Yaqui in Sonora ban pesticides resulting in deaths
By Brenda Norrell (*) - Human Rights Editor, U.N. OBSERVER & International Reporter
VICAM PUEBLO, SONORA, MEXICO -- Yaqui in Sonora enacted a declaration to halt the use of banned pesticides in agricultural fields here, now resulting in cancer and death for community members, and demanded that corporations be responsible for health damages and Mexico ensure safe water.
Currently, aerial spraying of crops and the unmonitored, unregulated storage of dangerous pesticides are devastating Yaqui and other Indigenous communities. Acute poisoning from exposure to toxic contamination is resulting in the deaths of very young children and adults.
Attracting support from the United Nations and government of Mexico, the traditional authorities of five Yaqui Pueblos on the western coast of Mexico are taking the lead to halt the use of banned pesticides exported from the U.S. and other industrialized countries to undeveloped countries.
“Now we understand that newborns and those yet unborn are some of the persons most gravely affected in the exposed communities, since they are especially susceptible to these toxics in their mothers’ wombs,” said Andrea Carmen, Yaqui and executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council.
Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans.
Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.
More and more Americans are coming to the chilling realization that U.S. membership in the United Nations poses a very real threat to our survival as a free and independent nation. Here are some good reasons to be concerned:
1. The UN's basic philosophy is both anti-American and pro-totalitarian. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims the "self-evident" truth that "men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." But, in its Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN ignores God's existence, implies that it grants rights, and then repeatedly claims power "as provided by law" to cancel them out of existence. If any government can place restrictions on such fundamental rights as freedom of speech, the right to keep and bear arms, freedoms of the press, association, movement, and religion, soon there will be no such freedoms.
In 1961, Botswana’s British administrators created the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) to protect the way of life of the Kalahari Bushmen. An ancient people with rock art dating back some 30,000 years, the Bushmen (also known as the San) have a long history of being subjugated by more militant and populous ethnicities. Persecuted by invaing white Afrikaaners to the south and the Bantu-speaking invaders of the Tswana to the north, the peaceable Bushmen’s numbers plummeted. By the late 1950s, only a few thousand survived.
In the mid-1980s, government officials began to discuss the need to bring the Bushmen into “modern society.” In 2002, the Botswana government forcibly moved the Bushmen to relocation camps in New Xade, on the edge of the CKGR. It is not just paternalism that is motivating the resettlements: immediately following the removal of the Bushmen, huge swaths of their land were leased to diamond mining companies.
In these new relocation camps, the Bushmen are losing not only their way of life, but their lives. Exposed to the scourges of AIDS and alcoholism, the Bushmen are disappearing. Without their connection to their land, which provided them with traditional healing plants and medicines as well as a strong spiritual base, the Bushmen will not survive long.
Aboriginal children today have the same life expectancy as white children in 1900. Yet most Australians can't understand why there was an uprising in Sydney this year.
By John Pilger - 12 July 2004
On 8 July, BBC2 showed an outstanding documentary called The Boy from the Block, which deserves to be repeated. It is about Australia and opens with a picture-postcard view of a beach and its board riders and bikinis, and progresses to the popping of corks at a smart Sydney art gallery. Here is the Australian bourgeoisie at its most relaxed: drinking good wine, partaking of culture and making money.
A young woman is asked what she likes most about Aboriginal art, which the gallery is featuring. "Oh, it's a great investment," she says. "For me, it's like superannuation." The camera pulls back to show the Aboriginal artist, the guest of honour, surrounded by white art lovers. Everyone is smiling. If you are a talented Aboriginal artist, says the voice-over, everyone wants to be your friend. If you are not like her, almost no one wants to be your friend.
The reporter is David Akinsanya. I heard about his film when I was in Sydney earlier this year. He is a black Briton with a way of reporting that is devoid of television's cliches and veiled insincerity. In his film, he achieves what his Australian equivalents rarely do - that is, the few who try. He tells the truth about the heartbreaking, shaming treatment and abandonment of Aboriginal Australia.
On a hot, steamy morning last February, only a few miles from the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, Thomas Hickey died: 17-year-old Thomas, or "TJ" as he was known in the Aboriginal community of Redfern, was chased by police, lost control of his bike and was impaled on an iron fence. The police deny that version, and not a single Aborigine believes them.
The Block is an Aboriginal ghetto where the police impose a siege; few Aboriginal youngsters walk down the street without being stopped; almost all of them have been arrested. Aborigines comprise less than 3 per cent of the Australian population, and 60 per cent of the inmates of the country's prisons; once inside, many die by their own hand and some are beaten to death. Aborigines on average live more than 20 years less than the average white Australian. As Akinsanya points out, Aboriginal children like TJ's four young sisters have the same life expectancy as white children in 1900. Alan Madden, an Aboriginal elder, tells him: "When you come to Redfern, if you can't find a blackfella that's related to you, they're either dead or in jail."
