August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

US lies to UN Human Rights Council about spying, torture and imprisonment of migrant children

In a long-winded cover-up with PR spin, the US lied, and concealed the facts, of US spying, torture, imprisonment of migrant children, and violations in Indian country, during its human rights review by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
The United States lied about spying, torture and the imprisonment of migrant children, before the UN Human Rights Council during a review of the US human rights record on Monday in Geneva.
The US delegation said that US spying has not been used to suppress dissent or for unfair business advantage. However, the US government has used spying to stalk and entrap activists, spy on the media, and imprison whistleblowers. Further, the US government has used the NSA spying for insider knowledge for business and trade.
Photo: Migrant children in holding cell in Brownsville, Texas.
During the Universal Periodic Review, the US delegation concealed the facts of the imprisonment of migrant children, the murder of women and children during drone assassinations, and the truth about US torture and renditions.
Chad's representative Awada Angui told the UN Human Rights Council, "Chad considers the United States of America to be a country of freedom, but recent events targeting black sectors of society have tarnished its image.”
The US concealed its prisons for profit empire, which has resulted in the imprisonment of migrants, blacks, American Indians and Chicanos for corporate profit. The US did not mention its political prisoners.
The US did not provide the facts of the murder of migrants by US Border Patrol agents, or of the rape and abuse carried out by US Border Patrol agents. The US delegation did not reveal that hundreds of US Border Patrol and ICE agents have been convicted for drug smuggling and serving as “spotters” for the drug cartels to bring their load across the Mexican border. Tohono O'odham and other Indigenous Peoples living along the border are the victims of violence carried out by the US Border Patrol agents and drug cartels.
During its responses, the US attempted to cover up the widespread rape within the US military and the extensive homelessness and failed medical services for veterans in the US.
The majority of the predominantly docile UN Human Rights Council representatives seemed to believe the US public relations spin asserting that all problems in Indian country have been solved. The US did not reveal that coal mining, power plants and uranium mining are poisoning Native American communities. The US did not reveal that Navajos and Pueblos in the Southwest live in a cancer alley created by uranium mines, and dirty coal-fired power plants.
The US concealed its ongoing theft of Native American water rights throughout the west. This comes as many Navajos have to haul their water, and Pueblos, Tohono O'odham and others are left with water polluted and depleted by mining and industry.
The US did not reveal that it had carried out a systematic regime of spying on the American Indian Movement, Black Panthers and Chicano movements, by way of COINTELPRO, and that entrapment and provocateurs were used to silence and imprison activists in the US.
The US did not reveal the systematic abuse of Native American children in boarding schools, or the generations of kidnapping, torture and murder in US government boarding schools. The theft of Native American children continues today by social services and the sexual abuse continues in boarding schools and foster homes.
The Federation of Russia, Pakistan, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Korea, Ecuador and Mexico representatives gave passionate recommendations to the United States.
Pakistan urged the prosecution of CIA agents responsible for torture. Cuba also pressed for prosecution of those responsible for torture. Cuba also pressed for programs to reduce poverty in the US affecting 48 million people. Ecuador called for the prosecution of those responsible for torture and the use of drones for killing. Democratic Republic of Korea pressed for an end to racial discrimination and torture. Egypt called for an end to discrimination of Middle Easterners at airports.
Mexico pointed out the murder of its citizens by border immigration agents and the need for reparations. The Russian Federation quickly stated a long list of concerns and recommendations, including police arbitrary procedures, need to close Guantanamo, need to halt extrajudicial killings including drones, cruel treatment of adoptive children, and the racial profiling of Indigenous.
China pointed out the racial discrimination, spying, torture and abuse of blacks and Indigenous by the United States government.
During the review, the UN Human Rights Council representatives expressed the most concern over the murder of unarmed black men by police in the United States. The elimination of racial discrimination in the US was among the top concerns, along with elimination of the death penalty. The treatment of women in the US, and the need for access to abortion for rape victims were also concerns.
Keith Harper, member of the Cherokee Nation and US representative to the Human Rights Council, opened the address of the US delegation to the UN Human Rights Council. Although Harper offered assurances of new efforts to protect Native American rights, Bolivia pressed for implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
While US officials attempted to cover up its extensive spy network of its citizens, Brazil and Kenya were among those voicing concern over the extent of U.S. surveillance and the National Security Agency.
David Bitkower, a deputy assistant attorney general, responded that "U.S. intelligence collection programs and activities are subject to stringent and multilayered oversight mechanisms." He added that the country doesn't collect intelligence to suppress dissents or to give U.S. businesses a competitive advantage, and that there is "extensive and effective oversight to prevent abuse."
However, the US pattern of stalking human rights and environmental activists, the imprisonment of whistleblowers, and spying on news media e-mails have a chilling effect on free speech in the US.
Even Native Americans have been lured into the US massive spy network, as evidenced by the multi-million dollar US contract for domestic and international spying to Ho Chunk, Inc., in Nebraska, owner of the American Indian news
The US delegation concealed the fact that the imprisonment of whistleblowers and assassinations by drones have accelerated during the Obama administration.
During the review on Monday, the United States was not held accountable for arming the drug war in Mexico by providing drug cartels with assault weapons. The ATF’s Project Gunrunner, Operation Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious have armed the drug cartels in Mexico since 2005, beginning on the Texas border and continuing on the Arizona border, according to US Dept. of Justice documents.
Further, the US delegation concealed the fact US Homeland Security gave the US border surveillance contract to Israel’s Apartheid security contractor Elbit Systems, responsible for the security surrounding Palestine. Currently Elbit holds the contract to construct US spy towers on the Arizona border, including those on the sovereign Tohono O’odham Nation.
The most egregious cover-ups by the US delegation were the fantasy claims by the US delegation regarding the fairy tale array of services for migrant children. Migrant children have been imprisoned in large numbers, in violation of international law.
The US fantasy claims included the denial of torture, and assurances that all inmates in Guantanamo had access to fair trials. While one member of the US delegation asserted that the US had gone too far in its torture program, and steps had been taken to halt it, another member of the US delegation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff assured the Human Rights Council that inmates at Guantanamo were treated in accordance with domestic and international law.

The session was broadcast live on the web, making possible this coverage.
For permission to repost or publish this article:

Navajos DINE' CARE: Lawsuit to stop fracking in Chaco

Groups Seek to Stop Unstudied Chaco Fracking
Motion Filed to Halt Drilling Approvals as Feds Turn Back on Health and Environment

By Sarah Jane White, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment,
Colleen Cooley, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment,
Kyle Tisdel, Western Environmental Law Center,
Mike Eisenfeld, San Juan Citizens Alliance,
Samantha Ruscavage-Barz, WildEarth Guardians,
Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians,
Kate Kiely, Natural Resources Defense Council,
English/French: French translation below by Christine Prat

SANTA FE, NM — Moving to defend culture, climate, and communities, a coalition today moved to put a stop to new fracking approvals in the Greater Chaco Region of northwestern New Mexico.

Citing threats to public health, clean air and water, and Navajo communities in the region, the coalition called on a federal judge to issue an injunction on oil and gas development in the Greater Chaco region in light of the Bureau of Land Management’s illegal approval of hundreds of drilling permits.

"We need to put a stop to fracking in the Greater Chaco region because it impacts the living peoples, the water, air, wildlife, medicinal plants, and offering points," said Sarah Jane White of Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment. "There are already reports of contaminated water from fracking activities and some people have to buy bottled water. Elders have been forced to sign oil and gas leases and this is an environmental justice issue! BLM needs to seriously consider all these impacts before approving any more oil and gas leases."

The Greater Chaco region is home to many Navajo communities living amid extensive oil and gas development that threatens their way of life. The area is also home to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, extensive ancestral Puebloan ruins and is considered the cultural heart of the American Southwest. Over the last two years, the Bureau of Land Management has approved more than 240 new fracking proposals, primarily near the community of Lybrook and within 20 miles of Chaco Canyon.  This is despite the agency’s acknowledgment that it has never analyzed how this development will impact public health and the environment, and has no plan in place to protect the region’s air, water and communities.

"For the Bureau of Land Management to continue to allow fracking in an such a sensitive area with no analysis of its effects will irreparably harm the people who live there, unique cultural resources and the climate" said Kyle Tisdel, climate and energy program director at the Western Environmental Law Center. "The fracking permits already approved are unlawful, and issuing new fracking permits without any information on the effects is unconscionable."

An intensively industrial form of fossil fuel development, horizontal drilling and fracking has besieged the region with truck traffic, oil tanks, pipelines, flares and fracking equipment. Dozens, if not hundreds more fracking permits are currently slated for Bureau of Land Management approval.

The groups filed suit in March challenging the agency’s approval of fracking wells in Greater Chaco without considering the impact that such development would have on the environment and human health.  Since then, the Bureau of Land Management has continued to approve drilling permits without completing a study of the impacts, as the law requires. If the court grants an injunction, it would temporarily stop the agency’s approval of new drilling permits until the lawsuit is fully resolved.

"Bending to the demands of the oil and gas industry, the Bureau of Land Management is sacrificing the Greater Chaco region’s culture, its people, and its public lands," said Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians’ climate and energy program director. "This is about stopping illegal fracking, saving Greater Chaco, and reining in the Bureau of Land Management’s outrageous willingness to do whatever it takes to make industry money."

"Not only in New Mexico, but in states across the country, the federal government has been approving new fracking without the legally required review necessary to fully understand the threats to human health and the environment," said Matthew McFeeley, a staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The administration has turned a blind eye to the harms that widespread fracking is causing on public lands, which provide drinking water for millions and are home to America’s last wild places. It’s time for the agency to go back to the drawing board and ensure a thorough and up-to-date analysis of all the risks to clean air, clean water, sacred sites, and nearby communities."

The groups involved in the lawsuit include Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, the San Juan Citizens Alliance, WildEarth Guardians and Natural Resources Defense Council. Attorneys from the Western Environmental Law Center and WildEarth Guardians represent the groups.

A copy of the May 11, 2015 preliminary injunction is available here.

A copy of the March 11, 2015 complaint is available here.


une requête a été déposée pour mettre un terme aux autorisations de forer alors que les instances fédérales ignorent la santé et l’environnement

Sarah Jane White, de Citoyens Diné Contre la Destruction de Notre Environnement,
Colleen Cooley, de Citoyens Diné Contre la Destruction de Notre Environnement,
Kyle Tisdel, du Centre de Législation Environnementale de l’Ouest,
Mike Eisenfeld, de l’Alliance des Citoyens de San Juan,
Samantha Ruscavage-Barz, de Gardiens de la Terre Sauvage,
Jeremy Nichols, de Gardiens de la Terre Sauvage,
Kate Kiely, du Conseil de Défense des Ressources Naturelles,
Publié sur Censored News 
Mardi 12 mai 2015
Traduction Christine Prat

SANTA FE, Nouveau-Mexique – Afin de défendre la culture, le climat et les communautés, une coalition a entrepris aujourd’hui d’empêcher de nouvelles autorisations de fracturer dans la Région de Chaco, au nord-ouest du Nouveau-Mexique.
Citant les menaces pour la santé publique, l’air et l’eau, et les communautés Navajo de la région, la coalition a demandé à un juge fédéral de prononcer une injonction contre le développement du pétrole et du gaz dans la région de Chaco considérant les autorisations illégales de centaines de permis de forer données par le Bureau de Gestion du Territoire.
« Il faut que nous empêchions la fracturation dans la région de Chaco à cause de ses effets sur les gens, l’eau, l’air, la vie sauvage, les plantes médicinales et les lieux d’offrandes » dit Sarah Jane White, de Citoyens Diné Contre la Destruction de Notre Environnement. « Il y a déjà des rapports sur la contamination de l’eau par les activités de fracturation et des gens doivent acheter de l’eau en bouteille. Des Anciens ont été forcés de signer des baux pour le forage de pétrole et de gaz et c’est un problème de justice environnementale ! Le Bureau de Gestion du Territoire doit sérieusement prendre tous ces effets en considération avant d’approuver de nouveaux baux pour le pétrole et le gaz. »
La région autour de Chaco est le foyer de nombreuses communautés Navajo qui vivent au milieu d’un énorme développement du pétrole et du gaz qui menace leur style de vie. La région comprend aussi le Parc National Historique de la Culture de Chaco, avec d’immenses ruines ancestrales Pueblo, considéré comme le cœur culturel du Sud-ouest américain. Au cours des deux dernières années, le Bureau de Gestion du Territoire a approuvé plus de 240 nouvelles propositions de fracturation, particulièrement près de la communauté de Lybrook et à 32 km du Canyon de Chaco [où se trouvent les ruines Pueblo – NdT]. Et ceci bien que l’administration ait admis n’avoir jamais analysé comment ce développement affectera la santé publique et l’environnement et ne pas avoir de plan alternatif pour protéger l’air, l’eau et les communautés de la région.
« Si le Bureau de Gestion du Territoire continue à autoriser la fracturation dans une zone aussi sensible, sans analyse de ses effets, cela nuira irréparablement aux gens qui y vivent, à ses richesses culturelles uniques et au climat » dit Kyle Tisdel, directeur du programme climat et énergie au Centre de Législation Environnementale de l’Ouest. « Les permis déjà approuvés sont illégaux et délivrer de nouveaux permis de fracturer sans informations sur les effets est inadmissible ».
Une forme industrielle intensive de développement de carburants fossiles, le forage horizontal et la fracturation ont assiégé la région avec la circulation de poids lourds, des réservoirs de pétrole, des pipelines, des explosions et de l’équipement pour la fracturation. Des dizaines, si ce n’est des centaines, de nouveaux permis de fracturer sont actuellement aux mains du Bureau de Gestion du Territoire pour agrément.
Les groupes ont déposé une plainte en mars, contre l’autorisation par l’administration d’ouvrir des puits par fracturation dans la région de Chaco sans prendre en considération l’effet qu’un tel développement aurait sur l’environnement et la santé humaine. Depuis, le Bureau de Gestion du Territoire a continué à approuver des permis de forage sans effectuer d’étude des effets, comme la loi l’exige. Si la Cour émettait une injonction, cela empêcherait temporairement l’approbation par l’administration de nouveaux permis, jusqu’à ce que la procédure judiciaire soit terminée.
« Se pliant aux demandes de l’industrie du pétrole et du gaz, le Bureau de Gestion du Territoire sacrifie la culture, les habitants et les terres publiques de la région de Chaco » dit Jeremy Nichols, directeur du programme climat et énergie des Gardiens de la Terre Sauvage. « Il s’agit d’empêcher la fracturation illégale, de sauver la région de Chaco, et de freiner la scandaleuse propension du Bureau de Gestion du Territoire à faire quoi qu’il en coûte tout ce rapporte de l’argent à l’industrie. »
« Non seulement au Nouveau-Mexique, mais dans des états un peu partout dans le pays, le gouvernement fédéral a approuvé de nouveaux projets de fracturation sans l’examen requis légalement pour bien comprendre les menaces pour la santé humaine et l’environnement » dit Matthew McFeeley, avocat du Conseil de Défense des Ressources Naturelles. « L’administration a fermé les yeux sur les dégâts que la fracturation extensive cause aux terres publiques, qui fournissent de l’eau potable à des millions de gens et hébergent les derniers lieus sauvages d’Amérique. Il est temps que le Bureau retourne à la table de travail et garantisse une analyse approfondie et à jour de tous les risques pour l’air pur, l’eau pure, les sites sacrés et les communautés vivant à proximité. »
Les groupes impliqués dans la poursuite en justice sont Citoyens Diné Contre la Destruction de Notre Environnement, l’Alliance des Citoyens de San Juan, les Gardiens de la Terre Sauvage et le Conseil de Défense des Ressources Naturelles. Les avocats du Centre de Législation Environnementale de l’Ouest et des Gardiens de la Terre Sauvage représentent les groupes.

Luis the Zapatista

Luis the Zapatista

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast, and now from underground.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, May 2, 2014.

Made public May 2, 2015.
Good evening, good day, and good night to those who are listening and those who are reading, whatever your calendars or geographies may be.
What we will now read publicly are the words that the late Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos had prepared for the homage to Don Luis Villoro Toranzo in June of 2014.
He had imagined that the relatives of Don Luis would be present, specifically his son, Juan Villoro Ruiz, and his compañera, Fernanda Sylvia Navarro y Solares.
Days before this homage was to take place, our compañero Galeano was murdered. He was a teacher and autonomous authority who was and is part of the generation of indigenous Zapatista women and men forged in the clandestinity of our preparation, in the uprising, in resistance and in rebellion.
The pain and rage that we felt then and now over what happened that May one year ago, added to our sorrow over the death of Don Luis.

Censored News copyright

All content at Censored News is copyrighted by the creator of the work, and may not be used for any reason without written permission. This includes news, books, films, dissertations, grants, reports, pamphlets, and any other purpose.