SOA Grads Implicated in Bogota Bombings & Updates Print
Facts
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:00
SOA Grads Implicated in Bogota Bombings

A director of Colombian military intelligence and another officer implicated in a series of false attacks and a bombing that killed a civilian and injured 19 soldiers in Bogotá in 2006, attended the U.S. Army School of the Americas.

The Colombian Public Ministry is investigating Colonel Horacio Arbelaez, former director of the Army's Joint Intelligence Center; Major Javier Efrén Hermida Benavides; and Captain Luis Eduardo Barrero for orchestrating placement of bombs in a Bogota shopping mall and other sites in July 2006, on the eve of President Uribe's inauguration for his second term. At the time of the bombing and false attacks, they were attributed to guerrillas of the FARC. In most cases, the bombs were not detonated, but were denounced by the accused officers and deactivated to demonstrate the FARC threat and show military intelligence was doing its work.

- Read more about this breaking news...

SOA Watch Strategy Meeting & Lobby Days

This SOA Watch Strategy Meeting and Lobby Days will take place on the heels of one of our most successful legislative campaigns in recent years. During this election year, it is very important that we get our message out to the candidates and members of Congress.

Sunday, May 4th 2008 - Strategy Meeting: Join SOA Watch activists from around the country in Washington, D.C. for a day of planning, brainstorming and discussions around our work to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy.

Monday, May 5 & Tuesday, May 6 - Lobby Days: SOA Watch activists flood the halls of Congress to meet with their representatives and gain support for legislation to shut down the SOA/WHINSEC.

Save the Date!
(Location and Schedule for the Strategy Meeting & Lobby Days will be announced soon)

- Read about last year's Strategy Meeting & Lobby Days...

January 12, 2008: Reportback from SOAW Vigil in Los Angeles, CA

On the afternoon of Saturday, January 12, hundreds of human rights advocates, torture survivors and social justice organizers gathered at Los Angeles's historic state park to hold a vigil similar to the Fort Benning protest, calling for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC.

The crowd listened to speakers Father Roy Bourgeois, Martin Sheen, Cindy Sheehan, Blase Bonpane, Eisha Mason, Fernando Suarez del Solar, Don White, Lucia Munoz, Dr. Jose Quiroga, Patricia Contreras, Josh Harris, Jim Lafferty, Hector Aristizabal, Maria Guardado, Mario Avila and Frankie Flores. They danced to music by Cuauhtemoc Azteca Dancers, El Salvador's Hip Hop Marmota Fu, Ross Altman, Maria Armoudian, Will B., Dennis Davis. Attendants celebrated with the Puppetistas, and took part in a solemn procession honoring the victims of SOA/WHINSEC-sponsored violence.

- Continue reading...

January 26: Global Day of Action

Instead of convening a World Social Forum this year, many of those who took part in last year's U.S. Social Forum are making a call for simultaneous local actions around the world on January 26th.

In many communities around the country, groups that focus on human needs and social programs will be having different activities. This could be an important opportunity for folks in the peace movement to make stronger connections with these groups. We hope you will find out what's happening in your area and invite others to participate.

Here in the U.S. that call has been issued by the Peoples Movement Assembly of the US Social Forum.

- Click here for more information...

January 27-28: SOAW 11 Trial & Festival of Hope

On January 27-28, we will be gathering in Columbus, Georgia to support and accompany the eleven human rights advocates who decided to take their protests to close the SOA/WHINSEC onto Fort Benning during this past November's Vigil to close the SOA/WHINSEC. On Sunday, January 27 we will celebrate and honor the SOAW 11 with a Festival of Hope - 7:00 PM in the Days Inn Ball Room at 3170 Victory Drive in Columbus, GA.

On Monday, January 28 we will march through downtown Columbus to the steps of the U.S. Courthouse on 120 12th Street, Columbus, GA. Trial begins at 8:30 am, if you are interested in being present at the trial, please contact Kathleen at kathleend8(at)gmail(dot)com.

We encourage all SOA Watch supporters to join us in Columbus, especially those residing in nearby cities. For those of you who will be unable to attend, SOA Watch will be keeping you updated on the weekend's events and trial through our website and mass emails.

- Read more about the SOAW 11...

March 22-30: SOA Watch Delegation to Venezuela

Join a 10-day delegation led by Lisa Sullivan, a human rights activist who has lived in Venezuela for 20 years, and is the Latin America Coordinator for School of the Americas Watch.

Participants will spend time both in the urban areas of Caracas and Barquisimeto, as well as in the rural area of Sanare in the foothills of the Andes. The delegation will have the chance to meet with government and opposition leaders, visit local communities, visit cooperatives, community-led television and radio stations, as well as dance to the rhythms of Afro Venezuelan drums and soak up the beauty of a cloud forest.

For more information and an application, please email Dale Sorensen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

- Find out more about the delegation to Venezuela...