Policy Page: Military Aid and Training

The United States has a long and unfortunate history of creating and feeding military violence in Latin America.  From the Cold War era to the Wars on Drugs and Terror today, U.S. military aid and training in the hemisphere have contributed to human rights violations, supported corrupt and cruel governments, and protected the economic interests of multinational corporations and national elites at the expense of the poor majority.  Witness for Peace monitors the on-the-ground impacts of U.S. tax dollars in Latin America and works to change our foreign policy to support human rights and sustainable development.  We call on Washington to:

  • End U.S. military aid to Colombia.  The Colombian military has documented ties to paramilitary groups on the U.S. terrorist list and continues to engage in extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations. U.S. military aid simply feeds the flames of Colombia’s four decade long armed conflict. 
  • End U.S. support for forced eradication of coca in Colombia.  After more than a decade of aerial spraying of harmful herbicides,more coca is grown in more areas in Colombia than before the fumigations began.
  • Close the U.S. Army School of the Americas/WHINSEC.  The School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia has trained some of Latin America’s most infamous human rights violators. 
  • Halt the Merida Initiative.  This initiative, popularly dubbed “Plan Mexico” provides aid to Mexican and central American security forces. The funding has led to a dramatic rise in human rights violations by those same security forces.