UN Celebrates 60th Birthday

The United Nations celebrates its 60th anniversary in October. A special program celebrating the UN 60th and the one hundredth anniversary of visionary diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld took place at United Nations headquarters on October 27th. The program, which was broadcasted around the world, began with a special presentation by a Native Hawaiian cultural group, and was followed with an opening prayer blessing song by UCTP – U.S. President Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Boriken Taino).

To review Borrero's contribution and the entire program, visit the United Nations online archives from the UN 60 event at http://www.un.org/webcast/SE2005.html . Scroll down to the 2nd event on 10/27/2005.


Taino Elder's Work Featured in New Calender

Taíno Elder Millie Mucara Torres Speeg has been featured in a new calendar entitled “An Artful 2006”. The calendar is collaboration of Rabun County Artists in the state of Georgia and will be used as a fundraiser for a soon to be published guidebook “North Georgia Trails of Craft Heritage”.

The inspiring piece by Elder Mucara, who is the UCTP representative in the State of Georgia, is featured at the calendar's month of February. This unique calendar is a wonderful idea for a gift -- especially if you have to send gifts out of town. Where else could you get 12 limited edition prints of fabulous art for only $16.95?

If you are interested in ordering a calendar for the holidays, please call 1(706)212-0349 or 1(706)982-1938 or you can contact them by email at ksg13@alltel.net.


Santiago to welcome Museo del Barrio exhibition

Santo Domingo – Centro Leon Jimenez in Santiago will open "Voices and Visions, Selections of the Museo del Barrio's permanent collection," on 8 November.

The exhibition features media and cultural expressions from pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary Latin American art, Taino archaeological pieces, Mexican masks and textiles and engravings by renowned Puerto Rican graphic artists.

Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 in upper Manhattan within the Puerto Rican immigrant community.

Source: Dominican Today www.domincantoday.com


Rodrigues defends Amerindian Bill against salvoes from groups

By Faizool Deo

AMERINDIAN Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues is refuting the claim by three Amerindian groups that the 2005 Amerindian Bill does not meet the needs of Amerindians in the country.

On the contrary, the minister feels the bill has come a far way from the Amerindian Act of 1951, and once implemented, will give Amerindians much more than they ever had.

At a press conference Tuesday at the Side Walk Café on Middle Street, Georgetown, members of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) and the Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) voiced their concerns about the Bill, which they dubbed ‘unacceptable’.

They charged that discrimination against the indigenous peoples remains entrenched and manifested in the bill, and their rights to lands, resources and to self determination are neither adequately recognised nor protected.

At a post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, Ms Rodrigues indicated that the bill is not a product of the government, but rather comprises recommendations of the Amerindian people, who were an integral part in the consultation period prior to the formulation of the legislation.

“Forty-six of the 76 recommendations which were made at the consultations we took into consideration,” she said. “One of the recommendations that we took is that the communities could lease land; before they could not. We were advised by the international consultant not to do that, but we did it still.”

The minister said that unlike other countries, Guyana is making it very easy for Amerindian people to acquire land, and the bill stipulates that Amerindians can make claims for lands after occupying them for 25 years.

The groups of Amerindians looking for changes to the bill argue that it gives the minister too much power.

They are quoted as saying in their documentation presented to the media on Tuesday that, in the bill, the minister is vested with “arbitrary and draconian powers” that are incompatible with indigenous peoples’ self determining status and the exercise and enjoyment of other rights and fundamental freedoms.

But Rodrigues said her ministry will only be called in to address situations that could not be dealt with at other levels.

“Every day in the ministry captains come to us with problems which they can resolve by themselves, and we will say to them you can do that by yourselves you do not need us. But there are cases when the council would come to us to make a decision, but this is always a last resort.”

Another issue she put to rest is that of the presumed procrastination on her ministry’s part in implementing the Indigenous Peoples Commission, which is to represent the Amerindian people.

She said her ministry would be happy for the commission to be put in place, but several factors are preventing this from happening.