So TJ's violent death was not unusual. What followed was extraordinary. Aboriginal youths in the Block erupted, setting fire to Redfern railway station and showering lines of riot police with Molotov cocktails and stones. Sydney is not Los Angeles; Sydney is relaxed, as people keep saying, which means that most whites can go about their business without laying eyes on a black Australian, let alone having to think about righting a historic wrong. Visitors to Australia are often taken aback by the callous dismissal of the largely invisible indigenous population.
The uprising on the Block disturbed this, temporarily. There was outrage ("Bulldoze the Block," said the leader of the state opposition) and there was hand-wringing. Articles appeared describing the deprivation; church leaders spoke out. Then silence again. A fortnight later I joined Gail Hickey, TJ's mother, and other Redfern people at a rally outside the New South Wales parliament in the centre of Sydney. Lyall Munro, a tireless, eloquent activist who sees political solutions to the problems of Aboriginal Australia, read out a list of positive reforms that dealt with housing, policing, corruption. Not a word was reported in the city's major newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald.
On 30 March, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's flagship current affairs series, Four Corners, broadcast an "investigation", Riot in Redfern. The reporter urged teenagers to "confess" their part in the riot and so incriminate themselves, and all but accused Munro of having actively encouraged the violence. No real evidence was offered, but the implication was familiar enough: once again, black Australians were to blame for their own despair. No attempt was made to explain the roots of Aboriginal rage or, as Munro put it in the BBC film, "the shit that our young people have been copping most of their lives"; or the suicides, or the drug-taking, or the legacy of an entire generation stolen from their families. The divisions among Aborigines were highlighted, or exploited, but not explained. Watching it, white Australians could shake their heads and resume their relaxation.
David Akinsanya's film is the opposite. It shows the generosity of spirit and warmth of Aboriginal families such as the Hickeys. It astutely presents whites with their own prejudices. Steve Price, a Sydney radio presenter, speaks up for "white Anglo-Saxons" when he asks almost plaintively: "Why can't Aborigines be more like us?" In spite of a constant presence in Redfern, the police make remarkably few arrests for hard drugs. "They turn a blind eye," Akinsanya says. "Many Aborigines suspect that the police would rather allow Sydney's most notorious drugs market to be contained in a block where Aborigines live than allow it to spread to other areas of the city."
This is how many US police forces "contain" the spread of hard drugs in black ghettos. The result, as a senior police officer in Detroit once explained it to me, is that young blacks are "contained" in a prison that is as much on the outside as on the inside.
Two months after TJ's death and with the hand-wringing long over, the federal government of John Howard announced the abolition of the only independent, elected national Aboriginal institution funded by Canberra. This is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, which is accused of being "flawed" and wasting good tax dollars. The commission funds 36,000 places in an employment programme; it has programmes in healthcare, education, sport and culture. These will go. The government also plans to dismantle the Aboriginal Legal Service, which will mean that thousands of Aboriginal offenders will be refused legal assistance.
In the run-up to the Millennium Olympics in Sydney, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination distinguished Australia with its first adverse finding on racial discrimination against a western nation. Coming almost routinely from Amnesty and other human rights groups, the opprobrium has the echo of that directed against apartheid South Africa. The numbers make the difference. You can visit Australia and go to the beach and the opera and a smart art gallery and never be reminded of this society's darkest secret. In the BBC film, Ray Vincent, an Aboriginal elder, looks at the camera and says: "It's all part of the anger that's within me all my life."
Do you remember back in 1997, the Hopi Elders appeared with Dr. Robert Ghost Wolf on Art Bells Coast to Coast show, they spoke to millions of wary listeners around the world as they 'predicted' the coming of The Blue Star Kachina and that the Purifier, the Red Star Kachina would follow shortly after the twins (Hale-bopp) had passed from our heavens.
They spoke about us seeing strange things going on with animals, frogs with six legs, rabbits with four ears, animals being born with both genders. They spoke of Earth Changes, and 'Firestorms," and they talked about the Eight Thunders Prophecies... and the Pale Prophet.
The following is an excerpt from LAST CRY Native American Prophecies & Tales of the End Times, by Dr. Robert Ghost Wolf, 1994-2004.
Chronology of the ongoing genocide targeting the San Bushmen in Southern Africa
Prolog by Chris Mapassa - updated
Black Africans of Bantu-speaking origin MUST give back the land THEY stole from San!
When their Bantu (Nguni) ancestors migrated south from central and west Africa, did they ask permission to take the land from the San? Bantu genomes clearly take their origins to the lands closer to the equator.
The San now claim their original rights to the land in Southern Africa. Criteria for DNA guidelines concerning Khoi-San vs non-Khoi-San classification will be determined soon.
Where do the descendents of Bantu invaders find themselves in this classification?
