The U.S. Congress approved funding last week for continued training of Latin American military personnel at the U.S. Army School of the Americas (USARSA), Fort Benning, Ga.
The approval follows certification from the Departments of Defense and State.
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen certified in a Jan. 21, 1998 letter to the House Appropriations Committee that "the instruction and training provided by the School of the Americas is fully consistent with the training and doctrine, particularly with respect to the observance of human rights, provided by the Department of Defense."
The certification was part of the Fiscal Year 1998 budget legislation passed Sept. 3, 1997 in which Congress required both agencies to report on the consistency of training at the School.
Cohen went on to say that USARSA "is an integral part of our efforts to develop closer and more effective ties to the militaries of Latin America;" adding that the Department has ensured that the school "is an effective transmitter of our values to the military leadership of the region."
USARSA has trained over 57,000 military and police personnel from the hemisphere since 1946.