Private Kimberly Rivera (born c. 1982) is a U.S. Army deserter and an Iraq War resister who went AWOL in February 2007 after a year of service. She was the first female U.S. military deserter to flee to Canada.
She served her first tour of duty in Iraq in 2006 and worked primarily as a gate guard. She soon became disillusioned with the mission, later stating that she was particularly influenced by seeing a crying two-year-old Iraqi girl coming with her family to claim compensation for bombing by coalition forces. Though she had been initially interested in supporting democracy for the Iraqi people, she stated that she felt she found only “lies” in Iraq and felt betrayed by the U.S. government.
While on leave in early 2007, Rivera was told she would serve another tour of duty overseas. She and her husband made contact with the Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign, and on February 18, 2007, fled across the border to Canada with their children. Rivera then applied for refugee status.
In January 2009, the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that Rivera must leave the country. In August 2012, five years after her arrival in Canada, Rivera received another deportation order ordering her to return to the United States. Amnesty International stated that it considered Rivera a conscientious objector and would consider her a prisoner of conscience if she were detained. Upon her return to the United States, she was taken into custody.