Washington, DC - President Evo Morales announced Tuesday that Bolivia will gradually withdraw its military from training programs at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School for the Americas (SOA).
Morales, a former coca farmer and advocate of indigenous rights, criticized the institution for training Latin American militaries to identify social movement leaders as "enemies of the state." "We will gradually withdraw until there are no Bolivian officers attending the School of the
The SOA/WHINSEC is a
The SOA/WHINSEC has played a significant role in
In March 2006 a School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) delegation led by Lisa Sullivan-Rodriguez, Salvadoran torture survivor Carlos Mauricio, and SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois met with President Evo Morales to request that
Appropriations bill that would have prohibited funding for the SOA/WHINSEC lost by a margin of only six votes. 203 members of Congress voted in favor of the amendment to cut the funding for the school in part due to its connection to human rights abuses throughout