2/15/2020

Cali Tzay Nominated for UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Jose Francisco Cali Tzay, Mayan Cakchiquel, former President of UNCERD
United Nations (UCTP Taino News) - The UN Human Rights Council accepted nominations for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples until October 2019. Among the nominees are Jose Francisco Cali Tzay, a Mayan Cakchiquel from Guatemala and former member (through December 2019) and past President of the UN CERD. In addition to his many other accomplishments, he is also the President of the Board of Directors of the International Indian Treaty Council for the past 20 years. 

Indigenous organizations from around the world have already submitted letters of support for the nomination of Cali Tzay, including the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP)

In a joint statement with the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization, UCTP President, Roberto Múkaro Borrero stated: “We commend the remarkable work Mr. Cali Tzay has accomplished in the field of human rights, in particular, issues concerning indigenous peoples internationally, over his career.” 

In 2001, the Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, as part of the system of thematic Special Procedures. The Special Rapporteur’s mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights in 2004, and by the Human Rights Council in 2007. 

Appointments of Special Procedures Mandate Holders are expected to be made at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 24 February - 20 March 2020. 

UCTPTN 02/15/2020

2/13/2020

Taino community member’s art selected for NY Public Library Publication

New York (UCTP Taíno News) – Taíno community member, Cesar Guzman was selected and published in the 2020 edition of “Connections: A free guide for formally incarcerated people in New York City.” Connections is produced by the New York Public Library and is accessed by tens of thousands of New Yorkers every year who are looking for information on social service assistance, human rights, and other information. Guzman received a Certificate of Award in recognition of his “outstanding artistic interpretation of Connections” and his artwork appeared on page 219. 

UCTPTN 02/13/2020

1/19/2020

Women's March Brings Thousands Together Across the U.S. and Beyond

UCTP Representative Chali'naru Dones (at center) opens the 4th Annual Pioneer Valley Women's March on Saturday, January 18, 2020, with a spiritual invocation. 
Photo: Kevin Gutting 
Springfield, Massachusetts (UCTP Taíno News) – From coast to coast, thousands of women and their allies took to the streets across the U.S. on Saturday, January 18, 2020 to raise the visibility of a variety of issues such as climate change, immigration, reproductive rights, pay equity, gun safety, and voting. 


Marches took place in Washington D.C., New York City, Chicago, Denver, Colorado, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  New London, Connecticut, Dayton, Ohio, and Springfield, Massachusetts, among many others. The march in Washington D.C. was expected to be the largest, with a permit filed for 10,000 people. Colorful and passionate messages of resistance, empowerment, and solidarity were consistent across events.
In Springfield, Massachusetts, s
everal hundred demonstrators made their way down Main Street to City Hall holding signs and chanting at the fourth annual Pioneer Valley Women’s March. The Springfield mobilization was opened with a spiritual invocation by Chali’naru Dones, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People and a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe. 

Before beginning her invocation, Dones called on those gathered to acknowledge local Indigenous Peoples and to keep the “women and all the people of Borikén (Puerto Rico) in [their] hearts” as they were still suffering from the effects of recent earthquakes. She also called for more attention on the issue of “missing and murdered Indigenous Women from throughout the hemisphere.” 

Also at the Springfield rally, Rhonda Anderson, a member of Inupiaq Athabaskan Tribes of Alaska called on the crowd to “Resist racism, resist marginalization, resist colonization, resist harmful legislation that seeks to turn back the clock against women, against minorities and against our Mother Earth.

The over 200 Women’s Marches that took place on Saturday were not limited to the U.S. as others took place in Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Sydney and beyond. 

UCTPTN 01/19/2020

1/07/2020

The UCTP Condemns Actions of US Army Core of Engineers (USACE) and Southeastern Archaelogical Research Inc. (SEARCH, Inc.)

The United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) condemns the actions of the US Army Core of Engineers (USACE) and Southeastern Archaelogical Research Inc. (SEARCH, Inc.) based in Orlando, Florida, which resulted in the irreparable damage to an ancient indigenous burial site, including human remains and associated funerary objects at Rio la Plata, Dorado, Puerto Rico. 

The UCTP also condemns the decision of the State Historic Preservation Office in Puerto Rico, which granted the permit to and certified the work of the USACE and SEARCH, Inc. as satisfactory even though heavy equipment was used for excavation and human remains and associated cultural materials were removed from the site without consultation with interested local indigenous peoples' organizations. The lack of consultation is a violation of the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

The desecration of the burial site and lack of consultation by the USACE in Dorado is not an isolated incident, as the UCTP has requested consultative status in the past, for example, during excavations at the PO29 Site located at Jacanas, Ponce, Puerto Rico in 2007. The USACE and PR SHPO continue to ignore the established protocol and procedures concerning "consulting parties" in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act, 36 C.F.R. §800.2: - Participants in the Section 106 process.

