Bishops of Latin America
on the Closure of the School of the Americas
The Following are Statements Written by Bishops throughout Latin America to Bishops Tom Gumbleton & Kendrick Williams Supporting the Closure of the School of the Americas (More than 40 Latin American Bishops, including 4 Archbishops have sent similar statements).

Honduras: Archbishop Oscar Andres Rodriguez (Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa) "Your dedication to close the School of the Americas seems extemely providential to me. This military academy has generated for a long time, directly and indirectly, much pain and suffering among our brothers and sisters in Latin Americas. 

As Pastor of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras I have been able to establish that this institution has caused immense harm to our country. Remember that many of the graduates of this institution were those who contributed, in my country and other countries, the decade of the 1980's known as the ‘Lost decade.' 

I am convinced that since the purpose of our pastoral Ministry is "to announce and to denounce" as Prophets of the Lord, we ought to oppose any intention to keep this institution open. 

I thank you once again for your initiative and ask that our Lord God hear our common prayers and the cry of our people who have suffered so much." 

Guatemala: Archbishop Victor Hugo Martinez (Archdiocese of Quetzaltenango-Totonicapan) President of the Bishops Conference of Guatemala: "I wish to thank you profoundly for the work of asking your government, through President Bill Clinton, to close the School of the Americas--which has not brought any good to Latin America, but much harm to my country of Guatemala." 

Guatemala: Archbishop Prospero Penados del Barrio (Archdiocese of Guatemala) "I want to thank you for your great work for peace, justice and harmony on behalf of our brothers and sisters of Latin America. As the Archbishop of Guatemala, I want to support you and the other Bishops of the United States in your efforts to close the School of the Americas." 

Guatemala: Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini (Diocese of San Marcos) "I know of the initiative of the US bishops asking President Clinton to close the sad and immoral School of the Americas. I wish to say that last year in this diocese your servants signed a document asking for the same. 

With this letter I wish to thank you and the other bishops of the US who have signed this petition. I do this in my name and in the name of so many victims of the military power, irrational and absurd, trained at this school during the painful years of armed conflict." 

Guatemala: Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez (Diocese of Verapaz) "With a paternal greeting I join the bishops, priests, nuns and community that supports your campaign to close the School of the Americas." 

El Salvador: Bishop Rodrigo Orlando Cabrera (Diocese of Santiago de Maria) "I have known of your group of North American bishops who are asking the government of the United States to close forever this school sadly called ‘School of the Americas.' 

I happily join and back this initiative because this famous school is responsible for many violent deaths and has caused great pain in our suffering country. 

The best known victim of the violence in our country has been, without a doubt, a very dear person who is always remembered by the Salvadoran Christians and by all those who fight for justice, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the great prophet and martyr of our century. 

I encourage you and the other North American bishops to support this initiative to keep moving ahead in this important work and that in the end closing the School of the Americas, will become a reality." 

El Salvador: Bishop Jose Aldolfo Mojica Moralez (Diocese of Sonsonate) "Through this letter, I support your campaign to close forever the School of the Americas as soon as possible. I believe this has been the place where many dictators of Latin America have been trained and caused such suffering during decades of our history. I offer my solidarity and my prayers for this objective." 

El Salvador: Bishop Eduardo Alas Alfaro (Diocese of Chalatenango) "I congratulate you and ask God to bless your campaign to close the School of the Americas with success-- and from this moment I make it mine." 

Peru: Bishop Jose Gurruchaga Ezama (Diocese of Lurin (Lima)) "It is necessary and urgent to express my solidarity on behalf of peace, justice and unity. Through my experience of 50 years in Peru this type of school has not benefitted our brother and sisters of Latin America. 

For this reason, as the bishop of the Lurin Diocese, Lima, Peru, I wish to support you and the other bishops in the U.S. for your effort to use your voice to close the School of the Americas." 

Honduras: Bishop Gerald Scarpone (Diocese of Comayagua) "As a brother bishop and a lover of peace, we want to be on notice as serving the cause of peace and justice and wish to congratulate you and all the American bishops in their efforts to close the School of the Americas. Away with all wars and violence and yes to all efforts of peace and justice. We join our prayers with you for the cause of peace and justice." 

Brazil: Bishop Ricardo Josef Weberberger (Diocese of Barreiras) "I know that various Bishops of the US have begun a campaign to close the School of the Americas. I totally support this initiative which is necessary if peace and justice will return to all the countries of the Americas!" 

Brazil: Bishop D. Gutmberg Freire Regis (Diocese of Coari) "...I express my strong support on behalf of closing the SOA. I am aware of your efforts to ask President Clinton to close that school. I do pray that the School is closed because I agree with the cause you defend." 

Mexico: Bishop Jose Maria Hernandez Gonzalez (Diocese of Nezahualcoyotl) "As the Holy Father says, the churches of the Americas should to be a prophetic voice that denounces all that refers to armament. For this reason, I unite myself with all the bishops of the US in their efforts to close the School of the Americas." 

Mexico: Bishop Arturo Lona Reyes (Diocese of Tehuantepec) "On my part you give me much hope to know that more than 120 North American bishops support the effort to close the School of the Americas, at Ft. Benning, Georgia. I always fight for peace and love and for this reason this school worries me because of the violence it brings to the people of Latin America." 

Mexico: Bishop Mario De Gasperin (Diocese of Queretaro) "I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ and thank you for your letter asking the authorities of your country to close the School of the Americas, at Ft. Benning, Georgia... [the SOA] is contrary to the spirit of peace that should exist among the countries and people of our continent." 

Mexico: Bishop Serafin Vasquez Elizalde (Diocese of Ciudad Guzman) "I wish to thank you profoundly for your work calling on your government and your President to close forever the School of the Americas. For according to what I know, this school has not benefitted Latin America, but brought evil..." 

Costa Rica: Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas (Diocese of Limon) "As the bishop of the diocese of Limon, Costa Rica, a country disarmed and whose militarism is history, I voice the exhortation of our Holy Father, Pope Paul II, who said ‘May the churches of the Americas rise up in a prophetic voice to denounce all reference to armament.' For this reason, I congratulate you, the bishops of the US for your wonderful initiative to close the School of the Americas!" 

Costa Rica: Bishop Ignacio Trejos Picado (Diocese of San Isidro de el General) "By their fruit, Jesus said, you will know them. If the fruits of this school are negative, the only thing to do is to close it as you are requesting."