Earlier this month eighteen former military officials in Guatemala were arrested on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in one of the largest mass arrests of military officers Latin America has ever seen. Twelve of them were trained at the SOA.
The arrests are linked to two cases in particular, both of which have gone before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The first case concerns the operations that occurred at the military base in Cobán. In 2012, exhumations by forensic anthropologists led to the uncovering of at least 550 victims disappeared between 1981 and 1988. The second is for the disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, a 14-year-old boy disappeared by the G-2 military intelligence forces on October 6, 1981.
The U.S. was deeply involved during the 36-year-long armed conflict that marked Guatemala. Guatemalans continue their struggle to break down the wall of impunity and the culture of silence and fear, and the steps being taken by survivors to bring cases forward have been nothing short of brave and courageous. SOA Watch maintains that in order for there to truly be justice, those responsible in the U.S. for the training and funding one of Latin America's most brutal conflicts must be held to account in any and all courts applicable. The Congregation of St. Agnes supports SOA Watch, and continues to cry out “Close the SOA!” You can help. Ask your Representative to cosponsor HR 1232 Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.