School of the Americas Watch began decades ago to try to shut down the facility at Ft. Benning, Georgia which has trained Latin American military officers including those responsible for some of the most horrendous human rights abuses in the hemisphere. Commanders responsible for massacres have even been invited back--not as students but as instructors. When Congress almost closed the place down, the Department of Defense simply changed the School of the Americas name to WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) and funded it from another budget line.
Hector survived torture at the hands of the US-supported military in Colombia and we've been active with the Colombia Peace Project here in LA. This article, though, isn't a personal one. It's our look at the bases and the surrounding communities. The print version of our article isn't out yet, but if you are interested, it's now been posted at the soaw.org site: