Roy Bourgeois

Roy Bourgeois (born 27 January 1938 in Louisiana) is an American activist and priest. He was ordained in the Maryknoll order of the Roman Catholic Church and is founder of the human rights group SOA Watch or the School of the Americas Watch. Bourgeois was born in Lutcher, Louisiana. He grew up in a conservative working class family, and attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in geology. After graduation, Bourgeois entered the United States Navy and served as an officer for four years. He spent two years at sea, one year at a station in Europe, and one year in Vietnam. He received the Purple Heart during a tour of duty in Vietnam, however he later returned it. After military service, he entered the seminary of the Catholic missionary order of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America). He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1972 and sent to Bolivia. 1972-1975 Fr. Bourgeois spent five years in La Paz, Bolivia aiding the poor before being arrested and deported for attempting to overthrow Bolivian dictator General Hugo Banzer.


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