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. Image 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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