But there is another grouse that worries the three Amerindian groups.

“What Guyana has done is to include in our national laws some international laws, so we have at least seven international covenants which have been included in our national laws. The Amerindian Act should be compatible with the laws. We are saying at present that it is not. So if it’s passed as it now reads, then we can challenge it in court, because it will be in contravention of the Constitution,” APA representative David James contended.

Rodrigues remarked that even if all the demands of the Amerindian groups opposing the bill are met, she still feels that they will go to court.

But she assured the indigenous people that the bill, once implemented, will enhance the well-being of the nation’s Amerindian population.


An Open Letter to H.E. Bharrat Jagdeo, President of Guyana

Your Excellency, Honorable President Bharrat Jagdeo:

On behalf of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), I am writing to express our great concern for our indigenous Guyanese sisters and brothers. As our people, the Taíno, are descended from the First Nations of this hemisphere to encounter Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana are our blood relations and their struggle is our struggle.

The UCTP is well aware that the indigenous peoples of Guyana have long called for “revision, repeal or replacement” of the existing Amerindian Act of 1951, especially since they have deemed the legislation to be outdated, discriminatory and undermining of their basic human rights.

Considering that we have entered the second United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, it was our hope that in proposing new legislation the present Government would fully recognize the rights of indigenous peoples of Guyana by following previous national recommendations which call for the “expansion of indigenous self-determination”. Sadly, after our review of “Amerindian Bill 2005, we find that on the contrary, this discriminatory legislation would not only weaken many existing rights but is also incompatible with Guyana’s Constitution and international law.

In particular, we strongly object to the excessive powers the Minister of Amerindian Affairs would be vested under the new legislation as it blatantly contradicts the right to self-determination and is discriminatory in that no other Minister is able to exercise equivalent powers with regard to non-indigenous peoples.

With this in mind, we stand in solidarity with the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), the Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) and the Guyanese Organization of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) and urge the Government of Guyana to seriously consider and implement their recommendations concerning the “Amerindian Bill 2005 (Bill No.13 of 2005).

Honorable Excellency President Jagdeo, as it up to you and your Government to ensure that the rights of Guyana’s indigenous peoples are respected, we call upon you do your best to prevent the passage of “Amerindian Bill 2005” in its currently proposed form. The eyes of the world are upon you.

Respectfully submitted,

Roberto Mucaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP)

CC: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
UCTP Representatives, affiliations, and allies

Guyana Government is Poised to Vote on Discriminatory Indigenous Legislation

Georgetown, Guyana, South America - The Government of Guyana will soon vote on Amerindian Bill 2005 (Bill No.13 of 2005), which is being called discriminatory by the indigenous peoples of the country.

Although indigenous Guyanese (known as Amerindians) have long called for “revision, repeal or replacement” of the existing Amerindian Act of 1951, it was their hope that any new legislation enacted would fully recognize the rights. Sadly, the three main national indigenous organizations (APA, TAAMOG, GOIP) have found that the “Amerindian Bill 2005” will not only weaken many existing rights but is also incompatible with Guyana’s Constitution and international law.

The organizations, which have been intensely lobbying on this issue, have called upon the current Government to prevent passage of the Act. If the highly controversial Act is made law, challenges are expected in the courts and international human rights bodies. As Guyana will be reviewed in February 2006 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, this issue will undoubtedly be a major focus.

Demonstrations are planned by the national groups with the support of community leadership at the capital during the upcoming session of the National Assembly on October 20, 2005.


Caribs Celebrate

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, left, of the Canadian delegation, and Falcon Skye-Shabogesic listen to colleague Bob Goulais at Tuesday's launching of the Amerindian Heritage celebrations in Arima.

Tomorrow, members of the local Carib community will celebrate Amerindian Heritage Day in Arima.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of their celebrations and the Caribs will be joined by overseas delegations of indigenous peoples from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean for the big occasion.

