Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 24, 2009

Indigenous Alliance without Borders: March to challenge Sheriff Arpaio

Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras Statement of Support For the National Human Rights March To Challenge Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Saturday, February 28th
Phoenix, Arizona

By Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras
Photo by Brenda Norrell/Arpaio protest in Tucson 2008

The Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras joins and stands strongly in support of all the people and organizers of the National Human Rights March to challenge the Human Rights abuses of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We believe that the militarization and border enforcement policies that have been inflicted upon the territories of our eight Nations of Indigenous Peoples divided by the US-Mexico border have helped nurture virulent racist nativism in America, and politicians have used immigration as a wedge issue that has degraded respect for the civil and human rights of us all.
The actions of Sheriff Arpaio extend the militarization of the border to the entirety of the metropolis of Maricopa County, where the Sheriff's Posse acts as an "uber police" force, overriding jurisdictions of civil government and community control. We understand that the 287(g) Agreement now in place with the Sheriff of Maricopa County and the federal government has been implemented in violation of the constitutional right of Equal Protection and with blatant discriminatory enforcement tactics by Sheriff Arpaio, and therefore demand that the 287(g) Agreement be cancelled immediately.
We join voices as well with members of the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives to call for federal investigation on the systematic practices and procedures of discriminatory enforcement that Sheriff Arpaio has implemented throughout Maricopa County, and that such violations be addressed in the appropriate judicial venues and courts of both civil and human rights. To this end, we call to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya of the University of Arizona, to take into account these procedures of federal investigation now under way, and articulate effective measures to address the international regional and historical context of the issue as part of a pattern of systemic human rights violations driven by transnational government economic policies in North America, in reference to the regime of NAFTA.

Stop Arpaio!
The actions of Sheriff Arpaio and his posse have declared open season and war on all People of Color, including documented and undocumented immigrants, and U.S. Citizens. Public safety and public health have suffered as a result. This situation must brought to an end immediately.
We call upon the Maricopa County Government, citizens and politicians to stop the perpetrators of hate and fear that use anti-immigration legislation and border enforcement policies as a tool to discriminate against People of Color and terrorize our communities! Sheriff Joe Arpaio must be stopped! His racist acts deserve Public Condemnation because they polarize Race Relations in Arizona and undermine the stability and integrity of our regional economy in the state.
Indigenous Peoples and the Border
Across the borderlands, anti-immigrant issues have also profoundly affected Indigenous Peoples. The cultural and religious ties between our Indigenous Nations and communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border precede the imposition of the international boundary between the two countries by millennia. These ties present a cultural mandate that must continue and will continue in spite of the great difficulties of today's political climate and economic realities.
The vast majority of immigrants without documents coming to the US are Indigenous Peoples of the Abya Yala [the Americas] from Mexico, Guatemala and other South American countries. Indigenous people living on or near the border from Texas to California and from Coahuila to Baja California, are harassed, subjected to high-speed chases, abuse of state authority, and suffer daily violations of human and civil rights with impunity.
Southern Indigenous border issues are neglected or ignored by politicians and by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Indigenous sovereignty and rights of self-determination are continuously violated by restrictive and discriminatory border crossing enforcement policies.
Southern Indigenous Border Rights and Justice should be dealt with as a viable border enforcement issue in order to ensure policy change that will respect indigenous rights of mobility and passage, preservation of language and cultural rights and indigenous family's unification.
The Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras, founded in 1997, was created by and for Indigenous Peoples to address border issues of the southern US border with Mexico. The Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras consists of individual tribal members from the eight southern border indigenous nations with relatives in Mexico. We seek to increase public awareness regionally and nationally on how anti-immigrant legislation and border enforcement policies daily affect the lives of Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous Rights and Immigrant Rights are HUMAN RIGHTS!

A Nation that is governed based on the Rule of Law Must Respect Human Rights!
! Human Rights do not need Documents !
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13th, 2007
Article 36
1. Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.
2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.

Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras
Contact: Jose R. Matus, Project Director Tel: (520) 979-2125
P.O. Box 826 Tucson, AZ 85702

Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras: Statement of Support - National Human Rights March
Sat February 28

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