The School of the Americas trains the military ‘muscle’ to beat down the opposition to the FTAA

vieuxcmaq, Vendredi, Décembre 8, 2000 - 12:00

Hendrik Voss (

Economic oppression and military repression are flip sides of the same globalization coin. The economic rape of the poor that accompanies globalization could not stand without the repressive military apparatus that brutalizes people who rise up to resist. Those who oppose the globalization of greed and those who work to end US training of repressive foreign armies are joined in one effort.

SOA trains the military ‘muscle’ to beat down the opposition to FTAA
The ‘Free Trade Area of the Americas’ (FTAA) is the planned expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) throughout the Americas. It is targeted to take effect in 2005. The next FTAA summit is planned for April 2001 in Quebec, Canada.
The main goal of the United States is to secure economic and political hegemony over the Western Hemisphere through the FTAA. Economic Experts from Latin America warn that the FTAA will sharpen social inequalities and benefit multinational corporations at the cost of workers, peasants, communities and the environment.
The SOA is playing a crucial part in this project. Soldiers at the SOA are trained to protect the interests of U.S. corporations and maintain the economic status quo for the few rich and powerful in the U.S. and their cohorts in Latin America.
In official SOA publications "economic development along free market principles" are identified as "primary foreign policy goals of the U.S." in Latin America. The SOA strategy is "to prepare military and police forces to respond to current threats to the achievement of those goals".
For example in Mexico; hours after NAFTA went into effect, Indigenous communities rose up to say "No!" The Mexican military moved in immediately with troops, helicopters, and artillery. At least 18 high level officers who were involved in the civilian-targeted warfare are graduates of the SOA.
In Colombia, recent reports from Human Rights groups and the U.S. State Department link SOA trained soldiers to various massacres of hundreds of peasants and the assassinations of Labor leaders and striking workers.
Last year the Bolivian government sold the public water system to a private corporation and the water rates immediately doubled and at times tripled. As thousands peacefully took the streets, Bolivian President and former military dictator, SOA graduate Hugo Banzer sent out the forces to attack the civilians.
SOA - In the tradition of the Conquistadors
The graphic of a Columbus galleon - consequently chosen as the SOA’s official symbol and undeclared mission statement; providing the repressive military backing for the exploitation of Latin America.
Hendrik Voss
School of the Americas Watch

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