By Kathy Price, Colombia campaigner with Amnesty International Canada
June 2nd is a day of painful remembering for me. I will never forget the phone call 15 years ago that delivered heart-stopping news. Embera Katío indigenous leader Kimy Pernía Domicó had been abducted by paramilitaries in northern Colombia. He was never seen again, despite courageous efforts by his people to find and rescue him.
Kimy won many friends in Canada. I feel honoured to be among them.
Two years before he was disappeared, Kimy travelled from his rainforest home to our nation's capital to testify to a committee of MPs charged with oversight of foreign affairs. He told them about the devastating impact of a hydroelectric megaproject, built with financing from Canada’s Export Development Corporation.
The dam had flooded the land and food crops of Embera Katío communities. Fish stocks had disappeared bringing hunger and disease. Kimy's young grandchild was among the sick.