Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lipan Apache resolution condemning border wall construction



WHEREAS, the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, affirm the fundamental importance of the right to self-determination of all peoples through which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development1, and

WHEREAS, Indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, including all peoples residing in the United States of America, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such, and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures as well as from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories, and resources, and

WHEREAS, there is also an urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States,[1] including the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to respect and promote the rights of the Lipan Apache people, specifically the rights of Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez a Lipan Apache woman and defender of her elders, and the cultural, economic, social, and political rights of her children, grandchildren, and future generations as the aboriginal peoples of El Calaboz, in the San Pedro de Carricitos Land Grant, and

WHEREAS, the indigenous Lipan Apache people of the San Pedro de Carricitos Land Grant were recognized as indigenous first peoples of their territories by the Spanish and Texas empresarios in the area designated “Apacheria”, and

WHEREAS, the Lipan Apache people of the San Pedro de Carricitos porciones (customary indigenous lands) described in this manner in the Texas Land Office, a legal entity recognized by the State of Texas as a legitimate archive of Texas land records: “San Pedro de Carricitos land grant consisted of 12,730.59 acres in Cameron County. It was granted by Mexico, October 30, 1833. Pedro Bouchard applies for himself and Ramon Garcia for the heirs of Matias Garcia and the heirs of Jose Maria Villarreal and the heirs of Miguel Cabazos for three leagues originally granted to Pedro Villarreal in 1784. Witnesses prove occupation, cultivation and pasturage of said tract for many years prior to March 2, 1836, and never heard of any adverse claimants. All the papers and other documents formerly presented to the Board were lost by shipwreck. Recommended. Confirmed by the Legislature, Act of February 10, 1852. Decree of District Court of Cameron County, January 24, 1872,” and

WHEREAS, the Lipan Apache people of South Texas have a long history of genocide and oppression imposed upon them by settler societies and have been forced to the peripheries of said society, as a marginalized ethnic group in their own territories, and

WHEREAS, Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez and her daughter, Margo Tamez, refuse to be further harassed, intimidated, and oppressed by the settler society’s insistence on the increased militarization of their traditional and aboriginal lands which has had negative and persistent lethal impacts on Apache lifeways, ecologies, agricultural ways, religious practices, and their future generations’ possibility to practice their Native American culture, and to be the stewards of the ancient plant medicines, and their sacred sites and burial grounds, and

WHEREAS, Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez and her daughter, Margo Tamez, recognize the threat of increased injuries and deaths in their lands as experienced on the border by Jumano Apache families of Redford, Texas and T’ohono O’odham families in Arizona who lost loved ones to U.S. Marines and U.S. Border Patrol armed personnel, and

WHEREAS, there is a favorable impact of demilitarizing the lands and territories of indigenous peoples, upon peace, economic and social progress, development, understanding, and friendly relations among nations and peoples of the world, and

WHEREAS, last year the United States Congress appropriated 1.2 billion dollars for the construction of a wall along the United States (US)-Mexico border to help eliminate migration and drug trafficking;

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Homeland Security (Department) has recently proceeded with the plan to construct a border wall by giving property owners along the US-Mexico border a 30 day notice asking owners to sign waivers allowing access to Department personnel or else the federal government will file a law suit so that federal employees can have unimpeded access to private land; and,

WHEREAS, Article 13 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state,” and “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his (or her) own, and to return to his (or her) country,” and

WHEREAS, the border wall represents a human rights crisis for indigenous and other peoples living along the international boundary zone between the United States of México and America and this human rights crisis has resulted in over 4,000 migrant deaths in recent years;[2] and

WHEREAS, the border wall will have devastating consequences on local economies, the environment, and human rights, and will result in landowners and farmers losing land and critical access to river water irrigation and will adversely affect the relationship between the United States of México and America and indigenous nations; and

WHEREAS, military policies, immigration policies, and United States foreign policy, including economic policies outlined in treaties, agreements and other constructive agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, directly impact state and local government policies, including but not limited to, the provision of services to address the migration of individuals into the United States local economies; and

WHEREAS, billions of federal dollars intended for the border wall should be invested in health care, housing, education, job training, and infrastructure that will provide a visible and tangible return to the country, such as increasing opportunities, reducing poverty, diabetes, childhood obesity, and other preventable maladies;[3] and

WHEREAS, the federal government has reserved for itself “the authority to waive all legal requirements” which, in the sole discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, have been deemed “necessary to ensure expeditious construction” of the border wall[4] and it is prepared to use its powers of eminent domain to supersede the property rights of indigenous peoples and other landowners along the international boundary zone; and

WHEREAS, the federal government, through its power to waive in their entirety the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Noise Control Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Farmland Protection Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and countless other democratically established laws, ordinances, statutes, and judicial decisions, would construct a border wall that would slice through the heart of numerous wildlife refuges, parks, sanctuaries and other similar tracts established to protect wildlife in their respective natural environments and other historical sites along the international boundary zone; and

WHEREAS, no region of the United States of America has a greater interest in border security than the communities along the international boundary zone between the United States of México and America.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Indigenous People and their allies who hereby express their opposition to the United States of America Federal Government funding and construction of the border wall, which would be imposed upon the international boundary zone connecting the United States of México and the United States of America, directly impacting indigenous peoples, an infrastructure project that would not coincide with a humane strategy for comprehensive immigration reform and increased security for the United States but would instead cause untold death and damage of historic proportions to indigenous cultures inherent to sustainable futures, human life, wildlife, water rights, ecosystems, endangered species sacred to indigenous people of the region, local and state economies, private properties, land grant entitlements of indigenous people, sacred indigenous burial and ceremonial sites, historical properties and sites, farmland, and international relations between the United States of Mexico, the United States of America, and indigenous nations and communities.
1 Draft resolution, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recommendation of the Human Rights Council contained in its resolution ½ of 29 June 2006, by which the Council adopted the text as contained in the annex presented on 12 September 2007 to the United Nations General Assembly.

[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] 8 USCS § 1103, note: Improvement of barriers at border, (c)(1).

Petitions of support, Margo Tamez asked for signatures of support for her mother:
Lipan Apache (El Calaboz) Resolution Condemning Border Wall:
Information & Action You Can Take:
Eloisa Garcia Tamez has been ordered to appear in Federal Court #6, on February 7, 2008, Judge Hanen presiding. This is an official hearing for condemnation and taking, under the Department of Homeland Security's "Declaration of Taking," an act of unwarranted, hostile aggression against her, a respected elder and leader of the traditional people, the aboriginal people of El Calaboz rancheria--"the place where the Lipan pray." At this time, we ask you to show your solidarity with indigenous women, Native American people, and the aboriginal pueblos indigenas of the Lower Rio Grande valley, and sign this petition. At this time, we humbly ask you to circulate this petition widely through your circles, family, friends, ceremonial leaders, faith leaders, tribal officials, elected officials, representatives, and international leaders and ask them to sign this petition as well. There are 2 parts: WE ask you to first sign the RESOLUTION. We ask you to become informed by reading the second petition, and write to the individuals listed there who we requested intervention from on behalf of Eloisa Garcia Tamez, and the El Calaboz lands, ecologies, sacred sites, burial sites, farmlands, traditional dwelling sites, archaeologically significant sites, and endangered species.
ahi'i'e Margo Tamez
PLEASE SIGN THESE PETITIONS: Lipan Apache (El Calaboz) Resolution Condemning Border Wall:
Information & Action You Can Take:

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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