To: Hon. Daniel J. Galán, Secretario del Departmento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales, Hon. Luis G. Fortuño, Gobernador, Hon. Thomas Rivera Schatz, Preseidente del Senado, y Hon. Jennifer A. González Colon, Presidente de la Camara de Representantes, y Hon. Luis M. Santiago González, Presidente de la Comisión de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales del Senado y Hon. Eric Correa Rivera, Presidente de la Comisión de Recursos Naturales, Ambientales y Energía de la Cámara de Representantes del Estado Libre Asiciado de Puerto Rico

Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/ViaVerde/petition.html

We as young Taíno Guaribo Gua Coku Gua Boriken (Puerto Rico), oppose the “Green Route" project proposed by the current government as an energy reform solution to reduce the cost energy. The so-called "Green Route" is nothing but a mechanism of mass destruction to Mother Earth, Atabey, that will negatively impact wildlife and their habitats, presents a threat to Sacred Sites, the life, well being and property of the People. We have already suffered the loss of life, and damage to our environment, wildlife, habitat and homes from explosions. On November 21, 1996 there was a huge explosion caused by a gas leak in the town of town of Rio Piedras that injured over 100 people and took the lives of 34 people. The latest “accident” occurred on October 23, 2009 in the town of Cataño when a fuel leak caused an explosion in the oil refinery "CAPECO (Caribbean Petroleum Company, (owners of the Gulf gas stations in Puerto Rico). Today we still have not received a report on the environmental and wild life impact of said explosion.

It is outrageous to witness this act of crass violation of fundamental basic human and constitutional rights of our Nation and Peoples. Everyone has the Sacred and undeniable human right to enjoy the benefits of development without the destruction of their natural resources, wildlife, habitats or threat to their sustenance, Sacred Sites, life, culture and property of the People.

This deplorable plan means that power plants would go from dependency on foreign oil to dependency on foreign natural gas; making us totally dependent on the Fenosa Company (a Spain based company), a leading multi-national corporation in the gas and power sectors, creating yet another dependency on a monopoly. It operates in 23 countries and has more than 20 million customers worldwide. We have already experienced the devastating consequences to Atabey, Mother Earth caused when they began to lay the infrastructure for this project in the south of the Island, “Gasoducto del Sur”. They now pretend to revive this disastrous project with a very misleading name change from the Southern Pipeline to the “Green Route” implying that it is renewable green energy, and changing the route to the central mountain range all the way to the metropolitan area.

According to the AEE plans, the pipeline route is 146 km long with a potential impact to over 100 meters wide and, would severely impact around 400 agricultural acres.

• It will severely affect the conservation of the of the Rio Grande de Arecibo and Rio Portuguese Watersheds and impact many rivers including, Rio de la Plata, Río Bayamón, Quebrada Diego, Rio Cibuco, Cano Matos, Perdomo Canal, Rio Grande de Arecibo, Caguana River, River Caguanita, Pellejas River, Rio Corcho, Quebrada Arenas, Río Tallaboa, Tanamá River, Indian River, Rio Grande de Manati and Rio Yunes.

• The pipeline route is comprised of 106 km of the karst area which supplies more than 25% of the total water demand of the country and directly impacts 223 acres of Special Conservation Zones. Furthermore, the presence of sinkholes and unstable terrain located within the pipeline route would cause more landslides than usual. Unstable terrain in south-central mountain range have some of the highest slopes ranging from sea level on the coast to 3,000 feet above sea level in town of Adjuntas, it crosses two seismic fault lines and then continue to San Juan affecting 13 municipalities.

• It will impact some 51 communities, and passes through the lands of the University of Puerto Rico in the Town of Utuado, with potential risks to 22,854 families and students. Although the government says "there is a prudent separation of the pipeline from the communities"; the pipeline will pass along the side of the road that runs in front of the Levittown community in Toa Baja which is home to about 30,071 people; and the pipeline will be exposed along sections of the Arecibo Utuado PR10 where some 13,104 vehicles transit every day.

To see the full report by Casa Pueblo go to: www.redbetances.com/component/content/article/51-en-portada/390-casa-pueblo-html

• Although, the preamble to the constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico says that “a democratic system is fundamental to the life of the community… and …that a democratic system is one where the will of the people is the source of public power, where public policy is subordinate to the rights of man, and ensures the free participation of its citizens in collective decisions”. This multinational project again ignores and tramples on the right of the People to participation in decision-making.

