Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 6, 2020

The Intercept: Trump Blowing Up National Monument for Border Wall


O'odham Ancestors Burial Place in Path of Blasting for Border Wall


by Ryan Devereaux
The Intercept
February 6 2020

“CONTRACTORS WORKING FOR the Trump administration are blowing apart a mountain on protected lands in southern Arizona to make way for the president’s border wall. The blasting is happening on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a tract of Sonoran Desert wilderness long celebrated as one of the nation’s great ecological treasures, that holds profound spiritual significance to multiple Native American groups .. The construction contractor has begun controlled blasting, in preparation for new border wall system construction, within the Roosevelt Reservation at Monument Mountain in the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector,” the statement said, referring to an area also known as Monument Hill. “The controlled blasting is targeted and will continue intermittently for the rest of the month."

Read article at The Intercept:

More about this area being destroyed:

"The project entails the wholesale replacement of all existing vehicle barriers and pedestrian fencing along (Organ Pipe's) southern boundary with a new, continuous 9.1 m- (30-foot-) tall, steel bollard fence, undergirded by a 2.44 to 3.04 m- (8 to 10 foot-) deep concrete and steel foundation," noted the archaeological report, which the Washington Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. "Likewise, the project includes the construction, expansion, and/or improvement of existing roads along the U.S. side of the border and the installation of spotlights and surveillance equipment."

Veech noted in the report that the Park Service had been told that once the construction began, the work would occupy a 60-foot wide swath of what's known as the "Roosevelt Reservation" in the monument. All told, the work could affect 218 acres within Organ Pipe, the report said.

"...the NPS regards the entire 18.3 m- (60-foot-) wide Roosevelt Reservation as an area of great concern, whose cultural and natural resources are imperiled."

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