August 17, 2010
M.E.Ch.A. Endorses the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW)
OLYMPIA, Washington- As National Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.) we are endorsing The School of the America's Watch's campaign to permanently shut down the Western Hemisphere Institution for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly The School of the Americas (SOA) located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.
The SOA is an U.S. Army base which trains Latin American officers in counter-insurgency and torture tactics. Since it's inception in 1946, the SOA has graduated over 61,000 soldiers, most who have gone on to participate in political repression, the displacement of millions of people, and the most horrific atrocities including the disappearance, torture, and murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
The School of the Americas Watch is a nonviolent organization whose primary goals are to shut down the SOA and change the oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the school represents while standing in solidarity with the peoples of Latin America through media and legislative work, vigils, fasts, and demonstrations.
The School of the Americas Watch will hold their annual November Vigil to Close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning on November 18- 21, 2010. The vigil honors the anniversary of a massacre on November 16, 1989, in which six Salvadoran Jesuit priests and two civilian women were killed at the University of Central America. A United Nations Truth Commission found that out of the 27 soldiers cited for the massacre, 19 were graduates of the SOA.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.) is a student organization that promotes higher education, cultura, and historia. M.E.Ch.A. was founded on the principles of self-determination for the liberation of our people. We believe that political involvement and education is the avenue for change in our society. To find out more about our organization, please visit: nationalmecha.org
To find out more about The School of Americas Watch including their November 2010 Vigil please visit: soaw.org