Native Americans step up fight against Trump’s proposed US-Mexico border wall
A small indigenous community in the Sonoran Desert has opened up a new front in the battle against US President Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall along the superpower’s southern border with Mexico.
The Tohono O’odham – the name means desert people – have lived on both sides of the border since their lands were arbitrarily divided between the United States and Mexico, some 160 years ago. Their territory is roughly the size of Connecticut and extends along 150 kilometers of the border, taking parts of southern Arizona and New Mexico.
Now they fear that Trump's wall will divide a nation whose territory doesn't respect international borders and they have taken the fight to protect their lands to the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as reported in El País.
Representatives of the nation from the US side of the border have worked with authorities to stop the flow of both migrants and drugs into the United States and are willing to maintain border controls – but without the fence.
“This is a clear ‘no’ to the wall because it would affect our ancestral lands, and the flora and fauna of the region, and it would be like eliminating us, especially for members of the nation in Mexico,” says Óscar Velásquez, a Tohono O’odham governor.
Velásquez adds that the group has not received the support they expected from the Mexican government.
As reported in El País (in English).