August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Censored Blog Exclusive: US Spy tower maps Tohono O'odham tribal land

Above: Spy tower in 2007, south of Sells, on Tohono O'odham Nation.
Update: In 2021, Israel's Elbit Systems has constructed spy towers, integrated fixed towers, on the Tohono O'odham Nation, which allows the U.S. Border Patrol to stalk the most vulnerable O'odham by way of the spy towers and agents' laptops. The US contract was issued during the Obama administration and the Tohono O'odham Nation government approved the current spy towers by Israel's Elbit Systems. Elbit is protested globally for human rights abuses with drones, in prisons and conducting surveillance for Israel in Palestine.

By Brenda Norrell 
September 2007

The maps of federal spy towers on the Tohono O'odham tribal land are now online for Censored Blog readers. (The links are below.) These maps, from the Secure Border Initiative Project 28, should be public, and not secret documents.

However, very few, if any, Tohono O'odham tribal members can find these maps. Few people have been able to locate the so-called environmental impact statements related to the proposed border wall and spy towers.

Censored Blog found these maps at the Arivaca library. Images sent from the nine spy tower cameras along the Arizona/Mexico border, including those on Tohono O'odham tribal land, will be viewed by agents at two monitoring stations.

One will be on Tohono O'odham land and the other in Tucson. Both tribal police and federal agents will have access to spy camera images, including images from residents' homes. O'odham residents are alarmed that tribal police could use these images to carry out personal or political vendettas.

Away from tribal land, in the community of Arivaca, residents are planning a lawsuit over privacy issues. Boeing says the spy towers are not functioning. However, Boeing has already dug up the graves of O'odham ancestors, Hohokam, for the border barrier in Arizona. Further, construction began on the Sasabe border wall in September, without public comment concerning tribal cultural areas from the Tohono O'odham Nation or wildlife impact from the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge.

Map of spy towers on Tohono O'odham land (please double click on maps to enlarge) in 2007:

Update: Follow Censored News coverage of the spy towers later constructed on the Tohono O'odham Nation by Israel's Elbit Systems.

1 comment:

Air Jordans said...

Thanks for adding the new information, as well as your analysis. This is why your blog is one of the few I read that I also ever bother to comment on. I don't do it to hear myself talk - I do it because I know you actually listen.