A delegation of students from HNU left this morning to join the School of the Americas Vigil in Columbus, Georgia. The School of the Americas (SOA), also known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), was founded by the United States in 1946 to train Latin American military and police personnel. Many of its graduates, such as former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, have been accused of human rights violations during civil wars in Central and South America. Initially located in Panama, SOA/WHINSEC was moved in 1984 to its current location in Georgia at Fort Benning, near Columbus.
The HNU delegation to the School of Americas Vigil, led by Susan Wells, SNJM, will be joining the protest this weekend, after first traveling to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit some of the historic sites of the civil rights movement. The vigil calls on President Obama and Congress to close SOA/WHINSEC.