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Rapport de pays: Argentina

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18 nov. 2015
Anglais

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.

14 avr. 1998
Anglais
14/04/1998

1 Conscription

conscription not enforced

Conscription is enshrined in art. 21 of the Argentine constitution which states: "Every Argentine citizen is obliged to bear arms in defence of his country and of this Constitution". Yet, there has been no compulsory military service since 1994. However, in the event of armed conflict or a national emergency, conscription may be re-introduced. The 5 January 1995 Law on Voluntary Military Service (Law no. 24.429 Servicio Militar Voluntario) regulates military service.