SOA Watch Staff Print

Fr. Roy Bourgeois - SOA Watch Founder

Born in Lutcher, Louisiana, Fr. Roy served as a Naval Officer for two years before entering the seminary of the Maryknoll Missionary Order. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1972, Roy went on to work with the poor of Bolivia for five years before being arrested and forced to leave the country, then under the repressive rule of dictator and SOA grad General Hugo Banzer.

In 1980 Fr. Roy became involved in issues surrounding US policy in El Salvador after four US churchwomen--two of them friends of his--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 School of the Americas Watch. Read Fr. Roy's full bio here. Also visit the website, which is being maintained by former SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience Margaret Knapke.

Pablo Ruiz Espinoza - Latin America Coordinator

Pablo is a Chilean human rights activist and journalist who lives in Santiago, Chile. During the 1990´s he worked in Chile with the Committee Against Impunity, seeking to bring to trial military who had committed human rights abuses during the dictatorship of General Pinochet. In 1999 he joined the Kamarikun Human Rights Committee and in 2002 became a member of the Human Rights Education Team of the Chilean branch of Amnesty International.

Pablo´s focus on the SOA began in 2000 when he spearheaded efforts of Kamarikun to seek the withdrawal of Chile from the SOA. He organized the visit of the SOAW delegation to Chile in 2006 and 2008, and joined several SOAW delegations to Colombia, Panamá and Ecuador. Currently, Pablo works as the Coordinator for SOA Watch's work in Latin America

Katherine Henao - Development and Operations Coordinator

Joining our Washington, D.C. office from Los Angeles is Katherine Henao. With over ten years experience in the non-profit sector, she has demonstrated her commitment to the Latino community through her social justice work. Katherine is a Colombian immigrant with deep ties to the Movement. She graduated from the Political Science Master's program at California State University with an emphasis on Latin American and human rights. She is excited to work with you as the D & O Coordinator in the future!

Brigitte GyntherLatin America Liaison

Brigitte Gynther began working with SOAW as an activante in Honduras, first as a human rights accompanier with PROAH and subsequently with SOA Watch's Stories of Honduras project. She has accompanied human rights organizations, social movements, and others standing up for justice following the 2009 SOA-graduate led coup in Honduras, which ushered in an era of widespread repression and assassinations of those who speak out. SOA graduates and US-funded militarization continue to wreak havoc on Honduras. In 2014, Brigitte began working with SOA Watch as the Latin America Liaison, coordinating SOAW delegations and building SOAW's work against US militarization of Honduras.  Brigitte is a 2004 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the 2009 recipient of the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Maria Luisa Rosal – Organizer

Maria Luisa has been an organizer within the SOA Watch staff collective since 2013. She earned her BA in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, and earned her Master’s in Human Rights and Democratization in Latin America and the Caribbean from the Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A political refugee in the US, Maria Luisa and her family fled Guatemala during the height of the armed conflict after the 1983 disappearance of her father.

Eduardo García - Interim Media and Communications Coordinator

Eduardo García is an activist and photojournalist born in Mexico City. His work has been focused primarly on the struggles of indigenous peoples in Mexico, Central American migration, forced disappearance and social movements in Latin America. His work as a researcher and photographer has gotten him involved with the Undocumented Migrant Project of the University of Michigan. Eduardo is also co-founder of the Michigan Solidarity Network with Mexico and co-founder of the Militarization in the Americas Research Collective. He studied Political Science at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla, with special interest in political philosophy and Latin American Studies. Lalo, as he is known, began working with SOAW as a research consultant and then he helped organizing the first SOA Watch Border Convergence.

Join the SOA Watch team - click here for current opportunities.