Youth from Indigenous Communities Join the Peruvian Army

Youth from Indigenous Communities Join the Peruvian Army

By Dialogo
June 17, 2015







A total of 130 Peruvian youths between the ages of 18 and 30 who belong to indigenous communities located in the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM) region have volunteered for 24 months of non-billeted Army service.

During that time, they'll receive basic Military training, a combat-related specialization, health insurance, and education through certified production and technical vocation programs that allow Soldiers quick entry into the workforce; they'll also receive a stipend of $300 per month. The training provides recruits with skills they need to monitor the conservation and preservation of the ecosystem in their respective jurisdictions, said Colonel Iván Rojas Rodríguez, chief of the Peruvian Army Reserves and Mobilization Command (COREMOVE). They'll also be prepared to combat terrorism, illegal logging, human trafficking, and drug trafficking in the VRAEM, the country’s main illegal coca-producing area.

Months of training


Most of the Military recruits belong to the indigenous communities of Santo Domingo de Sonomoro, Alto Kiatari, San Ramón de Pangoa, Alto Anapati, Mazaronquiari, Mayni, Cubantia, Santa Clara Chavini, San Jerónimo, Matereni, Nomatsiguenga, and Ashaninka, which are located in the city of Pangoa, province of Satipo, in the region of Junín, some 12 hours by road from Peru's capital city, Lima.

At the beginning of their service, the indigenous youths are housed in Military barracks – just as billeted service members are – and undergo three months of training. After that, they gather every two months to receive additional training and learn new skills. The non-billeted Military service is rendered in the typical clothing of the indigenous communities.

“Every two months, the youths return to the barracks for ten days where they acquire new knowledge and learn new Military tactics so they can subsequently return to their communities and apply what they’ve learned,” Col. Rojas said. “But when circumstances so require, personnel can be recalled unexpectedly and for an indefinite period of time.”

Every recruit enlisted in non-billeted Military service will be given a national identification card issued by the National Identification and Vital Statistics Registry, as well as a debit card issued by the National Bank to which their stipends will be credited.

Indigenous Troops to fight an array of illegal activities


“These new Soldiers will be the representatives of our institution and will work to eradicate the illegal logging, human trafficking, and drug trafficking activities that might occur in their communities,” said General César Astudillo, chief of the VRAEM Special Command and the Commanding General of the Army 4th Division.

“We believe it is important for parents to entrust their children to the Army, because we can open a door to opportunities for personal and professional growth,” said Gen. Astudillo, who emphasized the multiple options to study for careers in production and technical vocations, such as carpentry, mechanics, welding, electricity, plumbing, shoemaking, and tailoring.

Pedro Castañeda Vela, mayor for the district of Pangoa, said non-billeted Military service is a valuable opportunity for young people to prevent crime and criminals from gaining a toehold in indigenous communities.

“The Government of Peru is providing a magnificent opportunity to don an Army uniform and proudly fight several types of crimes and offenses,” Castañeda said.

The benefits of military service


Just like service members billeted in barracks, non-billeted Soldiers receive a series of benefits, such as access to health care for life through a comprehensive insurance plan that ends only if the person acquires a different insurance policy.

Soldiers billeted in barracks may serve for 12, 18, or 24 months, depending primarily on the recruit’s desire to remain in the institution, Col. Rojas said.

“The age for youths in billeted service is from 18 to 25,” said Col. Rojas, specifying that the Soldier stays on base from Monday through Friday but has Saturday afternoon and part of Sunday to visit with family.

In 2015, a total of 19,000 people were recruited for billeted Military service in Peru.






A total of 130 Peruvian youths between the ages of 18 and 30 who belong to indigenous communities located in the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM) region have volunteered for 24 months of non-billeted Army service.

