|Travel with Father Roy Bourgeois to Honduras|
Twenty months ago, masked soldiers armed with automatic weapons burst into the bedroom of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, ordering him to board a plane, or die. The plane refueled at the US airbase of Palmerola, then flew on to Costa Rica where it dumped the elected president on the runway, in his pajamas. The soldiers were operating under the command of two SOA graduates: Generals Vázquez Velázquez and Prince Suazo.
Honduras is certainly not the only example of how soldiers trained at the SOA have obliterated the sovereignty, dignity and very lives of people throughout Latin America. But, it is the most recent egregious example. Today - twenty months after the coup and ensuing illegal “elections” - Honduras continues to bleed. Over 4,000 grave violations of human rights have been registered since the coup, including 64 political assassinations since the U.S. approved “election” of Porfirio Lobo.
But Honduras also continues to resist. And, in the resistance movement, comprised of teachers, farmers, trade unionists, feminists, journalists, gay rights activists, indigenous communities, and progressive religious groups, I find some of my greatest inspiration today.
I invite you to join me on a delegation to Honduras, from April 30 to May 9, so that we can bring our message of solidarity directly to the Honduras Resistance. We will do so in the spirit of Father James “Guadalupe” Carney, a St. Louis Jesuit priest whose commitment to the poor campesinos of that country led him to make decisions that ultimately led to his disappearance in 1983, under orders of another SOA graduate, General Gustavo Alvarez Martínez.
We will meet with Resistance leaders, human rights activists, journalists, workers and campesino organizations struggling to return democracy to their nation, and will visit places that marked the extraordinary life of Fr. Guadalupe, and led him to choose a path of radical commitment to the poor. In addition, we will visit the U.S. military base at Palmerola which played a role in the 2009 coup and is receiving more US funds, troops and drones.
This is a special benefit delegation. Proceeds will go to the SOA Watch “Activantía” program that invites young people from around the Americas to work together to resist militarization and promote a culture of peace. One of these SOA Watch activantes, Jimena Paz, has organized this delegation to share with others the reality of her country: the pain of repression, the hope of the resistance.
Solidarity takes on many important forms: letters, emails, marches, lobbying, But there is no more powerful way to express your solidarity than to deliver the message in person. And no more transformative way for yourself. After my previous visits to Honduras, I returned with an even greater commitment to the people of Latin America, and with a deeper reserve of inspiration. Join me in bringing your solidarity directly to the Honduran resistance and in doing so, fortify your hope for the cause of peace and justice in our Americas.
Thank you for all that you do to work for a world of peace and justice.
Father Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
SOA Watch founder
Click here to download the flyer about the Honduras delegation.
Click here to download the Honduras delegation application form.
Read the invitation from Jimena Paz
Click here for more information about the SOA Watch Days of Action from April 4-11, 2011 in Washington, DC.
5525 Illinois Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011