Donald Trump Dynamites Sacred Amerindian Sites For The Construction Of His Wall

At least a dozen tribes are affected by the destruction of this area.

For the past few days, on the border between Arizona and Mexico, sounds of explosions have been disturbing the usual calm of the desert. Donald Trump's administration has begun blasting the lands of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument - a nature reserve recognized by Unesco for the rarity of its plants and animals.

"The controlled blasting is targeted and will continue intermittently for the rest of the month," said an official from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, while assuring that an expert in environmental preservation would be present throughout the operations.

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© Capture écran/Google Map

In addition to being valuable to its biosphere, the more than 1,000 square meters of land is sacred to at least a dozen Native American tribes, the Washington Post says. The Tohono O'odham tribe, in particular, has even erected graves there.

"Where they were blasting the other day on Monument Hill is the resting place for primarily Apache warriors that had been involved in battle with the O'odham. And then the O'odham people in a respectful way laid them to rest on Monument Hill," said Raúl Grijalva, Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva of Arizona in the House of Representatives, in a video he posted on Twitter on February 9. His speech has already been viewed tens of thousands of times.

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Bicentenary Cacti

"They’re plowing over ancient saguaro cactuses, 200-year-old cactuses, chopped up like firewood — it’s appalling," lamented Laiken Jordahl, who works on border issues at the Center for Biological Diversity. "They are also sacred to the O’odham; they see them as the embodiment of their ancestors. So to see them turned into mulch — it’s deeply upsetting." he added in the Post's columns.

In addition, some of the plants found on these sacred sites are still used by Native Americans for ritual purposes. However, according to the Arizona Republic, members of the blasting operation took care to save some of these plants, including specimens of the bicentennial cactus.

According to a report by the national park service, consulted by the Washington Post, the route of Donald Trump's wall could lead to the destruction of 22 archaeological sites within Organ Pipe Cactus itself. Before work began, a team of archaeologists discovered bone fragments and artifacts at the site that were 10,000 years old CBS news reports.

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And the worst part of it is that another route was possible, as the American government has an abundance of public land where he can build his wall. Today, the wall, Donald Trump's big election promise, is about 100 miles long. It is supposed to reach 640 km to be completed.

By Clothilde Bru, published on 13/02/2020

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