To: Centro de Gestion Intergral de Residuos (CEGIR) , United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Mexican government federal Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT)
Protect Sacred Sites: Stop Toxic Dumping on O’odham Lands
On March 29, 2008 Traditional O’odham leaders and International Supporters arrived in the small village of Quitovac in the Northern Sonoran State of Mexico to honor the land, the sky, the water, and all life, and to continue organizing to stop the building of a toxic waste dump that’s planned to be placed just a few miles from one of the most sacred ceremony cites of the O’odham.
Since early in 2006 the traditional O’odham residing in the occupied territories of Northern Mexico and the South Western United States (and their international supporters) have persistently and patiently organized, protested and petitioned to try to convince the Mexican government federal Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop CEGIR from building this toxic dump. So far, protest and international attention has held back the initial phases of the dump construction, but there have been no official statements from SEMARNAT, CEGIR or any other entity that the plans to build the dump have actually been officially canceled.
The following is a statement from the Traditional O’odham Leaders:
Traditional O’odham Leaders of the O’odham Territories
Cu:Wi I-gersk Communities
Whereas, we the O’odham (People) the original people have sole authority to oversee the environmental balance of these lands according to the mandated instructions of the Creator, and
Whereas, as O’odham we maintain our legacy through our oral history, the teachings of our Elder Brother I’itoi, we maintain our inherent way of life including conducting our ceremonies, making offerings to the land and sea, waterways and mountains as well as using all the biological and environmental resources of the region as a food and medicinal source, and
Whereas, as O’odham we strongly oppose the proposed chemical waste dumpsite by CEGIR-Centro de Gestion Intergral de Residuos, S.A. in the State of Sonora, Mexico, and
Whereas, as O’odham we maintain that regardless of what environmental and cultural protection laws are to be implemented and enforced for this project, the effects of hazardous chemicals will have a detrimental and injurious effect on the human and biological environment of the Region, and
Now Therefore be it Resolved, that the Traditional O’odham Leaders of the O’odham Territories, including all its supporters Local and International oppose the proposed chemical waste dumpsite by CEGIR-Centro de Gestion Intergral de Residuos, S.A. in the O’odham territories in Sonora, Mexico.
Be it Further Resolved that the Mexican Government and the Government of the State of Sonora enforce its existing environmental and cultural protection laws and stop this project and protect the human and biological environment of the Region
Be it finally be Resolved that the Mexican Government, both Federal and State mandate improvement of its communication with the O’odham representation in the State of Sonora, Mexico to enforce its solidarity with the O’odham
This petition is demanding that the Mexican government federal Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CEGIR (the Mexican Company that wants to build the dump) immediately cancel and or refuse to permit all plans for the toxic dump and release official letters to The O’odham Voice Against the Wall, Green Action, and the O’odham Solidarity Project indicating that the planned toxic dump has been canceled permanently.
For more background information about this issue please visit:
O’odham Solidarity Project
For EPA involvement please see:
US-Mexico 2012 Border Program
Sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/Quitovac/petition.html.