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Photography by Linda Panetta


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October 7-10, 2016 

Mass Mobilization to call for the release of incarcerated Migraints and to end profiterring of human suffering.
Eloy Detention Center in Arizona

Hudreds of people for different communities gathered outside the Eloy Dentention Center to urge for the release of incarcerated migrants and justice for everyone. Presenters addressed the issues between US Militriation in Latin America and Forced Migration in the US, describing the horrid living conditions in the detentions center run by ELoy



November 20-22, 2009 

Mass Mobilization to Shut Down the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC)!

The military coup by SOA graduates in Honduras has once again exposed the destabilizing and deadly effects that the School of the Americas has on Latin America. The actions of the school’s graduates are unmasking the Pentagon rhetoric and reveal the anti-democratic results of U.S. policies. It is time for a change towards justice.

From November 20-22, 2009, thousands will vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, to stand up for justice, to shut down the School of the Americas and to end the oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the school represents.

The campaign to close the SOA is in a crucial phase right now.
Visit OpticalRealitiesPhotos to view photos from the 2008 vigil to Close the SOA / WHINSECDespite promising comments from President Obama during his election campaign, the SOA/ WHINSEC is still in operation and the Pentagon is moving forward with plans for new U.S. military bases in Colombia. With a Democratic administration in the White House, it appears that some Democrats in Congress are becoming timid when it comes to opposing the Pentagon.

It is up to us to keep up the pressure and to hold them accountable. People power is going to win over Pentagon lobbying!

It is tremendously important that we have a strong showing at the gates of Fort Benning for the annual vigil and nonviolent direct action, in order to demonstrate that we won’t go away until the SOA is shut down and the U.S. government has stopped turning to “military solutions” (or political-economic interventions) to enforce its oppressive foreign policy in Latin America. Too many people have suffered and died at the hands of SOA graduates.

You can take a stand for solidarity and justice now! Join hundreds of organizers around the country and start planning for the November vigil. Contact your local unions, universities, workers centers, social justice organizations and faith communities and ask them to re-commit to the struggle to close the School of the Americas.

To download the SOA Watch November organizing packet, for a travel guide and a hotel listing, as well as information about accessibility and information for people without U.S. citizenship and more, visit

Friday & Saturday, November 20 - 21

5:00 - 11:00 pm

Be sure and visit the Optical Realities photo exhibit by Linda Panetta featuring images from Latin America, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine with a focus on immigration, displacement and the human cost of war. All photos will be for sale and benefits our ongoing work.
Location: Convention Center, Columbus, GA - South Hall lobby / entrance area of the Ignatian Family Teach-in.

In conjunction with the Ignatian Solidarity Network Linda will also do a slideshow during segments of the gathering Friday and Saturday.


Visit:  Optical Realities

2008 Vigil Photos to Close the SOA / WHINSEC




 Transparency...  Hah! SOA/WHINSEC Continues to Keep Secret the Names of 
Death Squad Leaders, Drug Traffickers, and other Human Rights Abusers from U.S. !

After years of lobbying by human rights activists, Congress has approved the release of information on the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, the military training facility infamous for producing some of Latin America’s most notorious human rights violators. The final amendment incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 requires the Pentagon to release the names and enrollment information of students and instructors at the facility for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. However, the bill falls far short of the expectations of the human rights community by not disclosing the same information for the years 2005 through 2008, leaving a large hole in the public record of who the U.S. military was training and what was being taught to the Latin American military personnel in attendance during those years.




Commemorative Poster of Rufina Amaya

(Rally photo by: Mike Haskey)

Rufina Amaya Commemorative Poster


El Salvador


- To view select photos from Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Palestine, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and others Visit Optical Realities
See additional links below


 "School of the Americas: An Insider Speaks Out!" - this award-winning documentary is now available on DVD with optional Spanish subtitles. Major Joseph Blair, a former instructor at the SOA, talks about how some of his own students were responsible for the massacre of the 6 Jesuits and their 2 co-workers at the UCA.  Over 10,000 copies have been sold - this is a must buy, especially for veterans, and teachers who will hear the first-hand accounts of a former military instructor who taught at the SOA.  Rarely seen footage from Latin America and music by Bruce Cockburn make this a moving and powerful 18-min documentary. 


Rufina Amaya...

Rally to Close the SOA / 2006 Slide Show Presentation


"Plan Colombia... Plan of Death"
- Recently revised (Aug 2006) with optional Spanish translations (see link below)-
A shorter version (9 pages) was published in the 2006 McGraw-Hill textbook:
"Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Latin American Issues."

