A powerful tool exists to curb impunity for abuses committed by military and police in countries that receive U.S. military assistance: the Leahy Law. The Latin America Working Group Education Fund and Center for International Policy published this guide to help human rights defenders, journalists, and scholars understand how this law is implemented. Introduced by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in the 1990s, the Leahy Law prohibits the United States from providing assistance to any foreign military or police unit if there is credible information that such unit has committed grave human rights violations with impunity. In the Western Hemisphere, in countries such as Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras, the Leahy Law has been used to suspend assistance to especially abusive units and to encourage police and military forces to improve their practices with respect to human rights.
Author: Latin America Working Group Education Fund and Center for International Policy for the Security Assistance Monitor