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Carlos Mauricio
on Torture,
Survival &
The Stop Impunity Project

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US sponsored Torture Survivor Carlos Maurico Carlos

On Torture


& The Stop Impunity Project

War Criminal & Mass Murderer Ronald Wilson Reagan
Interview during A Festival of Hope in support of
Mary Burton Riseley, Betsy Lamb & Father Jerry Zawada

Carlos Mauricio is a native of El Salvador, university professor and survivor of torture.  In 1983 - as the Reagan Dirty Wars raged throughout Central America - Carlos Mauricio was abducted in broad daylight from his classroom in the University of El Salvador by a US sponsored Death Squad and tortured for 9 days before his discovery by the International Red Cross led to his release.  Carlos shares his story and current efforts in a growing international movement to bring justice and accountabiility to torturers and war criminals.

El Salvador

Carlos was present in Tucson to speak at A Festival of Hope which took place at St Mark's Presbyterian Church on Sunday 3 February 2008.  The Festival was organized in support of 3 commited activists - Mary Burton Riseley, Betsy Lamb and Father Jerry Zawada.  The three crossed the line at Ft Huachuca on 18 November 2007 to demand an end to torture as an instrument of policy by the US government or any of its agents or proxies and were promptly arrested and charged with criminal trespass, failure to yield to orders and conspiracy.  

They were not alone as over 300 anti-torture protesters were present in support of the much larger annual demonstration organized by School of the Americas Watch.  At the gates of WHINSEC - the same School of the Assassins with it's new moniker - 11 others were similarly arrested & charged and over 20,000 converged to demand an end to torture and the shutdown of the school.  Further, they followed hard on the heals of the convictions of Fathers Vitale & Kelly who had crossed the line at the 2006 demonstration at Ft Huachuca and are presently nearing the end of their 5 month sentences in feral (or if you'd prefer, federal) penitentiaries.

The three were arrainged in early December and Lamb & Zawada were held without bail for violations of previous court orders and probation obligations.  On Monday 4 February 2008, they appeared for in the Tucson Federal Court for trial and were convicted and senrtenced to 2 years probation and a $5,000 fine that can be wiaved by the completion of 500 hours of community service.  All three were released following the hearing.  About 60 supporters were present, including myself, to share the joy of their release and comparatively light sentence.  They faced 10 months in a federal penitentiary plus a cash fine.

On the night prior to their trial, Carlos Mauricio shared the stage at St Mark's with Col Ann Wright, members of their legal defense team, musicians Ted Warmbrand & Charlie King and over 100 supporters along with Jack Cohen-Jappa as MC.  About 40 supporters also arrived early at the courthouse in a support circle that included Carlos, Ann, Jack, and Bill Quigley - director of The Law Clinic & Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University in New Orleans and lead attorney for the three  Bill was scheduled to speak at St Mark's the night before but had to decline due to preparations for the trial.

Carlos' ordeal is not only his story, but that of 100,000 Salvadorans who were "disappeared" by US sponsored Death Squads during the Reagan era.  The studied and refined program of torture and terrorism was developed in part at the School of the Assassins, uh, Americas at Fort Benning, GA which has trained over 60,000 officers in Latin American militaries and whose graduates names appear repeatedly in the tallies of perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

These acts are not relics of a past administration, however and the NY Times reports the Death Squad assassinations of three Salvadoran Congressmen in  Guatemala in March of 2007.

War Criminals John Negropnte & George BushJohn Negroponte was a notorious henchman during the Reagan/Bush era when, as ambassador to Honduras, he managed the Dirty Wars that are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees, many of whom, ironically, escaped death in their own countries at the hands of US proxies by entering the United States via the sanctuary movement - many of them never to return.  A circle is completed in Tucson as the Sanctuary movement originated there with many of those who participated being charged in feral court.

And Negroponte has recently applied his skills in Iraq where a new level of torture and depravity has been documented with the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the criminal assault of Shock and Awe, and the continuing occupation, theft of oil, and "generational" presence.  After a stint as ambassador to Iraq, he is now  deputy Secretary of State where his record as a mass murderer and manager of the dity war is now expanded to new arenas.

The Stop Impunity Project is part of a growing movement worldwide to bring war criminals to justice where they will face the consequences of ther actions.  The Nuremberg Trials are model and underpinnings of all present efforts through the international courts to bring war criminals to justice.  Great progress has been made as evidenced by the examples of Pinochet, Suharto, Milosevich, Taylor and others that have commiteed great crimes. mass murder and genocide.  But the international bodies that are pursuing these criminals are not yet strong enough to contend with international bodies dominated by the US and other complicit offenders.  It is not likely that Bush, Cheney, Blair, Berlusconi, or the heads of NATO will be dragged before Nuremberg style tribunals immediately but this worldwide movement as growing and as surprising as it was to see Pinochet extradited for trial, we may yet see Bush, et al in the docket some day.  Carlos Maurencio has traveled the world and now cooperates with grassroots organizations that are growing in strength, confidence and determination to bring criminals to account and stop impunity.

Click here to watch or here to listen.

Click here for 
Torture on Trial

Click here for 
SW Weekend of Witness

Click here for 
School of the Americas Watch

Click here for 
Bill Quigley at Loyola University

Click here for 
Bill's blog at The Smirking Chimp

Click here for 
Censored News / Brenda Nortrell's blog -
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Click here for 
NY Times on 2007 Guatemalan death squads kill
3 Salvadoran Congressmen

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