On the Anniversary of the
Jesuit Murders —
'Close the School
America graduates target grassroots leaders for assassination, torture,
rape and intimidation — especially religious leaders, student organizers
and local labor leaders. The School’s unstated mission is to silence
leaders who organize for the rights of working people and the poor
— From the UE Convention
School of the Americas: The Ultimate Union Buster
UE General Vice President John Lambiase,
will lead UE District 6 delegation to Fort Bennington on November 20-21.
This November marks the tenth anniversary of the assassination
of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador
during that nation’s bloody civil war. Their assassins were Salvadoran
military officers, most of them graduates of the U.S. Army School of the
Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The Jesuits and women have not been the only victims of SOA
"SOA graduates target grassroots leaders for
assassination, torture, rape and intimidation — especially religious
leaders, student organizers and local labor leaders. The School’s unstated
mission is to silence leaders who organize for the rights of working people
and the poor," says a resolution adopted by the 64th
UE Convention earlier this year, "School of the
Americas: The Ultimate Union Buster."
The resolution calls on the U.S. government to close the U.S.
Army School of the Americas and endorses HR 732, legislation introduced by
U.S. Rep. Edward Moakley (D., Mass.), that would close the school.
RESPONSIBLE FOR ATROCITIES
The resolution points out that in El Salvador alone, more than
two-thirds of the officers cited by the United Nations Truth Commission Report
for the worst atrocities during that country’s brutal civil war were
graduates of the School of the Americas.
These included three of the military officers cited for the
murder of union leaders, two of the three cited for the assassination of
Archbishop Romero, and 10 of the 12 cited for the El Mozote massacre of 900
villagers, as well as 19 of the 26 cited for the massacre of the six Jesuits.
"Consistently, the countries in Latin America with the
worst human rights violations against labor leaders and others have received
the most SOA training," the UE resolution states.
Colombia has sent more than 10,000 military personnel to train
at the School of the Americas, more than any other single country.
"Tragically, the training has worked," the resolution states.
"Colombian SOA grads have left a trail of blood and suffering in their
home country, and union members have been a prime target. In the early 1990s,
one Colombian trade unionist was killed every other day, 180 a year."
That statistic worsened by 1996. "Of every ten trade unionists killed in
the world in recent years, four were from Colombia."
UE DELEGATION TO
Genl. Vice Pres. John Lambiase will lead a delegation from
UE District Six to a vigil outside Fort Benning on Nov. 20-21. The vigil will
honor the Jesuits and women murdered 10 years ago. For more information call
the District Six office at 724-864-2010, or SOA Watch at 202-234-3440.
UE News - 10/99