The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dan Kovalic 412-335-6442
Father Joe Mulligan: 504-32-12-13-18

US Human Rights Activists Stand Vigil in front of the United States Embassy in Honduras


A delegation of U.S. citizens from School of the Americas Watch will be standing vigil in front of the U.S. embassy in Honduras to call upon their government follow through with actions consistent to their acknowledgment of a coup in Honduras. Earlier this morning, the group had a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens.

The U.S. embassy vigil will take place today, Thursday, July 9 at 2 p.m.

While applauding the fact that the Obama administration initially used the term "coup" to define the overthrow of Honduras' democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, recent statements from high ranking State Department officials have backed away from describing it as such.

The delegation will call upon the U.S. government to:

1. Join the international community and call for the unconditional return of President Manuel Zelaya to his rightful position as president
2. Withdraw the U.S. ambassador from Honduras
3. Suspend all U.S. aid that could be channeled towards supporting the de facto regime of Roberto Micheletti.
4. Withdraw all U.S. troops in the Soto Cano/Palmerola base and all other military bases (over 600 troops).
5. Close down the School of the Americas (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) in Ft. Benning, Georgia.

The military coup was lead by graduates of the School of the Americas: Chief of Staff Commander General Romeo Vasquez and Air Force Commander General Luis Javier Prince. Several SOA graduates have been appointed to positions in the coup regime: Nelson Willy Mejia, Director of Immigration; Hernan Banegas, Minister of FHIS, and Billy Fernando Joya Amendola, Ministry Assessor.

Those participating in the vigil are:

Rev. Roy Bourgeois, founder of the SOA Watch movement
Rev. Joseph Mulligan, S.J., Christian Base Communities, Managua Nicaragua
Dan Kovalik, Senior Counsel, United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO
Kent Spriggs, SOA Watch Counsel
Lisa Sullivan, Latin America Coordinator, School of Americas Watch

SOA Watch is an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.