“To state it clearly, we are enduring crimes against humanity,” said Verlon José, the governor of the Tohono O’odham in northern Mexico
Construction of a wall on the Arizona border is endangering sacred Indigenous sites — including an oasis that has supported human beings for the last 16,000 years.
Work along the border, according to tribal leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation who live on both sides of the border, is blasting ancient burial sites and siphoning an aquifer that feeds a desert oasis where human beings have slaked their thirst for 16,000 years.
, including measures protecting endangered species and Native American burial sites. Federal officials have cited President Trump’s national emergency declaration in 2019, aimed at curbing unauthorized immigration, as justification for the waivers.“To state it clearly, we are enduring crimes against humanity,” said Verlon M. José, the governor of the Tohono O’odham in northern Mexico and a former vice chairman of the tribal nation on the American side of the border.
In a statement, Mr. Mennell added that the agency has “a history of voluntary compliance where it is necessary to minimize impacts,” and that workers were destroying only cactuses “determined not to be in a healthy enough state to be relocated.”The White House and Department of Homeland Security did not send representatives to the hearing. On the same day as the hearing, the Border Patrol and Army Corps of Engineers invited reporters to view a controlled detonation during border wall construction.
Objections to the border wall are now multiplying from the some 28,000 enrolled members of Tohono O’odham (pronounced To-HO-no AW-tham). Many live in the tribal nation’s reservation in Arizona, which is near Organ Pipe, while about 2,000 others live in an adjacent area of northern Mexico.
The national monument sits at the heart of an ancient Indigenous territory known during colonial times as the Papaguería, according to the Organ Pipe monument’s administrative history, with petroglyphs and rock art scattered throughout the site.To advance the border wall project, the Trump administration has used a little-known section of the Real ID Act that allows the Department of Homeland Security to waive compliance with federal law to expedite construction of barriers along the border.
The push to build the wall stands in contrast to previous infrastructure projects on the border.Now workers at the site are pumping water from the aquifer beneath Quitobaquito to mix cement and to water down dirt roads around construction sites. That could endanger not just the spring’s existence but species in its waters such as the Quitobaquito pupfish and Sonoyta mud turtle, according to the National Park Service.
Around the work sites that are strewn with felled cactuses, the occasional tourist shows up to snap pictures of the wall going up. Signs provide warnings about nearby blasting. Border Patrol agents still search for migrants crossing into the wilderness.
O’odham leaders have been grasping for ways of stymieing the project. Ned Norris Jr., the chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, requested this month that the Defense Department halt diversion of an estimated $3.8 billion in military funds the administration hopes to use to pay for the wall.
“This tragedy is being carried out in our name,” said Ms. Gitter, tears starting to swell in her eyes as she gazed at Quitobaquito’s waters. “The whole thing just enrages me.”
Read more: The New York Times
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All Cacti Matter! Too freaking bad. They didn't defend their people but Americans will. Hypocrites. OMG it take years for this species to get to this height Well heck Crimes against humanity? Ok, let's see you get in a snit about murdered babies next... I can't think of a more heinous crime against humanity than that...
💔 This isn’t good. The wall will stop animal crossing. That wall will cross over rivers and affect the ecosystem in that area. did you just go down there an fell some cactus plants - COURSE YOU DID They should just go after businesses that hire illegals, not spoil nature with an ugly wall.
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Because human child trafficking doesn’t qualify. Doing the math, Einstein? The Tohono O'odham Nation is best known for their drug smuggling operations. A border wall could interfere with that.... We are a sovereign nation and we have the right to defend our borders despite what the fake news media tells you
Screw that. Our security and safety comes first as a nation. Trump doesn’t build. He destroys Mexico isn’t America. Wall is in America. America isn’t Mexico. Wall needed to defeat coronavirus Trump will never be forgiven DumpTrump2020 TRE45ON
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