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School of the Americas Topics

The Ft. Benning, GA, military training center formerly known as the SOA, or School of the Americas, is used to train Latin American soldiers in combat, counterinsurgency and counter-narcotics. Frequently referred to as the "School of the Assassins," the school is now known as WHISC, or the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The group School of Americas Watch says the role of U.S.-trained generals in the 2009 Honduras military coup underscores the need for the school’s closure.

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  • One week after a military coup in Honduras, soldiers and riot police blocked the airport runway Sunday evening, preventing ousted President Manuel Zelaya from returning to the country. Heavily armed Honduran soldiers also used tear gas and machine guns to disperse an unarmed crowd of tens of thousands of people who had come from all over the country, despite military blockades, to wait at the airport and welcome back their ousted president. At...
    Jul 06, 2009 | Story
  • The first coup d’etat in Central America in more than a quarter-century occurred last Sunday in Honduras. It was led by a graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, a military facility that has trained some of Latin America’s worst torturers, murderers and human rights abusers.

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    Jul 01, 2009 | Columns & Articles
  • Romeo Vasquez, a general who led the military coup in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, received training at the US School of the Americas. The SOA has trained more than 60,000 soldiers, many of whom have returned home and committed human rights abuses, torture, extrajudicial execution and massacres. According to School of the Americas Watch, Vasquez attended the SOA in 1976 and 1984. The head of the Air Force, Gen. Luis Javier Prince...
    Jul 01, 2009 | Story
  • We take a look at ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya with journalist Nikolas Kozloff, author of Revolution!: South America and the Rise of the New Left. Despite initial conservative leanings, Zelaya took on powerful vested interests in Honduras. " [Zelaya] was at odds politically with the Honduran elite for the past few years and had become one of Washington’s fiercest critics in the region," writes Kozloff. "Even if...
    Jul 01, 2009 | Story
  • In an upset victory, Álvaro Colom, who ran on an anti-poverty platform, beat the hard-line retired General Otto Pérez Molina with close to 53 percent of the vote. We get reaction from Guatemalan-American writer Francisco Goldman. His new book, "The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?" implicates the defeated Pérez Molina in the 1998 murder of beloved Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi. [includes rush...
    Nov 06, 2007 | Story
  • In a Democracy Now! special, we spend the hour with Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia. In a wide-ranging conversation, Morales discusses the impact of the war in Iraq on Latin America, warns against the use of biofuels to reduce carbon emissions and highlights the importance of indigenous rights. "I am convinced that the indigenous people are the moral reserve of humanity," Morales said. He also discusses the...
    Sep 26, 2007 | Story
  • New Orleans police raided the Saint Bernard housing project this morning where activists had been occupying a building to prevent government plans to demolish it. Meanwhile, the Housing Authority of New Orleans has sent a letter to one of the lead lawyers for the residents, Bill Quigley, asking him to stop speaking to the media and to remove statements he made that appear in several online videos. [includes rush transcript]
    Jan 31, 2007 | Story
  • Patricia Isasa was 16 years old in 1976 when she was kidnapped by Argentine police and soldiers. She was tortured and held prisoner without trial for two and a half years. Before she joins thousands heading to Fort Benning, Georgia to protest what used to be called the School of the Americas, Isasa joins us in our firehouse studio to tell her story and of her lifelong campaign to bring her torturers to justice. [includes rush transcript]
    Nov 16, 2006 | Story
  • A Bolivian delegation is in the United States this week to urge the U.S. government to notify Bolivia’s ex-President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and two of his ministers of their obligation to return to Bolivia for trial in the deaths of 67 people and more than 400 wounded during October 2003. We speak with Rogelio Mayta, an attorney representing the families of those killed in the 2003 massacre. [includes rush transcript]
    Oct 05, 2006 | Story
  • Leading Bolivian activist, Oscar Olivera joins us in our firehouse studio to talk about the ongoing struggle over water in Cochabama and the successful fight against the privatization of water by Bechtel six years ago. Olivera says, "If that uprising in 2000 had not ended in a popular victory, Evo Morales today would not be the president." [includes rush transcript]
    Oct 05, 2006 | Story