Agence France Presse
April 3, 2001
Alberto Achita, a leader of the Embera Katio tribe in Colombia, and Sara Imilmaqui Aguas of the Mapuche nation in Chile say the Canadian government is contributing to their forced dislocation by helping finance controversial hydro-electic dam projects.
OTTAWA, Canada — Representatives of Chilean and Colombian indigenous groups said Tuesday the Canadian government was contributing to their forced dislocation by helping finance controversial hydro-electic dam projects in the two countries.
The Canadian government’s Export Development Corporation immediately denied the claims by Alberto Achita, a leader of the Embera Katio tribe in Colombia, and Sara Imilmaqui Aguas of the Mapuche nation in Chile.
The Canadian agency is helping finance the BioBio hydro-electric project in Chile and the Urra dam project in Colombia.
Imilmaqui told a press conference that the BioBio project “represents the death of a culture.”
She called on the Canadian government which, she said, “has a reputation of supporting the environment and first nations,” to end its financial support for the project which had led to the forced re-location of her people.
“This hydro-electric project has meant the dislocation of our people and even genocide,” Achita said of the Urra project.
He said the project had been responsible for the forced dislocation of indigenous communities, increased malaria and food shortages.
The two native leaders’ visit to Ottawa is being sponsored by the Canadian Ecumenical Council of Canada, an inter-church group, and The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
Categories: EDC, Export Credit, News
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