Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 11, 2023

The United Nations and U.S. Government: What their new reports are not telling you

Saguaro cactus recklessly destroyed to build the border wall at Ajo, Arizona. Photo by Laiken Jordahl

The United Nations and U.S. Government: What their new reports are not telling you

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, September 11, 2023
French translation by Christine Prat

There are two new reports: One is the U.S. report on the destruction and violation of laws during the building of the border wall during the Trump era. The new report is by the US government's office that claims to be independent: The Government Accountability Office.

The other new report, making its way to the United Nations Human Rights Council, is the report from the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the militarization affecting Indigenous Peoples. The final report has some of the powerful testimony and struggles -- but it leaves out some of the greatest tragedies and heartfelt testimony.

Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, on her homeland. Photo by Jason Jaacks. Ofelia's website is O'odham Solidarity at

Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, and founder of O'odham Voice against the Wall, has spent her life on the border in the struggle for human rights and battling the militarization of the border.

Ofelia responded to the two new reports and the murder of her childhood friend, Raymond Mattia, and fellow community member, murdered by the U.S. Border Patrol and law enforcement on May 18. Raymond was shot nine times in a rain of bullets on his front door steps, in Ali-Jegk on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Ofelia said, "The O'odham world existed since time immemorial, it existed with territorial boundaries known by surrounding tribes. When these boundaries were violated with aggression, the O'odham responded in an organized quick, and concise manner, warriors at the ready."

"Today our world is run by a foreign corrupt cowardly government. This government allows unmonitored armed United States military who are killing and physically and racially attacking the O'odham on the ancient homelands."

"When Raymond Mattia complied with their profanity-filled demands he was still gunned down, dead, as documented on their own Border Patrol cameras."

"Women are found dumped on the reservation roads to be run over by their own border patrol trucks. The unmonitored numerous unauthorized roads that crisscross the lands are full of unmarked undocumented graves, victims of the United States military forces known as the border patrol, customs, militia and special forces.

"The United States of America refuses to acknowledge Human Rights violations within the United States," Ofelia said, describing the response of the U.S. to her testimony to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Jamaica in 2019.

"With the world watching Standing Rock and many other documented attacks on Indigenous defenders, the United States official representatives stated at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing, 'The commission has no authority and we will not comply,'" Ofelia said.

Ofelia described the constant surveillance of O'odham living on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"For 24 hours, 7 days a week, for 365 days of the year, we are under surveillance --  with our facial recognition, temperament registered and iris registration at the Indian Health Service eye clinic."

Ofelia also described the constant surveillance of the spy towers, integrated fixed towers, constructed by the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems. These 11 towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation provide live images to the U.S. Border Patrol.

"The spy towers have invaded the lands without full disclosure to the people of their purpose. The upcoming 23 years of data will erase our homelands and culture."

The report to the United Nations Human Rights Council is padded with words that were stolen by college professors.

Ofelia said, "All the words are directly from the defenders who gave their lives and still stand strong with the real people. The people that traveled for days to arrive at isolated communities to sit on the land and make offerings in their fire."

"The hearts are not on the ground. No pretend indigenous or professor of deceit or gated-community-book-producer, words thief can take our strength."

"Relatives defend your words and own experiences in this lifetime existence. The pretenders return back to your plastic-wrapped lives of greed, and exploit your own delirious delusion."

Ofelia also described the vulgarity of social media.

"All the social media giants will control our thoughts and actions, from a peaceful people to an unrecognizable vulgar aggressive void of humanity's existence," Ofelia said.

Ofelia described the racket of non-profits scrambling for grant money at the United Nations.

"Meanwhile the pretenders in unrecognizable wear and paraphernalia crowd the popular United Nations halls and Geneva stages to shamefully discuss Indigenous issues for their next grant writer efforts to bring in that Indian money," Ofelia told Censored News today.

Ofelia described how the money is pouring in for both border militarization and non-profits who seize the real peoples' struggle for non-profit money.

"The recent reports are to justify their continued presence and justify more billions of United States citizens money on the border, to continue to rape and kill humans all condoned by the United States government."

"There are more reports by non-profits to justify their outright claim on grassroots words and work of survival and defending the remaining sacred places and elements on the lands and the people."

Ofelia described the pretenders and the fake chiefs.

"When pretenders forget what tribe they were from day to day it should be obvious to the real people. Or maybe an obscure less-known tribe now has a number of others increasing the membership, it's obvious to the real people," Ofelia said.

"Especially when a clown claiming to be some chief got a hundred thousand dollars from a non-profit with questionable motives -- we see the old divide and conquer when it comes to land and culture."

"We the real people must stand strong," Ofelia said.

New United Nations and U.S. Border Reports Minimize Violence by U.S. Government

At Censored News, we listened live to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva in July, and reported our series live, which contains testimony that is not included in the final report to the UN Human Rights Council.

As for the US Border Wall construction report, it minimizes the desecration, loss, and horrific damages.

The border wall report fails to fully address the fact that the United States waives and violates its own federal laws at an alarming rate.

The border wall construction report minimizes the horrific act of blowing up with dynamite Tohono O'odham and Apache burial places at Monument Hill in Arizona. It trivializes the loss of sacred places and precious water in the desert and fails to examine the serious impact of the border wall and construction damage on endangered and protected species. 

Censored News original articles:

Mediocre US Border Wall Report Minimizes U.S. Government Violence and Destruction

An Indigenous woman from Russia voiced objection to the UN Expert Mechanism's draft report which states that Russia allows youths to choose other services as an alternative to the military. Her comments and issues are not included in the final report. Please read Censored News for more: Murder with Impunity

"There is no greater offender of tribal rights than the U.S. Justice Department," said Lisa White Pipe, Lakota, Sicangu Rosebud council member, representing the Coalition of Large Tribes, chaired by the Blackfeet Nation, during the testimony to the U.N. Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read more at 'UN Hears of Devastation'

Censored News Part I: U.N. Hears of Devastation for Indigenous Peoples, and Stories of Hope

Censored News Part II: Impact of Militarization on Indigenous Peoples: Murder with Impunity from Peru to the Tohono O'odham Nation

Deskaheh Steve Jacobs provided the opening prayer but said he would not address the United  Nations until the Haudenosaunee is recognized as a government. Jacob's prayer began the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read more: 'Defending Sacred Places'

Defending Sacred Places and Sacred Rights at the United Nations

Black Hills Under Attack: Mining in the Defining Issue

Read more on border construction report


"To expedite construction through these landscapes, the Trump administration relied on the 2005 Real ID Act, which allows the government to waive laws and regulations that might pose an impediment to border walls and roads.

"While previous administrations had invoked the Real ID Act, the Trump administration did so with unprecedented zeal, utilizing it between 25 and 30 times, compared with just five during the Bush administration.

"The Trump administration also declared undocumented crossings at the southern border a national emergency, empowering the government to overrule existing laws in the name of national security."

Article copyright Brenda Norrell and Ofelia Rivas, Censored News. Content may not be used without written permission. Content may not be used to gain revenues or for any other purpose.

Photos copyright Laiken Jordahl and Jason Jaacks used with permission.

No comments: