On the border, truth is hard to come by

Tohono O'odham Border: Death and censorship

By Brenda Norrell

SELLS, Arizona -- Some of the secrets of the border wall were revealed by Tohono O'odham Chairman Ned Norris, Jr., at a Congressional hearing in Texas in April, but not all. Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, revealed that the graves of the O'odham ancestors were dug up by the contractor Boeing for the border construction on Tohono O'odham land in 2007, a fact the Tohono O'odham Nation has been silent about.

Angie Reino Ramon, Tohono O'odham, stands at the place where her son, Bennett Patricio, Jr., was ran over and killed by the US Border Patrol on Tohono O'odham Nation land. Ramon believes her son witnessed an illegal drug transfer by US Border Patrol agents and was murdered in the desert that night while walking home. Ramon has taken the case to federal court and continues to seek justice.Since creating the O'odham Voice Against the Wall, Rivas has been threatened and harassed. At one point, a tribal police officer handcuffed her, threw her up against a patrol car and told her to "cooperate."

For years, the elected officials of the Tohono O'odham Nation have fought the articles exposing the truth of what is happening on their border.

There have been death threats to both Tohono O'odham individuals and this reporter because of the articles exposing the violations of human rights, abuse and censorship.

Today is a good day, because Narco News is publishing some of the truth at the Arizona border, as revealed in the words of Tohono O'odham Chairman Ned Norris, Jr., in a Congressional hearing in Texas. His words confirm many of those previous articles.

 

There were many other good days, far better ones, when Tohono O'odham individuals persevered with courage in the face of threats, harassments and physical abuse.

We celebrate all of the Tohono O'odham who have fought for truth and their rights.

We offer special thanks to Tohono O'odham Ofelia Rivas, Mike Flores, Jose Garcia, Mike Wilson, Angie Ramon and Irvin Ramon, who arose with special courage in the face of danger.

Thank you.

We also celebrate the courage and sacrifice of the Mohawks, who persevered here on the southern border, as they persevere on the northern border.

Mohawks on the border

During the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas II in November, a delegation of Mohawks on the border challenged the Tohono O'odham elected officials' policies that promoted arresting and imprisoning Indigenous Peoples walking to a better life. Mohawks attempted to intervene as Mayans were arrested as the Border Patrol sped away with them. Mohawks stood firm when criticized by the Tohono O'odham government.

 

All Photos D.R. 2008 Brenda Norrell

(Photo -1) Angie Reino Ramon, Tohono O'odham, stands at the place where her son, Bennett Patricio, Jr., was ran over and killed by the US Border Patrol on Tohono O'odham Nation land. Ramon believes her son witnessed an illegal drug transfer by US Border Patrol agents and was murdered in the desert that night while walking home. Ramon has taken the case to federal court and continues to seek justice. Photo Brenda Norrell.

(Photo -2) Mohawks on the border.

 

 

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

Personal Website
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.