border wall / cultural rights / human rights / indigenous families / indigenous women's law / indigneous rights / Lower Rio Grande Valley / Militarization / Nde' Cultural Survival / U.S.-Mexico border

More Soldiers (Troops) On the Ground Is a Threat to Nde’ Way of Life

(Photo: PBS)

(Film still: Kieren Fitzgerald)

(Photo: Margo Tamez)

(Photo: Austin American Statesman)

Yuma, Arizona News Reveals Suspicion, Napolitano Could Send More Troops to Border

Indigneous Nde’ people of the Lower Rio Grande Valley are threatened by increased militarization of our home communities, rancherias, farmlands, stock areas, water, riparian wetlands, and sacred sites.

Nde’ and other indigenous communities of the rancherias along the Rio Grande, who uphold traditional indigneous teachings of sacred lifeways which respect and honor Life, stand firm on denouncing further hostile encroachments upon our traditional ways of life and cultures.

Nde’ teachings come from our foreparents and our contemporary elders who are leading the resistance against a Berlin-style steel-concrete wall through indigenous traditional sacred lands. We ask all Nde’ people and our friends and allies throughout the region to stand firm against further militarization of our region. Peace cannot come through armed force and aggression. Local Nde’ elders, children, women and men, indigenous workers, and our communities will be first impacted by increased armed uniformed soldiering in our communities.

The elders and families of the Lower Rio Grande Valley currently endure one of the harshest, violating and lawbreaking militarized operations in North America, as evidenced in the numerous layers of armed guards policing the unarmed, noncombatant civilian population. These layers of soldiering are comprised of the U.S. Customs Border Patrol, U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. D.H.S., local police, Texas Highway Patrol, Texas Rangers, paramilitaries, and private security personnel, among others. The U.S. Department of Defense, North Command (NorthCom) Task Force directs the training of all armed units in the region, as part of the tripartite U.S. global military campaigns: ‘war on terror’, ‘war on drugs’, and ‘war on illegal immigration.’

NEWS KSWT, YUMA, ARIZONA reports early warnings that Janet Napolitano, if confirmed as Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, may initiate a secondary “Operation Jump Start.”

The following is excerpted from a news report from Yuma, Arizona

Would Napolitano Send Troops Back to the Border?

Governor Janet Napolitano is gearing up for confirmation to the post of Homeland Security Chief. If approved, would she send troops back to the U.S.- Mexico border? A job with the Obama administration would come six months after the Bush adminstration denied Napolitano’s request for further help at the border.

The governor’s office refused to comment on any decisions that may come after Napolitano’s confirmation, but in a June 12th interview, Napolitano expressed concerns over the National Guard’s departure from the border.

“We’ve made progress at the border,” she said in that interview. “But things that were supposed to happen while the National Guard was here: the completion of some of the fencing, the staffing up of the Border Patrol, the virtual fence, the technology, you know, has been slower than you said.”

The Yuma Sector Border Patrol says the Guard was very helpful. During the deployment, the agency nearly doubled its staff, adding about 400 agents.

“Our recruitment team has been very active holding job fairs throughout our area of operation which includes eastern Arizona, parts of Nevada and Kansas. So we’ve gone out there and attended colleges. We’ve gone to job fairs,” says Agent Laura Boston. “We now have fencing covering almost all 125 linear miles of Yuma Sector. It’s not always fencing but some type of tactical infrastructure.”

The proposed virtual fence remains at a stand-still as officials struggle to optimize the technology. It’s hard to tell right now whether Arizona could see a second Operation Jump Start.”

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