Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 22, 2023

U.S. Border Patrol Shot Tohono O'odham Ceremonial Person 38 Times in his Doorway


U.S. Border Patrol Shot Tohono O'odham Ceremonial Person 38 Times in his Doorway

During my visits to Ali Jegk as a news reporter ten years ago, I interviewed Raymond Mattia, who was killed by U.S. Border Patrol on Thursday night. Raymond told me that he had evidence that U.S. Border Patrol agents in the area were working with the cartels and were involved in drug running. Mattia had video evidence that disappeared after he made an official report. Mattia's home is a short distance from the border. -- Brenda Norrell, Censored News

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Translation into French by
Christine Prat

ALI JEGK, Tohono O'odham Nation -- U.S. Border Patrol agents shot Raymond Mattia, a traditional Tohono O'odham ceremonial person, standing in the doorway of his home 38 times on Thursday night.

Ophelia Rivas a lifelong family friend said "Raymond was a law-abiding citizen, he was not an aggressive kind of man, he was not violent."

"He was an artist, a ceremony person, a traditional hunter, he's a traditional singer. He was always kind to his family and taking care of them however he could."

Ophelia along with the others in the community is angry.

"I have dealt with Border Patrol aggression and unmonitored behavior out here on Tohono O'odham land without any regard to the respect and to the land and to the people," Ophelia told KVOA news.

Mattia was a father, a brother, a friend, a ceremony person, and an elected community council member in Ali Jegk, located near Menegers Dam, on the western side of the Tohono O'odham Nation, in Arizona.

The Tohono O'odham Nation released a statement today.

"The Tohono O’odham Police Department (TOPD) and the FBI are investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place in the Meneger’s Dam community of the Tohono O’odham Nation the night of Thursday, May 18, 2023. Nation member Raymond Mattia lost his life in the incident. Our hearts go out to his family and all those impacted during this difficult time," Chairman Ned Norris said.

"As the investigation proceeds, the Nation expects full consideration of all related facts of the incident and an appropriate and expeditious response from relevant public safety agencies. Because the investigation is ongoing, we will refrain from making further comment at this time."

We send our condolences to Mattia's family and friends, Brenda Norrell, Censored News

Read the article at KVOA News

About Censored News

Censored News was created in 2006 when journalist Brenda Norrell was censored and terminated as a longtime staff reporter at Indian Country Today. She began her work as a news reporter at Navajo Times in 1982. During the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation, she was a correspondent for Lakota Times, Associated Press, and USA Today, covering the Navajo government and federal courts. She has a master's degree in international health. Today, Censored News is a collective in its 17th year, with 22 million page views. Censored News does not have any ads, salaries, or revenues.

Copyright Censored News. Content may not be used without written permission.


Yvonne Swan said...

This sounds like an unprovoked deadly assault on an innocent well-respected man in Indian country! When is this violent offense against our Indigenous people going to stop?!

Anonymous said...

Joe Biden-"I would in fact make sure that there is, we immediately surge to the border, all those people seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard that's who we are where a nation that says if you want to flee and you're fleeing oppression you should come..."