Research has found that torture is not a successful means of obtaining information and violence does not bring about peace. Why then must we ignore these truths when training the leaders of South and Central America?
The School of the Americas, now called WHINSEC, has educated over 60,000 South and Central American soldiers in violence since 1946. As leaders, some of these men go on to commit human rights violations including rape, murder and torture. Not only have graduates been accused of human rights violations, but Salvadoran Col. Francisco del Cid Diaz is an example of a known human rights violator selected as a student. If we respect human rights and train our own military to higher standards, then we cannot fund this violence, anarchy, and dictatorship. The school has graduated at least eleven Latin American dictators who have led coup d’états against democratically elected leaders. These soldiers favor power and American business over the needs of their own people. Not only does WHINSEC hurt the reputation of the United States as a peace loving country, but it in no manner supports democracy or any of the values that our nation was founded upon.
The school has been very secretive about its faculty, students and graduates. Currently inactive H.R. 2567 would temporarily close the school for a thorough investigation. Not only does this school go against American principles, but against the people of South and Central America. We must instead let democracy benefit their citizens.
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war.” Ecclesiastes 9:18