HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » A cut we can all get behi...

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:34 AM

A cut we can all get behind: The School of the Assassins

On Friday, thousands of protesters will converge on Fort Benning, Georgia, home to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Co-operation (WHINSEC). It’s had this title since 2001, but when it was set up in Panama in 1946 it was the School of the Americas. In 66 years it has trained 64,000 soldiers from Latin America in counterinsurgency, sniper warfare, interrogation techniques and other useful methods for repressing their citizens.

Another name for it in Latin America is the Escuela de los Asesinos. A United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador implicated 19 of its graduates in the massacre of six Jesuit priests on 16 November 1989. School of Americas Watch (SOAW), the organisers of this week’s event, list 57 of the most notorious graduates, among them generals Galtieri of Argentina, Banzer of Bolivia, Rios Montt of Guatemala and Noriega of Panama. Hugo Banzer, who maintained a ‘chamber of horrors’ beneath his interior ministry where 2000 prisoners were kept and tortured, had his photo on the school’s ‘wall of fame’. More recent graduates include two leaders of the failed attempt to unseat Hugo Chávez in 2002 and the mastermind of the coup in Honduras in 2009, General Vásquez Velásquez.
...
When I spoke to him in August he’d just persuaded President Correa of Ecuador to withdraw from the SOA, and a few days later he convinced Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua to do the same. Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia had already withdrawn their support. Costa Rica’s President Arias pulled out in 2007, only to be worked on behind the scenes until, as WikiLeaks revealed, he quietly reversed the decision and continued sending police trainees anyway.

The president with the most power over WHINSEC’s future is of course Obama. But if the place is eventually closed, it’s likely to be for economic as much as moral reasons. SOAW are working on Congress to cut its funding. In 2010 a bill to suspend operations at WHINSEC had more than 100 co-sponsors. Now SOAW are looking for support from Republicans interested in budget cuts. The fewer countries that send troops there, the more that spending $18 million a year on WHINSEC looks like a waste of money.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/11/14/john-perry/school-of-the-assassins/

4 replies, 457 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply A cut we can all get behind: The School of the Assassins (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 OP
PDJane Nov 2012 #1
hootinholler Nov 2012 #2
Bjorn Against Nov 2012 #3
Solly Mack Nov 2012 #4

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:38 AM

1. That's a cut that should have happened long ago,

And the sooner that travesty is shut down, the better.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:07 AM

2. Better late than never!

This needs to be shut down.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:19 AM

3. I am leaving for Georgia tomorrow

I will be at the protests outside the SOA on Saturday and Sunday.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Reply to this thread