Indigenous North American title holders protest
and resist occupation of their lands in South Texas!
Independent indigenous communities of Nde’ (Apache) people who’ve endured and survived waves of colonization since the 17th century are protesting the threats by the U.S. National Security Agency to impose a wall upon their tradtional territories. The binational indigenous people of el Calaboz, el Ranchito and la Paloma rancherías, in South Texas, 14 miles best of Brownsville (U.S.)and Matamoros (Mexico), whose orginal land titles designate as theirs the lands on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. International Boundary, are at the center of a crucial site of North American indigenous resistance against militarizad occupation and genocide by the nation-states.
This is a call for support and acknowledgement among all individuals, groups and organizations currently engaged in opposition against the U.S. Executive and Congressional orders to the U.S.National Security Agency to build the wall of violence, destruction and death.
The following is an excerpt from a longer letter written Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez (Lipan Apache) of el Calaboz rancheria, Cameron County, Texas, which is one of several indigenous communities targeted for occupation by the wall imposed by Homeland Security National Security Agency. Dr. Tamez is the descendent of Lipan and Chiricahua Apache survivors of the death hunts against Apaches in Texas and northern Mexico. She is also of Basque heritage, from Basque indentureds who were forciblly removed from their homelands of Santander in the 17th and 18th centuries and relocated to the Americas. These independent Apache rancherias are nestled interdependently among rich ecological sites of indigenous lifeways sacred to the survival of the region’s delicate ecosystems—one of the most diverse life systems in North America.
Dr. Tamez gave her permission to distribute her critique of the planned occupation of indigenous communities in el Calaboz, el Ranchito, and la Paloma—all Lipan Apache land grant title holding communities in South Texas. They are currently one of many communities designated for increased militarized occupation by National Security Agency, Border Patrol, INS, DEA and DoD—all of which is supervised by the Joint Task Force.
Indigenous title-holders & their lands at the U.S-M.X. International Boundary need support & protection.
Indigenous title holders require protection against forced occupations and land grabs by corporations and nation-states which use arms, intimidation and threats against elders to impose destructive walls. Walls impose economic, social, political and military conditions upon indigenous groups who live in occupied areas.
Indigenous women's resistances are made invisible in current discussions which frame the militarized wall simplistically as either a national security measure against
'the war on drugs' and 'the war on terror' or
a de-colonization social struggle against the forces of neo-liberal NAFTA and labor.
Bi-national MX-U.S. Indigenous women's resistances reveal
the issues are far more complex!
Go to this link:
Map of Proposed Border Fence, Rio Grande Valley, Austin American-Statesman, Oct. 1, 2007.
Excerpt of Dr. Tamez' 2nd letter to President George W. Bush:
Eloisa G. Taméz, RN, PhD, FAAN
September 21, 2007
George W. Bush
The President of the
Commander in Chief
The White House
The Honorable President George W. Bush:
Please accept my gratitude for your response dated July 2, 2007, through Darren K. Hipp, your Special Assistant and Director of Presidential Correspondence. My appeal for justice is made directly to you, President Bush, as the Commander in Chief, through direct line of authority, with the knowledge that you initiate Executive Orders and National Security Directives. I am a citizen who has been harmed by more than one government agency and must advocate for myself since neither the Congressman nor the Senator within my geographical area fulfill that rule following many requests from me over the nearly 10 years that I have disputed the unfair treatment and absence of justice in the 'greatest democracy' in the whole world.
The most recent rejection came from the Senator’s office. I found it rather interesting that shortly thereafter she appeared at a grandstand advocating for a
I appeal to you because I believe, although you are not the only one who will listen to me, you are the only one fully in authority to take action. I want to share with you [some of] my relationships with
1. Department of Veterans Affairs
I have been assessed and reassessed for the line-of-duty injury numerous times, only to be told that my injury does not merit an increase in disability. This issue has been going on since 2000 and I have just received notification (See enclosed VA document). Neither
the Army or the Department of Veterans Affairs has been accountable for the burden of cost resulting from my line-of-duty injury. My personal health care insurance paid for the best practice medical care which I received—too long after the incident thus finding irreparable permanent damage which has resulted in less than optimal physical functioning, recovery and prognosis. These outcomes are minimized by the VA and justified in language that only VA representatives understand. Additionally, the summary lacks specificity and demands definition. For example: Page 8, fourth paragraph, second sentence of the document enclosed, “A higher evaluation of 40 percent is not warranted unless arm motion is limited to 25 degrees from the side”. Paragraph three includes a flexion, abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation. My question to this is: What arm motion must be at “25 degrees from the side”?
All veterans are equal, no matter what age, whether reservist or active duty, no matter when military service took place, and no matter what injury. However, the evidence confirms disparity.
2. Homeland Security
In mid July 2007, I was informed by telephone that Homeland Security plans to split my property with a wall/fence. The informant (Border Patrol Agent Rick Cavazos) indicated that the government, under a National Security Directive, plans to build a fence on my private property with or without my consent or approval. For the record, land grant title holders currently own properties which extend to north of the levee but also south of the levee of the
This aggressive and invasive action against our historically embedded communities is an encroachment and threat to a significant indigenous
As an indigenous person of
I must advocate for myself, and each of my elderly relatives, as well as my descendents, since neither the Congressman nor the Senator within my geographical area fulfilled the role of being proactive on behalf of land grant title holders in the historically recognized
Texas Medallion land grant communities of El Ranchito, El Calaboz, and La Paloma, situated approximately 14 miles west of
About five years ago, I arrived home from my employment late one day and discovered that this agency had torn down the fence on my property north of the levee. When I inquired, I was told that they were authorized to have 100 feet on either side from the center of the levee. My deed, which showed a 50 foot access lien on either side from the center of the levee, originated in 1936 when the government came and built the levee and split land-grant property without the consent or permission of land grant title holders. Five years ago, not only was the fence torn down, I was never notified of the government’s intent. I reminded the man in charge at the time (Anzaldua, I believe) that 1936 tactics and landgrab procedures no longer function in our communities. The fence was reluctantly replaced after more than a year of follow-up phone calls from me, under the advisement of legal counsel. Since this incident, I have had numerous concerns regarding my personal safety when I must have direct contact with Border Patrol officers who are allowed by me to have direct access to my property, as per the access lien.
I am truly disappointed that at every encounter with the
Eloisa G. Taméz, RN, PhD, FAAN
Courtesy of: Jose Nadien / Valley World Peace Alliance