Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 31, 2007

Mexico: Border wall would harm migratory endangered species

Photo: Walk along Arivaca Creek, near the US spy tower, 12 miles north of the border. The region is the migratory route of bats, jaguar, pronghorn, black bear and other rare species in Sonora, Mexico and southern Arizona. Photo Brenda Norrell Photo 2: Sonoran Pronghorn.

Mexico urges fence changes to aid animals

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government said Monday it is seeking changes in a U.S. plan to expand fences along the two nations' border because of the threat to migratory species accustomed to roaming freely across the frontier.
The Environment Department said the fences would seriously hurt species that cross the 1,952-mile border, and said the United States needs to alter or mitigate the barriers — aimed at stopping migrants from crossing illegally into the U.S. — where necessary.
Mexico also wants Washington to expand its environmental impact study on the fences and will file a complaint with the United Nations' International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands if necessary.
"The eventual construction of this barrier would place at risk the various ecosystems that we share," said Environment Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira, noting that the border includes desert, mountains, rivers and wetlands.
A report prepared for the Mexican government by experts and activists from both nations said the fences could isolate border animals into smaller population groups, affecting their genetic diversity.
Exequiel Ezcurra, director of research at the San Diego Natural History Museum, stressed that Mexico would not be the only loser from the construction of 700 miles of border fencing: the United States could lose visits from Mexican jaguars and black bears that have enriched U.S. ecosystems.
Environmentalists say highly endangered species such as the antelope-like Sonoran pronghorn — of which only about 100 still exist — could be wiped out in coming years, because they are used to moving across the border in search of scarce grassland.
Even strong lighting or radar could interfere with nocturnal species in border areas, and construction, maintenance and traffic along the walls would affect a wider strip of border land than just the fences themselves, the report states.
Elvira did not say what alternatives to the fences might be, but the report suggested creating bridge areas so ecosystems can remain connected, and wilderness areas or "green corridors" without roads that experts say may be less attractive to smugglers.
It also suggested "live" fences of cacti, non-permanent or removable fencing, night-vision instead of radar and more permeable fencing to allow water, insects and pollen to move across the border.

July 30, 2007

Struggling for Border Justice

Photos by Brenda Norrell (Protest of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano after signing of new immigration law.)

Senate bill includes funds for dangerous crashing drones (unmanned aerial vehicles.)

Senate Approval of massive border militarization sacrifices human security
Coalicion de Derechos Humanos

(July 27, 2007) TUCSON -- Yesterday’s Senate vote to provide an additional $3 billion dollars toward “beefing up border security” will have disastrous implications for border communities and diverts attention from root causes, and therefore solutions, for our migration phenomenon, contend local human rights groups.
Coalición de Derechos Humanos denounces the decision as irresponsible, pointing out the dramatic number of human rights violations and abuses that have occurred as a result of more than a decade of militarization tactics and policies.
The bill provides for an additional 23,000 Border Patrol agents, 4 unmanned aerial vehicles, 700 miles of new walls, 300 miles of vehicle barriers and 45,000 detention beds. The bill passed with 89 votes to 1, and is being put forth by some as an effort to put Congress on a path to override President Bush's promised veto of a $38 billion homeland security funding bill.
Read more ...

Mohawks in Canada: Secret weapons testing at Sharbot Lake


Sombody’s making deals with the devil!
July 26, 2007
“Ye Shall Know them by the Company they Keep” [from somewhere in the Bible?]

In a Memorandum of Understanding “Mining Resources Engineering Limited” MREL is continuing its weapons making and bomb exploding activities on Algonquin lands. We investigated and found a frightening profile on MREL.

MREL Encampment in the Bush

Their weapons testing is unacceptable! On July 13, 2007, some Indigenous people stumbled on their “secret” lab and explosive testing encampment in the bush on Sharbot Lake. They probably need to clean up some evidence of their questionable activities? We are now in the know! They are making weapons of genocide to be used on our people elsewhere in the world and, who knows, maybe even on us.

MREL tries to stay anonymous. Bill Bauer, the head, keeps company with some big guys in the BIG LEAGUE. Yes, the Department of National Defense Canada [DND] and the U.S. Department of Defense [DOD] are some of MREL’s biggest customers. They work secretly for the sake of “national security”, calling it “R&D” [Research & Development]. We know they don’t care about ‘our’ security. Why do we get the feeling that there’s a lot of “insanity” going on here? [Ask Bill Bauer of MREL at 613-545-0466 (111)Cell 613-530-0777. MREL hides out in Kingston].

Why should these secret companies and agencies know more about our security than us? We are the original owners of the land, and there are non-native settlers who live on our land.

Mysterious MREL has the high tech equipment to measure all forms of radiation. They provide their services to test weapons they call “explosives” at their unique “state of the art” at a remote facility in the wilderness of Algonquin territory.

For years MREL has been making a lot of noise in the Algonquin countryside. Their explosions can be heard and felt for miles around. Farmers have moved away because the noise causes their cows and goats to miscarry. [Are these lands going to become uninhabitable for hundreds of years?]
Read more ... See: “Sharbot Lake”

Priests prepare for court, possible prison, to expose U.S. torture

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- Two priests willing to go to prison to expose U.S. torture and torture training at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona are prepared for their pre-trial motions.
Fr. Louis Vitale (left) and Fr. Stephen Kelly will join human rights attorney William Quigley in Tucson on Sunday evening, August 12. It is the evening before the August 13 pre-trial motions hearing. The gathering will be held at Southside Presbyterian Church, 317 W. 23rd. That's one block south of 22nd St. at 10th Ave., at 7:00 pm.
Fr. Louie Vitale, a Franciscan priest, is an Action Advocate for Pace e Bene, co-founder of the Nevada Desert Experience and SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience.
Fr. Steve Kelly (right), a Jesuit priest, has served time in prison for his participation in several Plowshares direct disarmament actions. Fr. Kelly literary attempted to turn a weapon of mass destruction into a plowshare and went to prison for it.
In December, 2005, Fr. Kelly served as chaplain for Witness to Torture, a delegation which marched through Cuba to the gates of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Bill Quigley is a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University, New Orleans. He's been an active public interest lawyer since 1977, volunteering with School of the Americas Watch, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and many other groups.
On August 13 (and possibly 14), Fr. Louie Vitale and Fr. Steve Kelly, represented by Bill Quigley, will have a pre-trial motions hearing in federal court in Tucson on charges of trespass and failure to obey an officer's orders for their nonviolent witness on Nov. 19, 2006 at Fort Huachuca.
The priests attempted to give a letter to the post commander of Fort Huachuca because of the leading role that the Fort has played in the development of the manuals advocating torture used at the SOA (School of Americas) and current interrogation techniques being used by the Army.
On August 13, there will be a support circle in the courtyard outside the federal courthouse, 405 W. Congress, time to be announced.
Please regularly check for details, updated information about the case and related events, or call 520-323-8697.
Read more ...
Torture protests outside federal court in Tucson. Photos by Brenda Norrell

July 28, 2007

Bush criminalizes the anti-war movement

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
This article gives the implications of the Executive Order Bush issued July 17, 2007 whereby opposing the Iraq War becomes an illegal act. It provides the text of the Executive Order, and the text of his Message to Congress the same day.
"In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act. The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain Persons" involved in antiwar activities. It targets those "Certain Persons" in America, including civil society organizatioins, who oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians. "

July 27, 2007

New York Times reveals ignorance on Navajo environmentalists

By Brenda Norrell

The New York Times has revealed the newspaper's ignorance with the headline, "Navajos and environmentalists split on power plant."

The headline incorrectly indicates that Navajos and outsiders are split on the issue of the proposed Desert Rock power plant.

However, it is the Navajo people who have maintained the staunch resistance to the Desert Rock power plant; Navajos who actually live in the Four Corners area on tribal land. They are already breathing the toxins from two other power plants.

The Navajos who live on the land are fighting their own Navajo tribal government, Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr., and the Navajo Nation Council, to halt the power plant.

The New York Times' misleading headline is a pattern for national newspapers. During the past decades, Indigenous living in Central and South America, struggling to survive as farmers on their land, were usually referred to as "insurgents," by major newspapers. Since editors usually write the headlines, it is sad to see the New York Times staff so ill-informed.

Major newspapers usually fail to report the fact that a large amount of the revenues from power plants and other destructive mining provide the salaries and travel expense accounts of the Navajo president and the Navajo Nation Council's 88 council delegates.

While Navajos in northwest New Mexico, Big Mountain and southeastern Utah, live with the cancer-producing toxins of coal mining, oil and gas wells and power plants, many Navajos still live without running water and electricity. While they suffer the degradation, non-Indians in the Southwest receive the electricity.

