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Green Party of the United States Positon
on the School of the Americas/WHINSEC:
The School of the Americas, renamed in 2001 to Western Hemisphere
Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC), located in Fort
Benning, Georgia, was founded in 1946 with the purpose of teaching
Latin American militaries the values of democratic civilian control
over military forces while promoting "friendly" assistance to our
Latin American neighbors.
The School of the Americas (SOA)/(WHISC) teaches such things as
assassination training, commando operations, counter-insurgency
techniques, intelligence-gathering, psychological warfare,
extortion, sniper training, and low-intensity conflict; and Pentagon
documents released to School of the Americas Watch, in September of
1996, through the Freedom of Information Act, show that training
manuals at least through the nineteen-eighties at the School of the
Americas/WHISC included instruction in such things as extortion,
assassination, threats and torture.
There is documented evidence that many SOA graduates have been
involved in murderous plots. This was demonstrated in the 1980
assassination case of Archbishop Oscar Romero in which two of the
three Salvadoran officers responsible were graduates of the SOA.
Further, nineteen of the twenty-six Salvadoran officers cited in the
November 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, a housekeeper and her
daughter, were also SOA graduates.
Guatemalan Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, an SOA alumni, was
implicated in the killing of U.S. citizen Michael Devine and Efraim
It is estimated that there are more than 600 SOA graduates who
have been accused of human rights abuses including the massacres of
Millions of dollars of US taxpayer money is spent annually to
maintain the School of the Americas/WHISC at a time when budgets are
being cut at the expense of our own schools and children, and the
US Congress is currently reducing Federal spending on many social
This history and the continued existence of the School of the
Americas/WHISC stand in the way of moving our country's
relationships with Latin America towards emphasis on Human Rights
Nonviolent direct action has been part of many struggles for
justice. It is also the backbone of the movement to close the SOA.
Countless actions have taken place in this country as well as in
Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Austria,
France, Germany and other countries around the world. Thousands have
put their bodies on the line, fasted and vigiled and hundreds have
gotten arrested for speaking out against the violence perpetrated by
the SOA and US foreign policy.
The Green Party of the United States opposes the continued operation of The School of the Americas - which was renamed in 2001 as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC) - and both calls for its immediate closure, and stands in solidarity with people across the Americas to support and endorse the nonviolent direct action proposed by School of the Americas Watch to shut down SOA/WHINSEC
TIMELINE: Until the school is closed
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It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
~ Green Party's Key Value of Non-Violence
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