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Close the SOA
The Pentagon’s School of the Americas (SOA) has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in civilian-targeted warfare tactics since it opened in Panama in 1946. SOA graduates have been responsible for torture, murder, and other human rights atrocities, including the 1980 murders of Cleveland’s Jean Donovan and Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel in El Salvador.
The purpose of the School of the Americas is, and has always been, to control the economic and political systems of Latin America by aiding and influencing Latin American militaries. Countries with the worst human rights record have consistently sent the most soldiers to be trained at the SOA. For example: Bolivia during the reign of terror of General Banzer; Nicaragua during the Somoza family dictatorship; El Salvador during the period of bloodiest repression; and currently Colombia. Furthermore, International Reports have documented the following:
United Nations Truth Commission Report:
This report on El Salvador cites over 60 Salvadoran officers as committing the worst atrocities during that country’s brutal civil war. Over two-thirds of those named were alumni of the SOA.
19 of 26 cited for the assassination of 6 Jesuit priests.
10 of 12 cited for the massacre of over 900 at El Mozote.
2 of 3 cited for the assassination of Archbishop Romero.
3 of 5 cited for the murder of 4 U.S. church women (two from Cleveland
3 of 3 cited for the murder of union leaders.
“State Terrorism in Colombia”
This Human Rights Watch report is the definitive work on Colombian military officials responsible for violations in that country. Of the 247 cited, 124 were SOA graduates.
3 cited for the Trujillo “chainsaw” massacre of 107 villagers.
9 cited for the Segovia massacre of 43, many were children.
8 cited for the Uraba massacre of 20 striking banana workers.
U.S. State Department Reports
Since 1998, the US State Department has cited SOA graduates as being responsible for carrying out human rights abuses in Colombia, including massacres of civilians and raids on human rights offices.