Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation

Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation At A Glance

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Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA), is a military facility established to provide professional education and training to eligible military personnel of Latin America. 

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Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA), is a military facility established to provide professional education and training to eligible military personnel of Latin America. While known as the SOA, the facility became controversial as many of its graduates were accused of gross human rights violations. In the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act, the facility was renamed WHINSEC and a greater emphasis was placed on academics and the recruiting and training of civilians. The training was to be conducted “within the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States … while fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, and cooperation among the participating nations and promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and knowledge and understanding of United States customs and traditions.” Eligible trainees include military, law enforcement and civilian personnel, and the Secretary of State is to be consulted about training candidates. The Secretary of Defense is also required to submit to Congress by March 15 of each year a detailed report on the activities of WHINSEC during the preceding year; the Secretary of State is to be consulted. The fixed costs of operating and maintaining WHINSEC each Fiscal Year are drawn from the defense account for operation and maintenance for defense-wide activities, while tuition costs are primarily covered by International Military Education and Training (IMET) and International Narcotics Control (INC) program grants or through the Foreign Military Sales program.

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P.L. 106–398, National Defense Authorization Act, FY 2001 Title 10, Chapter 108, Sec. 2166 . Formerly known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas.

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