Indigenous leader kidnapped solidarity needed now

June 4, 2001

Call for Immediate Solidarity!
We have just been informed that Kimy Pernia Domico, respected leader of the Embera Katio Indigenous Nation of Colombia has been kidnapped.

Municipality Of Tierralta, Cordoba Province, Colombia:

The Autonomous Governments (Cabildo Mayor) the Alto Sinu and Rio Verde inform that: on Saturday, June 2, 2001 at approximately 6:20pm, Embera Katio leader, Kimy Pernia Domico, was taken by force by armed men on motorcycles. Kimy was forced onto a motorcycle by three armed men who then forced him onto a white motorcycle. Kimy then stepped off the motorcycle to be later forced back on with a pistol to his head. Two of the armed men rode with him on one motorcycle and a third followed behind on another. According to witnesses, Kimy was yelling out "They have me!" as the motorcycles left Tierralta, heading towards the city of Monteria, Cordoba. Close to a gasoline station, Kimy threw himself from the motorcycle to be later forced back on by the armed men who continued their route towards Monteria.

The manner in which the kidnapping was carried out indicates that the act was perpetrated by paramilitaries.

The Canada Colombia solidarity campaign provided the following information:

"Kimy Pernia Domico has been working against the Urra dam mega project, which is financed in part by the Canadian government.

The Emberra people opposed the project as it threatened their very survival. For demanding their rights, several leaders were assassinated, community members were kidnapped, and others disappeared.

Despite the barbarism used to break the resistance of the Embera Katio Nation, they continued their struggle with dignity, in large measure due to the courage and persistence of Kimy Pernia Domico.

Thanks to the relentless spirit of struggle of the Embera people and their leaders, the Urra corporation and the Colombian government signed an agreement for compensation for and mitigation of Urra's damages to the Embera people and their territorial integrity on April 19, 2000. Although it was expected that the violence would end after the singing of the agreement, it did not and the Emra continue to be targets of kidnappings and disappearances."

The Cabildo Mayor Embera Katio - CAMAEMKA - asks citizens of the world, along with international humanitarian and human rights organisations, to pronounce themselves in solidarity with their demand for the liberation of Kimy Pernia Domico, respect for the Embera Nation, their culture and their Autonomy.

Camaemka also asks the world to join them in their demand to the Colombian government for the fulfilment of the april 19th agreement concerning the protection of their leaders and communities.

Please direct your letters to:

Señor Presidente Andrés Pastrana Arango
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: + 571 287 7939, + 571 284 2186, + 571 289 3377 or + 571 337 1351
Email: pastrana@presidencia.gov.co

Señor Vicepresidente Gustavo Bell Lemus
Alto Consejero Presidencial para asuntos de Derechos
Humanos y lucha Contra la Corrupción
Cra. 8 #7-26, Palacio de Nariño
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: + 571 337 1351
Email: opi@presidencia.gov.co

Dr. Humberto de la Calle
Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8, No.8-09, Piso 2
Santa Fe de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Fax: + 57 1 286 8025 / 281 5884 / 342 3201
Email: sisint@anticorrupcion.gov.co

Please send copies to:

Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia ONIC
Apartado Aéreo 32395
Email: onic@colnodo.apc.org

Cabildo Mayor Embera Katio CAMAEMKA
Email: camaemka@col3.telecom.com.co

The Canada Colombia Solidarity Campaign
Email: colombiacrisis@latinmail.com

CENSAT AGUA VIVA/ Friends of the Earth Colombia
Telfax: 57-1-244 05 81 y 244 24 65
Email: censat@colnodo.apc.org

 

For further information contact:

FoE Australia national liaison office.
Ph: 03 9419 8700
Email: foe@foe.org.au
Box 222, Fitzroy, 3065.

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