School of the Americas Visits The University For Peace and U.S. Army South

8.jpg (37059 bytes)  The 52 students of the 1998 United States Army School of the Americas' (USARSA) Command & General Officers Course (CGSOC) recently conducted a Central America Regional Orientation Trip to Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras, Aug. 16-21.

 2.jpg (16429 bytes) Along with visiting the traditional commands of United States Army South at Fort Clayton, Panama and Joint Task Force Bravo at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, the students had the distinct opportunity of being USARSA's first CGSOC to visit the University For Peace and the InterAmerican Institute For Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica.

12.jpg (9626 bytes) Created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 5, 1980, the University For Peace offers master's programs in International Relations and Cooperation, and in Ecology and Peace, as well as a variety of programs in democratic sustainment.

5.jpg (13298 bytes) The three hour seminar at the University For Peace focused on presentations given by the university's rector, Dr. Francisco Barahona, and two other university academic coordinators. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on democratic sustainment not only in Central America, but in Latin America as a whole. The CGSOC students left the institution with a far better understanding of the efforts being committed to building consensus and negotiation in the region.

4.jpg (21663 bytes) Maj. Roger Barros, CGSOC Course Director, said "in an era where military officers must be just as knowledgeable about peace operations involving humanitarian assistance, demining and similar operations as they are in warfighting, visits to institutions such as the University For Peace and The InterAmerican Institute For Human Rights are very germane.

10.jpg (19228 bytes)  "The fundamental concept is to impart to the CGSOC students, which consist of U.S. and Latin American officers from 12 different countries, the varying roles of the military operating under the control of a civilian democratic nation-state."

6.jpg (20901 bytes) Both Barros and Dr. Russell Ramsey, USARSA's resident Latin American Affairs Specialist, are currently working on a project to incorporate a guest instructor program involving members from both of the institutions to not only participate in the Human Rights and Peacekeeping blocks of instruction of the CGSOC, but in USARSA's 6-week long Democratic Sustainment course and 5-week long Peace Operations Course.


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