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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

articles-July 06

Indigenous youth lose the will to live amid conflict in Colombia

Fri 2 Jul 2004

These children have little reason to smile as they face the threat of displacement in Unión Chogorodo along the Domingodo river, a tributary of Colombia's Atrato river.

APARTADO, Colombia, July 2 (UNHCR) – "The great beast is coming to devour our children" is how the elders of the Embera and Wounaan peoples describe it. In just over one year, 17 young people from indigenous communities in north-western Colombia, some as young as 12, have committed or attempted suicide.

"This is not normal. Suicide is never acceptable in indigenous culture," explains Gerard Fayoux who, as Head of UNHCR's Field Office Apartado, has worked for nearly four years in the region. "This is a sign of great distress in the communities."

The "great beast" that the elders refer to is none other than encroaching western civilization, brought by outsiders who during the last 500 years have been steadily usurping the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of Colombia, forcing them deeper and deeper into the forest to escape death and destruction full article

Tribe asks people to visit, respect bridge
Marker of graves not to be climbed, has been harmed

By Alex Breitler,
July 6, 2004

HAYFORK -- It was known as "Kok-Chee-Chup-Chee" -- a sacred limestone arch where the Nor-Rel-Muk people received guidance from the spirits, and where elders taught youths the ceremonial ways of life.

In that year, at least 150 of the tribe's women and children were slaughtered by an angry posse near the cavelike formation.

Today the descendents of those killed in that brutal attack say the arch, now known as the "Natural Bridge," has been desecrated by rock climbers, partying teenagers and off-highway vehicles roaring over the many unmarked graves.

"We look at it like a slap in the face," said Nor-Rel-Muk chairman John Hayward of Trinity Center. "Even just the beauty of the place alone cries out for respect." full article

Arizona Tribe makes history

9 of 22 have elected female leaders

Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Jul. 6, 2004 12:00 AM

TUCSON - Herminia Frias on June 10 became the first woman ever elected to the job of leading the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, but statewide she has company: Nine of the state's 22 federally recognized tribes have female leaders.

The second- and third-largest Arizona tribes in terms of membership, the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, both with reservations in the Tucson area, each has broken with a long history of patriarchal tribal governments to elect chairwomen instead of men. The Navajo Nation, which is the state's largest American Indian tribe in terms of both membership and size, has yet to elect a female leader. full article

Official Western Shoshone Opposition to H.R. 884

July 02, 2004

Official Western Shoshone Opposition to H.R. 884
Apparently, there is some confusion over the number Western Shoshone Government Councils that are opposed to "The Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act" (H.R. 884). To provide some additional clarity here is the roster of Western Shoshone Tribal Council Resolutions opposing H.R. 884

Western Shoshone Tribal Council Resolutions in Opposition to the Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Bill full article

Fleeing Guatemala
Central Americans Risk Lives to Reach El Norte


In late April, Guatemalan President Oscar Berger visited Washington, DC to meet with various U.S. officials, including President George Bush. The two heads of state agreed to expedite the negotiation of open borders for the trade of goods between the United States and Guatemala, but the frontiers will remain mostly closed to immigrants. Although Bush promised six-month work visas to Guatemalan immigrants already living in the United States, he refused to grant them Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which affords greater benefits.

Meanwhile, border officials are cracking down, not only on immigrants entering the U.S. but also at the Mexican-Guatemalan border, which they are dubbing a new frontier in the war against terror. Mexico's 'Plan Sur,' initiated in 2001, is a U.S.-backed attempt to use Mexico's southern border as a buffer zone against illegal immigration from Central America. Increased control has drawn attention to this very porous border and to the rising flow of immigration in this part of Latin America. full article

The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War
A Study by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus

I. Costs to the United States

A. Human Costs

U.S. Military Deaths: Between the start of war on March 19, 2003, and June 16, 2004, 952 coalition forces were killed, including 836 U.S. military. Of the total, 693 were killed after President Bush declared the end of combat operations on May 1, 2003. Over 5,134 U.S. troops have been wounded since the war began, including 4,593 since May 1, 2003.

Contractor Deaths: Estimates range from 50 to 90 civilian contractors, missionaries, and civilian worker deaths. Of these, 36 were identified as Americans.

Journalist Deaths: Thirty international media workers have been killed in Iraq, including 21 since President Bush declared the end of combat operations. Eight of the dead worked for U.S. companies. full article

Disappearing Prisoners
Nat Hentoff

Are they dead? Are they alive? Where is the media? Does anybody out there care?

In a front-page article December 26, 2002, The Washington Post revealed that prisoners at a CIA interrogation center at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan were being subjected to abuses that veered on torture:

"The picture that emerges is of a brass-knuckled quest for information . . . in which the traditional lines between right and wrong, legal and inhumane, are evolving and blurred."

The media largely ignored the story, with the notable exceptions of The Economist and the indispensable Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker.
full article


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