Spanish Version: "Plan Colombia... Plan de Muerte"

"Dreams & Nightmares: Life and Death in Iraq"

Argentina - 30 Years After the Coup

Two of the military dictators who orchestrated the coup in Argentina that resulted in 30,000 people being "disappeared" were 2 SOA graduates: Roberto Viola and Leopoldo Galtieri.

Uruguay - (20 Years of Impunity)

El Salvador ~ December, 2005
Remembering the Lives of Maura Clark, Jean Donovan, Dorothy Kazel, & Ita Ford

Learn how you can support the victims of "Nemagon"

El Salvador (April 2005)

What is the School of the Americas/WHISC?
Article: "Grim Future for Global Foreign Policies"

"Salvador Option" - US to Send Death Squads to Iraq...
> By Scott Ritter (Former Senior UN Arms Inspector in Iraq)
> By Michael Hirsh and John Barry (Newsweek)

HAITI (Nov 2004)


PHOTOS from IRAQ (Jan. 2004)

Choco Jungles, Northern Colombia (Dec. 2003)

IRAQ (Jan. 2003)

"Collateral Damage & the Uncertainty of Afghanistan"

Who We Serve: It is estimated that over 5,000 survivors of torture reside in Delaware and Pennsylvania. They come from regions, such as: Peru, Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, Bosnia, Congo and Sierra Leone.

Goal: to facilitate the healing and restoration of hope for children and adults who have been affected by torture through providing positive relationships with caring people.

The Mariposa Outreach Project provides one on one and group mentoring, including opportunities for academic and ESL tutoring, support, accompaniment, fun and friendship. They serve as an example of human kindness and compassion in contrast to the hatred and violence they have suffered...


Ft. Benning Vigil Photos:

- To view photos from the 2005 protest, click on the photos below -

SOA Protest (Nov. 19 -21, 2004)

Additional Photos of SOA / Anti-War / Related Events
by Linda Panetta

Clicking on a photo will take you to each of the actions, or select the link above the photos for more options

Order SOA T-shirts:
100% Organic T-shirts from
a Workers-Owned Co-op in Nicaragua!

Great Organizing Tools!!!
Solidarity in Action... A Guide for Grassroots Organizing to Close the SOA
Videos & Other Resources

"Mayan Blessing" Stationary

SOA-Related Articles
Media Guide for Activists


  HR 1707 to Close SOA/WHISC

Talking Points
Don't Know Who Your Rep is? Click Here for a Congressional Directory

SOA Congessional Voting History

NJ Passes First State Resolution to Close the SOA...other Resolutions Passed
Philadelphia Passes Resolution to Close the SOA!

US / Latin American Bishops:
List of U.S. Catholic Bishops Calling for the Closure of the SOA
Nearly 300 Bishops (17 Archbishops & a Cardinal) Call for the Closure of the SOA...
SOA Graduate Arrested for Murder of Guatemalan Bishop

SOA "Torture" Training Manuals
SOA Instructors, Speakers & "Hall of Famers"
SOA Graduates

"Plan Colombia" ... "Plan of Death"
Rio Negro Massacre, SOA & the World Bank
SOA & Colombia
SOA Graduates



SOA Watch/Northeast

SOA Watch/NE is a grassroots organization committed to working in solidarity with the poor. It educates the public and Congress about atrocities committed by graduates of the School of the Americas (SOA), located at Ft. Benning, GA. Renamed the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" (WHINSC), the school trains hundreds of soldiers each year–supported by millions of US tax payer dollars. Many of these soldiers have been responsible for some of the worst human rights violations and the most brutal terrorist attacks on civilian communities in our hemisphere, including: the massacre of more than 900 people at El Mozote; the Trujillo" chainsaw massacre of over 100 civilians; the execution of six Jesuit priests; the assassination of Archbishop Romero and Bishop Juan Gerardi, and the brutal rape and murder of 4 US churchwomen.

Please use your voice to help end the violence and to close the SOA/WHISC." Contact your members of Congress and ask them to support legislation to cut funding to the SOA/WHISC! Call the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121, or Send Letters to: The Honorable (name): US House of Representative, Washington, DC 20515; US Senate, Washington, DC 20510

This website and its links will offer you revealing insights into this "School of Assassins" and some of the issues which relate to it. Please refer to this site for important information on how you can get involved to help close this infamous school.

For more info contact SOA Watch/NE: (215) 473-2162