At a press conference held last Tuesday at the Arima Town Hall, Ricardo Bharath, deputy Mayor of Arima and president of the Arima Carib Community, announced plans for this year's celebrations.

In his turn at the podium, Mayor Eustace Nancis praised Bharath's work in keeping alive the rich tradition of the Carib community in Arima.

He said the Arima Borough would continue to support the celebrations of the "First People" of this nation.

An invocation chant by three members of the Canadian delegation launched the proceedings.

Bob Goulais, Perry McLeod-Shabogesic and Falcon Skye-Shabogesic pounded little drums and chanted praises for the gifts bestowed by the Creator.

Hayacinth Ruffino of the Guyanese delegation spoke briefly and said she looked foward to the big celebrations.

In a ceremony taking place today, Nancis will formally welcome the indigenous peoples, while an address will be delivered by Senator Joan Yuille-Williams to the delegates.

Deputy Chief Nelsonson Toulouse of the Anishinabek Nation in Ontario, Canada, will deliver the feature address.

Tomorrow morning the celebrants will take part in a Smoke Ceremony at Hyarima Park and then proceed to the Arima Town Hall, where distinguished speakers will address the gathering.

A gala cultural peformance tomorrow evening will bring down the curtains on the celebrations.

Parang music, folk music, calypso, steelpan, chutney dancing, Spanish dance and poetry reading will be part of the grand cultural concert at the Basket Ball Court, near the Arima market.

The Canadian delegates will also perform an Amerindian dance, while dances by other groups include the may pole, snake dance, Aboriginal dance and Seminole Stomp dance.

Last Friday, a display of artifacts of the local indigenous people was launched at the National Library, Port of Spain, and, according to Ricardo Bharath, these artifacts were worth viewing.

A lecture by Dr Basil Reid entitled "First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago, History and Impact, Archaeological Perspective" was scheduled for October 12 at the National Library, Port of Spain as part of the celebrations.

There was also a lecture by Ricardo Bharath on "Indigenous Rituals" and a performance from Brother Reststance.


Source: Trinidad Express


Suspendido el juicio contra los 'taínos'

Suspendido el juicio contra los 'taínos'
Miércoles, 12 de octubre de 2005
Por Agencia EFE

El juicio contra el grupo de autoproclamados descendientes de los taínos, que se iniciaba ayer, fue suspendido a petición de las dos partes en litigio, informó la Rama Judicial.

El grupo es juzgado en el Tribunal de Utuado por el delito de usurpación, debido a que realizaron una protesta dentro de los terrenos del Parque Ceremonial Caguana en ese municipio, que consideran un terreno sagrado.

La defensa solicitó descubrimiento de prueba a fin de que la fiscalía le presente, por ejemplo, quiénes son los testigos en contra del grupo. La Fiscalía, por su parte, solicitó al tribunal 30 días para contestar la petición de la defensa, según dijo a EFE Jorge Umpierre, oficial de prensa de la Rama Judicial.

Enfrentan cargos Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Taína Rosado Córdoba, José Xuerix Camacho García, Edelmiro Guatibirí, Joan Grisel Nabori Martínez y Valeriano Shahisra Rodríguez Valentín.

También enfrentan un cargo por desacato debido a que no asistieron a la primera citación del tribunal.

El juicio continúa el 6 de diciembre a las 2:00 de la tarde en la sala cuatro del Centro Judicial de Utuado, con la jueza Laura López Roche.

Source: El Nuevo Dia: San Juan, Puerto Rico - 12 de octubre de 2005.


Demonstrators call on IPRC to drop charges

A group of people claiming Taíno ancestry demonstrate outside the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in Old San Juan on Monday, calling on the agency to drop criminal charges stemming from a protest occupation at the Caguana Ceremonial Park in Utuado earlier this year. From left, Elba Anaca Lugo, Naniki Reyes Ocasio and José Xuerix Camacho García.

