Compulsory military service (CMS) was in place in Argentina from 1902 to 1995. Although its abolition was directly linked to the murder of soldier Omar Carrasco, the prosecution of this case of violence should not ignore the pre-existing opposi- tion movement that developed toward the end of the last dictatorship (1976– 1983). Within the context of a wider debate on the functioning of conscription, in November 1983 a group of human-rights activists launched the Opposition Front against the CMS (FOSMO). This article examines FOSMO’s history, which offers insight into the hypothesis that, under certain historical and political circum- stances, human-rights activists can not only contribute to debate but challenge and limit state violence through a series of political and legal strategies. The author analyzes the links (people, arguments, disputes) that FOSMO constructed, first, to question a strongly rooted institution in young men’s socialization (and highly significant in the building of masculinity); second, to denounce not the ‘‘failures’’ or ‘‘excesses’’ but the logic of the operation and the values and violent practices that organized it; and, finally, to seek institutional channels to achieve the abolition of this compulsory system.
"The Opposition Front against Compulsory Military Service: The Conscription Debate and Human-Rights Activism in Post-dictatorship Argentina,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol5/iss2/5