School of Americas Debated in Burlington

School of the AmericasAt tonight’s city council meeting, during public forum, several people spoke in support of passing a resolution in opposition to the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in 2001, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.).

The purpose of the school is “to provide professional education and training” while “promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and knowledge and understanding of United States customs and traditions”.

The people who spoke are seeking to see the school shut down as it has been argued the school has not lived up to this mission. The SOA has been accused of training members of governments guilty of serious human rights abuses and of advocating techniques that violate accepted international standards, particularly the Geneva Conventions. Graduates of the SOA include men such as Hugo Banzer Su

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