Excerpt from the San Juan Star


Indigenous Peoples Day: Interviews with UCTP President and Chairman

Monday, October 10th, 2005: Roberto Múcaro Borrero, President and Chairman of the United Confederation of Taíno People's U.S. Regional Coordinating Office appeared on Democracy Now to discuss the Columbus Day Controversy at 8:30am (EST) with award winning journalist Amy Goodman as well as with JW Night Wolf on Pacifica Radio WPFW 89.3 FM at 9:30am.

To review the Democracy Now interview, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

Indigenous Peoples Day: Support the Boriken Taino Demonstrators

Indigenous Peoples Day: Support the Boriken Taino Demonstrators

Below you will find a press advisory and a petition letter that we are requesting you consider sending to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) immediately. The petition request that the ICP not criminalize a court case against Taíno protesters who occupied a state run indigenous ceremonial center to bring attention to the profaning and desecration of national patrimony in Boriken (Puerto Rico).

Please call 1(787)724-0700 (Ext. 4201, 4208) to voice your support or fax your letter to 1(787)724-8393. Thank you.

Press Advisory
For Immediate Release

We, the indigenous Taíno Boricua demonstrators of the “Sacred Reclamation and Cry of Caguana” have and will continue to exert our right to free expression.

The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) is intent on criminalizing this right.

We chose our main and most important Indigenous Ceremonial Center of the Caribbean, CAGUANA, to emphasize the deterioration of our national patrimony.

Our Demand is:

Stop the profaning and destruction of our sanctuaries, ancestral deposits, coaibays (cemeteries), ancestral remains, funerary and ceremonial objects, sacred places and ceremonial centers NOW!

Press Conference to be held:
Monday - October 10, 2005
Indigenous Peoples Day
At 11:00 am

At the entrance Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP),
Viejo San Juan

For more information contact:

Tel. 787. 847- 5039
787. 366- 2256
787. 568- 1547

Email: caney@prtc.net




To: Dr. Jorge Luis Vega,
Institute of Puerto Rican Culture

We support the indigenous demonstrators and their right to free expression that they manifested during the “Sacred Reclamation and Cry of Caguana”, which called for an end to the profaning and destruction of sacred places and archeological sites belonging to the people of Borikén (Puerto Rico).

We are therefore petitioning that the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture not criminalize this right which the following indigenous Taíno Boricua demonstrators exerted:

Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Elba Anaca Lugo Perez, Taina Rosado Cordoba, Jose Xuerix Camacho Garcia, Edelmiro Guatibiri Baez, Juana Grisel Nabori Martinez Prieto, Valeriana Shashira Rodriguez Valentin

Dia de los Pueblos Indigenas: Apoye los manifestantes Taino Boricua

Dia de los Pueblos Indigenas: Apoye los manifestantes Taino Boricua

Debajo encontrará una comunicado de prensa y una carta de apoyo que estamos solicitando considera enviar al Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) inmediatamente. La petición de la petición que el ICP no criminalize un proceso legal contra los manifestantes indigenas Taíno que ocuparon un centro ceremonial indígena para resaltar ante del pueblo Puertorriqueño el deterioro en que se encuentra su patrimonio nacional.

Favor llame el ICP en 1(787)724-0700 (exterior 4201, 4208) para expresar su apoyo o enviar su carta por telefax a 1(787)724-8393. Gracias.


Comunicado De Prensa

Nosotro, los manifestantes indigenas Taino Boricua del “Reclamo Sagrado y Grito de Caguana”, estabamos y continuamos ejerciendo nuestro derecho a la libre expression.

El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena (ICP) intenta criminalizar dicho derechos.

Escogimos nuestro principal y mas importante Centro Ceremonial Indigena del Caribe (Caguana) para resaltar ante nuestro pueblo el deterioro en que se encuentra nuestro patrimonio nacional.

Nuestro reclamo es:

Detengan la destruccion y profanacion de nuestros Santuarios, Yacimientos, Coaibays (cementerios), Osamentas y Restos Ancestrales, Objectos Funebres y Ceremoniales, Lugares Sagrados y Centros Ceremoniales AHORA!

