URGENT ACTION: Indigenous Partner at Risk in Colombia

KAIROS is extremely concerned about the safety of Embera Chamí Indigenous leader, Flaminio Onogama Gutiérre from South West Colombia. Flaminio was in  Canada in 2010 as part of a KAIROS sponsored tour.  According to reports from Amnesty International,  Flaminio is currently in hiding after the bodies of two family members were found stabbed to death and with evidence of torture.  See Amnesty’s urgent action for more information .

Flaminio Onogama Gutierrez with Sister Angie Martz at the KAIROS Beat the Drum for Indigenous Rights event in St John, New Brunswick, Dec 5 2010.

Flaminio Onogama Gutierrez with Sister Angie Martz at the KAIROS Beat the Drum for Indigenous Rights event in St John, New Brunswick, Dec 5 2010.

In December 2010, Flaminio came to Canada as Human Rights Counsellor of the ONIC (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia).  He was part of an Amnesty International tour that was co-sponsored by Rights and Democracy and KAIROS. On that tour, Flaminio spoke at a large public event in Toronto,  at the KAIROS “Beat the Drum” Day of Action  for Indigenous Rights event in St John New Brunswick and at meetings of KAIROS and the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network (ARSN) in Halifax and Tatamagouche.  He also travelled to Ottawa for meetings with the Assembly of First Nations, parliamentarians and representatives from foreign affairs.

Flaminio has spoken to many Canadians and has met many of you in the KAIROS network.

During their visit to Canada, Flamino and Dora Tavara, the women’s coordinator at the ONIC, spoke forcefully about the human rights crisis faced by Indigenous peoples in Colombia and ONIC’s   Palabra dulce, aire de vida’ (Sweet words, breath of life) campaign to end the ongoing threats against Indigenous peoples in Colombia.   More than one third of the 102 distinct Indigenous peoples in Colombia are at risk of extinction as a result of the ongoing conflict and the encroachment of resource extraction projects on their land.  The situation is so bad that following his visit to Colombia in 2010, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous people assessed the situation as so “critical and profoundly worrying” that he recommended an investigation by the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

Flaminio’s life is now in danger and we are asking you to respond.

Take Action

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action asking people to write letters to the President of Colombia:

  •  expressing concerns about the vulnerable situation of Flaminio Onogama Gutiérrez and other members of the Embera Chamí community of La Esperanza.
  • asking him to take appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of those under threat.

 Please take a few minutes to respond to this urgent action.

Here is KAIROS’ official letter to President Santos.

As well, please forward copies of your letters to your Member of Parliament and to KAIROS (rwarden@kairoscanada.org)

Thank you for your response.  It does make a difference.

For more information please contact Rachel Warden  rwarden@kairoscanada.org

Filed in: Indigenous Rights, Latin America, UNDRIP Blog Updates

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