Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Racism at the Northern and Southern Borders

Brenda Norrell: Racism at the Northern and Southern Borders
Human Rights Editor
U.N. OBSERVER & International Report, an independent publication at the Hague

NOGALES, Arizona, U.S. The prevailing attitudes of white supremacy in the U.S., fueled by TV and radio hate talks shows and the Bush administration's agenda to enrich corporations at any cost, have increased the harassments and hate crimes at the northern and southern borders.Jose Matus, Yaqui ceremonial leader and director of Indigenous Alliance without Borders, based in Tucson, Arizona, was detained for four hours at the U.S. border by Homeland Security's director of the port of entry, Wednesday night.Matus is designated to bring Yaqui ceremonial leaders and participants across the border, including Deer Dancers and Pascoles from Rio Yaqui in Sonora, Mexico, for temporary stays in Arizona for religious purposes. Matus has done this for decades.Homeland Security officials detained Matus, four Yaqui women and two children who were coming across to participate in ceremonies. It was only after Matus called a Congressman, that he was actually allowed to enter the United States with the ceremonial participants.The Homeland Security director had been reading Matus' comments in the news about the harassment of Indigenous Peoples and the militarization of the border region. Apparently, the director was very upset by what he read.The Homeland Security director incorrectly accused Matus of labelling border officials as the "Gestapo."While many others have called the United States' border agents the "Gestapo," Matus is not one of them.Elsewhere, Indigenous in the border region struggle to maintain their cultures in the militarized zones. Still others struggle just to feed their families and survive.The Zapatistas are organizing a resistance camp to defend the Cucapa and Quilihua people in the southern border region, facing extinction because of the loss of their fishing rights in Baha California. The peace encampment will be launched at El Mayor, near Mexicali, on Monday, Feb. 26. A second encampment will be established near San Cristobal de las Casas in the southern region of Mexico.Meanwhile, Mohawks in Canada face the COINTELPRO, U.S. spies and covert operatives, while asserting their rights to their aboriginal territories.For more information: Invitation to Zapatista Peace Encampments Kahentinetha HornMohawk Nation Breaking news from the Zapatistas By Brenda NorrellHuman Rights EditorU.N. OBSERVER & International ReportPlease also see:US youths killing tramps for 'sport'

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