Friday, April 27, 2012

Request for Intervention to the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya

Dear Special Rapporteur Anaya,

In furtherance of the objectives of the Conference and Consultation on the Significance of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which you hosted today at the University of Arizona School of Law, please consider submitting a formal inquiry to the US Justice Department regarding the following issue, namely:

The continued persecution and discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in Maricopa County, Arizona including exclusion from the procedures of investigation and remedy involving racial profiling currently under way in Maricopa County by the US Justice Department.


PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074

February 7, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Sir:

It has come to our attention via reports in the media today that the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be opening up an office of community ombudsman to address issues of concern by the public relevant to the scope of law enforcement policies and operations of the agency.

We were also informed this morning that officials of the Justice Department are meeting with community leaders and organizations to discuss the current status of the US Justice Department Letter of Findings regarding the investigation of the office of the Maricopa County Sheriff, J. Arpaio.

The long march in defense of civil rights for All Peoples which began with the dismantling of discriminatory racial profiling practices that benefited the European American "white" constituencies with ethnic preferences in electoral, educational, economic, and legal systems has many chapters, but it begins with the basic recognition of universal Human Dignity and compassion.

The crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge and the anguish of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965 are significant mileposts in this journey, and must be recalled now to contextualize the actions of yet another Sheriff in yet another state, for as Martin Luther King said after Selma in 1967 and before his assassination in 1968: "We have emerged from the era of Civil Rights to the Era of Human Rights."

Human Rights are inherent.  The United States of North America is a signatory of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  These two facts are realities that must be brought to bear to evaluate the scope of the issues mentioned at the beginning of the memorandum, but there is more.

On September 13, 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The US was one of four governments that opposed the declaration including the anglophile states of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who as derivatives, represent immigrant sovereignties that are residuals of the colonies of the British Empire.

Governor George Wallace of Alabama and Sheriff Clark of Selma also opposed the tides of justice, and in the name of the "Rule of Law" committed acts of atrocity and brutality that have left lasting wounds on the visage of the concept of America as "Land of the Free".

Therefore, in light of the fact that the issues of racial profiling and discriminatory policing that have begun to be addressed in the US Justice Department Letter of Findings regarding the Maricopa County Sheriff's office and the Melendrez vs. Arpaio decision by the US Court of Justice HAVE NOT mentioned the systematic practices of racial profiling against Indigenous Peoples in particular as fundamental to the overall violations of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Indigenous Rights within the scope of law enforcement operations in Maricopa County:

We now request a meeting on the ground with the representatives of your department to discuss and explore venues to address this ongoing and pervasive pogrom of "ethnic cleansing" under the guise of the "Rule of Law."

Please contact me at your convenience to discuss this proposal.


Tupac Enrique Acosta. Yaotachcauh
Tlahtokan Nahuacalli


"Stopping Mexicans to make sure they are legal is not racist.  If you have dark skin, you have dark skin! Unfortunately, that is the look of the Mexican illegal."

Files of Maricopa County Sheriff J. Arpaio,
quoted on page 28 of US District Court Case 2:07-cv-02513-GMS
Document 494 12/23/11

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Geography of Self Determination

The Geography of Self Determination
Tupac Enrique Acosta

When the United Nations passed General Assembly resolution 1514 in 1960, declaring “All peoples have the right of self determination”, one of the arguments put forward by the member states of the UN was to clothe the concept of territorial integrity of the states themselves as being protected under the same principle.  In fact, section 6 of the same resolution GA1514 states:

“Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

In essence, these two statements from the seminal document that made colonization a crime for the first time in international law established an inherent conflict in the UN processes that now, half a century later, have come to a definitive point in terms of historical resolution. 

Nowhere is this more evident than by the blatant efforts by the anglophile bloc of government states (US-Canada-New Zealand-Australia) to block the full recognition of the Right of Self Determination in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The position of these government states is an attempt to place the right of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples as existing only within the parameters of domestic policy and legal systems, even though these same systems are products of colonization itself.

World Water One


The political arguments on both sides of the issue are in conflict, not just because of the doctrines of power that gave birth to the concepts of dominion which define the states and the social relations of their member constituencies, but also because the framework for resolution of the issues within the UN system is incompetent to address the spirituality of the earth based territorial reality of the Indigenous Nations, and the system itself is incoherent according to the geographic sciences of modern times.

What is lacking is a mechanism to define the issues in common terms, outside of the intellectual framework of colonization and dominion. What is missing is a clarification of the concept of territorial integrity, as a dimension of ecological and social sustainability and not a bastard relic from the intellectual Regime of Doctrines spawned by the Divine Right of Kings.

Emergence of the Fourth Principle

GA 1514 was followed by GA1541, which specified principles that defined three options for the attainment of “a full measure of self-government”, as the only contemplated political trajectories at the time for relief from colonization.  These are:

(a)           Emergence as a sovereign independent State;
(b)           Free association with an independent state; or
(c)           Integration with an independent state.

