|'Let's see those papers!' Soldiers review a young man's documents to see whether he's done the obligatory military service.|
A young man is walking across a plaza or down a street, when he is stopped by soldiers who demand his papers. If the youth cannot demonstrate that he did the obligatory military service by displaying his libreta militar, he's detained and loaded onto a truck headed to a military base. Suddenly, he's in the Army now.
|Some of these soldiers appear to have more |
than recruitment on their minds.
The military service law does have exceptions: for only sons, conscientious objectors and those with physical disabilities.
Some rights activists argue that the public batidas are illegal - an issue which has been fought over in court.
|You're in the Army now! A truckload of young men |
caught in redadas are driven off to camp.
During his successful reelection campaign, Pres. Santos, who had been minister of defense, and whose son did perform military service, promised that if the government reaches a peace treaty with the FARC guerrillas, Colombia's military draft would be ended.
Perhaps sometime soon, young men will breathe a bit easier when they go out for that walk.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours