On July 4th, 2002 at The Taste of Minnesota, those fun lovin SOA Puppet Generals assisted in handing out over 750 pieces of literature about the SOA/WHISC. We began at the Peace Officers Memorial before being asked to leave the capitol grounds. Below is the information they shared - along with a piece of bubble gum. Following are links.
HEY Minnesota, Chew On This!
Taste of Terrorism?
Close U.S. Terrorist Training School!
We were all horrified when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9-11 and thousands were killed. Many were pleased when President Bush and Congress proclaimed the U.S. "War on Terrorism". President Bush spoke for us all when he proclaimed "every known terrorist training camp must be shutdown".
But Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois and Sister of St. Joseph Rita Steinhagen of Minneapolis have lived and worked in Latin America and studied U.S. policies there. They said, "Yes. Close our terrorist training camp down. The United States government has been training terrorists at Fort Benning in Georgia for years, and is still at it."
The Fort Benning based School of the Americas (SOA), renamed in 2001 the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), has been training Latin American soldiers since 1946. During the Cold War they were trained to fight communism. Now they claim to be training to fight the drug war and terrorists. Under the banner of anti-communism, anti-drugs and anti-terror, many graduates have returned to their home countries to maintain political stability no matter how unjust, torturing and massacring the innocent among their own people.
Over its 56 years the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counter-insurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation techniques. These graduates consistently use these skills in violation of human rights.
SOA/WHISC graduates have been implicated in carrying out some of the most notorious murders and massacres in the histories of their countries. In June, 2002 an SOA trained Guatemalan Colonel, Byron Lima Estrada, was convicted in the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi, killed two days after he published a human rights report implicating Estrada's military intelligence unit in forced disappearances, massacres and torture. SOA graduate Roberto D' Aubuisson was implicated in the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador in March 1980, a week after the Archbishop pleaded with the El Salvador soldiers to stop killing their own brothers and sisters.
Although the U.S. claims the SOA/WHISC teaches democracy, the school has produced many graduates who overthrow their own governments. The school has produced at least 12 Latin American dictators.
Most recently, the main organizers of a military coup against democratically elected President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, in April 2002, were two graduates of the SOA: Army Commander in Chief Efrain Vasquez and General Ramirez Poveda. Both were trained at the SOA/WHISC.
What YOU need to do!
EDUCATE YOURSELF BECOME INFORMED
Web sites with information and links:
CONTACT YOUR CONGRESS PERSON
Call or write (handwritten is best!). Encourage your representative to co-sponsor legislation to
cut funding for the Western Hemisphere Institute
for Security Cooperation.
(Local phone for MN Congress People - click here >>)
SCHEDULE A SPEAKER
For your church, school or group. Contact MnSOAW for details.
JOIN THE NATIONAL DEMONSTRATIONS
Washington DC in April or Fort Benning Georgia in November. Info online at soaw.org