Paraguay: Law on conscientious objection as backlash
(07.07.2010) On 17 June Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo signed Law 4013 "which regulates the exercise of the right to conscientious objection to military service and establishes a substitute service to it to the benefit to the civil population" (official title of the law). With his signature, the first Paraguayan law on conscientious objection enters into force. But far from strengthening the position of conscientious objectors in Paraguay, this law has been fought by Paraguayan conscientious objectors and antimilitarists, as it limits the right to conscientious objection, and - after more than 15 years of conscientious objection without substitute service - for the first time obliges conscientious objection to perform as substitute service. In fact, strange as it may sound, the first law on conscientious objection signifies a victory of the military and the right over the conscientious objection movement and the left.