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COLOMBIA: Conscientious objector Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié in the hands of the military

  • Colombie
War Resisters' International is very concerned about the treatment of Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié (COL14911), a Colombian youth who has been forcefully recruited by the military on 4 August 2006. Since his recruitment, he has received maltreatment and abuse from the side of the military. Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié is presently in the military hospital, and maintains a position that he does not want to be part of any armed group in Colombia.

In his own words, he explains his situation as follows:
"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."

The forced recruitment of Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié is a violation of the "right to personal liberty (Article 7), the protection of human dignity (Article 11) and the right to freedom of movement (Article 22), guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights, in connection with Article 1.1 of that same legal instrument", according to a decision of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in a very similar case from Guatemala (CASE 10.975, 6 October 1993). This alone should be reason enough for the immediate discharge of Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié from the military.
In addition, Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié claims his human right to conscientious objection, as derived from Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié:
    Yondó (Antioquia) Base Militar de Casabe, adscrita al Batallón Plan Energético y Vial Nº 7 de Barrancabermeja, Colombia

War Resisters' International calls for urgent letters and faxes of protest to:
    Batallón plan energético y vial Nº 7
    Fax +57-37-620 89 23

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

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