‘ Time for America to live
up to her creed’
Armed guards protect the walls while inside school is
in session. Students listen attentively but the day’s
coursework isn’t reading, writing and arithmetic.
School manuals openly advocate the use of torture, extortion
The school is not located in a Taliban controlled area of Afghanistan or an insurgent outpost in Iraq. It’s located right here at home at the Fort Benning military base in Columbus, Ga. The school formally known as the School of the Americas is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, but its purpose hasn’t changed.
The SOA dates back to 1946 when it was founded at a U.S. military base in Panama. Its mission was to train mercenaries to carry out political assassinations and coercions throughout South America. In 1984 Panama expelled the school, calling it the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The school was then quietly moved to Fort Benning to continue training murderers in the name of national defense.
In 1989, six Jesuit priests, their co-worker, and her teenage daughter were massacred in El Salvador. A U.S. Congressional Task Force investigated the incident and found those responsible had been trained at Fort Benning with our tax dollars picking up the tab. From this incident the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) movement was founded. It is supported by numerous faith-based and human rights groups and labor unions. They work to bring attention to the camp that has been the source of training for some 60,000 Latin American soldiers responsible for thousands of deaths.
With the installation of NAFTA in 1994, the Mexican government
began increasing the number of their participants who attended the SOA.
Labor leaders at Mexican manufacturing facilities found themselves targets
of SOA alumni killers.
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