Father Roy Bourgeois describes jail sentences for arrested protesters and congressional legislation to close the school
For the past several years, thousands of people have gathered each November outside the U.S. Army's School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga., to call for the school's closure. Opponents call it the School of Assassins, where thousands of Latin American military leaders have been trained, many of whom commit rape, murder and other human rights violations when they return to their own countries. Officers from the Colombian Army, with one of the worst human right records in the hemisphere, comprise half the number of students now enrolled in the school.
Last year more than 10,000 students, veterans, members of religious communities and others protested outside Fort Benning, several thousand of whom were arrested for engaging in non-violent civil disobedience. Opponents of the school were also the first to be arrested at last year's Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Father Roy Bourgeois, who founded the School of the America's Watch more than a decade ago, to bring attention to the human rights violations of its graduates. He discusses the pending court cases of protesters and his group's current effort to support congressional legislation that would close the school.
Contact the the School of the America's Watch by calling (202) 234-3440 or visit their Web site at www.soaw.org
This interview segment is available in downloadable MP3 and RealAudio on radio newsmagazine Between The Lines' website www.btlonline.org for week ending 6/15/01.