THUNDER BAY – Father Franco, a Colombian missionary priest, is meeting with Indigenous leaders in northwestern Ontario as an expression of solidarity. His visit was arranged by Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, the Thunder Bay Diocesan Council of Development and Peace and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno greeted Father Franco at the NAN offices in Thunder Bay this afternoon
For over 20 years Father Franco has defended human rights and supported Afro- Colombian, indigenous and peasant farmers in resisting the occupation of their land by paramilitaries who are forcing communities to grow cash crops, such as African Palm, and by powerful mining corporations who are trying to develop projects. Father Alberto’s work with these communities and on important cases of impunity against senior members of the security forces has also made him a target of multiple death threats and attacks.