HR 732 -- Text of Legislation Print
(Introduced in the House)


1st Session

H. R. 732

To close the United States Army School of the Americas.


February 11, 1999

Mr. MOAKLEY (for himself, Mr. SCARBOROUGH, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. CAMPBELL, Mr. VENTO, Mr. SHAYS, Mr. SERRANO, Mr. OBERSTAR, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California, Mrs. MORELLA, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. GEJDENSON, Ms. RIVERS, Mr. SABO, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. WEYGAND, Mr. OLVER, Mr. TIERNEY, and Mr. FORBES) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


To close the United States Army School of the Americas.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    Congress makes the following findings:

    • (1) The United States Army operates a military education and training facility known as the United States Army School of the Americas, which is currently located at Fort Benning, Georgia, and is used to train military personnel of Latin American armed forces.

    • (2) The United States Army School of the Americas has a history of abusive graduates, and the continued operation of the school stands as a barrier to United States efforts to establish a new and constructive relationship with Latin American armed forces after the Cold War.

    • (3) Closing the United States Army School of the Americas would not prevent the United States from providing appropriate training for military personnel of Latin American armed forces.

    • (4) The United States Army School of the Americas is only part of the United States' extensive training relationship with Latin American armed forces, which includes--

      • (A) the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the United States Air Forces' Inter-American Air Forces Academy, and the United States Navy's Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School;

      • (B) courses taken by Latin American military personnel with members of the United States Armed Forces at numerous institutions in the United States; and

      • (C) training with some of the more than 50,000 members of the United States Armed Forces who serve on active duty in Latin America each year.

    • (5) Graduates of the United States Army School of the Americas include some of the worst human rights abusers in the western hemisphere, including--

      • (A) 19 Salvadoran soldiers linked to the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter;

      • (B) two of the three officers cited by the Guatemalan archbishop's office as suspected intellectual authors of the killing of anthropologist Myrna Mack in 1992, as well as three top leaders of the notorious Guatemalan military intelligence unit D-2;

      • (C) one-half of the 247 Colombian army officers cited in the definitive work on Colombian human rights abuses, El Terrorismo de Estado en Colombia, 1992;

      • (D) 10 of the 30 Chilean officers against whom a Spanish judge in 1998 requested indictments for crimes of terrorism, torture and disappearance;

      • (E) El Salvador death squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson;

      • (F) Panamanian dictator and drug dealer Manuel Noriega;

      • (G) Argentinian dictator Leopoldo Galtieri, a leader of the so-called `dirty war', during which some 30,000 civilians were killed or disappeared;

      • (H) Haitian Colonel Gambetta Hyppolite, who ordered his soldiers to fire on a provincial electoral bureau in 1987;

      • (I) two of the three killers of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador;

      • (J) 10 of the 12 officers responsible for the murder of 900 civilians in the El Salvadoran village El Mozote; and

      • (K) three of the five officers involved in the 1980 rape and murder of four United States churchwomen in El Salvador.

    • (6) Despite sustained congressional and public pressure, the United States Army School of the Americas has implemented only limited reforms of its curriculum.

    • (7) The continued operation of the United States Army School of the Americas continues to associate the United States with the abuses of its graduates.


    (a) CLOSURE REQUIRED- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Army shall close the military education and training facility known as the United States Army School of the Americas located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

    (b) REPEAL OF STATUTORY AUTHORITY- (1) Section 4415 of title 10, United States Code, is repealed.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 407 of such title is amended by striking out the item relating to such section.


    (a) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of Congress that, in each training activity undertaken by the United States with foreign security forces, the Secretary of Defense (or any other executive branch official who may be overseeing the training activity) should--

    • (1) substantially increase emphasis upon respect for human rights, the proper role of a military within a democratic society, and accountable and transparent management of defense and security policy; and

    • (2) vigorously implement Department of Defense regulations regarding the screening of foreign candidates for inclusion in the training activity to ensure that the United States does not train individuals implicated in human rights abuses, illegal drug trafficking, or corruption.

    (b) TRAINING ACTIVITY DEFINED- In subsection (a), the term `training activity' means any activity in which the United States provides military education and training for foreign security forces, whether conducted in the United States or abroad, including international military education and training under chapter 5 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2347 et seq.), international narcotics control under chapter 8 of part I of such Act (22 U.S.C. 2291 et seq.), activities under section 1004 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 (10 U.S.C. 374 note), and activities under the major force program for special operations forces of the United States.