You clearly assumed the land you colonised before the Europeans arrived in Southern Africa was yours, and have thereby now opened the door for a legitimate claim by the San.
This is serious – by your own rules you have opened the door for those with a strong dominance of San genomes to claim ownership to the majority of land, if not all of it.
If you are below the San genome lower limit criteria that will be established, then you are non-San. If you fit this category of being non-San, and you are claiming South Africa land rights, then this is only a further endorsement and strengthening of the San First Nation’s claim to significant overall land rights in Southern Africa.
Subsequent to this highly publicized international call below, Matthew McDaniel got arrested by the Thai authorities and - while the USAmerican Ambassador did nothing except playing on the golf course in the capital, Matthew was only freed by international pressure mounted by a civil society organization. However, he was then later deported and continues the struggle for the Akha from outside Thailand. His wife and children could be rescued too and live now in what is exile for them, but together as a family to fight the fight for the sovreignty of the Akah people. (see: www.akha.org and https://akha.blogspot.com ). Thailand still remains to be a vassal of the USA and daily human rights abuses against the Indigenous Peoples are reported.
Matthew McDaniel can now be reached via e-mail and phone: +1-971-388-7185
The Battle for Hooh Yoh Akha
From Matthew McDaniel
Urgent Action Required
Hooh Yoh Akha Village Forced Relocation
Ampur Mae Faluang
Jan 2, 2004
Human beings (like all other animals) draw their energy from the food they eat. Until the last century, all of the food energy available on this planet was derived from the sun through photosynthesis. Either you ate plants or you ate animals that fed on plants, but the energy in your food was ultimately derived from the sun.
It would have been absurd to think that we would one day run out of sunshine. No, sunshine was an abundant, renewable resource, and the process of photosynthesis fed all life on this planet. It also set a limit on the amount of food that could be generated at any one time, and therefore placed a limit upon population growth. Solar energy has a limited rate of flow into this planet. To increase your food production, you had to increase the acreage under cultivation, and displace your competitors. There was no other way to increase the amount of energy available for food production. Human population grew by displacing everything else and appropriating more and more of the available solar energy.
This year the annual World Environmental Summit on Sustainable Development is to be held in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4. It would seem to be an appropriate venue. Unlike many other parts of the continent, or indeed the Third World, Southern Africa has long been a leader in environmental innovation. There have been many success stories. Perhaps the best is the CAMPFIRE project, started in Zimbabwe in the late 1980s, which – despite many teething problems – pioneered a way for rural Africans to make money from wildlife by leasing out hunting and eco-safari concessions, thus drawing income from, rather than competing with, wildlife and wild habitat. Neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Botswana have adopted similar policies. At the coming summit, these projects will no doubt be held up as models for the rest of the globe to follow.
Contributors to openDemocracy’s City&Country strand have already drawn attention to the intimate connection between hunting and landscape, an issue currently being brought into sharp focus in the UK by the attempts to ban fox-hunting there.
When a woman in a certain traditional African community knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to their clan and teach it to everyone else.
When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child's song to him or her.
In 1994 I went to Canada, and 1997 they accepted me as a refugee. Not knowing what was awaiting me, I thought that all my problems were over, and I was going to live a happy life. Somehow for six to seven years my life went on as I was expecting, studying, working, and so on. In March 2001 the perps which I believe are CIA and the CISS of Canada agents targeted me for the first time when I was living in Toronto, Ontario and that was the beginning of most horrible era of my life.
First I was not sure what was going on, but it started with horrendous nightmares every night; then I realized some people that were following me around, residing beside my apartment and coming to my work place before that happened were CISS and CIA agents. After that I moved around, and every 5 to 6 months I changed my apartment, but they always targeted me, and I only was able to run from them whenever I was not sleeping in my car or in my apartment. But from 2005 they never lost me for one minute, and that was when the horrible tortures started.
They were directing sharp microwaves at my head that I had to remain still and could do nothing. I wrote a letter to Paul Martin Prime Minister of Canada at the time and sent copies to my doctor and UNHCR but it reached nowhere. Later they increased the torture by directing sharp microwaves at my eyes and ears. It was absolutely unbearable; my eyes were turning red full of blood and I lost almost 1.5 visual acuity of my sight causing my eyesight to reduce to 20/12 approximately, necessitating my having to get glasses. At that time I was working for a pizza store as a supervisor and I found it impossible for me to continue my work there or live in Canada.
Inukshuk Management Consultants
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, X1A 1G3
Phone: (867) 873-5042Fax: (867) 873-9169
Many people around the world today are deeply concerned about the decline of the planet, its eco-systems and its species-- and on a smaller scale, the deterioration of their local environments and bio-regions. Frustrated at the slow pace of public education and consciousness raising efforts, they see their respective legal systems as "courts of last resort." "We can write stronger laws," they think, "and we can force those who are destroying our planet and damaging our environments to change their ways."