aka Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
the School was assigned the specific Cold War goal of teaching “anti-communist” counterinsurgency training to military personnel of Latin American countries. At the time and in those places, the label “communist” was, in the words of anthropologist Lesley Gill, “… an enormously elastic category that could accommodate almost any critic of the status quo.”:10 During this period, Colombia supplied the largest number of students from any client country.:17
.. On September 21, 1984, the school was expelled from Panama under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty. Prior to this expulsion, politicians and journalists in Panama had complained that civilian graduates from the school engaged in repressive and antidemocratic behavior.[13
.. Despite this required instruction, the School still utilized material from Spanish language training manuals that discussed methods of coercion against insurgents through execution and torture from 1982 until 1991.
.. As the Cold War drew to a close around 1990, United States foreign policy shifted focus from “anti-communism” to the War on Drugs, with narcoguerillas replacing “communists
.. This term was later replaced by “the more ominous sounding ‘terrorist‘
.. By 2000 the School of the Americas was under increasing criticism in the United States for training students who later participated in undemocratic governments and committed human rights abuses.
.. the institute was renamed to WHINSEC. U.S. Army Maj. Joseph Blair, a former director of instruction at the school, said in 2002 that “there are no substantive changes besides the name. […] They teach the identical courses that I taught and changed the course names and use the same manuals.”
.. Since 1990, SOA Watch has sponsored an annual public demonstration of protest of SOA/WHINSEC at Ft. Benning. In 2005, the demonstration drew 19,000 people. The protests are timed to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador on November 1989 by graduates of the School of the Americas
.. six Jesuit priests