Plakat zum Internationalen Menschenrechtstag

Plakat zum Internationalen Menschenrechtstag

End the Military Service!

Public Statement

by Asamblea Antimilitarista (Chile)

On the International Conscientious Objection to Military Service Day, the people gathered in the Antimilitarist Assembly of the Chilean region declare:

1. We deeply regret the death of young Franco Vargas, which occurred while he was performing Military Service (MS) in the town of Putre, north of Chile, on April 27, as well as the torture and mistreatment suffered by all his comrades, one of whom suffered the amputation of his hand, as a result of the abuse suffered.

2. We stand in solidarity with the mothers and families of Franco and other conscripts who suffered until death and amputation in Putre. Without them, these criminal acts would have been condemned to impunity, as in so many other cases of victims of Military Service known only to those who survived and their families.

3. We are horrified to see that with each passing day since that unfortunate event, new horrors are being uncovered about the circumstances of Franco’s death: mistreatment, exercises carried out without adequate clothing for the cold weather of the area, spoiled food, etc.

4. This event adds to many other deaths that have occurred during Military Service in Chile: from the disappearance and death of Pedro Soto Tapia to Franco Vargas, through the horrible Antuco Massacre. Month after month, MS has brought us sad and unnecessary news of suffering and mistreatment.

5. There is only one response to this problem: the Abolition of Military Service. For decades, there has been talk of “reforming” MS; even in the year 2000, we were part of a process that sought such reform: ultimately, the changes were mostly cosmetic, while the deaths of young people continue to this day. Experience shows that the institution of MS is not fixed by reforms. It is time to put an end once and for all to this institution, which is fatal to Chilean youth. Abolition now!

6. We believe that any “social function” currently fulfilled by MS (educational leveling, job training, etc.) can be assumed by the State of Chile without difficulty and without the need to transfer funds to an institution suspected of corruption like the Chilean Army.

7. A first step to making amends to Chilean youth for the existence of the traumatic MS is the definitive recognition of the human right to Conscientious Objection to Military Service: a personal, individual, untransferable, and non-delegable right. It is a social debt since the return to democracy that is time to settle.

Asamblea Antimilitarista: End the Military Service! Public Statement to the International Day of Conscientious Objection, Santiago (Chile). Translated by Oscar Huenchunao.

Keywords:    ⇒ Antimilitarism   ⇒ Chile   ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Peace Movement   ⇒ Self Organisation