Testimony from Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié (2006)
"My name is Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié. I am 20 years old, I was conscripted by the military of Casabe on 4 August by soldier Anderson Andrés Anturi Ruíz. That day in the morning hours I was heading to the town workshop, to find a motorbike that I had in repair to head back to the path La Soledad where I live. I was in the town because I was buying some tools for doing my agricultural work. At that moment I was detained by the army and they took me against my will to the military. They said that I had to serve my military service. I explained to them that I could not serve because my family depends economically on me, that my father is incapable of working, that my brother suffers from epilepsy. And also that I have never agreed with the armed actors, I am against arms, and to have to kill someone else. They told me that those were no reasons for not serving and from that moment I was already a soldier.
During the time I have been here, I have received maltreatment and insults. In the beginning they told me that I was a peasant soldier, and that I was only going to provide security on the urban area of the towns, but they already took us to patrol in the mountain.
In this moment I am ill, last week I was hospitalised. I am really worried about the situation my parents and brother are going through.
I am here against my will. I want you to help me to get out, I don't know what to do and I ask you to please take up my case."
Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié