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    Militarization in Colombia and Alternatives for Peace from a Perspective of Conscientious Objection

    This article on militarization in Colombia was written by Mario Andres Hurtado Cardozo of ACOOC, an organization accompanied by FOR Peace Presence. Translated from Spanish by Kaya Allan Sugerman.

    Para la versión en español, haz click aquí

    Colombia is a country with one of the oldest internal armed conflicts of all time; for over 50 years this war has intensified the inequality and poverty of many sectors of the population. This tragedy has generated around 7,000,000 victims[1] and it is estimated that each year 4,500 individuals lose their lives because of it[2] . Even given this bleak picture, the most common response by the Colombian state is to further fuel the conflict with use of force, thus neglecting the structural causes that gave rise to it.

    This is clearly reflected in the high number of public resources invested in the security and defense systems, at the expense of the health, education, and agricultural sectors. In 2015 the country hopes to approve a draft general budget for the Nation including $ 216.2 billion Colombian Pesos (COP), of which, half will be used for the payment of external debt: $ 29.4 billion COP will be budgeted toward education, $ 28.1 billion COP for the defense sector, $ 26 billion COP for the labor sector, $ 19 billion COP for the health sector, $ 11 billion COP for social inclusion, and as for the sector of agriculture, one of the most sensitive points, only $ 4.5 billion pesos will be allotted[3].
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