Habra Conferencia de Prensa
Lunes- 10 de octobre de 2005
‘Dia de los Pueblos Indigenas’
A las 11:00 am
Frente Instituto de Cultura (ICP), Viejo San Juan

Para mas informacio:
Tel. 787. 847- 5039
787. 366- 2256
787. 568- 1547

Correo electronico: caney@prtc.net




Atención: Dr. Jose Luis Vega,
Director, Instituto de cultura Puerto Puertorriqueno

Apoyamos el derecho a la libre expression de los manifestantes indigenas del “Reclamo Sagrado y Grito de Caguana” y su reclamo de detener la destruccion y profanacion de lugares sagrados y arquelogicos del pueblo de Boriken (Puerto Rico) por cual solicitamos; que el Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena no se criminalice por ejercer dicho derecho de:

Los manifestantes, el Pueblo Indigena Taino Boricua y:
Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Elba Anaca Lugo Perez, Taina Rosado Cordoba, Jose Xuerix Camacho Garcia, Edelmiro Guatibiri Baez, Juana Grisel Nabori Martinez Prieto, Valeriana Shashira Rodriguez Valentin


Cerebrating on Columbus and his Legacy

By: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

Fairly or not, Christopher Columbus continues to be the whipping-boy representation of all things evil with Western civilization. Staff of political life to some, tiresome to others, protests over the celebration of the admiral's day, Oct. 12, continues.

Columbus is symbolic of the ongoing cultural encounter within the Americas, and of European settling that proved immediately deadly and oppressive to Native peoples. His writings are scrutinized, and his motives and actions are increasingly condemned, by many who study them. Columbus introduced the pattern of colonization, Christianization and slavery that characterized the conquest: first by Spanish and later by Portuguese, Dutch, French and English powers.

Admittedly, Columbus was a man of his times and of his culture and training. He was as well a mystic of the Catholic prophetic tradition, a man driven by the ambition of a brilliant intuition to find the mysterious and coveted western route to the Orient; he was an adventurer who sought to gain immense riches, guaranteed by wars of conquest, to make himself a man of great wealth. For this, as was the custom of his time, his mindset accepted and welcomed the possibility of mass killing to reduce whole peoples to servitude, to serve and die as slaves.

Denial of nationhood and even of humanity followed quickly on the heels of contact, with wars of conquest always coming close behind. Columbus led the way into the holocaust of the Caribbean but his deed repeated itself and reproduced itself, first south and then north, over and over, regardless of initial greetings (mostly friendly) by Native peoples. Five hundred years have gone by; and to the Native peoples, the relative gains in scientific advancement do not make up for the horrendous loss of life, liberty and, particularly, the denial of the happy pursuit of self-determined cultures and societies.

Perhaps it cannot be helped that Columbus would be and become the symbol of the villainy. Perhaps too much focus is on Columbus himself, although certainly the dynamic of the migratory conquest of the Native Americas begs for a symbol of shame and blame to pinpoint the terror that occurred. But too much fervor directed at the long-dead mariner can turn into anger for its own sake, sometimes accompanied by ethnic slurs: negative factors that further confuse people.

The protest full of angry insult at Columbus himself - whether he was Genoese or Italian or Spanish - sometimes obscures the larger point: it is the constantly self-repeating pattern of European conquest and colonization, forcefully riding on a religious philosophy of scorn and even outright hate for all non-Christian peoples, that is the long, wide and black mantle of Columbus. This is the origin of the so-called ''doctrine of discovery'' that continues today to propel the underlying presumption of dominion of American Indian peoples by the European-derived governments. This denial of nationhood, of self-government, marks the beginning of modern racism in the Western Hemisphere - again, a pattern that persists, with dramatic impact on millions of people to this day.

