By Brenda Norrell
© Censored News
Photo: Mike Wilson with humanitarian water tanks on Tohono O'odham Nation. Photo by Brenda Norrell.
ARIZONA -- Mike Wilson, Tohono O'odham who puts out water for migrants on Tohono O'odham land as humanitarian aid, responded to an e-mail threat of poisoned water.
The anonymous e-mail said, "F you. I hope some real Americans will step up and put poison in the water. I hope you are the first to drink."
The e-mail threat, on Aug. 29, was sent in response to the article, "Tohono O'odham Nation surrendered its will to the Border Patrol." http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2010/03/mike-wilson-tohono-oodham-nation.html
Wilson said, "I'm not surprised by the threat, it is certainly expected and no one is immune. Humane Borders has received these threats for the last ten years, including the writing of 'veneno' (poison) on the sides of its water barrels in the desert.
"The subject government of the Tohono O'odham Nation, its elected leaders and its Imperial master, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, continue to deny and denigrate hundreds of migrant deaths in Indian Country. The B.I.A. is complicit in the decade long (2000-2010) humanitarian crisis on O'odham land. Continuing a legacy of selective neglect of American Indians, the B.I.A. feigns ignorance and silence when it comes to Latino and Indigenous People dying by hyperthermia and dehydration on the Tohono O'odham Reservation.
"This calculated silence by the B.I.A. in Washington, D.C. and in Sells (capital of the Tohono O'odham Nation) is an attempt to inoculate itself against the charge of willful complicity and to wash migrant blood from its hands.
"According to the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office, of 58 migrant deaths in the month of July, 44 were on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. This B.I.A. policy of silence is a self-fulfilling prophesy in the making, in that it achieves its own intended purpose of plausible denial. This deafening B.I.A. silence now assumes the legal consent and approval of migrant deaths on Tohono O'odham tribal land by the Tohono O'odham Nation, BIA, the Department of Interior and the Federal Government of the United States. Blood runs deep.
"Brady McComb's SPECIAL REPORT: DECADE OF DEATH was published in the Arizona Daily Star (Sunday, August 22, 2010). Also, author and reporter Margaret Regan's story, D.O.A., came out in the Tucson Weekly last Thursday, August 26, 2010.
"Both compelling stories are moral indictments against the Government and elected leadership of the Tohono O'odham Nation. The Tohono O'odham Nation continues its futile defensive strategy of presumed isolation and insulation.
"However, as both stories clearly demonstrate, tribal Chairman Ned Norris, Jr., Legislative Council Chairman Verlon Jose and Baboquivari District Council Chairwoman Veronica Harvey cannot insulate themselves against the stretch and scope of a free press.
"No amount of spin from the Tohono O'odham Nation's hired PR firm in Phoenix can protect the Tohono O'odham Nation from its culpability for Latino and Indigenous migrant deaths.
"Neither can the elected tribal leadership insulate itself against the putrid stench of another hundred decomposing migrant bodies on O'odham lands. The Government of the Tohono O'odham Nation needs to purchase Biological Hazard suits for when its leaders leave the reservation, if they can't smell the stench on themselves, others can."
August 30, 2010
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