By Gloria Nafziger
Refugee, Migrants and Country Campaigner, Amnesty International
I first met Luis and his family shortly after they arrived in Canada sometime in 1993. He was a writer and human rights activist from Colombia. Both he and his wife Diana had been targeted in Colombia because of their work in support of human rights. Shortly after they arrived in Canada they made a refugee claim. We couldn't talk much, because his English was poor and my Spanish was even worse; but from the beginning I considered him to be a compañero. My first vivid memory of Luis is a day in December 2003 when Luis, Diana and their friends from the Mennonite church came to our office to share the good news that just an hour or so earlier their refugee claim had been accepted on the spot at their refugee hearing. There were many hugs and much happiness. Luis and Diana began to plan to begin their new lives in Canada and quickly made their application to become permanent residents.