It is an incontrovertible fact that the transfer of territorial jurisdiction from Indigenous Nations authorities to dominion concepts of control and allegiance by the states is historically flawed and legally suspect.  There are unquantifiable elements. The case of the Western Shoshone is contemporary evidence that this is not just history but reality in the context of the hemisphere of the Americas, yet there is a larger issue.

The social and geographic realities of the Indigenous Peoples as Nations continue to exist as a political anomaly in terms of the international legal system of the United Nations.  Specifically, in this hemisphere of Abya Yala [the Americas] not only is this true in the face of centuries of colonization but also in terms of the options for relief from the crime.

Self definition being the precept of self determination, the three options of GA 1541 do not adequately describe the outcome of principles of self-determination which would define the Indigenous Peoples and our continuing relationship to our ancestral territories and surviving traditional societies.

The Emergence of the Indigenous Nations is a daily occurrence, one which is manifested in accord with natural laws of complementarity and harmony with the natural world, which includes our fellow human beings.  This ancient tradition is the shared cultural infrastructure of our confederations of families, clans, communities Pueblos and Nations. It could be characterized as a State of Integrity, which is not independent but interdependent within the network of ecosystems that describe our traditional homelands, sacred sites, territories and nations: the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth.

Thus the Emergence of the Fourth Principle for decolonization: INTERDEPENDENCE, self-determination as an expression of community ecology and environmental sustainability. It is a particular and universal principle that may serve as a threshold concept to arrive at that ancient place once called the New World, if only we could create and travel guided by maps of the geography of self-determination.

Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
802 N. 7th Street     Phoenix, AZ 85006
P.O. Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074



Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth 

Architectures of the States and the
Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth

As Peoples of Mother Earth, we collectively determine to regenerate our relationships among ourselves within a Cultural Climate of Mutual Respect, Inclusion, Complementarity, and Self Determination beyond the existing constrains of the international systems of state sovereignty and in responsibility to the well being of the future generations;

Recognizing that unless this fundamental dimension of international relationships among human societies at the planetary level is first recognized, established and affirmed, there will be no sustainable progress in addressing effectively and in timely manner the Climate Chaos scenario that now befalls all of Humanity due to the impacts on Global Climate exacerbated greenhouse gas emissions by industrial society and extractive industries in particular in complicity with national government states and existing international monetary systems and institutions.

Therefore we proclaim and hereby reaffirm in collective Responsibility as Peoples of Mother Earth, in Equality with all Peoples, our collective Right of Representation and Self Determination in addressing the issues before the COP20 beyond the constraints of the architecture of the States and their agreements;

We further affirm and proclaim in Full, Effective, and Complete exercise of our equally shared Right of Self Determination as Peoples of Mother Earth, that our Sacred Mother Earth is subject of the Right of Self Determination beyond the limited juridical constraints of the Westphalian System of State Sovereignty represented in UN system and the international architectures of personality and procedures of negotiation and agreements.

Embassy of Indigenous Peoples

P.O. Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Draft Agenda: Indigenous Peoples Preparatory Meeting 2012

11th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
May 5th and 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Church Center for the United Nations
777 UN Plaza on the 2nd Floor - New York City

Draft Agenda
Saturday, May 5th 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
1. Opening Thanksgiving - Welcome and Words of Wisdom by hosts and Elders

2. Selection of Chairpersons (Co-Chairs fluent in Spanish and English)

3. Acceptance of Agenda

4. Permanent Forum Agenda:

  • PF 3. Doctrine of Discovery
    Inclusion of indigenous peoples’ human rights in national constitutions
    Study of good practices in the Artic Combating violence against Indigenous women
  • PF 4. Human rights:
    (a) Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
    (b) Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people and other United Nations human rights mechanisms.
  • PF 5. Comprehensive dialogue with United Nations agencies and funds including WIPO.
  • PF 6. Rights of indigenous peoples to food and food sovereignty Shifting cultivation and the sociocultural integrity of indigenous peoples
  • PF 7. World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014
  • PF 8 Half-day discussion on Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia
  • PF 9 Indigenous peoples, transnational corporations and other business enterprises
  • 5th anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

5. Scheduling of Caucus meetings during the week
6. Recorder for Indigenous Caucus
7. Drafting teams for Caucus statements
8. Other matters
a) HRC Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – July 2012
b) OAS Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
c) Earth Summit Rio+20
d) Indigenous Prep-com, June, 2013 Alta, Norway

Lunch Break 12:00 - 1:00 each day (lunch will be provided) 

Sunday, April 18th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

8. Review by Chairs of first Caucus day

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
9. Introduction of and discussion with the expert members of the Permanent Forum

10. Briefing by staff members of the Permanent Forum’s Secretariat
2:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Continuation of Business

3:45 Closing Thanksgiving
Please note that the Church Center closes at 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday