Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





Apaches rise to defend homelands from Homeland Security
Tuesday, 08 January 2008 09:27
by Brenda Norrell

RIO GRANDE, Texas – Apache land owners on the Rio Grande told Homeland Security to halt the seizure of their lands for the US/Mexico border wall, during a national media conference call Monday. It was the same day that a 30-day notice from Homeland Security expired with the threat of land seizures by eminent domain to build the US/Mexico border wall.

"There are two kinds of people in this world, those who build walls and those who build bridges," said Enrique Madrid, Jumano Apache community member, land owner in Redford and archaeological steward for the Texas Historical Commission.

"The wall in South Texas is militarization," Madrid said of the planned escalation of militarization with Border Patrol and soldiers.
"They will be armed and shoot to kill."

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

It was in Redford that a U.S. Marine shot and killed 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez, herding his sheep near his home in 1997.

"We had hoped he would be the last United States citizen and the last Native American to be killed by troops," Madrid said.

Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez, Lipan Apache professor living in the Lower Rio Grande, described how US officials attempted to pressure her into allowing them onto her private land to survey for the US/Mexico borderwall. When Tamez refused, she was told that she would be taken to court and her lands seized by eminent domain.

"I have told them that it is not for sale and they cannot come onto my land."

Tamez is among the land owners where the Department of Homeland Security plans to erect 70 miles of intermittent, double-layered fencing in the Rio Grande Valley.

Tamez said the United States government wants access to all of her land, which is on both sides of a levee. "Then they will decide where to build the wall. It could be over my house." Tamez said that she may only have three acres, but it is all she has.

Tamez' daughter Margo Tamez, poet and scholar, said, "We are not a people of walls. It is against our culture to have walls. The Earth and the River go together. We must be with the river. We must be with this land. We were born for this land."

Margo Tamez said the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples now guarantees the right of Indigenous Peoples to their traditional territories.

Rosie Molano Blount, Chiricahua Apache from Del Río said the Chiricahua Apache have proudly served in the United States military."We are proud to be Americans," Blount said, adding that the Chiricahua have always supported the United States government.

Now, with the increasing harassment of people in the borderzone, Blount said the people have had enough.

"Ya Basta! Enough is enough!" Blount said, repeating the phrase that became the battle cry of the Zapatistas in Mexico struggling for Indigenous Peoples' rights.

Blount said there needs to be dialogue concerning the issues at the border, but not forced militarization or a border wall. She also directed a comment at Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"Don't come here and divide our families Chertoff. You believe this is the only way to do things."

Michael Paul Hill, San Carlos Apache from Arizona, described how US border agents violated and molested his sacred items, including a sacred stone, Eagle feather and drum used in ceremonies while crossing the border.

"They called me a foreigner." Hill described how Border Agents told him that he might "get away" with crossing the border in Nogales, Arizona, with ceremonial items that were not manhandled, but not in Texas.

After participating in a an Apache ceremony in Mexico, when Hill andother Apaches reentered the United States, a SWAT team in full riot gear was waiting for them and interrogated them.

"It was incredibly frightening," said Margo Tamez who was also there.

She pointed out how the escalating militarization at the border is terrorizing people as they go about their lives, working, with their families and in their ceremonies.

Isabel Garcia, cochair of Derechos Humanos in Tucson, Arizona, said,"Arizona has been a laboratory for the criminalizing of the border."

Pointing out that the Arizona border is the ancestral homeland of the Tohono O'odham, she said, "These borders are where people have lived since time immemorial." Garcia described the climate of militarization and abuse by Border Patrol agents.

Garcia pointed out that "cowboy" Border Agents ran over and killed18-year-old Tohono O'odham Bennett Patricio, Jr., while he was walking home in 2002. His mother, Angie Ramon, is still seeking justice for the death of her son.

Garcia also described the deaths from dehydration and heat in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, where failed border policies have pushed migrants walking to a better life into treacherous desert lands.

"Two hundred and thirty-seven bodies were recovered in one year and most were on the tribal lands of the Tohono O'odham."

Further, Homeland Security recently waived 22 federal laws to build the border wall in the San Pedro wilderness area in Arizona, she said.

Attorney Peter Schey, director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles, said America does not need a"Berlin Wall."

Schey, renowned immigrant rights attorney, said Section 564 of the Homeland Security section of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill supersedes earlier legislation. Homeland Security is now required to have consultation with the communities. Schey said this means real consultation and real consideration of the community's input and data.

Schey took his first action on behalf of Texas property owner Dr. Tamez on Monday, the same day that a 30-day notice to Texas land owners expired with the threat of eminent domain land seizures looming. Schey informed Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to halt the impending seizures of private lands.

Schey said Section 564 strikes provisions of the earlier Secure Fence Act and requires Homeland Security to consult with property owners like Dr. Tamez in order "to minimize the impact on the environment, culture, commerce, and quality of life" in areas considered for construction of the border fence.

"Furthermore, we believe that the new statutory provisions invalidate the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for fence construction published on the Department's behalf on November 16, 2007, pending completion of the required local consultations and other requirements as outlined in the Omnibus Bill," Schey told Chertoff in the letter.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security declared that it will use the principle of eminent domain to take possession of land currently held by private ownership. DHS has also presented waivers requesting that the landowners grant DHS personnel access to their property for a twelve-month period in order to conduct surveys for the intended construction project. The property owners were informed that if theydo not voluntarily allow the federal agents on their property, theU.S. government will file a law suit so that DHS authorities can have unimpeded access to private land, despite the owners' opposition. DHS has stated that it will seize property even without the consent of landowners if necessary to complete the construction of the border fence. Many landowners, as well as civic leaders and human rights activists,oppose the U.S. government's plans to allow federal law enforcement agents access to private property. The government's demands and aggressive tactics are in conflict with settled rights of private property ownership and are particularly disconcerting to the Indigenous peoples' communities impacted by this undertaking.

The Texas communities along the international boundary zone are largely made up of Native Americans and of land grant heirs who have resided on inherited properties for hundreds of years. DHS plans to complete the Texas portions of the fence before the end of the 2008 calendar year.

DHS has already built walls along much of the California and Arizona international boundary zone with Mexico despite opposition from the government of Mexico.
More from this author:
US Apartheid Wall under construction on Native Tohono O'odham lands (8531 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell SAN MIGUEL GATE, TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION (Arizona) -- The United States' Apartheid Wall is under construction on Tohono O'odham...
End of the game: Indigenous Peoples' bringing down Apartheid wall (8217 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell Mohawks were among 19 Indian Nations at the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas 2007. The four-day summit...
Mohawks Inflamed Over Tohono O'odham Tribal Council Complicity In "Border" Oppression Of Indigenous People - U.S. welcomes rich and kills the poor (11892 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell Indigenous delegates to the border on Tohono O'odham Nation land were outraged by the federal agents, hovering customs...
Fighting Apartheid at the borders of Arizona and Palestine (7146 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell SAN XAVIER, TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION (Arizona) - Michelle Cook, Navajo activist, and Aida Khan, bringing support from a...
Spin sets up Blackwater at border, while military smuggles drugs (8633 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell Television news is ready to pump you up, and deliver the agenda. Meanwhile, after writing about all the National...
Related Articles:
Why Bush wants immunity from prosecution for war crimes (244523 Hits)
Although not as widely remarked as the elimination of habeas rights and the consecration of torture, the recently passed Senate torture legislation...
More “Culture Wars” Gibberish from nutcase David Brooks (16308 Hits)
Most of us know David Brooks as the balding goofball on “The Jim Lehrer News Hour” who shrugs his shoulders and giggles gleefully whenever...
"Boiling Point" - Eroding Freedom: From John Adams to George W. Bush (18643 Hits)
Put a frog into a pot of boiling water, the well-known parable begins, and out that frog will jump to escape the obvious danger. Put that same...
From Liberating Spirituality to Oppressive Dogma: The Politics of Religion (23952 Hits)
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D. Spirituality is intrapersonal. It’s a liberating and uplifting awareness. It nurtures personal growth. It inspires...
A Daily Reflection of War... Thoughts from a Vietnam Vet (12158 Hits)
by Arthur James I remember the horror of death. On a darkening evening, three soldiers encountered me on a jungle trail. Our meeting startled...

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (11)add comment

Kitty Antonik Wakfer said:

Land Ownership a Myth Enforcers the Problem
Thank you for making known more about what is taking place on private land at the US-Mexico border by US government agents. The entire idea that one's property is one's own is in reality treated as a myth by the US government. In actuality the "registered owner" is simply treated as a renter from the government (if property taxes not paid it will be confiscated), which claims final ownership of all land in its jurisdiction and therefore can proceed to use its eminent domain. If the majority of people understood that if this taking of land is done with some current landowners it can be done with any - including them - maybe they would be more vocal against eminent domain everywhere.

A very important point to keep in mind is that all the edicts of HomeLand Security Chertoff, Congress, the President, etc. would be nothing more than written/verbal words if there were none or very few individuals willing to actually enforce them - at the point of a gun. It is the agents of the Border Patrol and other various government departments who are the ones that are doing the harm, not the vast majority of individuals crossing the border from Mexico seeking work not available to them elsewhere. (And jobs that most USers will not take from employers eager for good workers.) The current enforcers, their direct supporters and even those who praise and encourage government force are among those with whom I choose to have no voluntary association - and I urge others to do likewise. The tool of social preferencing against government enforcers - and even those who directly or actively support/encourage such initiation of force - can be a powerful tool of social influence. To simply cast a vote against certain politicians is worthless since all seek to physically interfere with/control the actions of others. But a reduction of the numbers of those who would enforce the edicts/laws/regulations of those politicos would really cut into the power base. http://selfsip.org/focus/preferencing.html

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Self-sovereignty, rational pursuit of optimal lifetime happiness,
individual responsibility, social preferencing & social contracting

January 08, 2008
Votes: +0

Aaron de carib said:

Sacred Indian lands should be protected. Walls will not prevent illegal immigration from mexico. The only solution is to provide equal opportunity to Mexicans in Mexico. Get rid of NAFTA! Do not flood Mexico with subsidized American corn, wheat, etc. If Mexicans can earn a viable living in Mexico and the crime rate goes down, they will not come to the US.
January 09, 2008
Votes: +0

syberghost said:

There is an easy solution to this that should make everyone happy
Just build the wall between the Apache land and the US. Problem solved.
January 09, 2008
Votes: +0

Sparky said:

It doesn't stop with them....
Sorry but its not just them under threat this time, its all of us, with this so called immanent domain policy at hand. Simply building a wall wont fix the problem. The ball is in our court to stop it. Get off your fat, lazy, video game playing, 10 movies a day, butts and start doing something meaningful.
January 09, 2008
Votes: +0

BD said:

Reality-based poetry
The days of nomadic Apache peoples wandering back and forth across the border have really been over for some time, but now that Terrosts are crossing into the US, those days must be officially Terminated. Sorry. That's life. It's not a racial thing. Davey Crocket is no longer roaming freely across the Appalachian Mountain range, either. The lives and well being of all Americans trumps the Apache's historic cultural romanticism. Get over it - or just move to the Mexican side.

There are NOT just two kinds of people as this 'poet scholar' says in the article (wall-builders and bridge-builders). That is an inaccurate, biased view of life. Instead, there are two TIMES in Life: Times when Bridges need to be built, and Times when Walls Must be built. That is reality, not liberal poetry. Real Poetry is found in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3 - you remember the old song by the Byrds "Turn, Turn...") Solomon wrote: There is a time to kill and time to heal, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to be born, a time to die, and so on... Poetry based in reality - what a concept!

