Federal Court Orders Pentagon to Release the Names of WHINSEC Trainees

SOAWatch - US District Court Hearing

ISN Staff Report

SOAWatch - US District Court Hearing4/24/13 – School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) announced yesterday that a federal district court judge has ordered the Pentagon to release the names of trainees at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) that had previously been withheld.  SOA Watch is a national advocacy organization working to close the WHINSEC, formerly known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA).   Many members of the Ignatian family have been advocating in partnership with SOAWATCH for years, advocating for cuts in funding to the SOA/WHINSEC, greater transparency, and ultimately its closing.

via SOA WATCH Press Release:

(4/23/13) Oakland, CA – In a rare reflection of judicial independence, United States District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton from the Northern District of California ordered the Pentagon to release the names of who trains and teaches at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHINSEC), a U.S. military training school for Latin American soldiers that has been connected to torturers, death squads and military dictators throughout the Americas. Human rights activists had taken the U.S. government to court over its refusal to release the information, and won.

Read the court ruling here: SOAW.org/judgment

Additional information on the hearing from SOA WATCH

From 1997-2009, the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice was held in Columbus, Georgia, in conjunction with an annual vigil to call attention to human rights abuses related to the SOA/WHINSEC.  The Teach-In moved to Washington, D.C. in 2010 to address broader social justice issues and more intentionally integrate legislative advocacy.  Legislation to close SOA/WHINSEC has been included in Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Advocacy Day priorities in past years as a part of a larger call for U.S. policy that respects the human rights of people throughout Latin America, especially in violence plagued countries like Colombia and Honduras.

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