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Statement from Maritza Castillo, mother of Camilo Mejia
Sunday Jun 13th, 2004 11:18 PM
My name is Maritza Castillo, a member of “Military Families Speak Out”, and mother of Sergeant Camilo Mejía. On the 21 of May, after a trial carefully scripted by the Army, my son was found guilty of desertion and sentenced to one year in prison.

My name is Maritza Castillo, a member of “Military Families Speak Out”, and mother of Sergeant Camilo Mejía. On the 21 of May, after a trial carefully scripted by the Army, my son was found guilty of desertion and sentenced to one year in prison. In their continuing efforts to punish him, a few days following the trial he was shipped to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to serve his sentence thousands of miles from his young daughter, his family, his lawyers and the peace organizations and friends that support him.

He was sentenced for disobeying an order to return to Iraq to kill people of a sovereign nation; sentenced for returning to the army to denounce abuses being committed against the civilian population, young soldiers, and prisoners of war; sentenced with the same sentence given to a soldier who, following orders of superiors, participated in the abuse of prisoners.

I am announcing to the people of the United States of America, of Iraq and the world that I am not giving up my struggle for my son and against this immoral and disgraceful war; I’ll not rest until my son receives justice and this illegal, immoral war has been ended!!!

I am asking people who support Camilo to write to General William G. Webster, Jr. (address below) to ask him to reduce my son’s sentence out of consideration of his request to be considered a conscientious objector. Camilo decided not to return to Iraq for moral reasons, not from cowardice. General Webster has the power to reduce his sentence. In addition, please ask Gen. Webster to make a transcript of the trial available as soon as possible because my son’s appeal cannot be presented without it. Send a copy of this letter to Camilo’s lawyer (address below) so support for the sentence reduction can be documented.

We are also asking that you write letters of support to Camilo (address below), with a copy to me (address below) so we can be sure that his correspondence is not being destroyed – a violation of his rights and another method of making his punishment more severe.

We are also asking that people around the world contact the Costa Rican embassy in their respective countries and urge them to demand that the treaty between Costa Rica and the United States of America, which clearly establishes that a Costa Rican citizen can not be forced to extend his military service, be respected. The North American government has ignored this treaty, first ordering Camilo to go to war, then arbitrarily extending his term of service, and finally denying defense lawyers the use of this treaty during his trial at Ft. Stewart on 19 May 2004. This treaty takes priority over “Stop Loss”, the order that the U.S.Army uses to retain U.S. citizens in military service in times of war. Stop Loss should not apply to Camilo because he is a citizen of Costa Rica and not the United States of America. As a sovereign nation, it is important that the government of Costa Rica enforce this treaty. Contact information for the Costa Rican embassy or consulate nearest you can be found at .

We’re also asking for your financial support to continue working to free Camilo, to continue working for peace and to guarantee that justice will prevail. You can make donations to the Peace Abbey/Free Camilo. (Address below).

At the bottom, you will find the addresses of Gen. William G. Webster, Louis Font, and Gale Glazer (Camilo’s lawyers), Lewis Randa, The Peace Abbey, Camilo and myself. There are also websites listed that offer information about Camilo.

Peace for the people of Iraq! Peace for the world!
Bring our soldiers home now!

Sincerely yours,
Maritza Castillo, mother of Camilo Mejía

Major General William G. Webster, Jr.
Commanding General, Fort Stewart
42 Wayne Place
Ft. Stewart, GA 31314

Louis P. Font and Gale Glazer
Font &Glazer
62 Harvard Street, Suite 100
Brookline, MA. 02445

The Peace Abbey
Two North Main Street
Sherborn, Massachusetts 01770

Pt. Camilo Mejia
Building 1490
Randolph Rd.
Fort Sill, Ok 73503

Maritza Castillo.
201 178 Drive # 323
Miami, FL. 33160">http://www.mfso [at]

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