Building a fence along the borders of the USA is one of the FEW kinds of things that the idea of eminent domain is really intended for. There is even a zone (50 yards, not exactly sure) along the border where laws are suspended so that the military can operate if needed - without the constraints of US Law upon them. I love the laws that protect US citizens within our boundaries (posse comitatus, etc.) But I also love our military having the freedom to take care of business at our borders if we are attacked. And we ARE being attacked.

This article refers to militarization on the border as if it's a bad thing. We actually need more militarization there - in my view. Let's start building the wall in Brownville and San Diego - and meet in the middle around El Paso. Using all American construction companies with vetted US citizens working - and let's have government incentives for finishing on or ahead of schedule. Let's put Border Patrol under Military command, rather than Homeland Security. And let's erect some bases down there for training and for regular Nat'l Guard duty. Let's put low&slow flying A-10s and Blackhawks on a regular day/night routine sched flying the entire length of the border for a while... until that fence is completed. While the welders and welding - they can look up and see that they are being protected by our military!
January 09, 2008
Votes: +0

Maggie Dodd White Eagle said:

BD---Reality based poetry....hmmmmmmm you sound like a scary dude there...So I want to ask you something. Is YOUR land being taken to build this wall? Do you even have ancestrial lands in the United States to understand the deeper issues here? Just wondering.....and again... to me...your views are just scary.

January 10, 2008
Votes: +0

David.. said:

If not for the real minute-men of the 1700's, the U.S. may never have come to exist. "All good men come to the aid of their country" Maggie.. Don't be frightened. And surely, don't be become pacifist.
January 23, 2008
Votes: +0

Gitawa said:

Yes, it has long been the policy of Big Brother to push indigenous peoples off their lands. We as REAL AMERICANS must not let them do it again...or we must die trying to stop them. What we need are REAL Warriors...not government-sanctioned sadists.
January 25, 2008
Votes: +0

Grandfather - Walk Lightly said:

The reality is property that is an international border is in the Governments domain. People in Denial can't make just attacks upon others, two wrongs don't make a right. History is what it is, arguements of people should be lobbied to be heard. If one was to argue rights with such international issues it would make sence to take a national position rather than a personal one. Just some brief thoughts from an observer. We are all American's arn't we with no border that would create and American Union? So which position are you taking.... Solutions are negociated where everyone is happy in the end repelling the obvious will only make painful the transitions to a few of the parties. There is no honor is sacraficing with out need warriors. Picking the correct battles are vital to the winning of wars. If you vote tell your representative how you feel. Aho
January 26, 2008
Votes: +0

Mountain Man said:

This is illegal per the Constitution
Below are laws right out of the Constitution! They (the President, Vice President and ALL members of Congress) "swore" to uphold! If they do not uphold these laws, that is TREASON!

1. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under the constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States; between a State and citizens of another State, between citizens of different States, between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens, or subjects.

1. The United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union a republican form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the Legislature, or of the Executive, (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.

2. This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

3. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

I am no means a lawyer but I think I understand these laws.....

treaties made, or which shall be made, shall protect each of them against invasion; against domestic violence. shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this constitution

I think that says it all..... This IS ILLEGAL per "thee" Constitution!

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. - Ronald Reagan
I know some of you have already signed these petitions and thank you! We are still
far from our goal. Please cross post! We MUST stop the Government here, if we do not stop them here,
we may never stop them.....your land may be next!
One is for Americans only but the other one is for all to sign. Please help save what little land our Native Americans still own by LAW.

The American Petition;
http://www.petitiononline.com/...ition.htmlClick Here to Sign

For Everyone to sign;
http://www.thepetitionsite.com...eral-landsClick Here to Sign
February 07, 2008
Votes: +0

Mountain Man said:

Stories told on Care2
Homeland Security Sues Lipan Apache Eloisa Tamez for Land for Border Wall

DHS Continues to File Lawsuits for Proposed Border Fence, Falling on Deaf Ears
February 07, 2008
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123