Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 19, 2007

Spy towers, fear mongering and profiteering at the border

By Brenda Norrell

The National Radio Project's current program, "Investing in Insecurity along US Borders," includes interviews with residents of Arivaca, Arizona. It is now available online.
The Arivaca spy tower, erected by Boeing with its subcontractor Elbit Systems, the Israeli defense contractor, has no view of the US/Mexico border. But it does have a view of the homes of Arivaca residents.
Arivaca residents, protesting the invasion of their privacy by the spy tower, have had picnics around the spy tower and flown kites around the tower, which is equipped with cameras, radar and sensors.
At least one US spy tower is already erected on Tohono O'odham land, with more slated, according to the Secure Border Initiative. Border Patrol agents will have laptops for easy viewing and tracking of residents. O'odham living along the border interviewed by the Censored Blog said they were never told of the federal spy towers on their lands.
Listen to the National Radio Project's program:
"Investing in Insecurity Along U.S. Borders," December 19, 2007: "In 2006, the Bush Administration’s Secure Border Initiative outsourced the surveillance of all U.S. land borders to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. We will visit the Boeing security site in Arizona and we’ll talk to 'No One is Illegal' organizer, Harjap Grewal."
Along with the Congressmen, the show features Arivacans: C. Hues, 73 year old artist, Alex Hues, 50 year old pilot and Andrea Morondos and John Warren, grocers.

High tech border spy tower fiasco accepted, Boeing gets $64 million more:
"Amid a strong warning from Congress, the Homeland Security Department last week conditionally accepted delivery of the first phase of a controversial electronic border fence from contractor Boeing Co., and awarded the company a $64 million contract to build the next phase."

Photos by Brenda Norrell/1. Arivaca spy tower 2. US spy tower on Tohono O'odham land at San Miguel, next to the "cage," migrant jail.

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