Catholic nun begins jail sentence for military protest

Hopped fence at former School of the Americas
Before going behind bars, Sister Lelia (“Lil”) Mattingly said she expected jail would be cold and dreary compared to life in a convent. But the nun sentenced in connection with a protest in Georgia said her imprisonment follows Jesus’ way—“to speak the truth to power and pay the consequences.”

Mattingly, 63, reported March 15 to the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution, a low-security prison in Danbury, Connecticut, that is home to 1,300 female inmates. She will serve a six-month sentence for trespassing on a U.S. Army base.

The nun is among 11 activists who have been sentenced to jail time for their part in a November 21 demonstration at Fort Benning, Georgia, that involved several thousand protesters. Mattingly was arrested during the annual protest against the base’s military school, which has trained more than 57,000 Latin American soldiers, some of whom were later charged with human rights violations in their native countries.

 

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