LEGISLATION TO CLOSE THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS
"The U.S. Army School of the Americas … is a school that has run more dictators than any other school in the history of the world. … They boast about the fact that 10 separate heads of state throughout Latin America were graduates of the School of the Americas. Not one of them was elected through a democratic election, and in many cases they actually overthrew the civilian governments that brought them into power. They tell us now that the school [is] changing, but we know and understand … that the school is continuing the kind of modus operandi that left us with the legacy of being associated with some of the worst human rights abusers on the face of the planet." — Rep. Joseph Kennedy, 5/20/94
In 1993, a House bill offered by Rep. Kennedy to close the SOA is defeated by 256-174.
In 1994, it is defeated by 217-175.
This fall, a bill to cut approximately 25% of the SOA’s funds is defeated by only 217-210, with 7 absent.
The SOA’s days are numbered, if we spread the word.
In the closest vote yet, the House of Representatives vote September 4th, 1997 against an amendment to the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act bill (HR 2159), which would have cut approximately 25% of funding to the School of the Americas. The amendment was offered by Reps. Esteban Torres (CA) and Thomas Foglietta (PA).
A similar amendment offered by Rep. Torres in the Appropriations Committee meeting on Wednesday July 9 lost by a narrow margin (23-21).
House bill H.R. 611 and Senate bill S.980 are separate bills to completely close the SOA.
Feb 5, 97: HR 611 is referred to the House Committee on National Security.
June 27, 97: S. 980 is referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services.