FOURTH COUNTRY WITHDRAWS FROM THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS:
The School of the Americas Watch, an organization devoted to shutting down the "torture academy" at the US Army Fort Benning Georgia facility where the US trains army and police officers from South and Central America, has announced that a fourth country, Costa Rica, has withdrawn from participation in this notorious institution. This follows the withdrawal of Venezuela in 2004 and of Argentina and Uruguay in 2006. The School of the Americas was recently(2001) renamed as the 'Western hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation'.
Being as Costa Rica has no army its participation has always been restricted to sending police officers for training at Fort Benning. Over the years Costa Rica has sent about 2,600 trainees. The most notorious Costarican graduate was Minor Masis who attended in 1991. In 1992 he participated in a drug raid, and his actions his being sentenced to 42 years for rape and murder during the raid. Obviously they pay little attention to teaching their graduates how not to get caught. Presently Costa Rica has only three police officers enrolled at the academy and Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias has announced that these will be the last.
Past graduates of this academy include dictators Manuel Noriega of Panama and Leopoldo Galtieri of Argentina as well as San Salvadorean death squad organizer Roberto D'Aubuisson. To learn more about the campaign against this torture academy go to the School of the Americas Watch site.