Activist will speak on military school
Father Roy Borgeois will speak out against the School of the Americas, a training camp for Latin American military officers sponsored by the U.S. government, at 7 p.m. today in the Hesburgh Library Auditorium.
As a critic of U.S. policy in Central America for years, Borgeois founded the School of the Americas Watch, an organization that collects information on School activities and calls for its closing.
"We think students should come hear Father Roy talk because their tax dollars are paying for Latin American soldiers to oppress and murder their own people," said Sheila McCarthy, a member of Notre Dame's chapter of Pax Christi, which joins the Center for Social Concerns to sponsor the event.
Borgeois has spent a total of four years in federal prisions for various nonviolent protests against the School of America's activites. His most recent six month sentence ended last September.
Borgeois entered the Maryknoll Missionary Order in 1972 after serving in Vietnam. He worked with three America nuns who were murdered in 1980 in El Salvador. The U.N. charged five Salvadoran military officers with the crime; three had attended the School.
"Father Roy knew the [three nuns] killed, and it stimulated him to look deeper into the atrocities in Latin America," said Elizabeth Moriarty, another member of Pax Christi.
"He researched another incident, the murders of six Jesuits priests, their maid and her daughter, and found the murderers were graduates of the School of the Americas," Moriarty said.
Established in 1946 in Panama to battle the Cold War, the School of the Americas moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1984. Its 60,000 graduates have earned themselves a reputation for brutality and human rights abuses.
Notable alumni include Manuel Noriega, a former Panamanian dictator currently serving 40 years in prison for drug trafficking; Roberto D'Aubisson, a Salvadoran death-squad leader widely thought to have ordered the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero; and three of five Salvadoran military officers U.N. investigators found guilty of the 1980 murders of three American nuns and one lay social worker.
When the Pentagon admitted in 1996 the School had used manuals on the use of fear, torture, and truth serum, its confession added to an already growing movement against the school.
Rep. Joseph Kennedy recently introduced a bill to close the training camp.
The founder of the School of the Americas Watch, Father Roy Borgeois, will present "School of the Americas: School of Assassins" at 7 p.m. today in the Hesburgh Library auditorium.
Borgeois also will speak Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary's Little Theater in Moreau Center for the Arts.
All News Stories for Tuesday, September 7, 1999