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Home Action Vigil at Fort Benning November 2010 Report from the Protest at the U.S. Southern Command in Florida
Report from the Protest at the U.S. Southern Command in Florida PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ray Del Papa   

On Sunday, November 8, 2009, one hundred people rallied, marched, and held a vigil at the U.S. Southern Command (SouthCom) in Doral, Florida. To date this was the largest such rally at South Com. Participants, including members of the Coalition Of Immokalee Workers (CIW), local peace and anti-war activists, religious leaders, and SOA Watch supporters heard speeches, sang, and responded to the names of victims with "PRESENTE!"

This year's action had the main messages "Shut Down the SOA," "NO Fleets--No Bases," and "End the coup in Honduras." On a hill overlooking SouthCom speakers for the event focused on those topics. They were joined by three powerful songs, including one to "Close The SOA". Following this rally we conducted a funeral march to the main gate of SouthCom, where we stood in Solidarity with all those who fight for justice in South and Central America, with a special focus on the resistance in Honduras, which is fighting to return democracy to their country. At the gate we read the name of the victims of the graduates of the SOA, beginning with the names of the victims of the coup in Honduras.

CIW members made clear the connection between the SOA and their struggle in South Florida. Many of these workers were driven from their homes, from land held by their families for generations, by militaries trained at the SOA. Upon learning of this connection, many participants in the SOA Watch action were moved to go out to the Publix on West Flagler to join the CIW in their struggle for dignity, a living wage, and to end slavery in the fields.

This season will see a special focus on South Com for a number of reasons. First, the prison/torture camp at Guantanamo, directed out of SouthCom, is still open and functioning. Second, this March marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador by graduates of the SOA, carried out with the knowledge of SouthCom. Finally, SouthCom will be the command and control facility for the new 4th fleet that is being deployed to the region as well as all US military bases in the area, including the 7 new bases in Colombia.This military presence--and a military presence is inherently a threat--is intolerable.

The success of the event at SouthCom was shared with the resistance in Honduras by conference call. Know that these efforts are valued by those struggling for justice throughout Latin America.


Let it be known that on Sunday November 8 2009 at 1:00pm at the US Southern Command, we stood witness to the dead, the dead that died at the hands of SOA graduates. We called "Presente" (we are here) when their names were read. This year we read 19 new names, the names of those who were killed opposing the coup in Honduras.

1. PEDRO MAGDIEL SALVADOR MUÑOZ
2. ROGER ABRAHAM VALLEJO SORIANO
3. WENDY ELIZABETH AVILA (24)
4. JACOBO EUCEDA (18)
5. FRANCISCO ALVARADO
6. OLGA OSIRIS UCLES
7. JAIRO SANCHEZ
8. PEDRO PABLO HERNANDEZ
9. ISIS OBED MURILLO MENCIAS (19)
10. FÉLIX ORLANDO MURILLO LÓPEZ
11. MARIO FIDEL CONTRERAS MONCADA
12. RAMÓN GARCÍA
13. JUAN GABRIEL FIGUEROA TOME
14. ROGER BADOS
15. ELISEO HERNANDEZ JUAREZ (43)
16. JONATAN OSORIO (16)
17. MATEO ANTONIO LEIVA (50)
18. ANASTASIO BARRERA (55)
19. GABRIEL FINO NORIEGA

We will continue to stand in solidarity with those who are resisting the coup in Honduras, for their struggle is our struggle. We will also continue to stand with all the people of Latin America and the Caribbean who feel the oppression of US Imperialism and the economic injustice of multinational corporations.

Close the School of the Americas
U.S. Military out of Latin America
End the Coup

 

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SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

phone: 202-234-3440
email: info@soaw.org