Forgotten History of the Car Barn: Repression and Resistance in the Cold War

Georgetown University, Center for Latin American Studies and History Department Americas Initiative

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 14:30
Copley Formal Lounge, 3700 O St NW, Washington, DC


From late 1963 through 1975, the Car Barn was home to the International Police Academy, which trained thousands of police from around the world. Under the auspices of the Agency for International Development, the IPA offered training in topics from riot control to traffic management, personnel management to forensics. The Academy touted its results: many of its graduates went on to high-ranking positions in governments of their home countries. But there was a dark side to this success. Accusations surfaced in these countries and among activists in the US that the training participants learned methods of surveillance, torture, and even bomb-making. Graduates were linked to death squads in El Salvador, genocide in Guatemala, and the brutal Idi Amin regime. This public lecture will discuss the Academy’s history, explaining how it emerged, what occurred within the Car Barn’s walls, and how political protests led to its abrupt closure.

© 2019 Stuart Schrader