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Home News Press Releases New Research Findings Incriminate Notorious School of the Americas (SOA/WHISC)
New Research Findings Incriminate Notorious School of the Americas (SOA/WHISC) PDF Print E-mail
Washington D.C.- On Monday, March 29 representatives from the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill to present startling new research that points to the ineffectiveness of cosmetic reforms that were made to the school in 2001. Despite claims by U.S. Army officials that the School of the Americas (WHISC) has reformed and that atrocities by its graduates are a thing of the past, this new research clearly demonstrates that the school continues to spend US tax dollars to train known human rights abusers. These new findings also raise serious questions in regards to the nature and efficacy of the training done at the SOA/WHISC, and it?s subsequent disregard for the continued human rights atrocities committed by graduates of the school.

Monday?s press conference takes place in conjunction with a mass mobilization and lobby day. People from across the country will gather in Washington D.C. from March 27-30 to call for a closure of the SOA/WHISC, and to lobby their representatives to support HR 1258, sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA). The bill, currently co-sponsored by 111 bi-partisan Members of Congress calls for a closure of the SOA/WHISC and a joint congressional task force to investigate the appropriateness and effectiveness of U.S. military training in Latin America.

Since 1946, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando & psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. Among its graduates are death squad leaders like Roberto D?Aubuisson from El Salvador and military dictators like Hugo Banzer of Bolivia and General Hector Gramajo of Guatemala. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution. In December 2000 Congress authorized the WHISC (the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) to replace the SOA.

The school continues to draw criticism and protest throughout Latin America. On February 26, 2004 Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel announced that all training of Venezuelan soldiers at the School of the Americas (WHISC) would be immediately ceased. In his address Rangel stated, the US, which considers itself a democracy, shouldn't have a school like this on its soil. In Managua, Nicaragua daily protests in front of the U.S. embassy have been demanding for a closure of the SOA/WHISC, and for the U.S. to be held accountable for past human rights atrocities committed at the hands of graduates from the school

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