Seeking Justice in Latin America


2103 Harrison Avenue, Suite 2, PMB 712, Olympia, Washington 98502-2607


Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Father Roy Bourgeois speaks on

“The Struggle for Justice in Latin America”

Sunday, April 11, at 2 PM

The Evergreen State College

2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia 98502
Lecture Hall #1 off Red Square

Sponsors of the Event

Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation
Catholics: Call To Action Western Washington
The Evergreen State College: Latin American Student Organization, LASO
Committee in Solidarity With The People of  El Salvador – CISPES
Olympia Area Peace Corps Association
Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace-OMJP
Veterans for Peace: Chapter 109

In 1980 Fr. Roy, Maryknoll priest, became involved in issues surrounding US policy in El Salvador after four US churchwomen–two of them his friends–were raped and killed by Salvadoran soldiers. Roy became an outspoken critic of US foreign policy in Latin America. Since then, he has spent over four years in US federal prisons for nonviolent protests against the training of Latin American soldiers at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

In 1990, Roy founded the School of Americas Watch, an organization that does research on the US Army School of the Americas (SOA), now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Each year the school trains hundreds of soldiers from Latin America in combat skills – all paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

The School of the Americas Watch, located just outside the main entrance of Fort Benning and in Washington, DC, informs the general public, Congress and the media about the implications of this training on the people of Latin America. For the last 10 years there has been a peaceful protest with over 24,000 in attendance.

Posted in Justice, Latin America, School of the Americas.

One Comment

  1. I have lived in Lacey and know there are lots of military folk there who can discuss training with you, but I’ll talk specifically about the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the organization that Pres. Clinton and Congress created to replace the Army’s School of the Americas.
    Neither the Institute nor the school before it has ever been found to have contributed to any illegal, immoral or unethical acts. Saying so with no evidence is akin to saying the Soldiers who taught/teach in these schools are doing illegal, immoral, and unethical things–libel in other words.
    Father Roy’s jail time has to do with his illegal acts, such as impersonating an officer to broadcast Archbishop Romero’s last sermon to young El Salvadoran lieutenants training at Fort Benning (the School of the Americas was not here yet). Both illegal and ineffective–second lieutenants can’t affect government policy.
    As for doing research, all SOAWatch ever does is try to collect names of those who have come to these schools, then see if any of them have been accused of crime elsewhere. They do not care what is taught or how it is taught, just the association.
    WHINSEC teaches military, law enforcement and civilian students in adult courses tied to their professional occupations. These students come from all over the region, including the U.S. and Canada. Last year, more than 1700 attended a course here or were taught by our instructors in their own countries. The total bill was less than $14 million, or less than 1/50,000th of the Defense budget.
    As for the protest movement itself, it is near its end. Fewer than 7000 came to Columbus in November, and with the Jesuits pulling their Teach-In from Columbus, the crowd is likely to be less than half that.
    SOAW informs no one, because SOAW does not know what we train or how. They could. Anyone can come here any workday and sit in classes, talk to students and faculty, review our instructional materials. Do the research; learn the truth. Lee A. Rials, Public Affairs Officer, WHINSEC

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