US in Latin America
US Foreign policy in Central America
Paid for by US Tax Payers, School of the Americas, now called Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), will not release the names of students, current and past. In 2010, President Obama passed National Defense Authorization Act to release the names but caveats were added that continue to block the release of the names.
Graduate of the School of the Americas, General Efrain Rios Montt seized power of Guatemala in a 1982 coup. Target of two Truth Commissions that "documented widespread human rights abuses by his regime including rape, torture, executions and acts of genocide against the populace, including indigenous population." The former dictator was much-admired by then-President Ronald Reagan. His genocide conviction was overturned in 2013.
Guatemala's current President is a graduate of WHINSEC.
Noam Chomsky on Immigration
Excerpt from an interview with Greg Grandin The Nation, October 31, 2014
"To this moment, Mayans are fleeing from the consequences of the virtual genocide of the 1980s, primarily at the hands of José Efraín Ríos Montt, whom the historian Stephen Rabe describes accurately as “the Guatemalan butcher who supervised the eradication of 100,000 mainly Mayan people” The flight of Mexicans was anticipated: Clinton initiated the militarization of the border when NAFTA was passed. It was quite predictable that NAFTA would destroy much of the campesino class, unable to compete with highly subsidized US agribusiness, along with other effects by now well-documented. Immigration follows as night follows day. Much the same is true throughout the region. The consequences of these policies engender conflicts within the United States. Super-cheap and highly vulnerable labor is a boon to business. But it is perceived by the white working class as a threat to its subsistence and cultural values, which are already felt to be under threat for many reasons, even more so as whites will become a minority in the not too distant future. These tendencies are being exploited in ugly ways by political leaders who are dedicated to service to the “1 percent” but need a voting constituency.
There is indeed resistance, a reason for hope, but the prospects will be grim if the US socioeconomic and political system persists in the vicious cycle that became established in the 1970s and escalated since, with a sharp concentration of wealth (increasingly in the financial sector) leading reflexively to concentration of political power and legislation to carry the cycle forward. It’s not inevitable by any means. There are encouraging signs at last of popular opposition, notably in the Occupy movements. But there is sure to be hard struggle ahead.