Thursday, April 02, 2009

Last year the President of Costa Rica promised that he would withdraw from participation in the notorious "torture school", the School of the Americas. As the following from the School of the Americas Watch makes plain that promise may go the way of many a political promise. The SOA and their Costa Rican allies are asking you to help pressure the President to keep this pledge.
Costa Rica and the School of the Americas
Keep the Promise:
Costa Ricans Demand from their President to Stay True to his Word
In 2008, a group of Costa Rican human rights activists, along with Father Roy Bourgeois and Lisa Sullivan, met with Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his valiant efforts to promote peace in Central America. When Father Roy asked that President Arias honor the martyrs of Central America by withdrawing Costa Rican police from the SOA, Arias responded "it is done." A few weeks later, however, the U.S. ambassador asked Costa Rica's Security Minister to reconsider this decision, and he agreed. Costa Rican citizens are outraged at Arias for backtracking on his promise. They have launched a campaign to remind Arias of his promise to withdraw Costa Ricans from the SOA and have asked citizens of other countries to join their voices, noting that Arias gives high value to his reputation as a world peacemaker.
Human Rights activists in Costa Rica produced this two-part video (in Spanish) for their campaign.
Please go to the link highlighted above to send the following letter to Costa Rican president Oscar Arias.
We salute your historic contributions to peace in Central America and your efforts to make Costa Rica a bright beacon of peace in the continent.

We want to congratulate your for valiant and public declaration made in May 2007 to stop sending Costa Rican police to the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). This was clearly an expression of your commitment to peace, and an acknowledgment of the atrocities committed in Central America by graduates of this school.

We are gravely concerned that there are indications from SOA/ WHINSEC that you have not followed through on this promise, and that Costa Rica continues to send police to train at this institute.

We ask that you continue to honor your international reputation as a Peace Maker and publicly reiterate your previous commitment to send no more Costa Rican police to train at the SOA.

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