Twenty-year-old Anto was bathing in the river in front of his house, in the village of Santan Tengah in East Kalimantan Province, as he often did. He’d swum in the waters with his friends since they were all in elementary school; the Santan River was like a playground for the children.

But not that afternoon.

Anto was never seen again after that day in July 2008. It was like he’d been swallowed up by the earth. His parents, Amir and Harpiah, began to worry—especially considering the events of the previous year, when there’d been a crocodile attack in the area. Speaking to New Naratif, they described how residents combed the riverbank looking for Anto.

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Abdallah Naem

Abdallah Naem is from Samarinda in Kalimantan. He is an activist with the Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM).