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US-El Salvador (1980-2002)


Project: History of US Interventions

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       El Salvador is ravaged by a bitter civil war leaving around 70,000 dead. The US provides military funding during this period to the tune of $6 billion. [Reuters, n.d.; BBC, n.d.]


       US Army intelligence manuals provided to Latin American military officers attending the US Army's “School of the Americas” advocate executions, torture, blackmail and other forms of coercion against insurgents and sanctions the use of “fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, executions and the use of truth serum” to recruit and control informants. [The Washington Post, 9/21/1996]
People and organizations involved: Western Hemispheric Institution for Security Cooperation (School of the Americas)

March 15, 1993

       The United Nations names the army officers who committed the worst atrocities of the civil war in El Salvador. Forty-five of the over 60 officers identified in the report, or nearly two-thirds, had been trained at the US Army's “School of the Americas” located at Fort Benning, Georgia. [Guardian article; Kloby, 2003 Sources: Report of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador, 3/15/1993]
People and organizations involved: Western Hemispheric Institution for Security Cooperation (School of the Americas)


       Amnesty International, in its annual report on US military aid and human rights, states that “throughout the world, on any given day, a man, woman or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed or ‘disappeared’ at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame.” [Amnesty International, 1998 cited in Chomsky, 1998]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International

November 19, 2000

       A nonviolent demonstration is held calling on the US Army to close its infamous School of the Americas, located at Fort Benning, Georgia. [School of Americas Watch, 7/12/2001; Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/19/2000] The school trained more than 60,000 Latin American military officers over the past 50 years [CNN, 4/3/2000] , many of whom were since implicated in egregious human rights abuses (see March 15, 1993). [Associated Press, 11/20/2000; Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/19/2000; School of Americas Watch, 7/12/2001] 1,700 of the protestors are thrown in jail, including an 88-year old nun. [Associated Press, 11/20/2000; New York Times, 6/24/2001]
People and organizations involved: Western Hemispheric Institution for Security Cooperation (School of the Americas)


       US involvement in El Salvador is being put forward by some in Washington as a model for a possible solution for Colombia's 30-year civil war. [BBC, 3/24/2002]

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