U.S. Army intelligence manuals used to train Latin American military officers at an Army school from 1982 to 1991 advocated executions, torture, blackmail and other forms of coercion against insurgents, Pentagon documents released yesterday show.
Used in courses at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas, the manual says that to recruit and control informants, counterintelligence agents could use "fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, executions and the use of truth serum," according to a secret Defense Department summary of the manuals compiled during a 1992 investigation of the instructional material and also released yesterday.
Its graduates have included some of the region's most notorious human rights abusers, among them Roberto D'Aubuisson, the leader of El Salvador's right-wing death squads; 19 Salvadoran soldiers linked to the 1989 assassination of six Jesuit priests; Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, the deposed Panamanian strongman; six Peruvian officers linked to killings of students and a professor; and Col. Julio Roberto Alpirez, a Guatemalan officer implicated in the death of an American innkeeper living in Guatemala and to the death of a leftist guerrilla married to an American lawyer.
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