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Colombian Indigenous leaders call for Canadian support to protect dozens of Indigenous nations threatened with extinction

    December 07, 2010

    Following a meeting with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity, leaders of Colombia’s National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) will publicly call for Canadian action to confront an emergency situation for Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.

    Last month, the ONIC testified at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that at least 64 of Colombia’s 102 Indigenous Peoples are at risk of physical or cultural extinction. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples describes the situation as “grave, critical and profoundly worrying” and has called for a visit to Colombia of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Colombia’s own Constitutional Court has ordered the Colombian government to put into place protection plans for 34 Indigenous Peoples determined to be at risk of extinction.

    The ONIC visit to Canada comes less than six months after Canada entered into a free trade agreement with Colombia, the impact of which could exacerbate this human rights crisis.


    • Dora Tavera of the Pijao People is Councillor for Women, Family and Generation with the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC)
    • Flaminio Onogama of the Embera Peoples is Councillor for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and Peace with the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC)
    • Alex Neve is Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada

    When: Thursday December 9th at 11:45 AM

    Where: Charles Lynch Room 130 S Centre Block Parliament Building

    For further information,
    please contact:

    Beth Berton-Hunter,
    Media Relations,
    Amnesty International Canada
    416-363-9933, ext. 332