Sandinista Son and Iraq War Veteran Camilo Mejia
An Interview with Sandinista Son and Iraq War Veteran Camilo Mejia
May 10, 2005
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Several antiwar groups have designated today as a "national day of action for GI resisters." It is the day before the court martial tribunal of two U.S. soldiers who have opposed the war in Iraq and refused to serve. Another soldier at the forefront of the GI resisters movement is Camilo Mejia, who has already faced military trial and nine months imprisonment for refusing to return to Iraq after a returning to the U.S. on a two-week leave. Today we publish filmmaker and Narco News School of Authentic Journalism Professor Ron Smith's interview with Mejia, in the Narco News Bulletin.
Mejia's name may ring a bell for Narco News readers; his father, Carlos Mejia Godoy is a famous Nicaraguan musician whose songs became the anthems of the Sandinista revolution. Smith felt that though Mejia's story as a soldier had been told, previous accounts had left out the importance of his background as a "Sandinista baby" and young witness to the U.S.'s bloody contra war there. Smith asked Mejia about this, and about how he decided to join the U.S. military after such a childhood.
"I remember that they were giving vaccines to all the children," Mejia says, remembering the Sandinista years in Nicaragua. "They were teaching everyone how to read and write. Everyone was picking up the coffee beans, and it was a dream, it was a dream society for a while. It's not a very good example if you are the sole superpower in the world, and the only way to feed your needs is through oppression. And so you instill instability and you encourage and fund mercenary wars – and you know, I lived there. I was somewhat removed from that reality because I was very privileged. But it stuck to me; it stayed with me somewhere, in the back of my mind, you know, in my memory somehow.
"That sense of injustice resurfaced in Iraq not while being oppressed, but while being an instrument of oppression. It came back from somewhere in my conscience, in my memory, in my life history, and just completely took over, so here I am."
Read the full interview, at:
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin