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Converging yet again on Fort Benning for peace and justice

School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) is again organising for thousands to converge at the gates of Fort Benning in Georgia, USA, to protest peacefully from 19 to 21 November.  The call is for the closure of the School of the Americas or WHINSEC. 

Military and security staff from countries in Latin America attend SOA/WHINSEC and after they return home many of them are involved in violence and atrocities.  November 2010 is the 20th anniversary of the vigils remembering the many victims over the years and demanding that the school should close.

It will as usual be an international protest with people travelling from countries in Latin America to join citizens of the USA.   

Enough is enough!  It should have closed down long ago.  I did not have much hope that George W Bush would close it but surely Barack Obama should have made it an urgent priority on becoming president? 

In 2009 the government of Honduras was overthrown by people who had been trained at the college and they proceeded to unleash brutal repression against any resistance.

Earlier in 2010 a report linked graduates of the school to extra-judicial killings in Colombia.   

Update, 25 November 2010:  The aftermath of the vigil as usual includes people being punished for protesting.  The law seems to be blind to the real crimes, the appalling crimes that have been committed by people who have attended the school. 

 I remember reading somewhere on the internet that someone had applied social science to show that when people have attended more courses at the school they are more likely to be involved in atrocities.

See Grace Livingstone in the Guardian on the school for Latin America's dictators

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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