Since Navajos who live on the land lack the huge bank accounts to hire highly-paid spin doctors, the voice of the tribal government and corporations are what usually makes it to the national news. Of course, visiting reporters sweep through and unfortunately, their editors often sabotage their articles with misleading headlines.

The New York Times seems unaware that there are Navajo environmentalists in a modern-day movement. Among the Navajo environmentalists was Leroy Jackson, cofounder of Dine' Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Dine' CARE, found dead in 1993 after protesting the tribe's clear cutting of the old growth yellow pines on Navajoland.

Photo: Navajos protest Desert Rock power plant at Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.'s inauguration. Photo Dooda Desert Rock

July 25, 2007

Most Censored: National Guardsmen, cops smuggling cocaine at US/Mexico border

Photo: National Guard troops arrived at the border, after President Bush’s said it would help bolster homeland security and border patrol activities along the 1,950-mile border. PHOTO DOD

Smuggling drugs -- Members of Immigration and Naturalization Service, Arizona Army National Guard, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Army, Arizona Department of Corrections, Airforce Security Squadron and Nogales Police Department -- sentencing in federal court.
By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- While television news reporters want the public to believe that the Arizona Army National Guardsmen, Airforce and border agents were the saviors, protecting the US border, court cases are now revealing US soldiers and agents anxious to run keys of cocaine in uniform from the Mexican border.

The FBI shut down the sting operation, "Operation Lively Green," because so many US soldiers wanted to smuggle drugs in uniform using official vehicles, from the border at Nogales, Ariz., north to Tucson and Phoenix, between 2002 and 2004.

There are now 99 cases -- including a National Guard Sargent who recruited soldiers under his command in Tucson, an Army recruiter in Tucson, police in Nogales, prison guards, Airforce security personnel and other public officials -- all caught in the act of drug smuggling. Court cases are now underway Tucson.

The arrests reveal a more accurate view of the border, far from the hype of television news.

The Arizona FBI sting was related to an Oklahoma FBI sting, "Operation Tarnished Star." National Guardsmen were running cocaine from Texas to Oklahoma.

The Arizona sting also resulted in the arrest of Davis Monthan Airforce men in the Security Squadron in Tucson smuggling drugs.

Tohono O'odham and other border residents have opposed the militarization of the border. They want the National Guard and other military out of the region.

Living in the militarized zone and surrounded by border agents on the ground, residents are spied on from the air and have lost their right to privacy. Border residents are the focus of harassment and increased dangers from speeding border agents and corrupt and drug running soldiers and border agents.

As one Tohono O'odham put it: "With all these helicopters, Border Patrol and supposed-trackers, why can't they find even one of our O'odham who goes missing in the desert?"

Derechos Humanos Coalicion says the increased militarization has only led to more deaths, by pushing migrants into more desolate areas of the desert, where deaths from dehydration and heat have increased this summer.

Breaking news, sentencing in Tucson ...
Michael Marizco: Border Reporter
Arizona Daily Star: National Guardsmen running cocaine: 'Just following orders'
Army soldiers sentenced in drug sting
Davis Monthan Airforce, Security Forces Squadron, soldiers caught smuggling drugs in sting:
Army and Marine recruiters ran cocaine operations in Tucson

Tohono O'odham ran over by Border Patrol

By Brenda NorrellAngelita Ramon believes that her son, 18-year-old Bennett Patricio, Jr., was intentionally ran over and killed by Border Patrol agents on Tohono O'odham tribal land near the border.

Based on the evidence, Ramon believes that her son -- while walking home at 3 a.m. through the desert -- walked upon a drug transfer underway by Border Patrol agents on April 9, 2002.

The family filed a civil suit against the US Border Patrol, but the US District Court in Tucson ruled in favor of the Border Patrol. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently failed to rule in the family's favor.

However, Ramon's next option, if she can find an attorney, is to file murder charges against the Border Patrol agents at the scene. Read more of the story ...

The Border Patrol is a death squad. They are operating like they do in Central and South America, because no one can hold them accountable,” said Jimbo Simmons, member of the International Indian Treaty Council, during the Summit Aug. 29 – Oct. 1, 2006.

Photo: Angelita Ramon, Tohono O'odham, at Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas on San Xavier tribal land, Oct. 2006/Photo Brenda Norrell

US agents drug smuggling raises new questions about the truth of the deaths of two border agents, and an ICE agent, in southern Arizona in 2004:

Border agents were believed a murder-suicide, while ICE agent Tom DeRouchey, Cheyenne River Sioux, was said to be suicide in 2004

Murder-suicide likely in border agent deathsBy Michael Marizco and Scott Simonson
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 06.12.2004

TUCSON -- Two U.S. Border Patrol agents died in an apparent murder-suicide south of Tucson early Friday, officials said.
The two agents, a 45-year-oldman and a 31-year-old woman, were from the El Paso Sector in Texas, said El Paso Sector spokesman Doug Mosier.
The male agent, Arturo Betancourt, was a supervisory agent who had been on the job for 15 years.
The woman, Elizabeth Granillo, had been an agent for two years.
Mosier said he didn't know whether Betancourt was Granillo's supervisor. He also wouldn't say whether they'd been in a relationship.
The bodies were found in a vehicle about 10 miles southwest of Tucson on the San Xavier Reservation, said Chief Richard Saunders of the Tohono O'odham Police Department.
He said the woman had been shot three times and the man once. They were not in uniform, but were identified by agency credentials found on their bodies. No suicide note was found at the scene, about a mile southeast of Mission San Xavier del Bac, he said. One handgun was found.
Police found the bodies about 2:30 a.m. Friday when they responded to a report of an abandoned vehicle on a dirt road near Interstate 19.
The FBI, which has jurisdiction in certain felonies on Indian reservations, did a preliminary investigation, then turned the case over to tribal police, said FBI spokeswoman Susan Herskovits.
Meanwhile, agents in El Paso will have counseling services made available to them through the agency, Mosier said.
The last off-duty Border Patrol agent to die in the region was Jorge Luis Salomon, 23.
Salomon had traveled to Cananea, Sonora, in February 2003 after befriending a man who was a drug-smuggler. They joined others in Cananea and when they learned Salomon was a Border Patrol agent, they beat him to death.
Four people are in custody in Sonora pending an investigation. A fifth remains at large.
The last known suicide of a federal agent in Southern Arizona was U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement interim director Tom V. DeRouchey.
He shot himself in March while driving on Interstate 10 in Marana on his way to a press conference in Tucson.

Mount Graham Sacred Run, July 26 -- 27

Thursday, July 26, Whiteriver to San Carlos
Friday, July 27, San Carlos to Mount Graham
Sacred Run Campout on Mount Graham, at Treasure Park, Fri-Sun.

RESIST: Alogonquins say 'No' to being guinea pigs for weapons testing


Mohawk Nation News
July 24, 2007.

The colonizers are using a new weapon for Indigenous destruction. Law suits. Doesn’t “No mean no”? Canada and Frontenac Ventures have devised new tricks and donned new masks. They figure if they can sue then they can take away our lands.

On July 23rd 2007 they punched us in the face by handing the Algonquins a million dollar lawsuit. Canadian colonial institutions are being used as a tool to assault us.
Remember, the Algonquins never consented to the trespassing that’s happening on their land.

Sharbot and Ardoch Lakes are 42 miles north of Kingston Ontario Canada . The Algonquins rejected Frontenac’s financial offer last week of $10,000 to dig up uranium to contaminate and desecrate the land, air, water, animals and people. They were told that soon an injunction will
remove us from our own land.

The 55 acres at the gate is supposedly private land owned by Peter Jorgenson who leased an office to Frontenac Ventures. Frontenac merely has permits from Ontario to stake mining claims on unsurrendered Algonquin land, as
well as private land.

The Algonquins are supposedly represented by lawyers, Blaine McMurtry, of Toronto . What are they doing? We are not told anything! The Canadian crown claims jurisdiction over the area. Shouldn’t Affairs be protecting the area according to Canadian legislation and Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence. We know that’s a joke! Indian Affairs has a long history of helping to destroy and steal Indigenous land, resources and rights. Indian Affairs is right in there now punching us without a velvet glove.

The Algonquins refused to come under the Indian Act. They remain free and independent, to be dealt with on a nation-to-colony basis. The land is unsurrendered and remains unceded. The Algonquins are not Canadian citizens. This is all verified by international law. The
Canadian government represents the corporate interests, against us.

