Ref: SCBD/STTM/DCO/va/48601 ³Advice on the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Genetic Use Restriction Technologies

To: Hamdallah Zedan
Executive Secretary
Convention on Biological Diversity,
United Nations Environment Programme
FAX: 1 514 288 6588
World Trade Centre
413 Saint-Jacques Street
Suite 800
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H2Y 1N9

RE: Ref: SCBD/STTM/DCO/va/48601 ³Advice on the report of the Ad Hoc Technical
Expert Group on Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTS)

Greetings Hamdallah Zedan:

On behalf of the Caribbean Indigenous Peoples represented by the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), we join in solidarity with indigenous peoples around the world and call upon the Working Group on Article 8(j) to advise the Eighth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP8) that GURTs is a dangerous technology that threatens biodiversity, Indigenous knowledge systems, smallholder farmers and global food security.

We call upon the Parties at the COP8 to fully consider the AHTEG Report on GURTS, and approve the Report¹s recommendation that governments develop national regulations to prohibit commercialization of GURTS.

In recognition of the negative impacts GURTs poses to indigenous peoples, local communities, peasants and small-scale farmers we call on the Parties to the COP8 to strengthen the recommendation of paragraph 23 of decision V/5, that no GURTS should be approved for field testing or commercial use.

In recognition of the negative impacts that GURTs pose to Indigenous peoples, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Secretariat must ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples in all future processes of the CBD related to GURTs.

Roberto Múcaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
United Confederation of Taíno People,
U.S. Regional Coordinating Office

*Original Letter was sent to the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme on Friday, Sept. 30, 2005.

For additional information on Terminator Seeds and GURTS please visit www.banterminator.org

Ciboney Elder Passes into the Spirit World

Behike Taxis (Sergio Luis) the father of Waganche (Jorge Luis) passed away on August 25, 2005 at age 68 in his struggle with heart disease and cancer. Taxis last work involved completing the Ciboney Tribe religion book: Song of the Caiman -- Spiritual Beliefs of the Ciboney People. He will always remain in the hearts and thoughts of his people.


7th Annual San Dimas Intertribal Pow Wow and Cultural Experience

The 7th Annual San Dimas Intertribal Pow Wow and Cultural Experience will be held this weekend on Saturday October 1st and Sunday October 2nd, 2005 in San Dimas, California.

The Pow Wow will feature Inter-Tribal Dancing, Native American Vendors, Cultural Demonstrations, California First Nations Dancers, hands-on activities for children and much more.

For Taino, Arawak and Carib people in the area, please look for UCTP Representative John Hu'acan Vidal who will have a table at the Pow Wow featuring Taino crafts, music, and information about the UCTP. To contact Hu'acan directly you can email him at huacan@sbcglobal.net

For directions on how to get to the Pow Wow contact the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce at 1(909)592-3818.


Aboriginal Taiwanese Protest Atrocities by Japan

Aboriginal Taiwanese Protest at the United Nations

New York, NY - Sixty Aboriginal Taiwanese people, led by Legislator KaoChinSuMei, one of the first Aboriginal Taiwanese women elected to the Taiwanese Parliament, recently made an historic visit to the United States.

The delegation was seeking to bring attention the brutality of the Japanese government against the Aboriginal Taiwanese community during its 50-year colonization on Taiwan (1895-1945). After three years of urging Japan to recognize the atrocities and return the remains of indigenous Taiwanese being held in Japan to Taiwan, the community has been ignored and is now seeking support of the international community.

During their visit to the New York, the delegation met with representatives of the Flying Eagle Woman Fund and American Indian Community House, fulfilling wish of the Aboriginal Taiwanese people to meet with their Indigenous brothers/sisters on Turtle Island.

At a press conference held in front of the United Nations, UCTP President and Chairman, Roberto Mucaro Borrero expressed support for delegation and compared the situation to recent protests held in Puerto Rico by indigenous Taíno peoples. Borrero was also honored to read the official statement of the Flying Eagle Women’s Fund, which called upon all indigenous peoples to support the Aboriginal Taiwanese in their struggle for long overdue justice.

Following their visit to the United States, 10 members of the delegation will leave for Osaka, Japan where they join other protesters and await the Japanese high court’s judgment on the case.

UCTP Chairman Roberto Mucaro Borrero with Aboriginal Taiwanese Parlimentarian KaoChinSuMei


Public Notice: Summit of the Americas 2005

This is to inform the Caribbean Indigenous Community that the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) has nominated Naniki Reyes Ocasio, a representative of the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos to present a position paper on Intellectual Property, Culture and Heritage at the Indigenous Summit of the Americas to be held Argentina from October 27-29, 2005.

This nomination was sent to Albert DeTerville who has been identified as a member of the Indigenous Summit Planning Commitee (ISPC), and who along with the other ISPC members, is charged with the responsibility of the planning and implementation of the Second Indigenous Peoples Summit of the Americas. Albert DeTerville is expected to maintain a dialogue with indigenous Caribbean constituents throughout the planning and implementation process.

The nomination was also sent to the AFN and ONPIA, who are the main partners in the planning and implementation of the Indigenous Summit as well as the Secretariat of the ISPC.


Taino Youth Earns Place of Honor in Little League

Miami, Florida - Justin Dwight Gandia Zigelasch, a Taino youth has earned a place in the 2005 edition of the “Honor Roll of the Little League. This publication was created to acknowledge and bring deserved recognition to young baseball players who are truly special and who have achieved the highest level within the Little League Baseball Division, “Major” status.

Justin’s biography and photograph will be published in the 2005 edition, which will become part of the permanent collection and archives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY and the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Justin Dwight Gandia Zigelasch resides in Miami Florida with his mother Millie Gandia Zigelasch, who is a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People. Young Justin will be the first Taino featured in this prestigious publication.


Contemporary Taino Photo Exhibition Opens in Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico - Challenging the myth of Caribbean Indigenous extinction, an exhibition entitled “The New Old World: Antilles” opened on September 6 at the Museo de Las Americas in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Eighty-three black and white images are presented in four galleries along with quotes from the indigenous photo subjects and excerpts from photographer Marisol Villanueva’s daily journal. The photographs offer an ‘inside view’ Caribbean Native lives and traditions.

To complementary exhibitions examine yucca (also known as cassava) cultivation, a vital connection to the past shared by all indigenous peoples of the region - Cazabi: Gift of the Americas featuring more works by Villanueva illustrating the preparation of casabi (bread made from yucca) and Yuca Cultivation: Boriquen Roots a study of archeological objects used to prepare yucca, curated by Laura Del Olmo.

The exhibition opened with a blessing given by respected Taino community elder Manuel Galagarza of Vega Baja along with opening remarks by representatives of the Consejo General de Tainos Boricanos, Elba Anaca Lugo and Naniki Reyes Ocasio.

Public programs celebrating the opening included a panel discussion on “The Continuance of Indigenous Cultures in the Caribbean Antilles” and a family festival.

The exhibition runs from September 6 – November 30 2005 and is sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Museo de Las Americas.

Taino Elder Manuel Galagarza with photographer Marisol Villanueva in San Juan. Photo: Roger Hernandez