Wednesday, October 19, 2016

At US-Mexico border, SOA Watch focuses on the same message through a new lens

"16-year-old Juan Antonio Rodriguez was shot on Oct. 10, 2012, in Nogales, Mexico, he was unarmed.
He wasn't attempting to cross the border fence that separates his city from Nogales, Arizona. Reports say he was throwing rocks at border agents on the United States side to distract them from two men climbing the fence from Mexico into Arizona.
Ten shots later, Rodriguez died — the bullet marks still visible on the nearby wall today.
On the weekend of the fourth anniversary of his murder, the site of his death drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people on either side of the 18-foot steel fence at SOA Watch's annual rally Oct. 8-10. SOA Watch is an organization that for 27 years hasprotested the School of the Americas (now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC), a U.S. Army school that SOA Watch says has trained Latin American soldiers in techniques of violent repression.
The weekend included a prayer vigil at the Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona; various educational workshops, including how to build a grassroots organization, how trade agreements cause economic and labor abuse, and how to refuse to pay taxes so as not to support a war; concerts at the border; and a prayer vigil for Rodriguez.
Also over the weekend, Catholic sisters hosted Encuentro de Hermanas, where they gathered in a soup kitchen in Mexico to offer prayers and discuss immigration reform.
But before the workshops and spiritual gatherings, about 1,000 people marched from one country to the other, ending at the border fence, Ambos Nogales."

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