All it takes is for a greedy corporation to persuade one department to give them a license to exploit Indigenous land that doesn’t belong to Canada . All the other departments will fight tooth and nail to defend this theft. We can’t think of a single time when the Department of
Justice took our part against a corporate predator.

Another dirty player on Algonquin land is MREL [Mining Resources Engineering Limited], a manufacturer and tester of weapons. It has a unique “secret” facility in a “remote location” on Algonquin land. We know all about it!

Has anyone noticed that there’s been a sudden burst of spending on the military even though war is illegal in international law? Canada is under no war threat. No attempts are being made to solve disputes by peaceful means. The UN has been turned into a “war machine”.
Canada is an eager little “go for” for these totalitarian schemes. The military siphons money away from education, health care and much needed repair of infrastructure for public health and safety.

Canada has opened up our land to any country or anybody who wants to do military testing. We are set up to be used as “guinea pigs” for these tests! The public says nothing because they are too scared and too shocked.

Canada is trying to seduce a new generation into their lethal games. Tey’re suckering the children of the poor into sacrificing their lives to lower the population of “useless eater”, as Henry Kissinger called us. They’re trying to convince us it’s glorious to “self-destruct”.

The Department of National Defense Canada and the DRDC [Defense Research and Development Canada ] are doing studies on the effects of weapons on people, animals, land, water and air. CRTI is the umbrella organization [“Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
Explosives Research and Technology Initiatives”] that includes 21 agencies and departments, including Atomic Energy, Health Canada , CSIS and Natural Resources.

MREL makes and tests radon equipment and weapons of mass destruction on Algonquin land, like RDDs and IEDs, which are “dirty bombs” made from uranium tailings or medical grade radio active materials. Who’s the “Chemical Ali” of Canada ? Gordon O’Connor, the Member of Parliament of the area and the Minister of Defense? Are they nuking settlers who don’t vote for them?

These losers don’t know how to make a living without killing, molesting or preying on their fellow human beings. Go to the DRDC website for all the connections with the worldwide
military industry at

MREL is a very private company that does contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense Navy, Army and Air Force and who knows who else. Bill Bauer, the Vice President “front
man”, doesn’t answer any questions.

MREL is busy showing off their explosive and weapons technology at the “Force Protection Equipment Demonstration” in Stafford Virginia U.S. Also there are exhibitors like “SAIC”, “Raytheon” and “RedX Defense”
[We want to reassure our readers that this has nothing to do with our Sage “Red-X”, though they may have been reading MNN and want to stop our peace mongering against their bombs!] Look for an article on MREL at, a trade magazine on
weaponry development for terrorism worldwide.

These companies are all up to their necks in Algonquin land without any permission or authority. Their presence is based entirely on colonial bluff.

We aren’t sure if MREL is banned from going around on our land. The OPP told Frontenac’s George White and Pete Jorgensn to stay away. Uranium companies exploring in the Athabaskan basin oil sands in Alberta are using helicopters to fly in their heavy exploration
and drilling equipment, which is a technical possibly that could be done here on our land.

MREL boasts of having a “remote location” to do its experimentation, development and testing. They’re hoping that the Indigenous protests will disappear because they’re farther from major universities, military and population centers. These guys are playing hard ball. They are starting to manufacture “red neck” opposition to our attempts to defend the peace and
sanity of the land.

It's just a matter of time before the OPP have to "uphold their rule of law" and enforce the injunction. The OPP work with DRDC by keeping a consistent presence at the Robertsville Mine. They know how isolated this territory is and how many people are there.

Port Hope near Toronto is where the uranium waste is being stored. This was closed a few days ago due to “seepage”. The Algonquins of Sharbot Lake are feeling the pressure.

Janie Jamieson asked, “Please send in whatever you can as soon as possible: water, gas, food, disposable cameras, socks, bug spray, candles, eating utensils and any type of camping supplies. Help is urgently needed for our well being and protection”.

The Algonquins, our supporters and the local residents are demanding “No uranium mining whatsoever” on our land. “The testing of the IEDs and RDDs and nuclear weaponry has to stop”. We’re not allowed to burn a tire and look what they’re blowing up practically in our faces. We face birth defects, permanent DNA damage, leukemia and cancer to present and future generations living in the area. For the sake of the earth and the future generations, we have to mobilize now to stop this insane nonsense.

The 20th century tactic was to claim our lands were needed for military defense. The 21st century tactic is to use their courts to sue us with their colonial laws that are made up as they go along, in the name of democracy, but in violation of democratic principles.

Contact Chief Paula Sherman 613-279-1970;
Bob Lovelace at 613-268-2746, Cell 613-532-2166; Harold Perry
613-479-5534; Lynn Daniluk 613-268-2746, Cell 613-267-0539; Ormond
Lee of the settler committee 613-267-7584.

Send your opposition and concerns to Natural Resources Canada Phone 613-948-5200, MREL Bill Bauer
13-545-0466 (111) Cell 613-530-0777; Prime
Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor
General [she’s responsible, knows it’s happening
and turns her back on us and our children constantly].

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

See: “ Canada ”

July 24, 2007

Guatemalan mother found dead on Tohono O'odham tribal land

Migrant Walk for Life 2007/Brenda Norrell

CENSORED: Indigenous continue to die from heat and dehydration on Tohono O'odham tribal land in Arizona. Many of those walking north to survive are Indigenous Peoples, but the tribe has created a law which makes it a crime to transport migrants. Further, the tribe has failed to support the humanitarian efforts of Tohono Oodham Mike Wilson. Wilson, in conjunction with Humane Borders, puts out water in several areas on tribal land for migrants.

Guatemalan mother is second mother found dead on Tohono O'odham land with son nearby

By Brenda Norrell

SELLS, Ariz. -- A Guatemalan mother, walking on Tohono O'odham tribal land, with her 10-year-old son was found dead Thursday. It was the second consecutive day that a mother was found dead with her son nearby.
The ten-year-old Guatemalan boy was found walking about a half mile mile north of the border south of Tecolote Ranch on tribal land. The boy told Border agents that his mother had died, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
On Wednesday on Tohono O'odham tribal land, one mile west of Big Field near Federal Route 24, the body of Maria Resendiz Perez, 33, of the central Mexican state of Queretaro, was found with four survivors, including her 10-year-old son.
"The boy is in custody of the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, which is arranging for the boy to return to Mexico this weekend to be with his grandfather, said spokesman Alejandro Ramos Cardoso. They believe the mother died of dehydration," the Star reported.
The heat has taken many lives this summer. Thursday was the 37th straight day of 100-degree temperatures in the Tucson area.

Coalicion de Derechos Humanos: More migrants die because of increased enforcement

Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based human rights group, announced that the total number of recovered bodies on the Arizona border reached 147 by the end of June, 2007, up from 133 at the same time last year. Thirty-three bodies were recovered in the month of June alone, twelve of them not as yet identified and nearly a third of them female.

These numbers do not reflect any of the 24 bodies recovered in first twelve days of the month of July, with reports coming out almost daily about remains found in the desert by residents, humanitarian groups and law enforcement officials alike.

Adding to this increasing tragedy are the families who are desperately searching for news of loved ones who attempted to cross the border and have yet to be heard from. Men, women and children are regularly reported missing to consulate officials and human rights groups, who attempt to search for them in detention centers, hospitals, migrant centers, and medical examiner offices.“Rarely talked about are the desaparecidos, the people who have gone missing with no clue as to their whereabouts,” says Isabel Garcia of Derechos Humanos.

“The desert is an ultimately unforgiving force, and can completely devour remains within a matter of weeks or even days, given the brutal conditions. This leaves mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children lost to their families forever, with no hope of ever finding out what became of them.”Every month has yielded more skeletal remains on the Arizona border, indicating that death could have taken place weeks, months, or even years prior to discovery.

This—coupled with the fact that migrants do not always carry identification on their person, and their clothing can be torn away by animals or by themselves as they hallucinate and suffocate in the desert heat—makes identifying them even more difficult. Despite the recovery of an estimated 5,000 bodies on the U.S.-México border during the last 12 years, a direct result of the funnel-effect of border and militarization policies, the U.S. government has failed to acknowledge the deadly result of these strategies, and has, to the contrary, continued to increase efforts to militarize the border.

“To die because you sought a better future for yourself and your family is a human rights violation,” continued Garcia. “and to die without your family ever knowing what became of you, as they suffer the anguish of not being able to bury your body and mourn your death is a tragedy that we must demand be made right. Human life is the most precious thing on earth, and we all must work to change any government policy that threatens it.”

The complete list of recovered bodies is available on the Coalición de Derechos Humanos website:
This information is available to anyone who requests it from us and is used by our organization to further raise awareness of the human rights crisis we are facing on our borders.

