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NOW on the News
7.27.07

NOW on the News with Maria Hinojosa

Camilo Mejia on Atrocities in Iraq

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Interview excerpts

Road from Ar Ramadi cover
Read an excerpt from "Road from Ar Ramadi" [pdf]
"We were tasked with keeping prisoners on sleep deprivation for up to three or four days ... and we did that by basically terrorizing these people, by treating them and keeping them in sub-human conditions."

"There comes a point where, regardless of what other people may say or think about you, regardless of the consequences, regardless of jail, and being called a coward and a traitor, we have to follow what our conscience tells us to do."

"We killed civilians and we were put in situations where we knew that our actions would lead to a high number of civilian casualties, and I did pretty much nothing."

About Camilo Mejía

Camilo Mejia Camilo Mejía grew up in Nicaragua and Costa Rica before moving to the United States in 1994. At 19 he joined the military, serving as an infantryman in the active duty Army for three years before transferring to the Florida National Guard.

Mejía served in Iraq for five months before refusing to return to the war in 2004, when he applied as a conscientious objector (CO). Mejía was charged with desertion and served almost nine months in prison after being convicted at a military trial. His CO case remains open.

Mejía currently lives in Miami and works with a number of veteran organizations.

Related Links

Amnesty International: "Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia Castillo is a Prisoner of Conscience"

The New York Times: Army is Cracking Down on Deserters



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