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307 WEST 5th STREET AUSTIN, TX 5 12.477.1 137 MONPAY5, 6:30 pni, KOOP Rat” 91 7Ftli 1aag51KER, DICK KALLEMN, MIKEIAFRIK 41406hta T0 tornim INcrregogi tr5 SCEEP,” *AT* a4016 Visit us on the [email protected] Radio De La Comunidad www.koop.org Pro’s ra vu.vt-ti.ws t i-versit For A Cult-trot-1u Ai-Verse Citu RO. Box 2116 Austin, TX 78768-2116 Community Radio PI, continued from page 13 an extra 10,000 hours of staff time, some of those state employees with more free time may simply be laid off during the looming HHSC reorganization. As for the advisory committees, HHSC officials claim that the overhaul will shift the duties of some of the abolished councils to other agencies. But it’s worth noting that HHSC announced the cuts in a dryly written memo that, unlike the effusive transition plan, didn’t claim to improve services. TEXAS TEACHING Last month activists from across the country made an annual pilgrimage to protest the infamous School of the Americas, located at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia. The SOA has been a target of demonstrators ever since it was revealed that graduates from Latin America had put their training to use by engaging in human rights violations from the Southern Cone to Mexico. Strictly speaking, the SOA no longer exists. It was “closed” in 2000 and officially reopened as the Western Hemisphere in 2001. Nevertheless, a national network of activists continue to organize annual teachins, vigils, and non-violent civil disobedience. They might do well to also direct their attention elsewheresay, Texas. Last year Amnesty International reported that Fort Benning is “only one small part of a vast and complex network of U.S. programs for training foreign military and police forces that is often shrouded in secrecy.” Amnesty stated that there are approximately 275 known U.S. military schools and installations that provide such training. At least 13 programs are located in 10 installations in Texas. San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Basehome to the Inter-American Air Forces Academy and the Defense Language Instituterivals Fort Benning in terms of the numbers of program courses taken by students from Latin America. According to recent reports to Congress from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of State, Colombian nationals enrolled in 794 courses at military installations in the United States last year. The United States trains more military and police from Colombia than any other country in Latin America, followed by Ecuador, Honduras, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Mexico. In fiscal year 2002, students from these six countries combined enrolled in 460 courses at Lackland AFB, compared to 301 at Fort Benning, a fact that so far has attracted little attention from either activists or the media. Yet at least one foreign military trainee in San Antonio has been accused of engaging in the sort of activities that earned the SOA its badge of shame. He is Colombian Air Force Lt. Cesar Romero. In June 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that he had been accused of killing 18 villagers with a cluster bomb dropped from a helicopter in 1998. It September 2000, Romero received flight-simulation training at Randolph AFBthree months after a prosecutor ordered an investigation into the 1998 killings, and in direct violation of U.S. regulations that forbid the enrollment of students who are even suspected of having engaged in human rights violations. Sian Naga International Headquarters Enjoy our organic, in house roasted coffee. Watch the kids play as you catch up with a friend. Listen to local musicians and relax with a beer or wine. Come see our new space. 3601 S. Congress off E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower -9637 www.rutamaya.net check our site for monthly calendar 12/5/03THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27