In the fall 2009, U.S. and Colombian officials signed an agreement granting the U.S. military access to seven Colombian bases for ten years. (Watch the 21min. video about the agreement)
SOA Watch is extremely concerned about the drastic increase of U.S. militarization in Latin America. The bases agreement operates from the same failed military mindset that has given rise to the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). The purpose of the bases and the purpose of the SOA/ WHINSEC are the same: to ensure U.S. control over the region through military means.
Already, the SOA/ WHINSEC is deploying “Mobile Training Teams” to Colombia and other Latin American countries, that train hundreds of soldiers annually. Over 10,000 soldiers of the Colombian military (the military with the worst human rights record in the Americas) have received SOA/ WHINSEC training and used the lessons learned in their brutal war that has left thousands dead and millions displaced.
Click here to read the article Seven Bases by Diane Lefer and Hector Aristizábal, in which they take a look at the history of each of these bases as well as conditions in the surrounding communities and Colombia as a whole.
Send a message to President Barack Obama. Demand a change in U.S. foreign policy, away from militarization and towards a culture of justice and peace. Demand an end to U.S. military bases in Latin America, a stop to all U.S. military aid to Colombia and an executive order to shut down the School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC). Click here to send a message to the President.
Even more importantly; help to build a grassroots movement that has the power to ensure that our demands are being met. Join us for SOA Watch’s April events in Washington, DC, the United States Social Forum and the SOA Watch Encuentro in June 2010 in Latin America.