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SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS

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Listen to voters who think they are voting conservative. Most generally don't have a thought in their heads and, like parrots, sooner or later they return to one single statement of policy. Fortunately, since they are human and therefore given a slight vocabulary above the standard, POLY WANNA A CRACKER, they will complain about the taxes they pay to a wasteful government.

I, too, hate to pay taxes designated for wasteful purposes. It is for that reason, therefore, that I have long opposed our government's SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS.

For those who don't know about that "educational" institution, The School of the Americas is a complex of dormitories, classrooms, and military-training grounds with an enrollment of up to 2,000 soldiers per year. Most are from Latin America. It's located in Columbus, Georgia, and although its charter calls for it to teach how to uphold democratic principles, its primary objectives thus far have been aimed at murdering innocent civilians, including priests and nuns throughout Latin America.

School of the Americas graduates thus far have been implicated - and some convicted for - the murders of Father Ignácio Ellacuría, President of the University of Central America, the rape of several American Catholic nuns, atrocities and murders of country people and workers, the murder of Colombian Bishop Juan Gerardi - in short, activities that would make the Mafia at its worst look like a Sunday-school class.

That the murders have been condoned by our government for a long time is something that we, as we profess human rights and freedoms, should find difficult to understand. Furthermore, since the activities - including the teaching - is being paid for by us, the time has come for us to tell our government: NO MORE.

Those of us who are against tax wastage and who wish to give our government a hard time in order to keep it honest would do well to start protesting the existence of the SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS. The time has come to close it down. The Americas don't need it. On the other hand, if some of us don't feel like doing anything about it and believe in fairness for all, then I suggest that we increase the program and make it available also for Mafia members. After all, why should that second organization be second class by comparison?

Manuel L. Ponte
St. Louis, Missouri.
 
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