|Honduras: The Struggle Continues|
Honduras: The Struggle for Democracy, Independence and Self-Determination Continues
The coup organized by SOA graduates that toppled President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 not only brought an end to a democratic government, but it has also turned Honduras into a nightmare, with the highest homicide rate in the world. Political repression is among the worst in the hemisphere: journalists, opposition activists, and LGBT activists have been murdered with impunity. Graduates of the SOA, who head state security forces under the illegitimate post-coup regime of Porfirio Lobo, work in complicity with private security forces to repress small farmers and cooperatives from defending the lands that provide their sustenance. Click here to ask your Members of Congress to urge US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to suspend US assistance to the Honduran military and police, given the widespread, serious human rights violations by the U.S.-trained Honduran security forces.
Solidarity in Action: Mary Anne Perrone is currently on the ground in Honduras as an SOA Watch observer, on the invitation of the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared (COFADEH). Starting on July 14, SOA Watch will have another full time human rights accompanier on the ground. Brigitte just completed her accompaniment training in Canada and is currently en route to Honduras, where she will join the Honduras Accompaniment Project in providing international human rights accompaniment for individuals and communities at risk because of their efforts to defend human rights, land and the environment. This was made possible because of your donations to SOA Watch. Thank you! Stay tuned for updates from Brigitte and Mary Anne!
June 28, 2012 marked the three-year anniversary of the military coup in Honduras; it also marked the birth of the Honduran Resistance, one of the most important social and political movements of contemporary history of Honduras and Latin America. Watch the video essay Honduran Resistance Lives On by Jihan Hafiz (music by Simon Rios). The US has lost a lot of its influence in the Americas over the past decade. Last week, Ecuador joined Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Venezuela in pulling its troops out of the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC).Just as it is only a matter of time before the SOA/ WHINSEC is being forced to close its doors for good; countries like Honduras will free themselves and gain their rights to democracy and self-determination.
Stand in solidarity with our compañerxs in the South and mobilize your community for the November Vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia (November 16-18, 2012) to speak out for justice and against oppressive U.S. foreign policy. Join your voice with thousands of human rights activists, torture survivors, anti-war veterans, students, families, union workers, and artists from across the Americas, at the largest grassroots anti-militarization mobilization in North America. Click here for more information.
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WHINSEC Board of Visitors Meeting
On June 27 and 28, 2012, the news that Ecuador had pulled out of the SOA made shock waves in Columbus, Georgia. During those two days, SOA Watch activists – including Fellowship of Reconciliation’s John Lindsay-Poland, former SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience Luis Wolf and members of SOA Watch-Columbus – spoke out at the SOA/WHINSEC Board of Visitors’ meeting.
The activists inquired about the transparency of the school that neither releases the names of the graduates and instructors, nor knows how to track them after they leave. Ecuador’s decision to leave the school left a cloud of doubt over the meeting. Click here to read a report back.
The Board of Visitors meets annually, supposedly to “oversee” what happens at the SOA/WHINSEC. However, it appears to be more of a rubber stamp board for PR purposes.
Send letters to the Ecuadoran embassy – as well as to those of Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Venezuela – supporting them for their just and courageous actions. The Americas are rising up!
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