Anniversary Celebration of El Grito Indigena Taino de Caguana...

Boriken, Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) - A Celebration of the One Year Anniversary of the Caguana Ceremonial Park Occupation by Boriken Taino Leaders is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, 2006.

Activities, hosted by the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos and the Caney Quinto Mundo, will take place at the Caguana Ceremonial Park in Utuado, Puerto Rico and all are invited to participate.

A spiritual ceremony will begin at the Batey (plaza) of Agueybana inside Caguana at 8:30am. Following the ceremony will be a reclamation and renaming of “Monte Alegria”, a local sacred mountain behind the park, to “El Monte Cemi de Utuado”. A local artist will has been commissioned to create the new sign designating the sacred mountain’s new name. A presentation of plaques to local officials who supported the Caguana protest will be made after lunch by Elba Anaca Lugo of the Consejo General de Tainos Boricanos and Naniki Reyes Ocasio of the Caney Quinto Mundo.

Another official proclamation will be made by the Mayor of Utuado commemorating “El Grito Indigena Taino de Caguana”.

The activities will also include “talleres (workshops)” on higuera (gourd) carving by Elba Anaca Lugo and Taino arts and crafts will be available for sale. Two Taino Dance Groups will make presentations, “Grupo de Danza Taino-Arawaka” and “Eccensia Tabonuco”. For information contact Naniki Reyes Ocasio 1(787) 847-5039 or Elba Anaca Lugo 1(787)568-1547.

*Previous announcement on 06/18/2006 http://www.uctp.blogspot.com/


UCTP Public Notice:
The following declaration will be presented to the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva, Switzerland, 31 July - 4 August 2006. The statement will be presented by the Ecospirituality Foundation on behalf of the UCTP:

"The United Confederation of Taino People condemns the portrayal of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples as savage cannibals in the recent film Walt Disney Film "Pirates of the Caribbean - Deadman's Chest". We call on the international community and UNESCO to condemn this racist portrayal as this form of stereotyping continues to negatively impact Caribbean Indigenous Communities today. We call upon this Commission to begin a study and report on the labeling and racial stereotyping of indigenous peoples around the world. This report should include not only media images, but the use of indigenous peoples as mascots for sports teams, the use of indigenous images & symbols as brands for advertising, and other areas which can be submitted at a later date after more consultation with indigenous representatives."

The Ecospirituality Foundation is an NGO in consultative status with the United nations. For information visit: http://www.eco-spirituality.org/

UCTP PN 07.24.2006


Radio Interview: Pirates of the Caribbean

UCTP Taino News - The Garifuna American Heritage Foundation is informing the community that the radio interview with CHERYL L. NORALEZ (Garifuna) regarding DISNEY'S PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN - DEAD MAN'S CHEST, feartured on the program "UPRISING" on KPFK 90.7 FM RADIO in Los Angeles, can now be reviewed at: http://www.garifunaheritagefoundation.com/306

VIII Conferencia Nación Garifuna Honduras 2007

All are invited to VIII Conferencia Nación Garifuna Honduras 2007 - Pasado Historico - Futuro Brillante by Coalición Garifuna USA, Inc & Mundo Garifuna, Inc.

For more information please visit:


Caribs observe 103rd Anniversary

The Carib people are, this month, celebrating the 103rd Anniversary of the founding of the territory, established in 1903. Chief Charles Williams said, efforts are being made to have a network in place highlighting the significance of the event in the lives of the Kalinago people. Speaking to our North Correspondent, the Chief declared, "Today we observe the 103rd Anniversary since the declaration of the then Carib Reserve; as we name it today, 'Kalinago people'. It is believed that the Kalinago people have been living on the island for well over 3000 years BC, and today our brethren can be traced in every country in the Caribbean and for that reason we are proud of this reality, which we are all happy to celebrate."

