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Oct 25th
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WHINSEC Instructors and the Drug Mafia PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Lindsay-Poland, FOR   
The Colombian Army’s Third Brigade, based in Cali, was deeply penetrated by the drug trafficking mafia, according to a recent criminal investigation.

“What the prosecutors’ investigation has shown as it progresses,” reported Semana magazine, “is that ‘Don Diego’ [a drug mafia kingpin] didn’t just buy these officers in exchange for one-time favors, but that many of them belonged to his organization. They were part of the mafia and put their jobs in the Army at its service.” Brigade commander Gómez Vergara resigned August 16, 2007, as a result of the investigation, and a dozen other officers have been arrested or are under investigation.

Colonel Alvaro Quijano – who served as an instructor at the Western Hemisphere Institute Gen. Montoyafor Security Cooperation, formerly known as School of the Americas - was arrested onActive Image August 15, 2007. The former chief of the brigade’s operations, Lt. Colonel Javier Escobar Martínez, has also been arrested and accused of mobilizing army units to protect the drug trafficker. Quijano, former commander of Colombia’s Special Forces in the Valle department, and another accused officer, Major Wilmer Mora Daza, taught “peacekeeping operations” and “democratic sustainment” at the SOA/WHINSEC from 2003-2004.
The commander of the Army’s Third Division (General Hernando Pérez Molina, another SOA/WHINSEC grad), to which the Third Brigade belongs, was relieved of his post.

Last year, Colombian army officers from the Third Brigade ambushed an elite, U.S.-trained anti-drug squad in the Valle town of Jamundí, killing ten policemen. The leader of the attack, Colonel Bayron Carvajal, now under arrest, was also a graduate of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC).


Published in the Fall 2007 issue

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¡Cierren la SOA!
written by jks789, July 16, 2009
El General Romeo Velásquez, el líder del golpe militar en Honduras, es un egresado del Instituto del Hemisferio Occidental para la Cooperación en Seguridad (SOA/WHINSEC), una institución con una historia larga de adiestrar dictadores, asesinos, torturadores, terroristas y conspiradores de golpes de estado.

Necesitamos exigir que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos cierre esta escuela de dictadores. ¡Envíele un mensaje a su oficial elegido ahora!

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Featured Article
Download the Spring 2016 issue of Presente

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.

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We talk about now we have democracy. What kind of democracy? Democracy is a word that you can fill in with whatever you want.

- Augusto Boal


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