While the United Confederation of Taíno People is not a "tribe" federally recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, it is an Indigenous Peoples Representative Institution that represents descendants of Indigenous Peoples most closely associated with the site in Dorado. Additionally, the UCTP is aware of the availability of the ACHP's guidance regarding consultation with non-federally recognized tribes. 

Therefore, the UCTP calls on the USACE and PR SHPO to cease and desist in their ongoing violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and comply with the National Historic Preservation Act in Rio la Plata, Dorado, and all of Borikén (aka Puerto Rico). 

In witness thereof,
Roberto Múkaro Borrero, 
President,
United Confederation of Taíno People

12/13/2019

Emergencia Arqueológica en Río La Plata, Dorado Borikén (Puerto Rico)

Comunicado de Prensa para difusión Inmediata (13 de diciembre de 2019) - La Confederación Unida del Pueblo Taíno, conocida como UCTP, por sus siglas en inglés, envió hoy una carta dirigida a la Sra. Valerie Hauser, Directora de Asuntos Nativo-Americanos del Consejo Asesor sobre la Preservación Histórica (ACHP, por sus siglas en inglés), en Washington, D.C. y con copia a un sinnúmero de oficiales de agencias federales en E.E.U.U. y en Puerto Rico, miembros de la comunidad indígena, arqueólogos, entre otros, incluyendo al Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. 

Dicha carta hacía referencia a: la violación de Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de Tribus que no son federalmente reconocidas y sobre diálogo y seguimiento entre la Sra. Hauser y Tai Pelli, Oficial de Relaciones Internacionales y Derechos Humanos de la UCTP, luego de que ésta presentara una intervención ante el Foro Permanente sobre las Cuestiones Indígenas de las Naciones Unidas, exponiendo la falta de cumplimiento de parte de Estados Unidos en la consulta y la implementación de la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, y presentado prueba de dicho incumplimiento.

Aunque las agencias federales declaran que no necesitan hacer consulta “porque en Puerto Rico no hay Tribus Federalmente reconocidas”, parece que pocos, aparte de el mismo Pueblo Indígena, conocen sobre nuestros derechos. La Sra. Hauser indicó que sí existen instrucciones de cómo gestionar consulta con tribus que no son federalmente reconocidas. Poco después, la oficina de Programas de Agencias Federales envió una carta con instrucciones claras a la agencia pertinente federal en Puerto Rico, de cómo gestionar la consulta con la UCTP, de acuerdo a los protocolos existentes en las agencias federales para la Consulta con tribus que no son federalmente reconocidas. Dicha agencia jamás se comunicó con la UCTP.

Surge otro hallazgo cuyas condiciones aparentan ser, de acuerdo a conocedores en la materia, como uno peor que Jácanas en Ponce hace años atrás.

Como parte de 3 lugares donde la SHPO ha otorgado permisología para la canalización de ríos, y cuyos contratos alegadamente serían otorgados a la misma compañía, comienza el proceso en el primer sector, Río La Plata en Dorado, PR este pasado septiembre 2019. Poco después surge que en el lugar hay un yacimiento arqueológico significativo en tamaño, que incluye entierros de seres humanos, vasijas, etc. El Cuerpo de Ingenieros contrata a la compañía SEARCH y ésta se encarga de la excavación.

Supimos que se había encontrado restos humanos pertenecientes a 8-10 personas. No fue sino hasta que recibimos fotos de vecinos del área recientemente, que supimos la magnitud del caso y cuestionamos la manera en que se está trabajando el área; hay pedazos de vasijas rotos regados por el lar, máquina digger en el área de yacimiento y 7 restos humanos sufriendo la vergüenza de lo que han sufrido miles de Borikuas por los huracanes: ¡que nuestros ancestros también estén tapados con toldos azules sucios dados a los elementos! Desconocemos si éstos son adicionales a los que se habían mencionado y encontrado inicialmente.

Hemos sabido que la arqueóloga que había sido contactada para que su laboratorio hiciera los estudios geo-arqueológicos del yacimiento, por su gran preocupación ética por la manera en que se estaba llevando a cabo esta operación, renunció al proyecto efectivo de inmediato ayer 12 de diciembre de 2019, en la tarde.

La UCTP y miembros de la comunidad indígena, le han pedido a la más alta oficina a nivel federal a que le pongan un alto a esa permisología, y que se investigue y se corrija esta situación lo antes posible, amparándose en sus derechos, como han sido expresados en la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Por este medio hacemos un llamado a la comunidad indígena caribeña así como la Internacional y a nuestros simpatizantes no-indígenas a que expresen y apoyen nuestro Pueblo Indígena y finalmente pongamos fin a este abuso que se continúa cometiendo contra el patrimonio indígena, nuestros yacimientos arqueológicos, y nuestros sitios sagrados, ahora en Borikén y a través del mundo.

Para mayor información, favor de comunicarse con Tai Pelli, Oficial de Relaciones Internacionales y Derechos Humanos, Confederación Unida del Pueblo Taíno (United Confederation of Taíno People) a: taipelli21@gmail.com.