URGENT ACTION! Indigenous Plan Colombia Opponent Kidnapped

The Embera-Kato people from Colombia need your immediate action to get Kimi Pernia Domico freed alive from armed groups which have abducted him.
Three armed men on motorcycles kidnapped Kimi, a very important traditional leader of the Embera-Kato people of the Alto Sin Basin on Saturday, June
2 at 6:30 P.M. in Tierralta, Crdoba.

The Embera-Kato people from Colombia need your immediate action to get Kimi Pernia Domico freed alive from armed groups which have abducted him.
Three armed men on motorcycles kidnapped Kimi, a very important traditional leader of the Embera-Kato people of the Alto Sin Basin on Saturday, June
2 at 6:30 P.M. in Tierralta, Crdoba.

Kimi, the grandson of a great Embera shaman has been a spokesperson for the Embera in defense of their lands, rights and autonomy following the
construction of Urr dam, which flooded a large expanse of their lands and has deprived them of fish, their main food staple.

He led a four-month vigil at the Ministry of the Environment in Bogot, which resulted in the
opening of negotiations between the Embera-Kato people and the government and Urr S.A, the dam owner. On April 19, 2000, an agreement was signed
which was to have guaranteed that steps be taken to ensure the survival and well being of the Embera.

Last year, February 2000, Kimi visited the United States and alerted the public and US Senators and Representatives to the violent consequences that
Plan Colombia would bring to his people and to the civilian populations of Colombia.

He gave testimony at that time about paramilitary and military collaborations, and emphatically stated that increases in military aid to Colombia would have devastating consequences for the unarmed civilian
populations caught in the crossfire. He also spoke of the impacts that the construction of the Urr dam had brought to his community.

The escalation of violence in the Embera-Kato’s lands has been caused by a struggle for power in the region between paramilitary forces and guerrillas. In Kimi’s words "we are caught between two fires – they threaten us, they burn our houses and canoes, they kill our leaders, and
involve us in a war that is not ours." Kimi has been outspoken against intimidations to grow coca in their territory.

Today, the paramilitaries and the guerrillas are restricting access to the Embera territory. Recently, seven Embera people were kidnapped by the
paramilitaries, and guerrillas assassinated eight peasants traveling through the area.

We urge you to demand of Colombian authorities that they do everything possible to get Kimi back alive.

We ask that you do ANY of the following:

1. Write directly to Anne W. Patterson, Ambassador in Colombia expressing the concern of US citizens to the Colombian government regarding Kimi Pernia Domico’s disappearance:

AmbassadorB@pd.state.gov
Tel. (011.571) 315.0811
Fax (011.571) 315.2197

2. Write to Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno:

Embassy of Colombia to the U.S/ Embajada de Colombia ante los Estados Unidos
emwas@colombiaemb.org
2118 Leroy Place, NW
Washington, DC, 20008
202.387.8338 – Fax: 202.232.8643

3. Fax the President of Colombia expressing your concern for Kimi’s life and asking him to do everything possible to make sure that Kimi is
released alive now:

Seor Presidente Andres Pastrana Arango
Presidente de la Republica
Palacio de Nario, Carrera 8 No.7-26
Santa Fe de Bogot, Colombia
Fax: + 571.287.7939, + 571.284.2186, + 571.289.3377 or + 571.337.1351
Salutation: Dear President / Excmo. Sr. Presidente

Please cc:

Seor Vicepresidente Gustavo Bell Lemus
Alto Consejero Presidencial para Asuntos de Derechos
Humanos y lucha Contra la Corrupcin
Cra. 8 #7-26, Palacio de Nario
Santa Fe de Bogot, Colombia
Fax: + 571.337.1351
Salutation: Dear Vice-President / Excmo. Sr. Vicepresidente

Dr. Humberto de la Calle
Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8, No.8-09, Piso 2
Santa Fe de Bogot, COLOMBIA
Fax: + 57.1.286.8025 / 281.5884 / 342.3201
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister

4. Your Senators and Representatives should be voicing your concerns. Call your U.S. Senators and Representatives and ask them to contact US
Ambassador to Colombia, Anne W. Patterson and the US State Department, asking them to speak out against Kimi Pernia Domico’s disappearance to the Colombian government. She should write and speak with the Colombian President, the Ombudsman of the Nation, the Ministry of the Interior, the District Attorney, and the Chief of the Armed Forces
insisting that they do everything possible to get Kimi back alive now.

For additional information:

Monti Aguirre
Latin America Campaigns
International Rivers Network
monti@irn.org
707-869-1637 / 510-848-1155
Fax: 510.848.1008

Sandra C. Alvarez
Global ExchangeColombia Human Rights Program
415.255.7296 ext.228 or800.497.1994
Fax: 415.255.7498
sandra@globalexchange.org

Author: Monti Aguirre

News Service: International Rivers Network

URL: http://www.irn.org/programs/latamerica/010604.kidnap.html