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Ecuador quits former School of the Americas

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June 27, 2012 05:57 PM EST | AP


QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador's defense minister says the Andean nation will stop sending military and police officers for training at the U.S. Defense Department-run school formerly known as School of the Americas.

Opponents of the school, currently located at Fort Benning, Georgia, blame it for human rights abuses in Latin America by foreign military officers trained there.

Defense Minister Miguel Carvajal's announcement came after President Rafael Correa met Wednesday with a delegation from School of the Americas Watch. The advocacy group has campaigned since 1990 to close down the school now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Venezuela stopped sending officers there in 2004, Argentina and Uruguay in 2006 and Costa Rica in 2007.

An Ecuadorean military official says about 20 Ecuadoreans are currently at the school.