“Ecuador will no longer send members of its armed forces nor its police to the sadly famous former School of the Americas in the United States.”
June 27, 2012
Ecuador will no longer send troops to the U.S. military training school at Fort Benning, Ga., formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA), whose graduates have been implicated in human rights abuses, the country’s foreign minister announced Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement, first reported by the Spanish news agency EFE, comes after a meeting Wednesday between Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa and members of SOA Watch, a group founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois to work for the closure of the military training school.
Confirming the news Wednesday, Ecuadoran foreign minister Ricardo Patiño posted on Twitter in Spanish that “Ecuador will no longer send members of its armed forces nor its police to the sadly famous former School of the Americas in the United States.”
Voss noted Ecuador also rebuffed U.S. military interests in 2009, when Correa refused to renew a 10-year lease the U.S. Air Force held for a portion of Manta Air Base on Ecuador’s western coast.
In news reports at the time, Correa was quoted as saying: “We can negotiate with the U.S. about a base in Manta, if they let us put a military base in Miami.”
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