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School of the Americas Defunding

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The House voted early Friday to withhold recruitment money for the Army’s School of the Americas, a facility long criticized for training Latin American officers who turned out to be tyrants and murderers.

The school’s graduates include Gen. Manuel Noriega, the dictator of Panama, now imprisoned in Miami on a drug conviction; the late Roberto D’Aubuisson, a reputed death squad commander and political leader in El Salvador, and dozens of soldiers accused of political killings in El Salvador and Peru.

The vote was 230-197, with 56 Republicans joining 174 Democrats to support the measure, sponsored by Rep. Joe Moakley, D-Mass.. On the floor supporters denounced the school as a Cold War relic and an academy for assassins. The measure would withhold about $1.5 million for recruiting and transporting officers to the school at Fort Benning, Ga. The school has an operating budget of about $15 million.

Guest:

  • Carol Richardson, School of the Americas Watch. Call: 202.234.3440.

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