The School of the Americas

The School of the Americas

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Located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, the School of the Americas (soa) is a U.S. Army center that has trained more than sixty thousand soldiers and police, mostly from Latin America, in counterinsurgency and combat-related skills since it was founded in 1946. So widely documented is the participation of the Schoola€™s graduates in torture, murder, and political repression throughout Latin America that in 2001 the School officially changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Lesley Gill goes behind the faAsade and presents a comprehensive portrait of the School of the Americas. Talking to a retired Colombian general accused by international human rights organizations of terrible crimes, sitting in on classes, accompanying soa students and their families to an upscale local mall, listening to coca farmers in Colombia and Bolivia, conversing with anti-soa activists in the cramped office of the School of the Americas Watcha€”Gill exposes the Schoola€™s institutionalization of state-sponsored violence, the havoc it has wrought in Latin America, and the strategies used by activists seeking to curtail it. Based on her unprecedented level of access to the School of the Americas, Gill describes the Schoola€™s mission and training methods and reveals how its students, alumni, and officers perceive themselves in relation to the dirty wars that have raged across Latin America. Assessing the Schoola€™s role in U.S. empire-building, she shows how Latin Americaa€™s brightest and most ambitious military officers are indoctrinated into a stark good-versus-evil worldview, seduced by consumer society and the a€œAmerican dream, a€ and enlisted as proxies in Washingtona€™s war against drugs and a€œsubversion.a€groups. The pysop manual describes four broad goals of psychological operations: to support the political systems of the United States and its allies; to attack the legitimacy and credibility of the enemy; to publicize the reforms and programsanbsp;...

Title:The School of the Americas
Author: Lesley Gill
Publisher:Duke University Press - 2004-08-23

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