A Native American sacred burial site in Arizona has been blown up and destroyed by construction crews building President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall.
“Controlled blasting” has begun this past week at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and will continue intermittently for the rest of the month. The specific area, Monument Hill, is being blasted. This area is an important Native American burial site. “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,” says Raúl Grijalva, a member of the US House of Representatives who heads the chambers Committee on Natural Resources.
I just got back from the border.— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) February 9, 2020
This week, Trump blew up a sacred Native American hill on public land to build his racist wall.
Watch my new update and join the growing movement to stop the wall. #NoBorderWall pic.twitter.com/YgmS94vAwO
According to PressTV, these blasting began without consent from the Tohono O’odham, a Native American tribe whose ancestral land it affects. Evidently, Grijalva had sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security at the beginning of the year asking the administration to consult with the Tohono O’odham Nation about the wall’s construction, but he did not hear back from them.
“There has been no consultation with the nation. This administration is basically trampling on the tribe’s history — and to put it poignantly, it’s ancestry,” Grijalva stated.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) promises to always have an environmental monitor present during the construction but Native American and environmental groups remain worried as to what the wall can harm.
As reported by EcoWatch, the Organ Pipe was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve by the UN in 1976, which called it “a pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem.”