23
Jul
2005

Washington Secures Long-Sought Hemispheric Outpost, Perhaps at the Expense of Regional Sovereignty

by Mary Donohue and Melissa Nepomiachi

Paraguay and the United States recently entered into an agreement that allows U.S. military personnel to enter Paraguay to train officials in counter-terrorism and anti-narcotrafficking measures. According to the Head of Social Communication of the Paraguayan Armed Forces Col. Elio Flores, these U.S. Special Forces units will be working with the National AntiDrugs Secretariat, the Presidential Escort Regiment and the Air Transport Brigade. . . . This agreement grants U.S. soldiers complete legal immunity from some of their actions while they are in the country, affording them the same privileges as diplomats as well as leaving them free from prosecution for any damages inflicted on the public health, the environment or the country’s resources. According to Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ) Paraguay, the Paraguayan National Congress passed this resolution allowing for the entry of U.S. forces with no debate, behind closed doors and with the public largely unaware of the entire transaction. Joining with SERPAJ, other human rights groups also have voiced their concern, with U.S. military instructors being criticized by human rights activists for having a history of teaching torture tactics to thousands of Latin American mid-level military officers at the U.S.-based School of the Americas since shortly after World War II...

//www.dissidentvoice.org/July05/Donahue-Nepomiachi0722.htm
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