Photo 2: "No More Deaths" campaign at protest outside Gov. Janet Napolitano's office in Tucson in July/Photo Brenda Norrell
Photo 3: Isabel Garcia of Derechos Humanos speaks out at the protest outside Gov. Napolitano's office in July in Tucson, criticizing failed immigration policies that force migrants into isolated desert regions and death./Photo Brenda Norrell

Healing journey, Native AA Convention in Billings

OCTOBER 25-28, 2007

Local Native American AA members bring Annual National/International Native American Indian Alcoholics Anonymous Convention to Billings

(Billings, MT) Two years ago local Native American AA members began work to bring the Annual National/International Native American Indian Alcoholics Anonymous Convention to Billings, Montana. Their efforts have been successful. The Holiday Inn Grand Montana, 5500 Midland Road, Billings, Montana will be the host hotel for the 17th Annual National/International Native American Indian Alcoholics Anonymous Convention October 25-28, 2007.

Activities include marathon AA meetings, AA and Al-A-Non Speaker meetings, Al-A-Non brunch, workshops, talking circles, old timers meeting, young peoples’ AA meetings, dance, social powwow, and a dinner banquet.

For hotel reservations call (406) 248-7701, ask for Cindy Vaughn or make your reservations online at: Reservations must be made by October 12, 2007.

For NAI-AA convention registration information, call Marie at (605) 747-5756. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Registration forms can be found online at, or write:

PO Box 1643
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57101

July 23, 2007

In memory of Doc Rosen, final e-mail from Tsunami relief

July 23, 2007
Dear AIMsters,
As some of you have probably already heard, our dear friend and brother, "Doc" Ron Rosen, suffered a massive stroke on Friday, and passed to the spirit world yesterday morning. He is being taken to Crow Dog's Paradise this morning, on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota , for his final rest. Please keep Doc, his wife and his children in your thoughts and prayers, and please read the message from one of his colleagues in the message below this one.

As we all know, Doc was a member of AIM at least since his service as a medic in Wounded Knee in 1973. He was one of the few non-Indians who was considered a full member of AIM, having given and given to Indian people, without asking anything in return. Whenever we needed a medic in the streets for any AIM action, Doc was there -- ready to provide his services in the midst of tear gas or police clubs or arrests. Doc was a certified acupuncturist, and many of us benefited from his skills, which he often provided for free, or certainly at a reduced rate for Native people. He travelled regularly to Guatemala , to provide freed medical services to Indian communities there. In 2004, he went to the area in Thailand that was most heavily destroyed by the massive tsunami in that region. In addition, he served as a medic coordinator at the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and in Toronto in 2003. Needless to say, he was always integral to coordinating the medic trainings and teams for Columbus Day in Denver .

Doc and his new wife, Carol, were married only a month ago, and all of our support for her will be appreciated. I believe that we should plan a memorial for Doc toward the end of the summer, to remind us of his commitment and dedication to the Movement, and to Indian people, and to continue his work. I will write more later. Below is a message from one of Doc's colleagues.
In Struggle,
Glenn Morris

From Diana Horowitz:Today is a deeply sad day for the acupuncture profession and for humanity. "Doc" Ron Rosen, OMD, L.Ac., passed away in the comfort of his home at approximately 11:00 a.m. this morning.

As an honored, adopted member of the Lakota tribe, Doc will be buried on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota tomorrow (Monday, July 23rd) in the late afternoon/early evening. If you wish to attend the burial, please contact Joe Wollen for details at 720-234-0967. Meet up with them in S. Dakota, or join the departing entourage at 10:00 a.m., at the funeral home located at 17th Avenue and York Street in Denver.

There will be a memorial service/fundraiser/ celebration of Doc's life in Denver after August 6th. Details will follow. Doc is survived by his wife Carol (they were just married last month), sons Lonny and Ari, and his daughter Krystal. He did not have any health insurance. To make a contribution towards medical and funeral expenses, please send a check to:

Carol Garlington
1590 S. Dalia StreetDenver, CO 80222

Also, Doc had recently expanded his clinic at Colfax & York in Denver, and was in need of a few more holistic health care renters. Renting a treatment space would be a terrific way to help out Doc's family. Please call Maria Lee, L.Ac. at 720-275-1205 for more information.

Doc dedicated his life to helping all people in need, locally and globally, and regardless of their income level. He treated thousands of patients, and mentored dozens of fledgling acupuncturists over the course of his career. Doc was a co-founder of the Acupuncture Association of CO, and one the persons responsible for our professional licensure in the 1980's. Now is the time to return the generosity that Doc gave so freely. Let's band together as a community to commemorate Doc's extraordinary life, and help his family through this time of uncertainty and loss.

In sympathy,

Diana Horowitz, M.S., L.Ac.

Message from Carter Camp:

In Memory of Doc Rosen, who Carter Camp honors in his passing as "AIM and Wounded Knee brother."

Doc, who chose the path of love for humanity, passed to the Spirit World on Sunday following a stroke. Here's the last e-mail I received from him during his work in Tsunami relief in Thailand in 2005:

Feb. 12, 2005
It should come as no surprise at all for most of you but I am - and have been for the last several weeks- in one of the areas hit by the Tsunami. I tend not to keep in touch much and I want to just let eveyone know that I am OK and what it is I am up to. This is a bit rambling but I have limited time on computer and am just trying to get some of my thoughts down on paper.

I came to Asiawith ateam of Native American Doctors, EMTs, etc. Planned on heading for Bandeh Aceh. We were kept out of Aceh by the Indonesian military.Went to Southern Thailand, Phang Nga Province, Nam Kem. The people here are devestated. Homes gone Boats gone Children dead, Sisters, Brothers, Mothers,Fathers, Grand Children... all dead. You have heard/read/seen this and have moved on.

The people here are still afraid of the sea.
In this one village 4,000 dead out of 6,500.

I am doing PTSD work. Doing Magic /slight of hand for kidsThe kids flock around asking for magic tricks ... as do the adults.The other aid workers say some have not smiled in weeks but they are laughing as i do my slight of hand. Today an old man who lost his entire family -16 people- smiled at me and then he asked me to "do the rabbit trick".The Thai woman counselor said they thought they would lose him because he was not responding before this but now he is talking again and eating....They are so sweet and gentle. Many have lost everyone. Brother dead, sisters dead, mother and father dead it is the constant litany. I cry at night but only when alone.A little girl started calling me uncle
-her favorite is the magic coloring book.Did some recovery and some moving of bodies.The Thai counseling people say that the magic tricks are the biggest step the kids have taken towards normalization.I went on a tour of some refugee camps and orphanages doing magic and medical work.Did magic for a group of orpahans at a temple. Then we handed out toothbrushes and did some medical exams.Acupuncture and slight of hand as medicine for PTSD.Treating other aid workers as well.
We also build houses
The men can not work
They can not feed their families
They do not feel alive
Their entire culture is in danger of dying
The government does nothing for the poor family fishermen
They are talking about rebuilding boats but only for the big boat fisheries not the longtails
They need to have their fishing boats rebuilt or repaired.

The Tsunami Fishermens Relief long tail boat project is trying to do exactly that with local people and resident foriegners working together. (They need to raise $35,000 to repair or replace all of the boats of the fishermen who survived, but this is not a fund appeal)
Right now I am putting a lot of my efforts (outside of clinic hours and doing magic shows) into helping with construction of the dry dock. It is mostly just lifting, carrying, and hammering.
This project can give the people the tools to help themselves.

