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UPDATE: The Council of Canadians remembers Kimy Pernia Domico

Ten years ago today, Colombian water justice activist Kimy Pernia Domico disappeared. In a 2001 media release, we said, “On Friday, June 2 at 6:20 pm Mr. Pernia was forced on to a motorcycle at gunpoint by unidentified men, and driven out of town. Pernia has been invited as a guest of the Council of Canadians to speak at the international conference, ‘Water for People and Nature’ being held in Vancouver July 5-8th. Prior to the conference, he is scheduled to undertake a cross-Canada tour to talk about water and human rights.” Almost six years later, in January 2007, it was confirmed that Kimy had been killed by a Colombian paramilitary leader.

The Jenzera Collective (a Colombian organization that Kimy helped form) is commemorating his life and activism by lighting candles. You are encouraged to hold a candlelight vigil and send a photo of this to bilito@horizons.ca so that it can be shared with Kimy’s family and community. Today, staff in the Ottawa office of the Council of Canadians did just that.

People are also being encouraged to sign an online petition prepared by Amnesty International calling for justice for Kimy and protection for the Embera and other Indigenous Peoples threatened with extinction, http://www.amnesty.ca/atrisk/index.php/kimy-pernia/; to hold a screening of the 10-minute video Our River, Our Life: The Struggle of the Embera Katio of Colombia, which was filmed with Kimy in Colombia and shows the impact of the dam on the lives of the Embera people, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50gD3G6ZRq4; and to use the art work commissioned by Amnesty International and posted at http://www.amnesty.ca/atrisk/pdf/kimy.pdf to create signs or banner for display in offices, schools or other public spaces. Take a photo holding the sign/ banner and send it to kprice@amnesty.ca.

If you are in the Toronto area, please also note that between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm tonight, candles will be lit in the public space outside the Colombian consulate on the south side of Dundas Street between Yonge and Bay. You can get more information about this as well as confirm your participation in this gathering at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=218100934876199.