Colombia

We're getting ready for our next international conference! Antimilitarism in movement: narratives of resistance to war will take place in Bogota, Colombia, from the 29th July to the 1st August, and will raise the profile of collective experiences of resistance to militarism, and develop alternatives to the growing militarisation in Latin America countries and globally.

Every year on 15th May, we celebrate International Conscientious Objection Day. On this day, we remember and celebrate conscientious objectors' resistance for peace, their refusal to bears arms and take part in war - throughout history and today. This year, we're focusing on Colombia and standing in solidarity with Colombian conscientious objectors. Read more here how you can support Colombian conscientious objectors.

On this International Conscientious Objection Day, we stand in solidarity with conscientious objectors in Colombia, who refuse to be conscripted and bear arms despite various obstacles they face. Read their statement giving a background of their struggle and urging their government to act on a number of issues here. Helps us to circulate their call and reach out to more people.

A German court has handed several former and current managers from arms company Sig Sauer suspended prison sentences and heavy fines, following their involvement in illegal shipments of 38,000 pistols to Colombia that broke German export laws.

Sig Sauer is a brand name used by two sister companies based in Germany and the USA. Both companies specialise in the production of pistols and firearms, arming military and police forces around the world.

On November 22, in Colombia, ACOOC, Justapaz, La TULPA Collective and the Anti-militarist Articulation organized a public forum to discuss the law of conscription that regulates conscientious objection in Colombia after one year of its approval. As part of the event, the organizations released a report that evaluates the implementation of the law and its impact on conscientious objectors. The experiences of three conscientious objectors were presented and strategies were presented to continue promoting conscientious objection among the youth of the country.

Colombia is known internationally for its peace agreements signed in 2016 between the national government and at that time the FARC guerrilla. Although peace agreements do not guarantee the end of all conflicts, it would be expected that the country's economic resources would be directed towards the implementation of the agreements with investments on rural development, education or health. However, the story has been different: an increase in military spending and a decrease in budget for other sectors (such as public education or rural development).

In August of 2017 the law 1861 of August 4, 2017, that regulates the military recruitment in Colombia was approved. A law that recognized, for the first time, conscientious objection as a cause of exoneration from compulsory military service along with other causes that were already contemplated: being an only child, being married, being a victim of the armed conflict, among others.

We are looking to hire a new worker for our Right to Refuse to Kill programme, which supports conscientious objectors (COs) and CO solidarity organisations around the world. The new worker will be based in Colombia, and run the Right to Refuse to Kill (RRtK) Programme alongside the other staff in London. This will include planning WRI’s International Assembly in Colombia in 2019.

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