Argentine Atrocities Have U.S. Connection

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Date: Mar. 21, 1995
Publisher: The New York Times Company
Document Type: Brief article; Letter to the editor
Length: 304 words
Lexile Measure: 1300L

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To the Editor:

Re "Argentine Tells of Dumping 'Dirty War' Captives Into Sea" (front page, March 13): Dictator-Generals Roberto Eduardo Viola and Leopoldo Galtieri ruled consecutively during Argentina's "Dirty Little War." At least 30,000 civilians died at the hands of their Government forces. General Galtieri also led the Falkland Islands invasion.

Both generals are graduates of the little-known United States Army School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. This school, sometimes called the school of the assassins, has trained 55,000 Central and South American elite officers, who return to terrorize and murder their own poor countrymen, women and children. They have assassinated human rights activists, priests and religious, including El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero.

Army School of the Americas graduates have planned and executed atrocities and murders in El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia. These actions are well documented, as are those of another of the school's graduates: the now-imprisoned former President of Panama, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.

United States taxpayers pay millions of dollars each year to finance this school; $30 million was recently spent to renovate it. With our money, officers attending the school are treated not only to a state-of-the-art terrorism in warfare, but also to trips to Six Flags, Disney World, New York and Atlanta -- at a time when Congress wants to cut welfare funds to our poor! How can our members of Congress continue to support this school? It is an outrage.

From March 24 to 30, people from across the nation will participate in a seven-day fast on the steps of the Capitol to focus attention on the Army School of the Americas. Let us demand that Congress focus attention on our country's shame. The Army School of the Americas must be closed. MARY ELLEN CREAMER Blue Bell, Pa., March 14, 1995

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A155489982