Where is the democracy in our country when the government feels free to ignore the will of the people? Therefore we reach out to your conscience and heart to oppose the “Green Route” pipeline of death. Your voice and action together with those of others will help to preserve what is ours. We already face enough risks to our environment, lives and property. Let us explore new sources of renewable and sustainable energy alternatives!


Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/ViaVerde/petition.html


Message of UCTP President on "El Dia de Agueybana el Bravo"

19 Nov. 2010

Re: In honor of “El Dia de Agueybaná el Bravo”, Bo. Caracoles, Ponce, Borikén

Takahi Guaitiao (Greetings relatives):

Justify Full It is an honor to share a few words with you on this special day dedicated to one of our great Taíno heroes – Kasike Agueybaná el Bravo.

I would like to begin by saying hahom (thank you) and bo matum to all the guaitiao present on this day of remembrance – you honor us all.

I would also like to say hahom to the honorable Representative of District # 25 Ponce-Jayuya, Víctor L. Vassallo Anadón who after hearing the need we expressed to him, decided to move forward and proclaim this day officially as “El Dia de Agueybaná el Bravo”. It is our hope that he will continue to support this day and urge more of his colleagues to do the same. This day needs to be recognized as a national holiday.

Guaitiao, as the living descendants of the ancient Indigenous Peoples of Borikén and the Caribbean, it is our responsibility to remember those who have come before us. It is our responsibility to honor them in a good way for if we do not, who will? If we do not sing songs for them, who will? If we do not speak up for them, who will?

Guaitiao, to remember Agueybaná el Bravo is to remember our sacred land we call Borikén. To remember our sacred Borikén is to remember that great leaders such as Agueybaná el Bravo paid for it with their lives.

In closing, the United Confederation of Taíno People joins you in solidarity calling for respect and acknowledgment of the ultimate sacrifice made by our national hero – Agueybaná el Bravo.

Han han katu, Seneko kakona,

Roberto Múkaro Agueibaná Borrero,

President, United Confederation of Taíno People,
Office of International Relations and Regional Coordination

Source: http://www.uctp.org


Taíno Arts Matriarch Crosses into Koaibei

Morovis, Borikén/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) – The Taíno community is mourning the loss of master ceramicist Evarista Chéverez Diaz who crossed into koaibei (the spirit world) on November 4, 2010. Known affectionately as “doña Varin,” Chéverez was a symbol of the revival of Taíno style coil rolled pottery in Borikén. She is remembered for her humor and wit as well as her knowledge of local medicinal plants and remedies.

“Doña Varin will be sincerely missed by many people of all walks of life on the island and beyond” stated Roberto Múkaro Agueibaná Borrero, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People. “She was a proud Taíno woman and she will remain an important part of the contemporary history of our people.”

Born in Morovis on November 16, 1933 Chéverez would have been 77 years old today. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, don Pablo Chéverez and her children Hector Luis, Felix Manuel, Pablo Alberto, Esthel Violeta, Juan Jose, Maria Janette, Nydia, Antonio, Alice Daisy, and Javier as well as a number of grandchildren.

UCTPTN 11.16.2010


FDU Hosts Presentation about the U.N. and Indigenous Peoples

TEANECK, NJ —Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations” is the topic that a United Nations panel will present on and discuss on November 17, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Metropolitan Campus, Teaneck, N.J. as part of FDU’s United Nations Pathways program.

The opportunity to attend this presentation is free and open to the public. The presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a traditional welcome and cultural presentation from Chief Dwaine Perry. The film “Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Vol. 1” will be screened and following that will be a panel discussion by Roberto Borrero and Tonya Gonnella Frichner. The event will conclude at 8 p.m.

Perry is the chief of the Ramapough Mountain Indian Nation, who are the descendants of the Lenape people. The Ramapough Indians are a group of approximately 5,000 people living around the Ramapo Mountains of northern New Jersey and southern New York.

Borrero is the current chairperson of the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. He is a member of the Boriken Taino indigenous community and respected advocate for indigenous rights. The Boriken Taino are native to Puerto Rico.

Frichner is an attorney and the founder and president of the American Indian Law Alliance, an NGO in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She is a member of the Onondaga Nation, Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.

Fairleigh Dickinson’s Office of Global Learning, in collaboration with the N.G.O. Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, presents this program.

The program is being held in the Rutherford Room in the Student Union Building. Fairleigh Dickinson is located at 1000 River Road, Teaneck, N.J. For additional information, call FDU’s Office of Global Learning at (973) 443-8876.


Mayan, Taino traditions celebrated in Verona

Pittsburgh, PA - People driving on Verona Road Sunday night could little know, though if they did they would likely wonder, about the Mayan and Taino ceremonies that were taking place in Miguel Sague's yard.

There was fire, incense, a sweat lodge, and afterward, a feast, as Mr. Sague introduced or re-introduced a small group of people to a Mayan fire ceremony, followed by a Taino sweat lodge experience.

It's a tradition he tries to observe on a monthly basis, said Mr. Sague, 59, a retired Roosevelt Elementary School art teacher.

"It's what keeps us going," said his wife, Lenia Sague. Both she and her husband moved to the United States from Cuba when they were young, but have continued to observe their Taino culture.

"It's what keeps us grounded to our Taino beliefs," she said.

The Tainos are an indigenous people of the Caribbean. Mr. Sague is a member of the Caney Indigenous Spiritual Circle, which celebrates Taino and other indigenous cultures, and since his retirement, he has spent much of his time traveling around the United States taking part in similar native ceremonies to the one he hosted at his house.

He sent out e-mails through the Caney group and other groups he is a member of here to invite people to participate in the traditional ceremonies, and about 10 people with varying degrees of experience with indigenous ceremonies took him up on the offer.

At around 5 p.m., people began gathering in the Sagues' Verona home. In the front yard, a fire pit burned, filled with wood and large stones that had been heating up since 2 p.m., Mr. Sague said. Next to the fire pit was a small wooden hut, slightly more than waist-high and with room for 10 to 15 people.

Before he began the sweat lodge ceremony, Mr. Sague's friend, Antonio Ah Ik, led a small group of people through a Mayan ceremony on the patio behind the house.

Mr. Ah Ik lives in Verona now but is originally from Guatemala, where his father taught him the traditions of their Mayan ancestors.

The sound of passing cars occasionally entered the background while Mr. Ah Ik performed a ceremony that far predates engines or tires. He poured sugar into a circle formation, then divided the circle with more lines of sugar, to symbolize the four cardinal directions. Facing each direction in turn, he spoke Mayan words, praying for wisdom and knowledge for the people standing around the circle.

Mr. Sague placed small pieces of wood into the circle, and they lit a small fire, feeding it with cut flowers, more sugar and incense. Then each participant said a silent or spoken prayer, and tossed incense into the fire.

The ceremony lasted about 20 minutes, and then Mr. Sague led the group back into his house, where they changed into lighter clothing for the sweat lodge ceremony.

The fire ceremony, Mr. Sague said, symbolizes life, while the sweat lodge ceremony -- with people crowding into a small, dark, warm space, to emerge 45 minutes to an hour later -- represents birth.

"It's a very powerful way for us humans, whether indigenous or not, to relate to our Earth mother," he said.

Seven people crawled into the sweat lodge, then Mr. Sague took a shovel and began to pull the stones, glowing with heat and covered with embers, out of the fire pit. He brushed off the embers with a tree branch, then transferred them into a pit in the middle of the dark sweat lodge.

Over the course of the purification ceremony, he said they would use 24 stones as he led the small group in traditional Taino chants.

Outside the temperature was in the 40s. Inside, the participants, who had been instructed to fast for at least four hours, would get the sensation of being in a sauna.

"I've never put a thermometer in there," Mr. Sague said. "It just gets hot enough for people to sweat."

Author: Kaitlynn Riely
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Kiskeia ‘Pyramids’ are Natural Formations

Kiskeia/Dominican Republic (UCTP Taino News) – Investigations in the Dominican Republic have confirmed that recently discovered ‘stone pyramids’ are not pre-Colombian structures but natural formations. An impressive team of researchers gathered to investigate the claim emerging from the Puerto Plata municipality.

According to local reports the research investigation team included local archaeologists Jorge Ulloa and Joaquin Nadal as well as Alfredo Coppa and Alice Angeletti from Universita La Sapienza in Rome. Geologist Tabare Mundaray Baez and Pauline Kulstad of the Caribbean Association of Archaeologists were also a part of the delegation.

The research team determined that the large lime stone formations were the result of natural land shifts.

UCTPTN 11.05.2006