For me last Thursday was particularly emotionaly rough and I am not able to do any more for a bit and am now taking some time for R&R before I return to my Denver family.Said goodbye to all of the kids (lots of grownups too) and did some last slight of hand for themit makes me sad to have left themBack to USA shortlyEvery Thai person i meet (and lots of westerners as well) thanks me the need is so incrediblethe outpouring of help is also incredibleI am honored to have been working with these folks

Doc rosen
Phang Nga Province Thailand

Doc talks of his Katrina relief in 2005:

About Doc (2005)

Doc Rosen is a long time activist, and Movement Medical Trainer. In 1963 he was a local organizer for the March on Washington. He first joined the Medical Committee for Human Rights during the Selma-Montgomery Walk in 1965 where he was part of the first aid team. In 1968 he worked with Dr. King on the Poor Peoples Campaign. As a member of the National Executive Committee of MCHR, Doc was responsible for organizing and training teams of street Medics for hundreds of civil rights and antiwar demonstrations during from the 1960s,till the present day. He trained and helped lead the Medics for the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle and the anti-FTAA demonstrations inQuebec. He was the first medic in Wounded Knee in 1973, (and is still the Medic for the American Indian Movement) and spends part of the year on Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Big Mountain Reservations. He has regularly provided medical assistance for the families of Sun Dancers at Chief Leonard Crow Dogs in Rosebud since 1974and also helped Grandpa Fred Zephier, Celo Black Crow and the Big Mountain Dineh Nation during their Sun Dances. D oc is one of the founders of the Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical AidProject and travels regularly to the Guatemalan Rainforest where he workswith the Indigenous Maya, the survivors of La Impunidad (massacres of over240,000 Maya people). Dr. Rosen teaches the Promotores de Salud Acupuncture, sometimes traveling for days by jeep, mule, and even dug out canoe to reach the villages. Because of his activities he has been threatened repeatedly by the the Death Squads. Throughout the sixties and seventies Sifu Rosen was the Ring Doctor for dozens of Martial Arts Tournaments. Doc has been a student of Chinese Medicine since 1953, and has a practice in Denver CO. and has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is a past president of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado. In 2002 Doc with his son Ari set up and taught Street Medic trainings throughout both Eastern and Western Europe and helped create the European StreetMedics (Prague, Gdansk, London, Manchester, Amsterdam, DenHag, Helsinki, Barcelona, Strasburg, Lisbon, Paris, etc.) In October 2002 he began teaching the European No Borders Barefoot Doctor Program. Doc lives very simply preferring to put all of his resources into his pro-bono and Social Justice work. Dr. Rosen is the proud father of a 21-year-old son Ari, daughter Crystal, and GrandDaughter Roslyn (3months).

Here is something from the O Read DailyDoc Rosen needs your help.Doc is a very experienced and dedicated medic. He was the first ofthe medics at Wounded Knee in 1973 when AIM (American IndianMovement) held off the federal government for 71 days! He is a renowned doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has usedsuccessfully for treating Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome( PTSD) andother trauma related psychological damage. He is also skilled in setting up, training local people and running clinics in remoteregions. For many years he has been involved in doing exactly thatin Guatemala, and Chiapas where the indigenous people have beenunder attack by the state for decades. As a "StreetMedic" andanarchist for 40 years, he has been involved in providing medicalsupport for street confrontations including the Black Panthers,women's Reclaim the Night marches, and the anti-globalizationmobilizations of Seattle and Quebec City.
"I am currently trying to fund raise the cost ofmy trip to help with the Tsunami relief effort as part of a group ofNative American Medical Workers. We will be working directly withthe people affected. Besides treating people for the after effects ofinjuries and the PTSD/CIS that is effecting millions in that region I hopeto be able to set up clinics and a teaching program for a corps of Health Promoters who will be recruited from the local populace and trained tohelp their own people. We are going to Thailand and later i hope to BandehAceh.""Those of you who know me may be asking why I would go where so much mainstream help is already going? or Why focus on this when everyday thousands of children die from the direct effects of poverty andthe wars supported by US policies kill thousands more.""250,000 known dead from the Tsunami. Did you ever wonder why somany of those folks had built on the flood plain? The vast majorityof those killed by the Tsunami were those same people who are alwaysmost at risk, the people economically oppressed by the industrialist/materialist system and displaced by wars.""Most of the relief efforts now under way are tied to or going through the very Governments that have created or at least colludedin creating the conditions that placed these people in the path ofthe Tsunami to begin with."
Doc spends 4 - 5 months a year working pro-bono in the developing world teaching Promotores De Salud (often in conflict zones) and working as a Street Medic and does not have the money for the fare or the supplies himself.
(from 2005)

Commentary, Julienne Xene Cross, Standing together as a Great Nation

A pen conquered us and a pen can wipe us out as a Nation
by Julienne Xene Cross

We, Indigenous People of North America, “Indian Country”, are inherent speakers for our Mother the Earth. We need to come together with one heart and mind to protect the future of our Great Nation.
When the United States drafted the Constitution, the word conquered written gives the U.S. Congress the authority to take our land without being indebt owed to Tribes. Since Europeans set foot on our lands to this date not one contract, treaty, law or promise has been honorably fulfilled with our Nation.
We as a Nation know that it is the habit of the United States to deceive. They are a society of lawbreakers, laws of their own making. The United States Government run by the rich untouchables of the world do not plan for their unborn children as we as Indian people do. It is our daily habit as Indian people to mention our future generations in our ceremonies. We do not send our elderly to nursing homes. We honor our veterans who have served in the defense of our lands for the United States Government at our pow-wows. We should not forget our past and remember our ancestors who died for our survival. We live our lives daily honoring our unsung heroes in the present. We must come together now as one for the future of our Nation.
It is of great importance that we begin to plant seeds now instead of waiting for the bread to be set on the table. Tribes, Bands, Nations, Indigenous Peoples, Indian Country and their relatives need to stop being distracted by the morsels (casinos) that our Governments and the Bureau of Indian Affairs throw at us.
In the United States, senators are giving commencement speeches at Universities talking about alternative fuels. In North Dakota and Montana on the plains are some of the riches fields of grasses for these fuels. Coal is going to begin to be in demand and it is on our lands that they will be harvesting these fuels. Tribes must not sign any more contracts with States.
The Mohawk Nation has been writing about a Super-Highway that George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani have already contracted with the Canada and Mexico. This super-highway will run right down the center of Turtle Island and will be the route of free trade between countries. This highway will run right over many of our lands. These trucks will be carrying our resources for foreign trade. Tribes have an inherent interest to write into their Constitutions their rights to their natural resources, air, water, earth and all of the written and unwritten stories, songs and customs of their on unique heritage, your Cultural property rights. Some Tribes have already done so than it would be good to contact other Tribes by way of moccasin highway or faster yet internet assisting other Tribes with this knowledge. It is time to awaken the sleeping giant that is our Great Nation.
Recently, at 34th The Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth held by Harry Beauchamp Sr. and other tribal members at the Assinibione Reservation of Fort Peck Montana many Nations combining knowledgeable tribal leaders met from all corners of North America. From Greenland where the staff has gone for the next conference in 2008 to the Mayans who brought their two hundred year calendar predicting the 2012 effects of global warming. Many tribes validate the changing of the winds. Testimony on the Assinibione Reservation, mentioned they had never seen their prairies so green.
The Chief Greenland Manu said, “We the Indian people at the top of the world are the only people that could survive in this land. From ancient time, our hunting grounds of tundra and ice have provided for us. Now we rarely see a Knorr whale of a beluga whale. Our trails of ice become soft and dangerous.”
Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation shook my hand as he arrived from Sweden to the meeting in Montana and said “It is worst than we are being told.” Again, the United States and its affiliates are deceiving us. They are predicting a 20-30 year effect of global warming. At the Conference of Indian Elders and Youth with first hand knowledge from Manu, we must consider 10 years or less.
Oren Lyons also mentioned that fifty percent Africa is a Nation of parentless children. Dysfunctional Nations including Middle East and Asia will become dangerous to our Nation once the disease, famine, and children raised in war become adults. This reality to our Nation needs to be an issue and considered seriously today and not when our lives and our children’s children lives are in danger. The world is changing fast and Nature can again as it was before Columbus is our means in survival. We must again blend in with the laws of nature.
Tribes must protect their natural resources and utilize all tribal members from the old to the youth in the retraining of growing and naturally preserving foods provided by our great mother the Earth. Allotted Tribal land should be utilized to grow food uncontaminated by the chemical poisons. The Pueblo people have a method of storing foods for four years taking the latest crops first. Seed stores, wild rice, berries, molasses, nuts etc. etc. etc. By harvesting these natural crops on your lands, they will renew themselves and multiply in the coming years. Part of these crops can be sold to incorporate future financing and finance future growth while bringing our tribal elders and youth together teaching and learning our traditional ways.
Are the Algonquin people aware that white society is trying to hybrid the wild rice of our people? Betty Laverdure of The Turtle mountains Plains Pembina Band that Einstein predicted that when bees no longer existed it would be the end of humankind mentioned it at the Elders Circle. It could be the possibility of the cross sectioning of our natural flowers and possibly the unnatural airwaves from cell phones and satellites. Nevertheless, it would be wise of tribes to begin to harvest honey with the learning and investing in manmade hives on tribal lands. What would be the affects of hybrid wild rice?
The Chief of the Seminole Billy, said that we are drinking purified water made from the urine of the white man when we buy and drink bottled water. Tribes need to begin protecting their water and testing and using their own water resources. All natural tap water sources are tested more than bottled water. It would be wiser to drink and protect our own tap water in the future more vigorously and make it our law.
Tribes need to begin to implement alternative energy sources such as solar and wind energy. These two factors are vital and plans should be made with timelines with completion for important focal points within the tribal system. Tribes must remember you are not a myopic island. What happens to one tribe will begin a domino effect that will affect all of Indian Country.
Trees and clear-cutting must be replaced and replanted this will encourage animal inhabitation and promote the oxygenation for human and animal alike. This system will also offset the effects of global warming.
Tribes that have methods for fuel renewal and recycling should notify other Tribes so that we can be a part of the solution and not part of the problem for each other. There is so much more and many more minds that walk upon our people. This is your calling for your voice I welcome you to send this letter to every available media.
Within the near future a common web source will be developed that all Nations will be encouraged to cooperatively communicate ways and means. Their will be another longest walk for 2008 to Washington D.C., I encourage tribes to send delegates as well as promote the largest and most diverse membership attendance as humanly possible from one end of North America to the next. It will be planned Oct 10, 2007 and a city event schedule will be posted timely. More information can be obtained at E-mail or

