Joined: 09 Feb 2007 Posts: 630 Location: Manchester
Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:12 pm Post subject: School of the Americas (SOA)
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC or WHINSEC), formerly the School of the Americas (SOA; Spanish: Escuela de las Américas) is a United States Department of Defense facility at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia in the United States.
Between 1946 and 2001, the SOA trained more than 61,000 Latin American soldiers and policemen. Some of them became notorious for human rights violations, including generals Leopoldo Galtieri, Rios Montt and Manuel Noriega, dictators such as Bolivia's Hugo Banzer, as well as some of Augusto Pinochet's officers.
Buenos Aires, Argentina - On September 3, 2009, three aging, retired officials from Argentina's army entered a federal courthouse in Rosario, Argentina. The men - Pascual Guerrieri, Jorge Alberto Fariña and Juan Daniel Amelong - have been charged with the kidnapping, forced disappearance and torture of 29 people, and the murder of 17 of them during Argentina's last dictatorship.
The case in Rosario is the latest in a tidal wave of cases to reach a courthouse against the dictatorships of the Southern Cone from a generation ago. Until several years ago, less than a dozen officials were ever convicted for the atrocities committed by Latin America's military governments in the 1970s. Most of them were eventually pardoned. But within the last three years - particularly the last year - justice has sped up, including dozens of convictions and hundreds of indictments...
For years, the perpetrators of these atrocities walked free, spared by political compromises during democratic transition...
But these amnesties have been and are slowly being repealed. Argentina broke the "impunity" (as it is known to human rights activists) when a lower court judge ruled that its own amnesty laws were unconstitutional in 2001. Subsequently, the Supreme Court ratified that decision in the celebrated Simon case, and hundreds of officials have now been indicted. Dozens of cases have reached a courthouse, mostly resulting in convictions. A similar process is under way in Chile and Paraguay. On August 31, a Chilean judge ordered the arrest of 120 former officials from the DINA, Chile's intelligence service.
Brazil and Uruguay have yet to repeal their own amnesty laws, but a vigorous debate is shaping up in both countries. In Brazil, President Lula da Silva's cabinet is sharply divided over a law, which was recently introduced in congress to repeal Brazil's amnesty law. In Uruguay, a plebiscite is scheduled for October 25 for voters to decide whether the country should maintain its amnesty. _________________ Simon - http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/
US local news coverage
26 Arrested at SOA Watch Protest
Saturday, November 20, 2010 - By Andrew Wittenberg
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The protest group 'SOA Watch' says 26 people were arrested, including a television crew, during Saturday's protest near the gates of Fort Benning.
The arrests occurred during the first day of that group's protest of WHINSEC, or the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Operation, formally known as the School of the Americas.
Each year since 1990 the 'SOA Watch' group has protested just outside the gates of Fort Benning.
The television crew arrested was from RT America TV.
All those arrested are currently being held in the Muscogee County Jail for up to a $5,500 bond, according to the organization.
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