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Home Category Table Change at WHINSEC, Delegations to Guatemala and Bolivia
Change at WHINSEC, Delegations to Guatemala and Bolivia PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 August 2008 00:00

Content of this ema

il update:

1) WHINSEC Commandant Left
2) U.S. Military Loses Manta Base
3) Solidarity with Bolivia
4) Contact your PBS Station (right sidebar)
5) New Pete Seeger Documentary (right sidebar)
6) Delegation to Bolivia (right sidebar)
7) Delegations to Guatemala (right sidebar)
8) SOA Watch is Hiring (right sidebar)


WHINSEC Commandant Left

Colonel Gilberto Perez, the commandant at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA), is leaving the SOA/ WHINSEC. His replacement is Colonel Felix, who had been stationed at the U.S. embassy in El Salvador as the Commander of the US Milgroup since July of 2002. Santiago worked closely with the Salvadoran Armed Forces in a time when the Salvadoran military increased joint patrols with the National Civilian Police, which is considered by some to be a violation of the peace accords.

The leaving SOA/WHINSEC commander Perez has presided over a series of practices to increase secrecy at the school, including the refusal to disclose the names, country of origin, rank and dates attended for graduates and instructors at the SOA/ WHINSEC. His remarks last week in a WRBL News interview reveal even more controversy and secrecy surrounding the school.

Read more about Colonel Gilberto Perez and the practice of non-disclosure and secrecy at the SOA/ WHINSEC: http://www.soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1674


U.S. Military Must Leave Manta Air Base

U.S. Military officials announced yesterday that they will lose access to the Manta military base in Ecuador. President Raphael Correa has resolved not to renew the U.S. lease on that facility when it expires in 2009.

Grassroots resistance by anti-militarization activists against the U.S. military presence in the South American country has taken place ever since U.S. military started their operations. The controversy grew louder following the U.S. military's participation in the March 1st bombing of a FARC guerrilla camp in the Ecuadoran jungle, for which Manta is believed to have provided logistical support for the Colombian helicopters.

Some sources report that the U.S. military will try to relocated the base to La Guajira, Colombia, close to the Venezuelan border.

Read today's CNN article about Manta:


Solidarity with Bolivia

Earlier this year, Bolivian president Evo Morales wrote a letter to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Cooperation's Commandant, Col. Gilberto Perez, announcing that the Bolivian military will no longer send soldiers to the former U.S. Army School of the Americas in Fort Benning, GA.

The SOA/WHINSEC has played a significant role in Bolivia's recent political history. Hugo Banzer Suarez, who ruled Bolivia from 1971-1978 under a brutal military dictatorship, was a graduate of the SOA and was later inducted into the school's "Hall of Fame." The SOA/WHINSEC has trained thousands of Bolivian military officers. In October of 2006, two graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC, Generals Juan Veliz Herrera and Gonzalo Rocabado Mercado, were arrested on charges of torture, murder and violation of the constitution for their roles in the death of 67 civilians in El Alto, Bolivia during the "Gas Wars" of 2003.

Washington's influence over Bolivia has diminished since Evo Morales was elected president and Bolivia's relations with other Latin American countries have been strengthened. Morales has enacted progressive economic and development policies but he is facing a recall vote on his presidency on August 10, 2008.

In September 2008, you have the chance to join a delegation to Bolivia in order to gain first-hand knowledge about the developments and to learn about the work of the Bolivian social movements.

September 12-22: Join the Delegation to Bolivia:

Read the article "Total Recall in Bolivia: Divided Nation Faces Historic Vote:"


Ask your local PBS station to show SOA film during primetime.

FATHER ROY: Inside the School of Assassins
Premieres September 7, 2008 on PBS WORLD
Check local listings:

Torture training at the U.S. Army School of the Americas and the extraordinary life of Father Roy Bourgeois, the daring activist leading the campaign to close down the School.
Watch the trailer:

Individual PBS stations are deciding over the next few weeks what time to have it shown. Most PBS stations take viewer suggestions serious. It would be great if you could call your local PBS station and request that the documentary will be shown during primetime.


Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

A new documentary about the singer Pete Seeger, who defined folk music and used music to encourage social change, will be released on DVD on August 5, 2008. The DVD includes footage of Pete Seeger on stage at the November Vigil to close the SOA.


Delegations to Bolivia and Guatemala

September 12-22:
Travel to Bolivia
Meet with social movements and gain first-hand experiences about the situation in Bolivia.
More information: http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1675

Trips to Guatemala:
October 7-17, 2008:
Americas Social Forum
From October 7 to 12 thousands will gather in Guatemala for the 3rd Social Forum of the Americas. Join the Social Forum events and then travel to the mountains of Quiche.

January 2009:
Land Rights versus Development
During this delegation we will visit various communities which are struggling to defend their right to their historic lands.

More information about the Guatemala delegations:

Work at SOA Watch in Washington, DC!

Check out the job openings at the SOA Watch office in Washington, DC. We are hiring a Communications Coordinator. For more information and to apply, contact Eric at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Job Announcement: http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=756

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2008 08:40

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