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May 21st
¡Presente! Home arrow About Us
About Us
audio pre·sen·te
  1. ¡Presente! means "here" or "present" in Spanish. As throughout Latin America, it is used in the ritual at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, to remember the martyrs.
  2. ¡Presente! is the name of the newspaper of the movement to close the SOA.

¡Presente!, the newspaper of the movement to close the School of the Americas (formerly known as the SOA Watch Update), is published three times a year and sent to 46,982 subscribers. corn growing out of a military helmetDedicated organizers around the United States and beyond its borders are distributing an additional 34,200 copies as part of the ¡Presente! Activist Distributor Network.

The School of the Americas (renamed to Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) is a U.S. military training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in the most heinous human rights abuses throughout the Americas. Since the truth about the school became known and the Pentagon was forced to release torture manuals that were used at the school, a human rights movement emerged to call for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC. We are engaged in nonviolent direct action, media and legislative work and popular education.

The newspaper is intended to be a tool for the movement. Its purpose is to give updates about the state of the campaign, to provide information and analysis about events and developments in the Americas and to get more people involved in the work to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy and to end the racist system of violence and domination. Many thanks to all the authors and artists who have put their skills in the service of the movement and contributed to ¡Presente! and to Thorsten Witt who helped a great deal to create this webpage.

¡Presente! literally means "here" or "present" in Spanish. There is a long tradition in Latin American movements for justice of invoking the memory of those who have lost their lives in the struggle. It is used in the ritual at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, when we remember those who suffered and were martyred by the graduates of the School of the Americas. We pronounce their names and bring their spirits and witness before us as we respond: ¡Presente! You are here with us, you are not forgotten, and we continue the struggle in your name.

Calling out the names of those killed by politically repressive regimes has a long tradition in Latin America. At the funeral of Pablo Neruda on September 25, 1973 in Chile, Hernán Loyala reports that mourners responded with "Presente" to the shouting out of Neruda's name, as well as that of Salvador Allende, the recently deposed (and killed) president. This was the first public act of protest against the 14-day-old regime of Augusto Pinochet.

Contact Us

The movement to close the SOA is a community, and all ideas are welcome. We appreciate any feedback you might have -- positive or negative.
You can call us at 202-234-3440 or email us at info@soaw.org with any questions or concerns.
Our mailing address is: SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, DC 20017
  • Artists  ( 55 items )
    Artists are a tremendously important part of the movement to close the School of the Americas. The creatively minded inspire the campaign. Art and activism is an effective combination that is able to reach people on a different level and moves them to take action.
    Click on the icons or on the names of the artists to learn more about the contributing artists:
  • Authors  ( 19 items )
    The articles published in ¡Presente! are written by people who are active in the movement to close the School of the Americas and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy that institutions like the SOA represent.