
Some SOA Watch local groups organize an event
one or two months before leaving that draws in
new people from their community and that lets
people know about how they can become more
involved and attend the vigil. One idea your group
might want to consider is organizing an event
around October 12, Indigenous Peoples’ Day and
Día de la Raza. This could be a great way to get the
word out about the SOA and do coalition building
with other groups mobilizing for this international
day protesting the legacy of colonialism and
continued repression of indigenous rights.
So you’re ready to organize?
There are many aspects to organizing an effective
and powerful local group, and there isn’t enough
space here to expand of many of them. On the
SOA Watch website, however, you’ll find many more
resources for organizing, including information on
fundraising, research, developing a campaign plan,
planning actions, organizing meetings and mobilizing
for the November Vigil to Close the SOA.
It’s critical to think about what kind of structure
and decision-making plan your group will adopt, to
build community together and to develop allies.
Creating egalitarian structures
Most organizations concerned with social justice
find themselves in the dilemma of fighting for
equality in a society while at the same time working
within hierarchical structures.
They struggle with forming structures to work in
that mirror the society they want to create. This
task is very difficult,
but here are some
thoughts on how to
Graphics by Rini Templeton, www.riniart.org
Rita Hohenshell, 80, is a retiree living in Des Moines,
Iowa. Rita was sentenced to two months in prison.
Imprisoned until 06/10/06
Keep stirring the pot: co-sponsor projects with
communities you do not already attract. Broaden
your issues to diversify your following.
We all have something to teach, as well as
something to learn, so provide equal access to skills
and knowledge. Build community by making time
to do fun activities and celebrate together.
Building Community
To organize effectively, it is important to both build
communities of support and involve pre-existing
communities in your work. Here are some issues
to consider in building community.
1. Define the communities in which you will
work. What are the various and groups and
communities to which everyone in the group
belongs (geography, ethnicity, religion, occupation,
etc.)? Which of these communities is most directly
affected by the issue you are working on?
2. Plan your outreach When and where do you
naturally come in contact with the other people in
your communities? What mobilization strategy
would work best for the community and the issue?
Door-knocking? School organizing? Individual
networking? What individuals or groups might be a
little more difficult to get involved, and what would
facilitate their participation?
3. Design the materials What basic printed
materials are needed to give people an idea of the
group and your issue? How do the materials need
to be crafted to appeal to each group with which
you want to work?
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Continued next page
SOA Watch Update
SOA Watch Organizing Regions
Contacting Your Council
The SOA Watch Grassroots Council is SOA
Watch’s decision-making body. The Council
meets in person twice a year and over the
phone in between meetings. It is made up of
ex-officio seats and twelve regional
representatives which are chosen by local SOA
Watch groups in their regions. Contact the
Council Representative from your region to
find out about organizing in your area.
(including Western Canada and Alaska)
Rich Ring: [email protected]
West: (including Hawaii)
Cile Beatty: [email protected]
Theresa Cameranesi:
[email protected]
Richard Boren: [email protected]
Brendan McCrann: [email protected]
Jill Flores: [email protected]
Ken Hayes: [email protected]
Great Lakes:
Liz Deligio: [email protected]
Morgan Roddy: [email protected]
Deirdre MacDermott:
[email protected]
Linda Panetta: [email protected]
Randal Pfleger: [email protected]
Edith Wilson: [email protected]
Other Council Members Include:
New England: (including Eastern Canada)
Palmer Legare: [email protected]
Marge Clark, Leadership Conference of
Women Religious:
[email protected].
New York:
(rotating representatives)
Audrey Stewart: [email protected]
Mike Pasquale: [email protected]
Wayne Wittman, Veterans for Peace:
[email protected]
Father Roy Bourgeois Speaking Tour:
May 3-5, Seattle, Washington, 206-632-1523
May 6, Portland, Oregon, 503-288-8014
May 24, Jersey City, New Jersey, 201-547-6405
June 7-9, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 505-264-2838
August 12 - Sept. 5, Chile, Peru and Ecuador
September 14-16, Denver, Colorado, 303-458-4109
September 25-27, Asheville, North Carolina, 828-771-2014
October 12-13, Riverforest, Illinois, 708-714-9124
October 27-28, Providence, Rhode Island, 802-434-2980
November 3-4, Houston, Texas, 832-741-7306
To schedule Father Roy to speak to your organization, school or group from personal experience about why
the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) must be closed., contact the SOA Watch Office in Georgia at 706-682-5369.
Local Organizing contibued from page 10
Handing our materials to people is not a substitute
for personal interaction. How can material
distribution be complemented with other forms
of outreach?
4. Identify leadership and specific skills What
types of skills or equipment are needed for the
campaign? Computers? Artists? Good public
speakers? Who else should be involved? How can
they be approached?
Developing Allies
One you have developed a base from which to
organize, you want to develop as many allies as
possible to support your campaign. Here are some
suggestions for building allies.
1. Reach out What resources to you still need
and what other groups or organizations might have
them? Is the issue one that other organizations will
have an interest in? Does your organizing effort
encompass the diversity of the community? If not,
how can you expand your effort to bring more
people in?
2. Find potential allies Make a list of groups or
organizations that might have an interest in the
issue. Make a list of groups outside the community
with potential interest in the issue. Who, within these
target groups, do you already know? Who do you
know who might know members of target allies?
What potentially sympathetic groups may have
greater access to the decision-makers and the
power-brokers for your issue, and how might you
approach them? Do not be quick to write off some
groups as the “enemy.” With creativity, it is often
possible to frame an issue in such a way to build
relationship with groups that might initially seem
to be your opponents.
