To the editor:
WHINSEC, previously named the “School of the Americas,” is a shameful scar upon the American ideals of freedom and democracy. This training facility in Georgia trains foreign militants on the U.S. taxpayer dime. According to a U.N. Truth Commission report, some of the most notorious human rights abusers in Latin America have been SOA graduates or attendees, including the officers responsible for the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador in front of his congregation while he was giving Mass. His crime? The previous day he had publicly criticized the repression and killings being carried out by the right-wing militant government.
Now graduates and attendees are using their new SOA skills to become some of the most notorious criminals in the drug war. Rene Sanabria, who attended SOA in 1993, was sentenced to 32 years for cocaine trafficking this past September. Currently, the country of Colombia, which has been cited in recent years for having the highest number of human rights abuses in South America by its own military, also has the highest number of SOA graduates, and the numbers are increasing.
Why are our tax dollars paying for this?