Spanish War Tax Resister Pedro Otaduy Dies

Pedro Otaduy

Pedro Otaduy, one of the leading figures in the Spanish war tax resistance movement, died .

Internationally, Spain’s war tax resistance movement, like that of the United States, is unusual for its prioritizing civil disobedience (that is, actual tax resistance) over lobbying for the legal recognition of conscientious objection to military taxation. Otaduy regularly represented this point of view in international war tax resistance conferences organized by Conscience and Peace Tax International, of which he was Chair for a time, travelling on his own dime.

(Here is his report from the 13th such conference, in Norway in , and from the tenth conference, in Brussels in .)

He was a veteran of the campaign to overturn mandatory military service in Spain and to get legal recognition for conscientious objection to military service there (which was not achieved until relatively recently — ) and he felt that the successful role of civil disobedience in that struggle should give us confidence in our battle against forced support of the military through taxation.

He also advocated for war tax resistance before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in , and used the occasion to speak out about the struggles of conscientious objectors in Colombia, which was a cause dear to him. It is a shame that he will not be present at the next international war tax resistance conference, which is scheduled to be held in Bogotá, Colombia , and will be the first such conference to be held in South America.