What alliances can you build outside your local area?
All local issues have regional, national and global
implications. How can you build alliances on these
levels to further your goals?
Endorsements? More substantial participation?
Funds? Other resources? What all the options for
involvement? If they are not willing to participate
on the level you wish, what other ways can they
What components of the effort are you willing –
or not willing – to compromise on? Goals?
Strategies? Tactics? If a group is so ideologically
different from your group to make a formal
alliance impossible, are their informal alliances that
might be possible to carve that would still further
your goals?
Approach all potential allies with respect – offer
them a real role in the campaign. Develop a
schedule for talking with potential allies, plus some
activities to get them involved.
3. Approach allies For those groups with which
you do not have a direct link, who is the best
person to approach that group? A member of a
similar group? Someone who knows someone
in the group? What types of commitment
and arrangements do you want from allies?
Graphic: Beehive Design Collective
Summer 2006
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Page 11
New: Flash Animation
about the School of the
Americas (SOA/WHINSEC)
NNuuevo: Animacion
Flash acerca la Escuela
las Americas (SOA/WHINSEC
We have an exciting new tool to get our
message about the SOA to the public!
Townandplanet.com worked with SOA Watch
on a short flash movie that takes internet
activism to close the SOA to the next level.
Disponemos de una nueva herramienta para
difundir al público nuestro mensaje sobre la SOA.
Town y Planet han trabajado con SOA Watch para
crear una película Flash que lleva el activismo
web para cerrar la SOA al un nivel más alto.
The film about the SOA is two minutes long
and can be watched from the SOA Watch
website. It encapsulates basic information
about the SOA and a call to action.
La película que dura 2 minutos y se puede
visualizar y descargar gratuitamente desde la
página web de SOA Watch, compendia la
información básica de SOA y una llamada a la
acción. El guión de la misma se escribió como un anuncio satírico de WHINSEC
como burla de la fracasada campaña de relaciones públicas organizada por el
Pentágono para la escuela. Termina con una nota seria y una llamada a la acción
pinchable para que los usuarios puedan actuar sobre lo que acaban de ver,
volviéndose activos en la campaña para cerrar la SOA y contactando con su
Miembro del Congreso.
The entertaining and educational film script was written as a satiric WHINSEC
commercial to poke fun at the failed Pentagon public relations campaign for
the school. It ends with a serious note and a clickable call to action — so
users can act on what they’ve just seen by becoming part of the campaign to
close the SOA and by contacting their Member of Congress.
Visit www.SOAW.org, send the link out to your friends, family and coworkers and invite them to view the movie. With the click of a button,
thousands of viewers can pass the movie on to their contacts and news of
the SOA can continue to travel around the web, reaching an ever-expanding
audience. The results can make the decisive difference in the upcoming vote!
The School of the Americas, book by Lesley Gill
Based on her unprecedented level of
access to the School of the Americas,
Gill describes the School's mission and
training methods and reveals how its
students, alumni, and officers perceive
themselves in relation to the dirty wars
that have raged across Latin America.
Assessing the School's role in U.S.
empire-building, she shows how Latin
America's brightest and most
ambitious military officers are
indoctrinated into a stark good-versusevil worldview, seduced by consumer
society and the “American dream,”
and enlisted as proxies in Washington's
war against drugs and “subversion.”
ISBN 0-8223-3392-9; 296pp., $23.00
With a VISA or MasterCard you can order this and other resource by calling the SOA
Watch office at 202-234-3440. Or you can order by sending a check or money order to:
SOA Watch ~ P.O. Box 4566 ~ Washington DC 20017
For more resources, information, and to sign-up for our
low-traffic action alert email list, visit the SOA Watch webpage:
Visite www.SOAW.org, y envíe la película a sus amigos, familiares y colegas
invitándoles a visualizar la película. Con tan solo pinchar un botón, miles de
espectadores podrán pasar la película a sus contactos y nuestro mensaje seguirá
viajando por la web llegando a una cada vez mayor audiencia. El resultado puede
ser decisivo en la próxima votación en el Congreso.
Escuela de las Américas, escrito por Lesley Gill
Con un nivel de acceso a esta institución hasta
ahora sin precedentes, Lesley Gill describe su
misión y métodos de entrenamiento y revela
cómo sus alumnos, ex alumnos y oficiales se
perciben a sí mismos en relación a las guerras
sucias que han asolado a Latinoamérica. Al
evaluar el rol que ha desempeñado la Escuela
en la construcción del imperio de los EE.UU.
muestra cómo los oficiales más brillantes y
ambiciosos son indoctrinados en una rígida
visión del bien versus mal, son seducidos por
la sociedad de consumo y el “sueño
americano” y enrolados como informantes y
ayudistas en la guerra de Washington en contra
de las drogas y la “subversión”.
ISBN 956-282-705-4; 348pp., $23.00
Con una tarjeta de crédito Visa o Mastercard puede comprar este libro y otros recursos
de SOA Watch con una llamada al 202-234-3440. Si prefiere puede pagar con cheque o
giro postal enviado a: SOA Watch ~ P.O. Box 4566 ~ Washington DC 20017
Para más recursos, información, o para recibir nuestras
alertas por correo electrónico, visite a nuestra página:
w ww.SOAW .org
Washington, D.C. 20017
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School of the Americas Watch
P.O. Box 4566
Page 12
SOA Watch Update

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