Julienne Xene Cross
Lac du Flambeau, W.I. -54538-

E-mail address:
Poster: Longest Walk/

US soldiers ran border cocaine operation

The FBI sting "Operation Lively Green," was shut down, so many soldiers wanted to run cocaine from the border.

UPDATE, July 30, 2007:

Arizona Army National Guard and a former Army recruiter are among the cocaine smugglers.

Soldiers were recruited for cocaine smuggling by Sgt. Robert L. Bakerx, who worked at the National Guard's Valencia Road Armory in Tucson. Bakerx stayed on the job for years with a felony drug record, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Bakerx and dozens of other military personnel were caught between 2002 and 2004 in Operation Lively Green.
The troops smuggled drugs in uniform to avoid detection.
Michael Marizco, Border Reporter:

Doc Rosen, AIM and Wounded Knee brother, passes to Spirit World

My Relations,
I'm sorry to announce that I have received word that an "AIM" and "Wounded Knee 1973" brother, Doc Rosen, from Denver suffered a stroke yesterday and passed to the spirit world today. According to his wishes Doc will be buried alongside Frank Clear Water and Jerry Roy in Grass Mountain on the Rosebud Rez. Monday (tomorrow) July 23rd.
Doc came to Wounded Knee as a medic but before long he took up arms and fought along side us and became a close brother to the warrior society. Since that time he has served the people in many ways including the "Long Walk" in 1978, the "Yellow Thunder Camp" in the Black Hills back in the 1970's, up until his recent trip to Guatemala to help set up health clinic for Mayan people there. This past summer he and his son Ari came to stand with us at Bear Butte even though Doc had just been married a few days before. Wherever he went Doc worked hard to help our people with his healing skills including the Sundance at Crowdog's Paradise where his place in the Circle will be empty for many years to come.
I"m not trying to write an obituary at this time, Docs life will take a few pages, I just want to let the People know that a good warrior has left us this day and allow his many friends and comrades to join us in mourning his loss.

Carter Camp

July 22, 2007

Censored news on the rise

By Brenda Norrell

Thanks to all of you for the information you've sent for this blog. There's currently a tremendous amount of censored and under-reported news, especially on border and American Indian issues.
I've hit the jackpot with incoming e-mails about the Counterpunch "Border Spy Towers," article, especially insulting ones. Thanks to all of you who wrote, especially those people who shared their love of Arivaca and researchers exposing the sham of border environmental assessments.
Scroll down and compare the news to what is in your local newspaper. If an issue is censored or well-covered, please drop me a note:

Free the children in Hutto-Taylor, Texas


The struggle for defending the human rights of the children at "Hutto" is a growing movement that we as activist must continue, until "ALL PRISONS FOR PROFIT ARE CLOSED." GANDHI once said " I HAVE NOTHING NEW TO TEACH THE WORLD. TRUTH AND NON-VIOLLENCE ARE AS OLD AS THE HILLS." The results of any movement is an extraordinary account of all of us as we grow together in a lifelong experience of in our involvements for justice, every incident, every educational and working experience, every human encounter bring forth social change and liberation. We can have a tremendous influence in liberating the immigrant families and children at these prisons for profit if we unite in these movement to free the children at Hutto. I invite all of the people who want to join in our movement, the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice organizing committee to come to "Hutto" this Saturday, July 21, and join our "Freedom Bus" Caravans.

We will be leaving, this Saturday JULY 21, at 10:30 am from our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 1321 El Paso. call: Jaime P. Martinez, 210-842-9339,Claudia Sanchez, 210-355-4050,Tony Mandujano, 210-255-7647, to get on the "Cesar E. Chavez Freedom Bus to Free the Children at Hutto.

In Unity;

Jaime P. Martinez, Founder, Chairperson
"Organizer First Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice"

San Antonio Texas - SI SE PUDO


(USA Today) A cell with a baby bed and children's toys is shown at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas. The detention facility houses immigrant families awaiting deportation. Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement describe the facility as a residential, nonsecure environment that keeps families together. However, advocacy groups say "it's a prison" and that separation and threats of separation were used as disciplinary tools on adults and children.LM Otero, Pool via AP
USA Today: Migrant jails in Texas and Pennsylvania

Mato Paha Spiritual Forum, Rapid City, August 5, 2007

Debra White Plume
Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way
Manderson, SD 57756-0325
605-455-2155 Voice Ph

From Alex White Plume:

All the Lakota holy men will gather, too many years have passed without input or direction for our spirtual leaders. We will obey their decision.
Wopila, Alex White Plume

The Mato Paha Spiritual Forum: Religious Freedom and Human Rights will be held on
Sunday, August 5, 2007 beginning at 1:00pm in the afternoon at the Mother Butler
Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The Forum will gather Traditional Healers (Medicine Men) and Spiritual Leaders
from the Oglala Band, Sicanju Band, Hohwoju Band of the Lakota Nation, and the
Mdewakantonwan Band, and Sissetonwan Band of the Dakota Nation, and Arapahoe and
Cheyenne Nations. The Healers and Leaders will come together to provide ancestral
teachings regarding the spiritual significance of Bear Butte (Mato Paha) to the
Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) in the spiritual and cultural life-way of the

Guest speakers also include Chief Oliver Red Cloud of the Lakota
Nation, Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, noted scholar Henrietta Mann, Cheyenne; and stateswoman Rosalie Little Thunder of the Seventh
Generation Fund and South Dakota Peace and Justice. Reverend Gail Arnold of the SD
Association of Christian Churches and John Sprague of the Christian Peacemaker Team
will speak as well regarding Human Rights and Religious Freedom.

The Mato Paha Forum is the first time in decades that Traditional
Healers (Medicine Men) from across many Tribal Nations have come together in
one forum to speak to the people regarding sacred places and the traditional Lakota
way of life, as well as sharing the Forum with the Christian Churches from the
region, and from a global organization such as the Christian Peacemaker Team.
Organizers of the Forum have scheduled this event to provide awareness to the
general public in light of the increasing controversy over development related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that is occurring near Bear Butte.

The Guest Speakers are each well-known in the Human Rights and Freedom
of Religion arena, from their work in their own Tribal Nation communities
to organizations with a global view and impact.

The Mato Paha Forum is open to all, and all people from all walks of
life are welcome to attend. There will be Lakota Drum Groups and Singers present
and an evening meal is offered to all participants.

The Mato Paha Forum is sponsored by Bring Back the Way, the Black Hills
Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Horse Owner’s Society, and the Seventh
Generation Fund.

For more information please call Debra White Plume 605-455-2155.

July 20, 2007

'Hands across el Rio' border wall protest

Here's the official itinerary for Hands Across el Rio -- a 1250 mile, 17 day protest against the border wall:

Yesterday, we received the commitment of El Paso to support our project with a press conference on August 25th and a send off on August 26th. Folks in the Big Bend region want to support the Presidio-Ojinaga event on August 28th. Both Mayors of Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña are pledged to support the event 31st. Mayor Chad Foster of Eagle Pass is in touch with the Alcalde of Piedras Negras to receive us on September 1st.

Mexican Congresswoman, Maria Dolores Gonzales-Mendivil will lead the coordination of Los Dos Laredos Hands Across el Rio on September 2nd. She is also coordinating support to the four Mexican neighboring states of Texas, the alcaldes along el Rio Bravo (mayors on the Mexican side) and Mexican consuls. We're lining up similar commitments from Roma-Miguel Aleman, Rio Grande City-Camargo, Los Ebanos-Diaz Ordaz, McAllen/Hidalgo-Reynosa on down to Brownsville-Matamoros on September 8th. We will finish our journey at the mouth of the Rio Grande at Boca Chica on Sunday, September 9th.

