Published on 21 November 2005
Translations available in: français (original) . Español .

Meeting of military in Santiago de Chile, October 2005: the begining of an alliance process

by Gustavo MARIN
Associated Central Topics: The military and responsibility .
Associated General Topics: Culture of peace .

The dialogue between military and the civil society is indispensable to build peace.

The meeting of military organized by Corporacion AYUN and the Center of Strategic Studies of ARCIS university, Chile, the Ecole de la Paix de Grenoble (school of Peace of Grenoble), France, and the Foundation Charles Léopold Mayer for the Progress of Human being was an outstanding event in Chile and constituted a meaningful step to start up an international Alliance of military for peace and democracy.

The meeting gathered about thirty military, active and retired, but all actively involved in the institutions of the army, the ministries of Defence, the centers of military and strategic studies of their respective countries.

Main topics: ethics and army, army and democracy, security and regional integration.

These two meetings have been particularly strong and intense. In the beginning, the leaders of the organizations for Human Rights and the organizations of youth openly showed their distrust, or even their doubts on the legitimacy of the army to speak of democracy and peace. Their questions were, for example: what right do you have, members of the army, to speak of peace and democracy while you are responsible for the coups d’etat and the systematic violations of rights? The most impressive in these exchanges was to note how the army representatives gradually managed to change their interlocutors opinion. They recognized that some military and military institutions as such, in particular in Latin America, had violated the rights and imposed dictatorships, but that this represented an illegitimate abuse of power and an usurpation of the people’s determination to live in democracy. However, they asserted with strength that some military were opposed to the coups d’Etat and had refused to serve as instruments of torture or violation of the basic rights. A meaningful fact was that among the present military some had been prisoners and were tortured because they had opposed the coup d’Etat.

All participants showed their determination to follow this process, to create an international Alliance of military for peace and to create means of communication in order to keep the links made in Santiago. A new international meeting should take place in India for Asia and another one, of continental level for Latin America, in Colombia. The aim is to follow this impetus during several years, given that all participants are conscious that this initiative can represent an important contribution to draw up a new contract between the army and the civil society, an indispensable link for the construction of peace.

A process on the way: follow-up

- The Ecole de la Paix of Grenoble and the Corporacion AYUN of Santiago are going to gather the documents presented during the meeting in order to prepare a publication.
- A web site specific to the Alliance of military will be conceived with the collaboration of the Corporación AYUN, organisator of this event.
- A video with the exchanges between army members and organizations of the civil society during the meeting will be diffused, especially to townships and schools.
- Another international meeting of military should be considered in India and another one of continental level in Colombia, for Latin America.

Activities organized along with the seminars

- A meeting with the organizations of human rights in the township of San Miguel in the south suburb of Santiago.
- A meeting with organizations of youth at the old prison of Valparaiso.
- A meeting with the Senate Vice-president, Victor Gazmuri.
- A press conference.
- A visit to the presidential Palace La Moneda.

List of participants

Juan Jaime Cesio, Colonel
Osvaldo Tosco, Colonel
Horacio Ballester, Colonel
Loreta Tellerías, University of San Andrés _ Brazil
Armando Ferreira Vidigal, Admiral
Henry Medina Uribe, General
José Tomás Garaviz, Colonel
Carlos Novoa, Jesuit priest professor in Army School
Oswaldo Jarrin, Minister of Defence
Pedro Aguerre, Colonel _Venezuela
Alberto Müller Rojas, General
Manfred Rosenberg, Colonel
José Garcia Caneiro, Colonel
Gérard Bezacier, General
Hugues de Courtivron, General
Amaury de Bouvet, Lieutenant Colonel
Richard Pétris and Arnaud Blin, Ecole de la Paix
Gustavo Marin, FPH
Ramu Ramdas, Admiral
Abid Hamid Rao, General
Ernesto Galaz, Colonel
Carlos Perez, Lieutenant
Eduardo García Domínguez, Admiral
Omar Gutiérrez, Captain
Members of Corporacion AYUN and of the Center of Strategic Studies of ARCIS University


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