School of the Americas Vigil
November 18-20, 2011
On the anniversary of the November 1989 assassination of six Jesuits in El Salvador, thousands of people gather at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia for a peaceful, legal and nonviolent national vigil and protest calling for the closure of the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA).
The SOA/WHINSEC is a controversial training facility for Latin American soldiers. Graduates of the school have been linked to various massacres and human rights abuses throughout Latin America including the murder of the Jesuits at the University of Central America in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1989. The Vigil , organized by the School of the Americas Watch, consists of a solemn procession where crosses representing victims of graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC are placed on the gates to the base.
Saint Louis University has been sending a group every year since 1996. Because of our Jesuit heritage, we have an obligation to ensure that policies and programs that were responsible for the deaths of the Jesuits in El Salvador, and thousands of others throughout the Americas, do not continue.
This year, Campus Ministry is not sponsoring a bus to the Vigil, rather, it is encouraging students to attend the Vigil through the Interfaith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA). Please visit their website to download the application form and release form, and to get specific details for the trip. Applications and release forms and payments should be turned in at the Campus Ministry front desk by October 21. Contact Campus Ministry or the Center for Social Justice to learn more about scholarship opportunities.
For more information, contact Ben Smyth, 314-977-1532
View the promotional video from last year!