Indigenous support Guarijio battling Los Pilares dam in Sonora

By Brenda Norrell

Top photo Guarijio traditional song and dance at the Second Reunion of Spiritual Guides. Photo Brenda Norrell.

HERMOSILLO, Mexico -- Indigenous Peoples of Sonora, Mexico, supported the Guarijios who oppose the construction of the Los Pilares dam that could lead to the loss of their land and relocation. During the Second Reunion of Spiritual Guides, Indigenous leaders also united in support of the Yaqui who are battling the theft of their water from their river, the Rio Yaqui.

Sonoran Indigenous united against the drug trafficking that is impacting Los Pimas in southern Sonora and the gold mining and mega agriculture project targeting the O’odham ceremonial community of Quitovac in northern Sonora near the Arizona border.

The battle to protect the water and land from mining, and the destruction of development and tourism on Indigenous lands, were the focus of the discussion during the gathering Oct. 26--27. Indigenous Peoples also consulted on ways to preserve their language and culture.

In the state of Sonora, old growth forests are being destroyed, and workers exploited for low wages, for the production of charcoal, which continues unregulated. The rivers are being poisoned by corporations.

Meanwhile, in a separate action in the state of Sonora on Sunday, Comca’ac (Seri) reclaimed ancestral lands near Kino Bay. Asserting their rights to the land, Seri gathered for a ceremony as they reclaimed their territory. (Photo: Today Seri occupy homeland near Kino Bay, by Brenda Norrell.)

Watch video interview on Saturday with Guarijio opposing dam: Guarijios luchan contra la construcción: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/10/video-interview-guarijios-battle-dam.html 

In support of the Guarijio battling the dam, Traditional O’odham leaders said, “The Guarijio have not been properly informed or afforded proper consultation with respect to transparent information regarding detailed project plans of the Los Pilares / Bicentenario dam project on the upper River Mayo in southeast Sonora State and the Guarijio have not been properly informed or afforded proper consultation of studies outlining negative impacts that will interrupt their livelihood.”

“The Guarijio have been affected by being targeted with unfair local and regional media (press and television) reports that they are ‘opposed to development’ and the projects reputed benefits. The Guarijio are being judged publicly without the benefit of being properly informed or afforded proper consultation with respect to transparent information regarding detailed project plans of the Los Pilares / Bicentenario dam project on the upper River Mayo in southeast Sonora State.” 

The Traditional Leaders of Sonora issued this resolution of support for the Guarijio:

The Traditional O’odham Leaders of Sonora, Mexico are again astounded that the Mexican Government at this time of technological advancement has not acquired the basic principles of honesty and civilized decency in existence with the natural world. As within our region time and time again development is being permitted without respect or proper consultation to the local population. Development moves forward without transparent compliance to the cultural, environmental and biological statutes enacted by the government of Mexico.

The Traditional O’odham Leaders of Sonora, Mexico represent the O’odham communities of northern Sonora, Mexico, and are recognized as the official representatives sanctioned by the O’odham community members, and recognized by the State and Federal government of Mexico.

Having discussed the impacts that the proposed LOS PILARES / BICENTENARIO dam project on the upper River Mayo in southeast Sonora state, northwest Mexico the Traditional O’odham Leaders of Sonora support the objections of the Guarijio:

The Guarijio have not been properly informed or afforded proper consultation with respect to transparent information regarding detailed project plans of the Los Pilares / Bicentenario dam project on the upper River Mayo in southeast Sonora State and the Guarijio have not been properly informed or afforded proper consultation of studies outlining negative impacts that will interrupt their livelihood.

The Guarijio have been affected by being targeted with unfair local and regional media (press and television) reports that they are “opposed to development” and the projects reputed benefits. The Guarijio are being judged publicly without the benefit of being properly informed or afforded proper consultation with respect to transparent information regarding detailed project plans of the Los Pilares / Bicentenario dam project on the upper River Mayo in southeast Sonora State.

The Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) fails to include significant social and environmental impacts. The Guarijio were not properly informed or afforded proper consultation with respect to the transparent information regarding detailed project plans of the Los Pilares / Bicentenario dam project to include participation and contribution of the Guarijio in the EIA to assist in the identification of significant cultural, social, biological and environmental impacts that the Los Pilares / Bicentenario dam project twill have on the existence of the population in the region.

Identical to the O’odham, the Guarijío as well as Pima and Mayo peoples have populated this region since ancient times. The indigenous culture, traditions and lives depend upon the resources of the region such as the water and associated ecosystems that are essential for the livelihood to survive.
The impacts of the proposed dam include physical displacement of homes and communities gravely impacting historical and cultural heritage. The proposed dam project will destroy the natural resources that provides for food and medicinal resources as well as traditional building materials which are now available to the community.
The Traditional O’odham Leaders of Sonora, Mexico fully support the Guarijío and encourage solidarity with all our relatives of the region to work in unity to protect our rights as indigenous people and our responsibilities to the land and the universe.

Declaración de los Líderes Tradicionales O’odham en apoyo al Pueblo Guarijío

http://chiltepines.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/declaracion-de-los-lideres-tradicionales-oodham-en-apoyo-al-pueblo-guarijio/

More original coverage of this week's Indigenous resistance in Sonora by Brenda Norrell

Video interview: O’odham Ofelia Rivas on Comca’ac land, at the sea

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/10/video-oodham-ofelia-rivas-on-comcaac.html

Photo Comca’ac (Seri) reclaim ancestral land near Kino Bay, Sonora

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/10/photo-comcaac-seri-reclaim-ancestral.html

Video interview Guarijios battle dam and relocation in Sonora, Mexico

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/10/video-interview-guarijios-battle-dam.html

Photos of today's Indigenous Gathering of Spiritual Guides in Sonora
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.mx/2012/10/photos-sonoran-indigenous-spiritual.html

Yaqui battle theft of Rio Yaqui water
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.mx/2012/10/yaqui-battle-corporate-greed-to-defend.html

Traditional O'odham leaders support Guarijio fighting dam
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.mx/2012/10/traditional-oodham-leaders-support.html

Seri honored as Pillars of the World
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.mx/2012/10/comcaac-seri-honored-as-pillars-of-world.html

 

For permission to repost in full, contact brendanorrell@gmail.com

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.