LULAC National, Rosa Rosales, President and Jaime Martinez, Treasurer, have committed their support of Hand Across el Rio. The same is true of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. We anticipate the support of many other organizations and coalitions, from environmental, cultural, economic, political, faith based and tourism

With the exception of El Paso y Juarez...we will launch kayaks and canoes upriver from each principal international pedestrian bridge. Any one who wants to join our flotillas for any portion or any day of this historical event is welcome to do so. Kayaks, canoes, inner-tubes. We will paddle down river to each international bridge respectively and meet up with fellow grass roots citizens from both sides of our Rio who are opposed to the wall. As we experienced in Roma and Miguel Aleman this past weekend...we will be inviting the grass roots folks from both sides of el form a human chain in symbol of our border solidarity and amistad.

As Mayor Chad Foster says..."We're joined at the hip". That’s something that folks like Lou Dobbs and members of Congress who have never lived inside the checkpoints do not understand. Our Congressmen and Texas legislators from the border region have spoken out against the border wall. The Texas Border Coalition of our border mayors, judges and economic experts have all spoken in our solidarity...against the wall. Our border sheriffs have spoken out against the wall. No one in Washington is listening to them. Now...we the people of the Rio Grand Corridor...from both sides of el Rio...must make our voices heard. "NO Border Wall...!" "Hell NO!!!

We can tell the Congress and the national media all day long that we who live on the border live in friendship with our neighbors on the other side of el Rio. We can tell them that we don't want to be in a militarized zone...on American in Texas. Now...we will show them why we don’t need one. We get along just fine!

En amistad and solidarity…



Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr

Border protests in Texas
Email from Jay Johnson-Castro

A smashing success...!!!
On Saturday (July 14)...two significant protests against the wall were held. Thought I'd give a brief summary on both.
On Saturday morning, Betty Perez and company...or the Lower Rio Grande Valley area...coordinated a flotilla of kayaks and canoes. Betty was the coordinator of this event...which was hosted by "noborderwalls"...a group of environmentally savvy folks ( ). To my knowledge...this is the most cohesive group on the US-Mexico border so far. It includes some caliber minds from around the Valley who are using their creative juices to collectively oppose the wall.
We launched up river from Roma in a secluded village along the banks of the Rio Grande called Fronton. Media was converged in ample numbers...including AP, Reuters, San Antonio Express News, Univision, local CBS and a diverse group of local journalists.
We floated down to the historic suspension bridge that connects Roma and Miguel Aleman. The Miguel Aleman Mayor joined the flotilla. His family was on the bank downriver as we paddled by. When we got to the suspension bridge...there was a rally, press conference...and then...a "Hands Across the River". A human chain that virtually stretched across the international bridge.
In the evening, we attended a protest in Brownsville. I was coordinated and hosted by a group called CASA, under the direction of Elizabeth Garcia. Again, the media was plentiful. After a rally, there was another human chain...which felt more symbolically a human wall along the banks of Rio opposition to the border wall. After the chain...there was a march from the park through downtown to the campus of the University of Texas Brownsville (see photos at Unidos Contra El Muro).
In both cases, elected officials showed up in support. The diversity of participants reflected those of us who reside on the border. There was no lack of color, size, age, religious affiliation. There was not lack of opposition to the wall. Lots of interviews were taken. Lots of pictures and video. Lots of sound bites...of diversified feelings about the wall. Mission accomplished!
This took the collaboration, coordination and willingness on the part of many folks...who may not have been heard or had their quotes or pics in the paper and on TV. Hopefully you can feel the reward of seeing the fruits of their labor. We're grateful to you...

Guantanamo hunger strikers defiant despite forced feedings

Guantanamo hunger strikers defiant, despite force feedings
By BEN FOX, Associated Press Writer

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - Twice a day at the U.S. military prison here, Abdul Rahman Shalabi and Zaid Salim Zuhair Ahmed are strapped down in padded restraint chairs and flexible yellow tubes are inserted through their noses and throats. Milky nutritional supplements, mixed with water and olive oil to add calories and ease constipation, pour into their stomachs.

Algonquin Defenders: Uranium, cancer and poisoned water

Canada: Sharbot Lake Rejects Offer

In Sharbot Lake within the past couple of months a small number of the Algonquins from the Ardoch First Nation repatriated their unceded traditional lands, still currently used by Natives and Non-Natives for hunting and fishing.

In the same area in Northern Ontario , a corporation called FRONTENAC VENTURES has been "testing" the area for "possible" uranium mining for a few years. The area they repatriated is currently under negotiations with CANADA . However these negotiations are "on hold" by CANADA . Yet FRONTENAC still has a license to carry on with their "testing".

Yesterday Frontenac Ventures made a financial offer to the Algonquins of Ardoch First Nation. This financial offer was flat out rejected by the Algonquins. No amount of money can ever compensate them for the likelihood of death, cancer, mutated births, still births, sterilization and other health risks that will arise as a direct result of uranium mining.

The health risks are too great for our future generations. The environmental damage will be substantial and unstoppable. Why take the risk with any of our children? The responsibility of our people is to maintain life for our future generations. That's all aspects of life. The plant life, animal life and human life. We are born with a responsibility to protect life, no matter what the cost is to us.

The Algonquins need our support as they are undertaking a HUGE responsibility. They are fighting to protect practically the whole watershed of Northeastern Ontario.
Everyone connected to that watershed will benefit, when the Algonquins are successful.

When asked about the financial offer one Algonquin stated, "...we can not be bought. (the land repatriation is) Not about money..."

Janie Jamieson

[To help contact:
Chief Paula Sherman 613-279-1970
Bob Lovelace at 613-374-5598, Cell 613-532-2166;
Harold Perry 613-479-5534;
Lynn Daniluk 613-268-2746 Cell 614-267-0539;
Ormond Lee of the settler committee 613-267-7584

Post by MNN Mohawk Nation News,
July 20, 2007.

Toxic trailers and smallpox blankets

News links at today : FEMA trailers contaminated

US government knew FEMA trailers were toxic:

Toxic Trailers and Smallpox Blankets

Lakota Spiritual Leader, David Swallow, Speaks Out on Dangerous Conditions
by David Swallow, Lakota Spiritual Leader and a Headman of the Lakota Nation, Edited by Stephanie M. Schwartz and "Deja Vue, Indeed: The Evolving Story of FEMA’s Toxic Trailers," by Stephanie M. Schwartz, Freelance Writer - Member, Native American Journalists Association (NAJA)

Toxic Trailers and Smallpox Blankets
by David Swallow, Lakota Spiritual Leader and a Headman of the Lakota Nation
Edited by Stephanie M. Schwartz
© July 16, 2007 Porcupine, South Dakota

My name is David Swallow. I live near the community of Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I want to speak today. I want to speak out against ethnic cleansing, genocide, and extermination in these modern days.

Today, due to the terrible economic situation on the Pine Ridge Reservation, everyone knows that many poor people need housing. Horrible poverty is everywhere here. Reports say unemployment on Pine Ridge is around 85% or worse.

Many of my people are sick. I am told that the life expectancy here on Pine Ridge is between 48-52 years old. By this, I am one who has already lived past when they thought I would die.

There are some people who live good lives. BIA workers and Federal and State Government workers don’t live on the Reservation. They have jobs and live in nice housing in towns in Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Others live good lives, too. Tribal Council members have jobs so they can afford decent housing. They live good.

But all these people are working together to bring toxic, contaminated FEMA trailers left over from Hurricane Katrina to the poorest people of Pine Ridge. They will be creating an ethnic cleansing like in the 1800s when the Government sent blankets to the reservations which had smallpox infection in them.

This new trailer housing creates disease. That is why the Government gives them away to Indians. The Government wants the oil, uranium, and rich minerals that might be on our land but the Indians are in the way of this.

That is the same reason the BIA and the Tribal Council started up the Land Consolidation Act of 2000, to buy up all the Reservation land. With no jobs, little food, and much homelessness, they put us in a position where we have to sell our land.

Now they’re trying to bring in trailer houses infested with toxic chemicals. These chemicals get into the air and make people very sick, especially the children, elders, mothers, and people already with health problems. The contamination causes cancer, heart diseases, lung diseases, rashes, mental problems, breathing problems, many horrible things.

If these trailers are such good housing, why doesn’t the mainstream people want to buy them? Why did their own inspectors warn them about the danger from the high levels of the chemicals? Why are the people already living in them suing the trailer makers and FEMA because of getting sick from the toxic poisons? Why will no one listen when many major mainstream news reports have talked about these FEMA trailers being toxic?

Every time we deal with the Government, they give us a deal like this. This is no good way.

I want to say, we are not “Indians.” We are Lakota. And we Traditional Lakota carry the Red Nation C’anunpa [Sacred Pipe] in Truth. Who walked this land first? The Red Man did. And he should be dealt with in a good way.

We need jobs, not charity. We don’t need contaminated hand-outs. We need lots and lots of jobs. We need good economic-development projects and programs on the Reservation. If we had jobs, we could build our own homes. With jobs, we would be able to solve many of our problems.

If anyone really cares about conditions on the Reservation, they should look to these things. They should not try to kill us with poisoned homes.

So this is what I have to say today. Ho h’ecetu yelo, I have spoken.

David Swallow, Wowitan Yuha Mani
Porcupine, South Dakota – The Pine Ridge Reservation

Deja vue, Indeed: The Evolving Story of FEMA’s Toxic Trailers

by Stephanie M. Schwartz, Freelance Writer - Member, Native American Journalists Association (NAJA)

© July 16, 2007 Firestone, Colorado Stephanie M. Schwartz

In June of 2007, Senator Tim Johnson, FEMA, Congress, and the BIA arranged for 2,000 FEMA trailers to be made available to the Native American reservations in dire need of housing. These trailers are part of the 8,000+ excess, unused FEMA trailers constructed for the victims of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Exactly which American Indian reservations and how many units each reservation will get remains yet to be decided.

The tribes will be required to pay transportation costs as well as the costs to prepare the lots, set the trailers up, and to winterize them. However, clearly this appeared to be a significant help towards the critical need of about
90,000 American Indian families in critical in need of adequate housing (as detailed in a 2003 study by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights).

According to public statements, Senator Johnson specifically envisioned many of these trailers going to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a place whose poverty-stricken conditions are likened to third world countries. The Senator and the BIA have been working closely with John Steele, Paul Iron Cloud, and the Tribal Council from Pine Ridge to make it all happen.

It seemed a surprisingly ideal solution, one which many people applauded at first as a huge humanitarian and logical move by the Federal Government. Ideal, that is, until one starts to investigate the history of these mobile homes and learns of an astonishing toxicity issue with the vast majority of the units.

Said to be fully-furnished, three bedroom units, these trailers were built during a construction frenzy created by FEMA's unprepared but immediate need to house Hurricane Katrina survivors. A report from the Sun Herald News in Mississippi in May of 2006 details the picture of this manufacturing frenzy.... untrained workers, a dearth of suitable materials, using materials possibly made outside the U.S. which contained higher levels of chemicals than normally allowed, and low quality control on hastily-created assembly lines.

Chemicals… therein lies the problem. The Government's public announcements about these trailers fail to mention the history of toxic contamination from formaldehyde which has been proven to exist in the FEMA trailers and mobile homes constructed for the victims of Katrina.

Formaldehyde is a chemical which emits gasses which the EPA considers to be highly toxic and carcinogenic (known to cause lung, nose, and throat cancer) but which is not regulated for trailer manufacturing in this country. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, exposure to formaldehyde toxins can create irritated eyes, breathing problems, headaches, asthma attacks, coughing, congestive heart disease, nausea, depression, memory-impairment, skin rashes, respiratory problems and even can lead to cancer. To compound the problem, high temperatures or high humidity increase the toxin levels.

Worse, for people who already are compromised with respiratory health issues, and for infants, children, nursing mothers, and elders, exposure can prove disastrous and even more deadly.

Formaldehyde is used in cheap building materials like particle board, plywood, curtains, molded plastics, counter tops, glue, carpet, insulation, and wallpaper. While normal trailers and mobile homes also contain these toxins, the FEMA trailers and mobile homes, hurriedly built as bare-bones cheap models, seem to contain significantly higher concentrations.

In 2006, the Sierra Club tested FEMA trailers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and found 83-94% of them to contain formaldehyde levels far above EPA and OSHA recommended workplace limits of 0.10 parts per million. Other testing has shown comparable results. Varying reports state that the gas levels emitted by the formaldehyde in the contaminated trailers ranged from 3 to 1,000 times the acceptable EPA limits.

Originally, FEMA's response to hundreds of complaints from Katrina victims was that the toxic vapors go away with adequate ventilation after about six months. However, continued testing has proven that not to be the case.

Additionally, according to a report given by journalist Dan Rather on HD-TV, information has come to light that FEMA was informed of the high toxicity by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) just two months after Katrina hit, in October 2005, but chose to ignore the information. Testing to ensure employee safety, OSHA found new units in four county FEMA staging areas to have toxicity levels 20 times above government standards just in the air outside the trailers.

Dan Rather further related his interview with a former FEMA employee who clearly indicated that not only was FEMA aware of the toxic problems but chose to ignore them. Moreover, the employee stated that FEMA advised their employees to remain silent about the test results.

In March of 2007, the Washington Post News reported FEMA's woes in trying to sell their excess trailers and mobile homes. Selling the units at 40 cents on the dollar seemed like simple poor financial management on the part of FEMA in this report.

However, in light of the contamination issues, it may have turned out to be the best financial move FEMA could have made.

In May, 2007, both ABC News and CBS News reported that Louisiana Dem. Senator Mary Landrieu and Louisiana Rep. Congressman Bobby Jindal have each independently called for hearings to address the FEMA trailer toxicity issues and FEMA's poor response as well as to what it knew, how much it knew, and when.

In June, 2007, the Louisiana Advocate News reported that a class-action lawsuit had been filed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Federal Court which claims that "hundreds of thousands" of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama may have been exposed to dangerously high concentrations of carcinogenic formaldehyde fumes with no recourse or viable solution provided by FEMA.

According to a report in the Washington Post on July 13, 2007, Desiree Collins of Louisiana filed the original lawsuit regarding the contamination of the FEMA trailers. She allowed her lawsuit to become a class-action lawsuit for all Katrina survivors who are victims of the toxic exposure. On July 2, 2007, the 47 year old wife and mother died of lung cancer which was diagnosed only a week before she died. Her husband and children will continue the court case.

Obviously, it seems tragic enough that well over 75-85,000 families, victims of Hurricane Katrina, still have to remain trapped into living in their FEMA units two years after the fact, a home most likely contaminated and dangerous. That, in itself, defies anyone's definition of humanitarian aid.

Yet since June of 2007, with South Dakota Dem. Senator Tim Johnson leading Congress into approval, tribal councils are working hand in hand with the Federal BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) to bring 2,000 of these very same trailers to the reservations of South Dakota as well as to other reservations. Again, all under the guise of humanitarian aid.

Deja vue, indeed. We have been here before. The seeming-correlation of the distribution of toxic trailers to the reservations in 2007 and the government dispersing smallpox-infested blankets to the reservations in the 1800s is not so far-fetched at all. It just leaves one wondering…..

For More Information:

Website: Toxic Trailers
Informational Website Resource Dedicated to Katrina Victims Forced to Live in Contaminated Trailers

U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services: ATSDR, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:
Medical Management guidelines for Formaldehyde (HCHO)

Dan Rather Reports: 2007 Episode 216: Toxic Trailers

ABC News: Congressman Wants FEMA Trailers Hearings

CBS News: Congress Acts on FEMA Trailer Probe

KRISTV: Corpus Christi, Texas: FEMA Trailer Plaintiff Dies of Lung Cancer

KXMB News: Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota: FEMA Trailers Headed to Reservations

Native American Times: Tulsa, Oklahoma: FEMA’s Potentially Toxic Trailers Headed for Indian Reservations

Rapid City Journal: Rapid City, South Dakota: Unused FEMA Trailers Headed to Reservations Nationwide

Sierra Club: Mardi Gras Celebrations Overshadowed by Toxic Trailers

Sierra Club: Delta Louisiana Chapter:
Testing by Sierra Club Shows Abnormal Levels of Formaldehyde in FEMA Trailers

Sierra Club: Mississippi Chapter: Fact Sheet: Toxic Trailers?

The Advocate and WBRZ News: Baton Rouge, Louisiana: New Orleans Woman Suing Mobile Home Vendor

The Anniston Star: Anniston, Alabama: The Alabama Legacy of Hurricane Katrina

The Sun Herald: Gulfport, Mississippi: Toxic Trailers

Washington Post: Washington D.C.: FEMA Taking Hit on Sale of Surplus Trailers

Washington Post: Washington D.C.: FEMA Trailer Plaintiff Dies of Cancer

Stephanie M. Schwartz can be reached at
To view this and other Schwartz articles, visit

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