During that time, they'll receive basic Military training, a combat-related specialization, health insurance, and education through certified production and technical vocation programs that allow Soldiers quick entry into the workforce; they'll also receive a stipend of $300 per month. The training provides recruits with skills they need to monitor the conservation and preservation of the ecosystem in their respective jurisdictions, said Colonel Iván Rojas Rodríguez, chief of the Peruvian Army Reserves and Mobilization Command (COREMOVE). They'll also be prepared to combat terrorism, illegal logging, human trafficking, and drug trafficking in the VRAEM, the country’s main illegal coca-producing area.

Months of training


Most of the Military recruits belong to the indigenous communities of Santo Domingo de Sonomoro, Alto Kiatari, San Ramón de Pangoa, Alto Anapati, Mazaronquiari, Mayni, Cubantia, Santa Clara Chavini, San Jerónimo, Matereni, Nomatsiguenga, and Ashaninka, which are located in the city of Pangoa, province of Satipo, in the region of Junín, some 12 hours by road from Peru's capital city, Lima.

At the beginning of their service, the indigenous youths are housed in Military barracks – just as billeted service members are – and undergo three months of training. After that, they gather every two months to receive additional training and learn new skills. The non-billeted Military service is rendered in the typical clothing of the indigenous communities.

“Every two months, the youths return to the barracks for ten days where they acquire new knowledge and learn new Military tactics so they can subsequently return to their communities and apply what they’ve learned,” Col. Rojas said. “But when circumstances so require, personnel can be recalled unexpectedly and for an indefinite period of time.”

Every recruit enlisted in non-billeted Military service will be given a national identification card issued by the National Identification and Vital Statistics Registry, as well as a debit card issued by the National Bank to which their stipends will be credited.

Indigenous Troops to fight an array of illegal activities


“These new Soldiers will be the representatives of our institution and will work to eradicate the illegal logging, human trafficking, and drug trafficking activities that might occur in their communities,” said General César Astudillo, chief of the VRAEM Special Command and the Commanding General of the Army 4th Division.

“We believe it is important for parents to entrust their children to the Army, because we can open a door to opportunities for personal and professional growth,” said Gen. Astudillo, who emphasized the multiple options to study for careers in production and technical vocations, such as carpentry, mechanics, welding, electricity, plumbing, shoemaking, and tailoring.

Pedro Castañeda Vela, mayor for the district of Pangoa, said non-billeted Military service is a valuable opportunity for young people to prevent crime and criminals from gaining a toehold in indigenous communities.

“The Government of Peru is providing a magnificent opportunity to don an Army uniform and proudly fight several types of crimes and offenses,” Castañeda said.

The benefits of military service


Just like service members billeted in barracks, non-billeted Soldiers receive a series of benefits, such as access to health care for life through a comprehensive insurance plan that ends only if the person acquires a different insurance policy.

Soldiers billeted in barracks may serve for 12, 18, or 24 months, depending primarily on the recruit’s desire to remain in the institution, Col. Rojas said.

“The age for youths in billeted service is from 18 to 25,” said Col. Rojas, specifying that the Soldier stays on base from Monday through Friday but has Saturday afternoon and part of Sunday to visit with family.

In 2015, a total of 19,000 people were recruited for billeted Military service in Peru.
Congratulations to all the brave men who joined different military groups, keep it up and follow the footsteps of the heroes who passed on their bravery in the group, place and work they had. Hurrah for the brave men and may God bless you. Call on our God wherever you may be because being a believer does not diminish your manhood. It's important for indigenous peoples to join in societal, economic and political activities, as a disadvantaged class, to contribute their actions to developing Peru. Something good to improve the country from so much violence. The youth are the future of the country.
Let them carry on for the good More or less, it's not so great Good for the natives. Were they well trained to fight criminals and/or all those involved ILLEGALLY in corruption ?????????? It's good that the recruitment program includes workforce training. The Army should also learn from their customs and thus achieve better engagement. Since there are duties owed to the country, for them the homeland represents honor and respect for their ancestors, it is not in vain that they are cultures that conserve thousands of years of knowledge which needs to be preserved. It's good that the Army is becoming integrated into the history of our Peruvian compatriots.
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