We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

SOA Trial Update: 23 of 43 Human Rights Advocates Adjudicated

by SOA Watch Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2003 at 10:42 AM
media@soaw.org 706.221.1672

Defendents Aim to Expose Double Standard in War on Terrorism, Put SOA and U.S. Foreign Policy on Trial

Columbus, GA - As the Bush Administration seeks to expand the “war on terrorism,” 43 human rights advocates from across the country are on trial in federal court this week exposing what they call a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil – the School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHISC). The defendants were among 10,000 who gathered in November to call for the closure of the SOA/WHISC, a controversial combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Graduates of the school continue to be implicated in egregious acts designed to terrorize and coerce civilian populations throughout Latin America.

“Human rights abuses are being overlooked when it’s convenient in the ‘war on terror,” said Sr. Dorothy Pagosa of Chicago. “We’re here to shine a light on a terrorist training camp that’s operating with impunity in our backyard.” Pagosa is one of six Catholic nuns who face trial.

The defendants peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school. Thirty-five other defendants are scheduled to start trial on February 10.

Yesterday - the first day of trials - ended with 23 of 43 defendants being adjudicated by Judge G. Mallon Faircloth. Faircloth is known from previous years for giving the maximum of six months to opponents of the SOA/WHISC. A total of 17 defendants pled “guilty,” and six pled “not-guilty” while stipulating to the facts put forward by the prosecutor. Faircloth adjudicated defendants in groups of six, and the defendants were not allowed into the courtroom unless they were the six on trial. Near the end of the day, federal marshals cleared almost half the courtroom when people stood to offer words of encouragement to defendants being taken into custody.

The trial began with four students from The University of San Francisco. The President of the University, Steve Privett, testified on their behalf (“The defendants are not criminals but people of conscience”).

The defendants who were adjudicated yesterday are listed below with their sentences, starting with those who pled guilty.

1. Linda Aguilar (San Francisco, CA) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

2. Margaret Rossi (San Francisco, CA) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

3. Guadalupe Chavez (San Francisco, CA) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

4. Sondra Angulo (San Francisco, CA) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

5. Loring Harkness IV (Northfield, MN) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

6. Dave Depp (Doswell, VA) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

7. William Combs (Tallahassee, FL) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report)

8. Eric Zibbel (Oberlin, OH) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

9. Seth Cohen (Fair Oaks, CA) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

10. Daniel Marx (Northfield, MN) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

11.Timothy Grivois (Chicago, IL) - 12 months probation, 250 hours community service, $500 fine

12. Philip D'Onofrio (Salem, OR) - 3 months in federal prison (self-report)
- “Thank you, Judge. These harsh sentences will only make our movement stronger.”

13. Sr. Mary Hamilton (Rosemont, PA) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report)

14. Katherine Bjorkman (Burlington, WI) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report)
- “My heart, mind and soul have commanded me to act out in opposition to the great injustice that continues each day that this school—no matter what one calls it—exists.”

15. Marvin Warren (Poughkeepsie, NY) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report)

16. Derrlyn Tom (repeat line-crosser)(San Francisco, CA) – 6 months in federal prison (self-report)

17. Thomas Cleary (repeat line-crosser)(Richmond, VA) – 6 months in home confinement

Begin not-guilty pleas

18. Katherine Brown (Providence, RI) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report), $500 fine

19. Edith (Toni) Balot (Jefferson, LA) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report)
- “Foreign Aid must no longer be used to train Latin Americans in terrorism and torture, murder and rape, in order to keep their own people oppressed.”

20. Jesse Carr (Oberlin, OH) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report), $500 fine
- “In crossing the line I upheld the law of humanity and justice.”

21. Eloy Garcia (Maryknoll, NY) – 3 months in federal prison (reported immediately), $500 fine
- “It needs to be understood that a nation built on laws can still perpetuate injustice.”

22. Marie Salupo (Maryknoll, NY) – 3 months in federal prison (self-report), $500 fine

23. Scott Schaeffer-Duffy (Worcester, MA) – 3 months in federal prison (reported immediately)


The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in human rights abuses and atrocities. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution. In a new report Amnesty International calls for a suspension of training at the SOA/WHISC, and an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the school. Amnesty refutes the claim that the WHISC is a new institution, stating that WHISC "is essentially the same school as SOA, with the same primary mission…”

“The SOA is out of alignment with both the interests and values of the American people,” said Dan Fortson, a veteran from Redway, CA, one of the 80, “We’re here to say ‘Not in our name!’”

# # #

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy