Army School of the Americas, is making headlines again. On Friday, February 5,a U. Inocente Orlando Montano was trained by the U.
The two men and a woman climbed a tree near the barracks housing Salvadoran troops and read the final homily of Archbishop Oscar Romero through megaphones. Bourgeois and his companions were arrested and Bourgeois was then sentenced to 18 months in prison for trespassing onto Federal property.
Following the November murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter at the Central American University in El Salvador in which graduates of the School of the Americas were involved,   SOA Watch organized an annual protest to be held on the anniversary of the massacre beginning the next year.
The event has been held every year since then. We are grateful to our sisters and brothers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean for their inspiration and the invitation to join them in their struggle for economic and social justice.
Benning in November each year, in commemoration of the anniversary of the murders of Jesuits in El Salvador. The original band of ten resisters who marched onto Ft. Benning and splashed blood upon the School of Americas to commemorate the first anniversary of the UCA massacre has grown in recent years to a community of 10, People come from across the country and around the globe to honor victims of crimes committed by students of the School of the Americas, as well as their survivors, with music, words, puppets and theatre.
Traditionally the legal vigil and memorial service concludes with a mock funeral procession, using the Presente! Benning, with all who choose to march onto the post trespassing on federal property and subject to arrest. Benning inprotesters who wish to take their mourning onto the post need to go over, under, or around that fence, as opposed to the simple marching of the past.
At the protest, the city of Columbus began requiring all attending the event to submit to a metal detector search at the designated entrance. After a lengthy legal battle, however, in October the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the forced search was unconstitutional.
Inthe Army added a second fence topped by razor wireand erected a third fence in On November 20,roughly 20, protesters attended the Ft. Benning vigil, "remembering those who have been silenced by SOA violence". Forty protesters climbed over or under the fence and were arrested by military police.
Columbus police also arrested bystanders, including some who lifted the fence. Since protests against the school began, people have cumulatively served over 81 years in prison for their civil disobedience.
On November 19,over 22, protesters attended the vigil, a record high attendance number. On December 3,Georgia Public Radio broadcast "The Sounds of Protest at the School of the Americas", an hour-long documentary with audio collected at the protest.
They were charged with unlawful assembly, demonstrating without a permit and failing to obey a police order to disperse. Both workers maintain they were "wrongfully arrested".
This litany is used at the annual memorial service held at the gates of the School of the Americas in Columbus, Georgiafor those killed by graduates of the school.
The tradition of reading names of those killed by politically repressive regimes has a long tradition in Latin America. Arriving at the general Cemetery along the Avenida de la Paz, the funeral became an impressive popular protest, the first since September I confess I was frozen with fear, because the people began singing the Internationale in a crescendo.
Suddenly, I found that I had my fist in the air and was singing. Soldiers, armed to the teeth, surrounded the square opposite the cemetery and I sincerely believed that, in a matter of seconds, they would let off a round of machine-gun fire.
When someone in a loud voice began to shout:The School of the Americas is charged by P.L. (10 USC ) with the mission of developing and conducting instruction for the armed forces of Latin America, using the most doctrinally sound, relevant, and cost-effective training programs possible.
1 All background facts and data were taken from materials provided by the Department of the Army, Public Affairs, and the United States Army School of the Americas.
The staff and faculty figure represents total as of March 3, According to the edition of the Latin American rankings, the highest-ranked of all universities in El Salvador is the Universidad de El Salvador ( in Latin America).
Completing a bachelor’s degree in El Salvador will usually take between four and five years, with higher levels of study available. According to SOA Watch, "A U.S.
Congressional Task Force reported that those responsible [for the El Salvador killings] were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas."  In November , some 7, demonstrators from all regions of the United States converged for the SOA / WHINSEC protest.
The School of the Americas was opened in under the name of the Latin American Training Center-Ground Division. It assumed its most persistent name in , and it moved from the Canal Zone to its present location in Fort Benning, Georgia in Nov 15, · School Of The Americas -- Murders In El Salvador Left Blood On U.S.
Hands This Saturday is the seventh anniversary of the murder in El Salvador of .