Justice Issues


Protest at SOA

SOA085IHM sisters are committed to confront the systemic evils that maintain the dehumanizing divisions among the global community.

Spirits were high as some 20,000 demonstrators gathered at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia on November 21-23, 2008 to promote the closing of the controversial School of the Americas (SOA), renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). Fort Benning is the army base that houses the SOA, a combat training school for Latin American soldiers.

Among the many religious of different Congregations present at the gate were five IHM Sisters: Sisters Donna Korba, Ann Walsh, Mary Kay Faliskie, Maryalice Jacquinot and Susan Hadzima. They joined thousands of other demonstrators who have gathered yearly since six Jesuits were murdered along with their co-worker and her 14 year-old daughter in El Salvador on November 16, 1989. Those responsible for the brutal murders were part of a Salvadoran army unit with leaders trained at the SOA.

The march commemorates hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans who have been kidnapped, tortured, raped, murdered or have disappeared at the hands of soldiers trained at the SOA.

Joining the demonstration this year was Jon Sobrino, SJ, a survivor of the 1989 massacre of his brother Jesuits. Efforts will continue throughout the year to pressure the new Congress to close the SOA, long known for its association with torture and human rights abuses. The last vote to de-fund the school was taken in 2007 and lost by a margin of only six votes.

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