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Bill introduced to shutdown School of Americas (HR 2567) [View All]

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:39 AM
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Bill introduced to shutdown School of Americas (HR 2567)
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HR 2567 Campaign

Representative Jim McGovern and 42 other members of the House of Representatives have reintroduced the Latin America Military Training Review Act. This legislation would suspend operations at the SOA/ WHINSEC, investigate torture manuals and human rights abuses associated with the school, and conduct an assessment of military training in Latin America.

Has your House Rep cosponsored HR 2567? Check out the list of cosponsors at the bottom of this page. If not, take action and be a part of the legislative campaign to close the SOA/ WHINSEC!

Sample letter:


The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative (last name):

I am writing to urge you to support human rights in Latin America by supporting legislative efforts to suspend operations at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the United States Army School of the Americas (SOA). The graduates of this institution have a long history of human rights violations. From the atrocities in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980's, to recent violations in Colombia, SOA/WHINSEC graduates consistently appear in reports on human rights abuses in Latin America. SOA/WHINSEC training has resulted in civilian massacres, assassinations, disappearances, death threats and has led to both attempted and successful coups of democratically elected governments in the hemisphere. Recently, it was uncovered that WHINSEC has trained known human rights abusers, despite the congressionally mandated vetting of potential students.

Despite efforts to silence opposition to the Ft. Benning-based training school through a name change and cosmetic changes, it is still a combat training school that provides dangerous skills and weaponry to countries with serious current human rights problems. The proliferation of skills like counter-insurgency and psychological warfare in countries like Colombia, where impunity is offered to paramilitaries, only perpetuates the cycles of violence. Keeping the school open under any name sends a powerful anti-human rights message. Establishing reasonable living conditions for the people of Latin America and strengthening civil institutions will do more to stabilize the region than training militaries. Closing the SOA/WHINSEC, whatever its name, would demonstrate that the United States has made a clean break from the tragic history of the school and its graduates.

As your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor HR 2567 and work for its passage in Congress. Currently, there are over 40 bi-partisan co-sponsors of the bill. Please contact Cindy Buhl in Representative McGovern?s office to include yourself in this legislation. Thank you for your time and commitment to this important matter.

Please send me a letter with your position on this issue. Thank you for your time and commitment to this important matter.


(Your full name; Group, if applicable; Full Address; Phone; Email)
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