A more natural way of life - not perfect but finely adapted and, as in all cultural contexts, always evolving, self-corrective and humanly guided under powerful natural spiritual systems - was here to greet the European migration. Thousands of small and not-so-small nations were uniformly decreed to be peoples and lands for the taking by Christian powers. Judged to be beyond the redemption of the Christian God, they were, more often than not, forced to give up jurisdiction over their lands and resources for the privilege of being instructed in the Christian faith.

Refusal to Christianize or simple disinterest was not tolerated. Infidel or non-Christian meant savage, primitive pagan - to be killed and enslaved at will. It implied a people without humanity or lacking preparation in the religion of the one true God, the Christ of the Catholic Church. This condemned all Indian peoples, who would be themselves, to subjugation or destruction.

Today - as we write - the last of the naturally free Indians in the hemisphere, the remote tribes of the Brazilian Amazon, are just meeting Columbus. In fact, the whole of the Amazon, incredibly reduced and destroyed just in the past 20 years, now finds the last remaining independent tribal groups of American Indians. The current rape of the Amazon is vintage Columbus.

The rapid deforestation - the constant and axiomatic destruction of the natural world, so constant in the 500-year-old Columbus narrative - now has the Indians of the Rio Pardo river system of the state of Matto Grosso on the run. They are among the last to see the white man, and he comes into their sovereign and traditional lands at the point of a chain saw and rifle.

Modern Brazil, engulfed by the corrupting rules of the global economy, is unwilling or unable to stop the destruction. The loggers who are razing the Amazon consider the Indians ''pagan savages'' who don't have the capacity to properly exploit the land and its resources, who therefore should have no right to their traditional lands.

Beyond Columbus, it is this pattern of exploitative philosophy and jurisprudence that tolerates, even mandates, the injurious and false taking of lands and properties based on a prejudiced religious argument that continues to suffocate the Native peoples of the Americas. The imposition of faith, of the denial of the right to a people's own spiritual lifeway and government, persists as well.


A Message from the UCTP as Columbus Day nears...

Taino'ti Guaitiao (Greetings Relatives):

On behalf of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), it is my
hope that at the time you receive this message you are in good health
and spirit.

I am writing to remind you that as we draw closer to Columbus Day,
there will be various activities happening throughout the country to
protest this so-called holiday and we hope that you will consider
supporting any such events in your area.

Please also consider other ways that you can help to educate a wider
audience about Columbus the Exploiter. Some suggestions include
sending information to your children's schools; boycotting stores
that promote Columbus Day and patronizing those that don't; or
writing a letter to your local newspaper about this issue.

There are many ways, individually or collectively, we can help to
raise awareness. If you should require any resources, hand-outs or
talking points, please visit our award winning UCTP Web Portal at

As always, we thank you in advance for your support and please
inform us if you are participating in or organizing any other
anti-Columbus Day activities as we would like to publish this
information in our hard copy News Journal "La Voz del Pueblo Taino"
and here on the Taino News List.

Peace and Blessings,
Roberto Mucaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP – U.S. Regional Coordinating Office




The 2001 Indigenous Peoples Summit of the Americas was held in Ottawa, Canada. This summit represented the first step in the creation of an Indigenous Peoples movement that paralleled the Organization of the Americas’ State Summit process. The Indigenous Peoples Summit provides a forum to discuss the impact of state policy on the life of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas. In 2001, the delegates attending the first Indigenous Peoples summit drafted a declaration that recognized the need to continue meeting in assembly to further the inalienable human right of self-determination, and to establish a collaborative plan of action to ensure the ability of Indigenous Peoples to exercise their inherent rights to self-determination.

The 2005 Second Indigenous Peoples Summit of the Americas will be held in Buenos Aires from October 27 to 29, 2005. The Theme of this summit is :


For more information & to download important documents, please visit the Summit website at:

www.indigenoussummit.net (English) or www.onpia.org (Spanish)

Alternatively, for additional information, send an email: summitinfo@afn.ca (English) or 2cumbreindigena@onpia.org (Spanish)