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


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 (
, 6 October 1993)
. This alone should be reason enough
for the immediate discharge of Carlos Andrés Giraldo Hincapié from the

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.

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

Resisters' International calls for urgent letters and faxes of protest

    Batallón plan energético y vial Nº 7

    Fax +57-37-620 89 23

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

Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International

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