Darkness & Light: Pinochet, G. Staravoitova, Chile, School of the Americas,


Jan Slakov

Dear Rn list,     Nov. 27

Eric Fawcett of Science for Peace sent us the original "Darkness and Light"
message; I am just expanding on the theme. 

A bit more light: A huge protest agains the School of the Americas,
notorious for tranining death squad types seems to have been very
successful. (But, just as the MAI is being moved from the OECD to other
forums, we must be wary that the type of training the SOA offered will just
be moved somewhere else.)

all the best, Jan
Date:   Thu, 26 Nov 1998 19:03:38 -0500
From: Eric Fawcett <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Darkness and light: Augusto Pinochet and Galina Staravoitova 

From: Andrew Pakula <•••@••.•••>

Galina Staravoitova, assassinated several days ago in St. Petersburg, was one
of Russia's most powerful and clear voices for human rights, pluralism and
tolerance.  At a conference in Europe in the early 1990s I had the pleasure
of attending a presentation by Galina and speaking with her about Russia's
future.  She was truly a remarkable woman.  Her murder represents a victory
for the forces of darkness and a setback for the forces of reason.  She will
be missed.

The decision by Britain's Supreme Court to respect Spain's request for the
extradition of General Pinochet for murder, terrorism and torture represents
a victory for justice.  It is a warning for murderous politicians and heads
of state.  Most importantly it sets a precedent giving priority to the
rights of individuals over the rights of sovereign states.  For this reason,
it is a decision to be celebrated by all those who care about human rights.

Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 14:03:16 -0400
To: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••
From: Tom Kruse <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Letter from Chile

Just in from friends in Chile:


Long live the Brits (But don’t tell the Irish though). Yes, because for the
first time in 25 years there is a slight possibility that Pinochet will be
brought to trial on genocide, terrorism and torture charges. By a majority
of three to two, the five Law Lords have ruled against Pinochet. He is not
immune from prosecution, thus he could be extradited to Spain to face a
court of Law. 

However, the Pinochet saga is not over  yet. There is still a possibility
that Jack Straw, Britain’s Home secretary, decides to expel the ageing
dictator from Britain on humanitarian grounds. This, of course, is purely a
political decision. Whether the Labour government of Tony Blair is prepared
to face the political consequences of such an action or not is unclear.
Whatever happens in Britain though, the fact remains that for the entire
world Pinochet is a murderer. The fact remains that the first time that
someone was able to bring him to justice he was found guilty. Pinochet’s
defence was based on the fact that he was head of state and therefore immune
from prosecution. At no point did they deny the charges, on the contrary,
they explicitly stated that he was indeed in charge of DINA (Secret Police)
the terrorist organisation that committed most of the crimes in Chile.

The situation in our country is a delicate one. There are rumours of a coup
d’etat, military manoeuvres and death threats from ultra right
organisations. However, a military coup seems a politically unviable option,
simply because ten years ago the Armed Forces, part of the civilian
opposition at the time (those who are in government now) and the United
States, negotiated the terms of the transitional process. Basically, the
opposition accepted the rules of the game imposed by the military. So, since
nothing has changed (the political system and  the economic model we have
today are the same we had under the dictatorship) there is no need to stage
another coup and antagonise the whole world.

At least 60% of our people wants Pinochet to be brought to trial either here
or elsewhere. So there is no support for a military move here either.
Notwithstanding, we know full well what the military and the Right are
capable of. Two hours after the verdict, the military have remained silent,
but Pinochet supporters have reacted hysterically. The government has
called upon the Chilean people to remain calm, they have also stated that
they will continue working to obtain Pinochet’s release.

No one knows what will happen in the forthcoming weeks, all we can say is
that the Law Lords’ decision constitutes a small step towards justice. We
have to be grateful not to them, but to the thousands of compatriots who
gave their lives in the struggle for justice and freedom. It is their

Rocío and Tito


Tom Kruse
Casilla 5812 / Cochabamba, Bolivia
Tel/Fax: (591-4) 248242
Email: •••@••.•••
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 11:35:35 +0000
From: Paul Swann <•••@••.•••>

Dear Jan,

For the Pinochet judgement see http://reports.guardian.co.uk/pinochet/

Methinks the pressure must be kept up on Home Secretary Jack Straw, who
many of us here regard as still more reactionary than the previous Tory
Party incumbent. He does seem to be stuck with a ruling that he'll find it
very difficult to get out of, but I'm suspicious about his motivations for
delaying the date of his ruling, edging it closer to the Xmas distraction.
There's a long way to go...we're talking several years before Pinochet's
actually on a plane to Spain.

>Busy days, eh?


Take it easy!

Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 18:45:45 +0000
From: Paul Swann <•••@••.•••>
Subject: School of Assassins under attack!

>Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 03:12:06 -0600 (CST)
>From: Marc Frucht <•••@••.•••>
>To: Williams Institute <•••@••.•••>

>Hi Michael,
>We won. There is no doubt in my mind that by may or june, we will
>have succeeded in making the military either shut down the assassins
>school in Georgia or radically alter it.
>   We overwelmed them. They didn't have enough jail space and they
>COULDN'T ACCOMIDATE THE 30 People in wheelchairs, so they gave us
>letters asking us to not come back"today" and let us go. There were about
>7000 of us outside the gate, and 2319 rushing forward not counting the
>wheelchairpeople. It was incredibly beautiful. I'll be processing it
>fulltime for the next couple weeks I'm sure.
>   I'll write more later, I am very tired. I just returned home about an
>hour ago and was going to go right to bed, because it was a 17 hour bus
>ride, but I have a 9:30 class tomorrow. (Unlike Amy Carter, I'm getting
>good grades despite chaining myself to fences =)
>   Peace, peace, peace.
>marco capelli frucht
>aka Theodore Liberacion

PS from Jan: I noticed that this protest was heavily promoted by the
Fellowship of Reconciliation in the US.

Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 18:20:48 +1300
From: "janice" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: En;Columbus LE, More than 2000 at the SOA protest, Nov 24

- -----Original Message-----
From: Chiapas95-english <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Date: Wednesday, 25 November 1998 3:41
Subject: En;Columbus LE, More than 2000 at the SOA protest, Nov 24

:This message is forwarded to you as a service of Zapatistas Online.
:Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 13:34:13 -0600
:To: chiapas95 <•••@••.•••>
:From: •••@••.•••
:Subject: En;Columbus LE on the SOA protest
:3.  More than 2,000 cross line at post - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
::More than 2,000 cross line at post
:By Wayne Partridge, Staff Writer, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
:November 23, 1998
:More than 2,370 people -- including actor Martin Sheen -- defied
:police orders Sunday and marched onto Fort Benning to demand closure
:of the U.S. Army School of the Americas.
:But this time, no one's going to jail.
:An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 crowded the Columbus side of Fort
:Benning's main gate for speeches and singing before marchers filed
:four abreast for a quarter-mile march into post.
:Sunday's attendance eclipsed the record set last year, when about
:2,000 gathered for the three-day protest and 601 had themselves
:arrested by marching onto post.
:"I don't know what effect this (turnout) will have," Sheen said
:before crossing the line. "I can't tell you what the result is going
:to be; even on myself I can't tell. All I can hope for is that I am
:faithfully follow the call of Jesus Christ, who calls us to
:nonviolence, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless."
:Sheen and the rest of the demonstrators had been told repeatedly by
:protest organizers and Fort Benning officials that they could be
:arrested and sent to prison for trespassing onto post. U.S. courts
:have ruled that military installations can restrict political and
:partisan speech and demonstrations.
:In January, U.S. District Judge Robert Elliott sentenced nearly 30 of
:last year's marchers to six months in prison.
:But this time, Maj. Gen. Ernst, Fort Benning's commander, decided not
:to arrest any of Sunday's marchers. Instead, police loaded the
:marchers onto waiting buses and dropped them off at Rigdon Park,
:about a mile away from the protest site on Fort Benning Road.
:Police issued the marchers letters barring them from post until
:midnight Sunday, but did not record the marchers' names.
:"We have arrested no one at Fort Benning today," Ernst said during a
:news conference following the march. "It is not our intent to arrest
:anyone today."
:Opponents of the school have called for its closure since 1989, when
:some of its graduates were linked to the murder of six Jesuit priests
:in El Salvador. Since the murder, opponents have gathered at Fort
:Benning's main gate each November, sometimes marching onto post, or
:throwing blood or red paint on the SOA building. The acts had always
:resulted in arrests and media attention.
:Protest organizers say the arrests and prosecution of demonstrators
:-- many of whom were priests, nuns and other clergy -- have generated
:widespread publicity and sympathy, accounting for the record crowds
:during the last two protests.
:Journalists from throughout the world covered the last two
:demonstrations, and protest organizers have encouraged participants
:to contact their local news outlets to make sure they received
:"There's a growing interest on what's going on here," said Deidra
:Dukes, a reporter for Atlanta's WSB TV station. "Their whole purpose
:is to hold events that will generate publicity. Publicity is going to
:make the difference -- without us, they can't get their message out."
:That consideration was not lost on Ernst, who says the institution is
:largely responsible for the growth of democracy in Latin America.
:"This year we just opted to try a different tactic and hopefully
:change the demeanor and the approach on both sides of this issue,"
:Ernst said. "It's a different approach to try and move this to a
:different venue."
:Some marchers said they were disappointed that they weren't arrested,
:but they felt they got their point across.
:"I'd say we accomplished a lot," said Kristie Lormand, a
:receptionist from Atlanta. "Even we were surprised that so many
:crossed the line. We were fully prepared to be arrested and go to
:jail -- I think it says a lot that nearly 2,500 people are so
:committed to something like that."
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