| This Wednesday, June 27, Ecuadoran President Rafaeal Correa, after hearing from a delegation of SOA Watch, has taken the decision to cease sending Ecuadoran soldiers to the School of the Americas.
We wish to express our happiness for this decision by the Ecuadoran government, convinced that the School of the Americas – now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation –indeed trained and trains Latin American soldiers under the doctrine of National Security, based on fighting the internal enemy. This doctrine has borne human rights violations throughout Latin America.
In 2010, in the Truth Commission Report that investigated human rights violations in Ecuador, the training that Ecuadoran soldiers had received at the School of the Americas was called to attention, and the report recommended that the State cease sending troops to the military school. Today that recommendation has been taken into account and we are happy.
The thousands of victims of human rights violations in Ecuador and all of Latin America have the right to know those responsible for the killings, forced disappearances and torture, and that they are brought to justice to pay for their crimes. At the same time, nations must give guarantees to society and survivors that this will not happen again. One concrete way to do this is to end military training at the SOA, that has caused so much damage and suffering to our people.
Ecuador joins Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia, who have pulled out of the SOA. As a result, we call on the other countries of Latin America to stop sending their troops to the School of the Americas as soon as possible.
We congratulate President Rafael Correa for this sovereign decision and to finally protect the Ecuadoran people from being subject to future human rights violations.
Representative James McGovern (MA) reintroduced the Latin America Military Training Review Act as HR 3368 on November 4, 2011 along with 21 other original co-sponsors. This legislation would suspend operations at the SOA/ WHINSEC, investigate torture manuals and human rights abuses associated with the school, and conduct an assessment of military training in Latin America.
Across the country, grassroots activists are working to add their Member of Congress as a cosponsor, or supporter, of this bill. Has your Representative cosponsored this bill? Check this list of HR 3368 cosponsors to find out.
Collaborative Center for Justice
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