|Hemispheric Anti-Militarization Forum|
|Written by Pablo Ruiz Espinoza|
The Second Hemispheric Conference on Militarization took place between October 3 and 6, 2008 in La Esperanza, Honduras.
With the theme "To Silence the Weapons, Let the People Speak", over 800 delegates from 175 organizations and 27 countries gathered to reflect about the "continuing rise of militarization and repression, appropriation and looting of national resources, and the imposition of economic hegemony closely linked to the military of the U.S. and other countries". Another objective of the conference was to look at ways to effectively coordinate actions against the continental and global threat of militarization, wars, and repression, all of which represent a potent business.
The issue of the School of Americas was brought to the conference in several ways. Contacts were made with over 200 participants from different countries, and information provided about the November actions to close the school, as well as other possible actions to take in different countries. The campaign to have more countries withdraw their troops was shared. Over the past few years 5 countries have announced their withdrawal: Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, Costa Rica y Argentina. Dvd's about the SOAW movement were also distributed
I am grateful for the opportunity which the SOAW movement provided me to be able to represent the movement at this gathering. We were able to bring the the issue of the SOA to the conference where its closure was seen as essential to the struggle against militarization. Many individuals and organizations gained more knowledge and awareness of this important movement. As a Chilean human rights activist, this was a very important experience for me and deepens my commitment to the SOAW movement.
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The Spring issue contains mobilizing information for the SOA Watch Border Convergence, which is taking place from October 7-10, 2016 at the US/Mexico border in Nogales, and also focuses on recent developments in Latin America and within the SOA Watch movement.
Click here to download a PDF version of the Spring 2016 issue.
As this issue of Presente went to print, our hearts were heavy. The assassination of our dear friend and comrade Berta Cáceres, and the increased repression against social movement groups, have left us shocked and saddened. SOA Watch Latin America liaison Brigitte Gynther traveled to Honduras the morning after she learned about the assassination and has been coordinating SOA Watch’s response together with our partner groups on the ground. If you do not already receive Urgent Action emails from us, please click here to sign up now.
The recent decision by the U.S. judge in North Carolina to extradite one of the perpetrators of the 1989 massacre at the University of San Salvador gives us hope that justice will prevail in the end. It will take all of us to create change! Please join us as we mobilize to the U.S./Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016!
Other articles in this issue cover a protest by SOA Watch in Chile against US bases in Latin America, the FBI surveillance of SOA Watch, updates from Colombia and Mexico, news about the first Border Patrol agent to receive training at WHINSEC, background information about Direct Action, the Youth Encuentro in Guatemala, and more.
Download this issue of Presente here.
Interview with Father Fausto Mila in Honduras
SOA Watch participated in the International Human Rights Encuentro in Honduras in February 2012. Laura Jung spoke with Father Fausto Milla, a religious leader in the Honduran movement who has been persecuted by the State of Honduras.
By Pablo Ruiz, Equipo Latinoamericano of SOA Watch
SOAW Chile achieved an important victory; to declassify the names of over 760 Chilean soldiers who took courses at the School of the Americas/WHINSEC during the past decade.
For more info about ¡Presente!, go to About US.
If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise we do not believe in it at all.
- Noam Chomsky
A challenging new documentary has quickly become one of the
widest-reaching films to encapsulate the history of the SOA Watch
An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.