[WSMDiscuss] Indigenous Peoples separated by the Border Stand United Against the Trump Border Wall

Tupac Enrique Acosta chantlaca at tonatierra.org
Mon Jun 12 20:49:49 CEST 2017

 O'odham Nations Stand United Against Border Wall

*Indigenous Peoples separated by the Border Stand United Against the Trump
Border Wall*
*Por Isaín Mandujano  May 30,2017*

Shannon Rivers and Rafael Alfonso Garcia did not know each other until last
weekend, when they met face to face in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas,
Mexico. There, attending the *Congreso Nacional Indígena*
<http://www.congresonacionalindigena.org/> of Mexico, they both crossed
paths, shared their words and shook hands as brothers of the O’odham

Both now speak a second foreign language other than their own O’odham
native tongue: Rivers, English and Alfonso, Spanish but both belong to the
same indigenous peoples divided by a Mexican-American border established
1853, as consequence of the Gadsden Purchase (La Venta de La Mesilla), a
treaty made five years after the Treaty Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848), which
ended the US war against Mexico and set the international border between
the two countries.

The two belong to the O’otham Nations, as it is written on the other side
of the Rio Grande; Tojono O'otam, as it is pronounced on the Mexican side.
They are also part of the 82,000 remaining Indigenous Peoples of this
population, of whom about 42,000 reside in Mexico and about 40,000 in the
United States.  Their homelands in the desert territory of Sonora and
Arizona, are divided by about 120 kilometers of international border which
was imposed on the O’odham Nations after the War on Mexico in 1848. Both
Rivers and Garcia state in unity that the O’odham were never consulted
regarding the establishment of the border.

In an interview with Apro, both men point out that they traveled to Chiapas
to raise awareness of their fight as O’odham Nations before the Zapatista
Army of National Liberation (EZLN), the National Indigenous Congress (CNI),
its Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) and its spokeswoman María de
Jesús Patricio Martínez, better known as Marichuy.

Although they arrived separately in Chiapas, now that they met they have
united their voices and claims to be heard, if possible, before the
international courts, as theirs is a case of an indigenous nation whose
territory was divided by an international border of the states that they as
Indigenous Peoples never agreed to nor were they consulted in the decision
between the two governments.

Further to this violation of Indigenous territory, should the construction
of a "border wall" as proposed by Donald Trump be realized, this would be a
double grievance for the indigenous peoples of the region, who even now
with great difficulty maintain relationships of commercial exchange, family
ties, indigenous ways of knowing, customs and traditions that have endured
from ancestral times.

Shannon Rivers explains that the Tohono O’odham Nation has adopted a
resolution addressed to the Trump government making it known that the
border wall would be yet another violation of human rights and indigenous
rights for thousands of O’otham people.

Likewise, Rafael Alfonso Garcia said that he and the O’odham in Sonora have
raised their voices on the Mexican side to ask that both governments not
allow further offenses to the original peoples.

Shannon Rivers warns that long before there was a USA, before Mexicans or
Americans, the O’odham Nations are constituency of an indigenous peoples
originating from this continent in time immemorial. They were not
discovered by anyone, they were already here, and neither were they
conquered because they still survive even after more than 500 years of
colonization in their delimited territories.

They also argue that International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 169
states that when the territories of indigenous peoples are bisected by
international borders, the Indigenous Peoples are to be allowed free
transit between the two countries, and that building the border wall as
Trump proposes would further violate these fundamental rights as Indigenous

"If necessary, we will go to international tribunals to prevent the border
wall from being constructed, since the already false border imposed on us
has violated the integrity of our Indigenous Peoples as O'otam Nations,"
says Rafael Alfonso.

Shannon Rivers and Rafael Alfonso Garcia played an important role in the
context of the Constitutive Assembly of the Indigenous Council of
Government (CIG) for Mexico realized from May 26-28, 2017 in San Cristóbal
de las Casas, Chiapas.

The former was responsible for leading a traditional ceremony of spiritual
exchange during the closing plenary by way of an eagle feather, given to
Marichuy, the spokesperson and now independent candidate of the indigenous
peoples to the Presidency of Mexico in 2018.

"When we heard that this event was about to happen, we decided to accept
the invitation by the Congreso Nacional Indigena to come and be here as
witnesses and observers from the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of
the north. Coming from the other side of the US-Mexico border, we let it be
known that we are not Americans, we do not recognize that imposed border.
Long before that we are the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the
territory and the continent and as such we are came here in solidarity and
support for Marichuy, " underlined Shannon Rivers.

Rafael Alfonso was elected as a member of the Concejo Indigena de Gobierno
(CIG) Council of Indigenous Government of Mexico along with 50 other
people, men and women of different indigenous peoples of Mexico. He, who
traveled from Sonora to Chiapas, forms an active part of that geopolitical
entity created by the Congreso Nacional Indigena and the EZLN on May 28,
2017 here in Chiapas.

(Translation: TONATIERRA)

*TONATIERRA* <https://www.blogger.com/goog_1236660256>
*www.tonatierra.org* <http://www.tonatierra.org/>
*Pueblo indígena separado por la frontera va contra el muro de Trump *


María de Jesús Patricio Martinez, Marichuy, is Mexico's National Indigenous
Congress ( CNI ) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army ( EZLN)
candidate for presidency in 2018.
ThESE are the Seven Principles of the Mexico's National Indigenous Congress
( CNI):
1. Serve and do not self-serve
2. Construct and do not destruct
3. Represent and do not supplant
4. Convince and do not defeat
5. Obey and do not mandate
6. Lower to humility, and do not rise to arrogance
7. Propose and do not impose

Huehuecoyotl <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g788huUV5CQ>
May 29, 2017: Update from San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico on
the Indigenous Council of Government for Mexico - Congreso Nacional Indigena
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