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Emergency for Texas Native Americans who own land where Government wants border fence

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Emergency in el Calaboz, Lipan Apache & Basque-Indigena North
American Land Title Holders!!!

Dear relatives,
I wish I was writing under better circumstances, but I must be fast and
direct.

My mother and elders of El Calaboz, since July have been the targets of
numerous threats and harassments by the Border Patrol, Army Corps of
Engineers, NSA, and the U.S. related to the proposed building of a fence
on their levee.

Since July, they have been the targets of numerous telephone calls,
unexpected and uninvited visits on their lands, informing them that they
will have to relinquish parts of their land grant holdings to the border
fence buildup. The NSA demands that elders give up their lands to
build the levee, and further, that they travel a distance of 3 miles, to go
through checkpoints, to walk, recreate, and to farm and herd goats and
cattle, ON THEIR OWN LANDS.

This threat against indigenous people, life ways and lands has been
very very serious and stress inducing to local leaders, such as Dr. Eloisa
Garcia Tamez, who has been in isolation from the larger indigenous
rights community due to the invisibility of indigenous people of South
Texas and Northern Tamaulipas to the larger social justice conversation
regarding the border issues.

However recent events, of the last 5 days cause us to feel that we are
in urgent need of immediate human rights observers in the area,
deployed by all who can help as soon as possible–immediate relief.

My mother informed me, as I got back into cell range out of Redford,
TX, on Monday, November 13, that Army Corps of Engineers, Border Patrol
and National Security Agency teams have been going house to house, and
calling on her personal office phone, her cell phone and in other
venues, tracking down and enclosing upon the people and telling them that
they have no other choice in this matter. They are telling elders and
other vulnerable people that “the wall is going on these lands whether
you like it or not, and you have to sell your land to the U.S.”

My mother, Eloisa Garcia Tamez, Lipan Apache (descendant of Mexican
Chiricahua descent elder, Aniceto Garcia, who gave her traditional
indigenous birth welcoming ceremony and lightning ceremony), is resisting the
forced occupation with firm resistance. She has already had two major
confrontations with NSA since July–one in her office at the University
of Texas at Brownsville, where she is the Director of a Nursing
Program and where she conducts research on diabetes among indigenous people
of the MX-US binational region of South Texas and Tamaulipas.

She reports that some land owners in the rancheria area of El Calaboz,
La Paloma and El Ranchito, under pressure to sell to the U.S. without
prior and informed consent, have already signed over their lands, due to
their ongoing state of impoverishment and exploitation in the area
under colonization, corporatism, NAFTA and militarization.

This is an outrage, but more, this is a significant violation of United
Nations
Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People, recently ratified
and accepted by all UN nations, except the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Furthermore, it is a violation of the United Nations CERD, Committee
on Elimination of Racism and Racial Discrimination.

My mother is under great stress and crisis, unknowing if the Army
soldiers and the NSA agents will be forcibly demanding that she sign
documents. She reports that they are calling her at all hours, seven days a
week. She has firmly told them not to call her anymore, nor to call her
at all hours of the night and day, nor to call on the weekends any
further.She asked them to meet with her in a public space and to tell their
supervisors to come.They refuse to do so. Instead, they continue to
harass and intimidate.

At this time, due to the great stress the elders are currently under,
communicated to me, because they are being demanded under covert
tactics, to relinquish indigenous lands, I feel that I MUST call upon my
relatives, friends, colleagues, especially associates in Texas within
driving distance to the Rio Grande valley region, and involved in indigenous
rights issues, to come forth and aid us.

Please! Please help indigenous women land title holders resisting
forced occupation in their own lands! Please do not hesitate to forward this
to people in your own networks in media, journalism, social and
environmental justice, human rights, indigenous rights advocacy and public
health watch groups!

Margo Tamez mtamez@wsu.edu

Jumano Apache West Texas-Chihuahua Lipan Apache South Texas-Tamaulipas,
Apacheria Nuevo Santander Land Grant–Basque Colony)

 

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