Court-martial of alleged U.S. Army deserter Rivera begins

April 29, 2013 at 6:05 PM

FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 29 (UPI) -- A U.S. soldier faced court-martial in Fort Carson, Colo., Monday, accused of desertion after she fled to Canada to avoid a second tour of duty in Iraq.

Pfc. Kimberly Rivera, 30, has been charged with desertion. She faces up to five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge if convicted, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Rivera, a wife and mother of four, went to Toronto in 2007, saying she could no longer support the American mission in Iraq. She applied for permanent residency, but Canadian immigration officials ordered her and her family to leave Canada or face deportation. She surrendered to U.S. authorities in September 2012, the Colorado Springs Gazette said Monday.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the War Resisters Support Campaign and the American organization Veterans for Peace were among those critical of her deportation, the CBC said.

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