Colombia is considering a bill to renew conscription to military and social service for both men and women, the Defense Ministry has announced.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said that President Juan Manuel Santos has asked his ministry to analyze the initiative to enforce young school graduates to choose between military or social service in public institutions.
This discussion was brought up in the Second Committee of the House where the topic of illegal “raids” was also discussed. Pinzon said that this rule should not be only for the poor and should be a universal service.
The defense minister said that military and community service for all Colombians including men and women could be established. Colombia currently has obligatory conscription for men although there are means to avoid the service.
Pinzon explained the scope of this proposal: “That means without distinguishing where a student graduates, all Colombians would be required to perform military service if it offers a social service to any national, state or municipal entity and contributes to the progress of the nation. ”
Accompanied by the commander of the Military Forces of Colombia, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, and Commander of the Army, General Jaime Lasprilla, Pinzon said, “The president has asked us to evaluate this kind of idea, and frankly we consider it a good initiative. ”
“We also understand that times are changing and no one said the only patriot is one who carries a uniform. One can also be patriotic by offering one’s time to community service with educational, social and academic activities,” noted the minister during his speech.