Informe sobre el país: Colombia

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07 Dic 2015
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Se ha lanzado una nueva página web que permite a la gente denunciar de forma sencilla las batidas ilegales que tienen lugar en las calles de Colombia. http://batidasreport.net/ te permite  subir de forma sencilla historias e imágenes, y hará un listado de las batidas que haya, especialmente en Antioquia y Cundinamarca. 

Los objetores de conciencia están en especialmente riesgo de ser reclutados por la fuerza en las batidas, porque ellos no portan la libreta militar que se da a los reclutas al final de su servicio militar. A los varones jóvenes los reclutadores les revisan su documentación antes de llevárselos en las batidas, y aquellos que pueden probar que ya han hecho el servicio militar no son reclutados.

20 Nov 2015
English

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Alba Milena Romero Sanabria is a political scientist at the National University of Colombia. She has worked for the recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service for ten years, alongside participating in nonviolence training processes. She is a member of Asociación Acción Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia (ACOOC, Conscientious Objectors' Collective Action) and Conscience and Peace Tax International. Her co-author Andreas Speck is originally from Germany, were he refused military and substitute service in the 1980s. He has been involved in the environmental, anti-nuclear and antimilitarist movements ever since. From 2001 until 2012 he worked for War Resisters' International (WRI) and today lives in Spain. Together, they use the example of Colombia to illustrate how international human rights mechanisms can be put to use in local cases, and in combination with other tactics, when campaigning for the right to conscientious objection.

On the international level, the right to Conscientious Objection (CO) has been on the political agenda of the UN General Assembly, the Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, the Human Rights Commission, and other UN institutions.1 In addition, the right is addressed by other international institutions, especially the inter-American and European systems.2 At the same time, different movements have implemented strategies to try to prioritise within states' agendas the recognition of the right to conscientious objection.

18 Nov 2015
English

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Oscar was born in Medellín and is a member of the Medellín Network for Conscientious Objection (Tejido por Objecion de Conciencia de Medellín). He is also a leader ofMedellín's Mennonite Peace Church social action group and the secretary of the Medellín Network of Peace Churches, as well as being a nonviolent activist and a restorative justice facilitator at two detention centres in Medellín. Here, he gives us an account of working in Colombia's conscientious objection movement on the grounds of his Mennonite interpretation of Christianity.

For many people, Christianity is synonymous with ecclesiastical hierarchy, the Crusades, economic exploitation, dark alliances with sectors of the far right, and other phenomena of the kind. That branch of the Church which has worked for justice and dignity over the course of centuries, and which has assumed a historic commitment to resisting any kind of oppression, in the name of Jesus, has been rendered invisible. In this branch of the Church however, we have been steadfastly promoting the struggle for the protection of human rights, the environment, all forms of life, and dignity as the most important property of every human being, considering God the primary interested party in this struggle, based on our interpretation of Jesus' summary of the Ten Commandments: 'Love God above all things and your neighbour as yourself'.

18 Nov 2015
English

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Julián Andrés Ovalle was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1981. For ten years, he was part of Acción Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia (ACOOC, Conscientious Objectors' Collective Action), an organisation which aims to create the concrete conditions for people to be able to opt for alternatives to militarism, specifically alternatives to obligatory military service in Colombia. Currently, he is working towards the consolidation of a Latin American and Caribbean Antimilitarist Network. Here, he writes about being a conscientious objector on the grounds of his pacifism in Colombia.

The persistence of wars is shocking evidence that people are the ones who sustain them. It’s not just the major powers, those with industrial interests or armies; we individuals from all over the world provide financing and legitimacy which keeps weapons firing indiscriminately. It is not just neoliberal interest in controlling land for the exploitation of its natural resources, it is also our everyday consumption which enables large companies to continue extracting, producing, and selling for profit.

18 Nov 2015
English

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Rafael Uzcategui is a Venezuelan conscientious objector, author, and human rights activist who has been active with War Resisters' International, and in antimilitarism more generally, for many years. Here, he summarises the main tendencies of the Latin American conscientious objection movement, and details how his own nonviolent anarchist position fits into this picture.

During the eighties, many Latin American countries were living under military dictatorships or suffering the consequences of civil war. These were also the days of the Cold War, during which the US considered Latin America one of its 'zones of influence': almost like a back garden. The traumatic and progressive democratisation process meant that broad swathes of the continent's youth developed an antimilitarist sentiment, which began to take on an organised and political dimension. As an adolescent at the beginning of the nineties in Barquisimeto, a town 5 hours away from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, my peers and I had to hide ourselves twice a year for fifteen days, to avoid compulsory military service. Otherwise they would seize us on the streets and, without wasting words, force us into a truck, with others just as terrified, and from there take us to the barracks. For many of us, these forced recruitment raids or 'press gangs' were the starting point for our rejection of authority and of the military uniform.

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