World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Otto Reich Named on Board to Oversee SOA

School of the Americas Watch

May 2, 2002

Otto Reich Named on Board to Oversee SOA/WHISC Reich Is Notorious for Aiding Coups

Otto Reich has been named to the Board of Visitors at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA). The WHISC¹s charter requires a Board of Visitors to monitor the school, to ensure that the curriculum emphasize ³human rights, the rule of law, due process, civilian control of the military, and the role of the military in a democratic society². Reich has a history of aiding coups and known terrorists.

In December 2000 Congress authorized the WHISC to replace the SOA. The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in documented human rights abuses and atrocities. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution.

The renaming of the school was widely viewed as an attempt to diffuse public criticism and to disassociate the school from its reputation. SOA Watch maintains that the underlying purpose of the school, to control the economic and political systems of Latin America by aiding and influencing Latin American militaries, remains the same.

³It¹s a new name, but the same shame,² said Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch, ³They prove this point by putting Otto Reich on this rubber stamp board.²

Reich first gained notoriety throughout Latin America and among US human rights groups for his role as head of the Office of Public Diplomacy during the Reagan administration. This office launched an anti-Sandinista propaganda campaign, illegally designed to influence the American public to embrace the administration¹s agenda for Central America. Later, as US ambassador to Venezuela, Reich used his office to help Orlando Bosch, a known terrorist, get into the US. Bosch was convicted of firing a bazooka at a freighter in Miami, and accused of bombing a Cuban jet, killing 73 people. Despite this record the current Bush administration nominated Reich for Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. In this capacity Reich admittedly advised Pedro Carmona‹the businessman who seized the presidency‹during the failed coup in Venezuela last month. Also he met with generals who planned the coup in the months leading up to the coup (some of whom were trained at the SOA).

³This only renews our conviction that this school of coups, torturers and assassins must be closed down for good,² said Bourgeois.

SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHISC.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news