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Uruguay: Penalty administered to medical personnel and soldiers for deserting the military (2003-2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 April 2005
Citation / Document Symbol URY43459.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Uruguay: Penalty administered to medical personnel and soldiers for deserting the military (2003-2005), 1 April 2005, URY43459.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df61bb2.html [accessed 23 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to the 1943 Uruguay Military Penal Code, it is an offence for non-commissioned officers, individual troops and officers to desert the military. Article 47 of the Code specifies that the penalty for simple desertion is between four months' incarceration in prison to three years in a penitentiary (Uruguay 1943). However, "unintentional" simple desertion is punishable by between three to eighteen months' imprisonment (ibid., Art. 50). Article 48 states that simple desertion has been committed when:

1) An individual troop who, having been granted leave, does not report within 144 hours of the reading of the list in which his non-attendance is revealed.

2) An individual troop is found more than 20 kilometres from his post, or at a lesser distance if dressed in civilian clothing, after his leave has expired and 72 hours after the reading of the list in which his non-attendance is revealed.

3) An individual troop is found disguised or hidden aboard a ship, train or vehicle immediately before the forces to which he belongs are to ship out, or where such circumstances are not in effect but under conditions in which his presence in that location could only be construed as an intention to flee.

4) An individual troop who, having been imprisoned, escapes without actual or personal violence (Uruguay 1943).

In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the counsellor at the Embassy of Uruguay in Ottawa indicated that medical personnel in the Uruguayan military are officers (18 Mar. 2005). Article 49 of the Military Penal Code considers officers to have committed simple desertion when:

1) An officer who is on leave does not return to duty within fifteen days of the end of that leave.

2) An officer who is on duty is not found at his post within 48 hours of the term agreed upon for that purpose.

3) An officer who is on availability status and has been called up allows the term of the call-up to expire without reporting.

4) An officer who has been taken prisoner regains his freedom and does not report for reincorporation within 30 days following the reasonably required deadline for so doing.

5) An officer who, without justification, and finding himself faced with the enemy, goes beyond the lines identified for the military action.

6) An officer who has been imprisoned escapes without actual or personal violence (Uruguay 1943).

Aggravated desertion, which is punishable by between eight to thirty years' incarceration in a penitentiary as well as "absolute ineligibility for public office and loss of political rights and special rights of commercial, industrial or academic professions for two to 10 years," (ibid., Art. 51) is defined as an escape from the army or the navy carried out as follows:

1) With the agreement of four or more soldiers.

2) Using actual or personal violence.

3) With theft, destruction or concealment of live ammunition, provisions or deployment elements of the army or the navy.

4) In wartime regardless of the circumstances (Uruguay 1943).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Embassy of Uruguay, Ottawa. 18 March 2005. Telephone interview with the counsellor.

Uruguay. 1943. Military Penal Code. Translation of excerpts by the Multilingual Translation Directorate, Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services, Canada.

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional (Uruguay), Servicio de Retiros y Pensiones de las Fuerzas Armadas, United States Department of State, War Resisters International.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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