About the 2008 SOA 6 Print
On January 26, six human rights advocates appeared in a federal courthouse in Georgia. The "SOA 6," ranging in age from 21 to 68, were found "guilty" of carrying the protest against the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning military base. The six were among the thousands who gathered on November 22 and 23, 2008 outside the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to demand a change in U.S. policy towards Latin America and the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC.

The "SOA 6" spoke out clearly and powerful in court. They made a compelling case for the closure of the school and creation of a culture of justice and peace, where there is no place for the SOA mindset that promotes military "solutions" to social and economic problems. The six stood up for all of us working for a more just world.

The "SOA 6":
Father Luis Barrios, 56, from North Bergen, New Jersey, sentenced to 2 months in federal prison and $250 fine
Theresa Cusimano, 40 Denver, Colorado, sentenced to 2 months in federal prison and $500 fine
Kristin Holm, from Chicago, Illinois, sentenced to 2 months in federal prison and $250 fine
Sr. Diane Pinchot, OSU, 63, from Cleveland, Ohio, sentenced to 2 months in federal prison
Al Simmons, 64, from Richmond, Virginia, sentenced to 2 months in federal prison
Louis Wolf, 68, from Washington, DC, senteced to 6 months housearrest and $1000 fine

Support the "SOA 6"




Fr. Luis Barrios

Father Luis Barrios is the Chairperson of the Department of Latin American & Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-City University of New York and a Board Certified Forensic Examiner with the American College of Forensic Examiners. He is also an Associate Priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Manhattan, New York City. Fr. Barrios, as well is a Board Member of Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizing-Pastor for Peace. Professor Barrios is a columnist with El Diario La Prensa and has been honored with the Media Award-2006-GLAAD as an Outstanding Spanish Language Newspaper Columnist and was nominated again in the year 2008. He teaches courses on gangs, criminal justice, cultural criminology, forensic psychology, US foreign policy in Latin America, Puerto Rican Studies, race and ethnicity, and Latina/os Studies.

Click here to read Fr. Luis Barrios' trial statement

Release date: May 9, 2009



Theresa Cusimano

Theresa M. Cusimano, J.D., served as a public interest advocate for twenty years. Her Italian/Irish passion for social justice has led her to work with: the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops on immigration and refugee issues, the federal Department of Education on the Americans with Disabilities Act and more recently with Colorado Campus Compact to support college campus engagement in community problem solving. Cusimano was born in New York, raised outside of Philadelphia and has the joy of living in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. She is both honored and extremely humbled to have participated in nonviolent civil disobedience with her five co-defendants who together, face trial on Monday, January 26th.

Release date: May 11, 2009



Kristin Holm
Kristin is the third seminary student from Chicago to stand trial for civil disobedience at the WHINSEC vigil in the past five years. The others are Elizabeth Deligio, CTU, 2005; and Le Anne Clausen, CTS, 2008.

On November 23rd, 2008, Kristin Holm, a first year student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), along with five others, entered the base of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s (WHINSEC), which is a federal offense which carries the possibility of up to six months in prison and a substantial fine.

Release date: May 9, 2009


Sister Diane Therese Pinchot, OSU

Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, second oldest of six children, Diane Pinchot entered the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland after graduating from Villa Angela High School in 1963. She graduated from Ursuline College with a BA in Art Education in 1968 and has been teaching since. Her assignments have included Saint Ann’s School in Cleveland Heights, Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Beaumont School in Cleveland Heights and, for the last 26 years, Ursuline College in Pepper Pike. After completing several degrees -- an MALS at Wesleyan University in Conn. concentrating in metals and a terminal degree an MFA in Ceramic Sculpture in 1990 at Ohio University -- the Diocesan Cleveland Mission Team in El Salvador in 1992 asked her to come and help design and build an altar on the spot where the Churchwomen were found in a shallow grave after they were raped and killed. This significant action slowly changed Diane’s life and over time the Central American martyrs, especially Dorothy Kazel, a member of the Ursuline community, inspired her to become more active in social justice groups within the community and other national organizations. Her artwork has also reflected this transformation, becoming more narrative and engaging the viewer to question the meaning behind the form. She has exhibited her work internationally, nationally and regionally and has come to realize the sacred connection of justice and art making especially when it is grounded in Peace and Love.