Victories: Visa Granted! Uribe Served Subpoena by Georgetown Students
> Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 11:32 AM
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Shut it Down! In 9 days, from November 19-21, 2010, thousands will converge at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia for what has become one of the largest anti-militarization gatherings and one of the longest protracted direct action campaigns against U.S. domination, and for self-determination in the Americas. Join us! The Vigil to Close the SOA comes on the heels of some important victories:
Grassroots Pressure Works!
U.S. Embassy Reverses Visa Denial for Member of the Honduran Resistance!
We are thrilled to let you know that last week's grassroots pressure campaign that followed the clearly political denial of the travel visa for Alejandro Ramirez by the U.S. embassy in Honduras has worked! Thanks so much to everyone who made phone calls and sent emails to make this happen.
The U.S. embassy granted Alejandro a second interview yesterday and approved his travel visa to attend the November vigil and speak from the stage at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia! If you haven't made your travel plans yet, do so now and join Alejandro and thousands of social justice activists from across the Americas from November 19-21, 2010 (click here for the schedule of events.) If you can help to pay for Alejandro's plane ticket, click here.
The other SOA Watch vigil speaker whose visa was denied, Gerardo Brenes (a former SOA graduate) was granted a second interview as well. His new interview is going to take place in 2 days. However, it is still an uphill battle, as Gerardo is prominent in the news in Costa Rica, opposing U.S. warships and marines, and works to pressure the Costa Rican government to stop sending police forces to be trained at the School of the Americas. Click here for more information and to take action.
Victory for Justice for Colombia!
Georgetown Students Serve Uribe Subpoena to Speak Under Oath About Paramilitary Ties
Last week, students at Georgetown University in Washington, DC succeeded in serving Colombia's ex-president Álvaro Uribe with a subpoena to testify about paramilitary ties in Colombia. The Adios Uribe Coalition has campaigned since September to get Georgetown to drop Uribe as a 'Distinguished Scholar." Following a rally at Georgetown's Red Square of over 100 students, teacher and activists, former SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience (serving 6 months in a federal prison in 2003) and current Georgetown law student Charity Ryerson served Álvaro Uribe with a subpoena, directing him to testify under oath in a case against Drummond Mining Company.
The importance of this action cannot be overstated. Uribe will have to talk about his knowledge of paramilitary collusion with the transnational Drummond and with the Colombian Armed Forces. Drummond is being sued by close to 500 families of victims of paramilitary terror, who claim that the coal company worked with the Colombian paramilitaries to murder, torture and disappear their loved ones. Augusto Jiménez, the president of Drummond in Colombia, is a distant relative of Álvaro Uribe.
Under the regime of Álvaro Uribe, close to 35,000 Colombians were killed, with thousands being presented as guerrilla fighters killed in combat. He has been accused of wiretapping his political opponents, attacking social movements and many in his party have been tied to the paramilitary infrastructure. While the Jesuits have been outspoken defenders of the poor and the marginalized in Latin America, Georgetown University continues to try to clean the image of Uribe by employing him as an academic. SOA Watch remembers the thousands of disappeared, displaced and massacred in Colombia and across the Américas, and calls on Georgetown to drop Uribe.
Stand up for justice: SOAW.org/take-action/november-vigil