We wish to express our happiness for this decision by the Ecuadoran government, convinced that the School of the Americas -- now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation -- indeed trained and trains Latin American soldiers under the doctrine of National Security, based on fighting the internal enemy. This doctrine has borne human rights violations throughout Latin America.
In 2010, in the Truth Commission Report that investigated human rights violations in Ecuador, the training that Ecuadoran soldiers had received at the School of the Americas was called to attention, and the report recommended that the State cease sending troops to the military school. Today that recommendation has been taken into account and we are happy.
The thousands of victims of human rights violations in Ecuador and all of Latin America have the right to know those responsible for the killings, forced disappearances and torture, and that they are brought to justice to pay for their crimes. At the same time, nations must give guarantees to society and survivors that this will not happen again. One concrete way to do this is to end military training at the SOA, that has caused so much damage and suffering to our people.
Ecuador joins Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia, who have pulled out of the SOA. As a result, we call on the other countries of Latin America to stop sending their troops to the School of the Americas as soon as possible.
We congratulate President Rafael Correa for this sovereign decision and to finally protect the Ecuadoran people from being subject to future human rights violations.
School of the Americas Watch