The Carib Council has drawn up an interesting programme to celebrate the event, described by Chief Williams as a bold move to heighten greater awareness among the people. Among the activities will be a visit by the Kalinago people of the territory to all the communities where Caribs still live. The aim, said Williams, is to foster and maintain the solid relationship that exists among the Kalinago people living in different parts of the island. "So during the course of this month we'll be paying courtesy calls on our brothers and sisters in Petite Soufriere and surrounding hamlets: then to Petite Savanne, Fond St. Jean, Point Carib and Bagatelle, along to Vieille Case, Penville and Capuchin, where this exercise will end," said the Chief.

The history of the Carib Territory and the way forward for its future development will be the subject of discussion at a symposium facilitated by local historian, Dr. Lennox Honychurch, later this month. Young people are particularly exhorted to attend this event.

Source: http://www.news-dominica.com/chronstory.cfm?Id=4128


Venezuela gets backing for U.N. Council seat...

Venezuela got a boost for its bid for a U.N. Security Council seat after the 15-member Caribbean Community said it would not support Guatemala's U.S.-backed candidacy.


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chávez took a major step toward securing a crucial bloc of votes for a seat on the U.N. Security Council Thursday after the 15-member Caribbean Community made it clear they would not support Guatemala's U.S.-backed candidacy.

A formal declaration of CARICOM's support for Venezuela would come later, but leaders of the regional bloc meeting here said Guatemala's long-standing territorial claims against Belize, a CARICOM member, made them oppose its candidacy.

''The very strong view within CARICOM is that the claim that Guatemala continues to make on Belize is unacceptable,'' said CARICOM Chairman and St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.

Guatemala is claiming half of Belize as part of a centuries-old dispute.

See full story at http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/14983022.htm


HONDURAS: Garifuna leader forced at gunpoint to yield lands...

Estimados Colegas,

Hace dos semanas que regrese de una visita a Honduras con la OFRANEH incl. Jesica, Wilredo y Miriam. Visite al muro construido en Nuevo San Juan por Rosenthal. Tambien la Laguna de los Micos en Tornabe la que me informan que yo se vendio a inversionistas para $100,000. U.S. En una reunion en Sambo Creek con la junta directiva de OFRANEH, el discurso sobre la PATH fue claramente una manifestacion de violacion de los derechos del pueblo (Garifuna) en la tenencia de las tierras de sus ancestros. El portamiento del Banco Mundial en falta de reconocer Convenio 169 da rucha razon para una 'solicitud' por parte de OFRANEH para investigacion.

El no estar presente en Honduras se hace facil para garifunas afuera tomar una indiferencia a la situacion en Honduras y en ese sentido apoyo la sugerencia de Sandra Cuffe en tratar de internacionalizar el asunto en escribir las embajadas.

Tomo esta oportunidad en felicitar a los miembros de OFRANEH en particular, Miriam, Liliam, selvyn, Jessica y Wilfredo Lopez (un garifuna muy distinguido)

En la lucha
godsman ellis

Original Message from: RIGHTS ACTION

(prepared by Sandra Cuffe, caminando27@yahoo.es )

- Good: Montaña Verde political prisoner Margarito Vargas granted Provisional Freedom;

- Bad: Indigenous-African descendant Garifuna community leader forced at gunpoint to sign document giving up San Juan community lands to wealthy investors in the global tourism industry;

Rights Action asks for your timely response to the ongoing persecution of Garifuna community leaders.


THE GOOD: On June 28, Margarito Vargas Ponce – of the Montana Verde community (same as the Miranda brothers political prisoners) - was released from jail, after some six months of unjust imprisonment. Cleared of all other charges, in the end he was sentenced to three years in prison for complicity in a battery charge by Judge Hermes Moncada in Gracias. Under the new penal code, this sentence may be served in "provisional" liberty, meaning Margarito must present himself before local judicial authorities every two months and if found guilty of any other accusation within the next five years, he will then have to do the time in jail for both charges.

Despite the fact that the sentence is clearly a part of the ongoing misuse and abuse of the judicial system to persecute community leaders struggling for community land rights, Margarito's release from jail is good news. He will soon be reunited with his family and community. Less than 24 hours after his release, he was participating with other members of COPINH in a struggle to defend communities' rights, lands and development from the threat of the El Tigre bi-national hydroelectric dam that will flood entire communities in southwestern Honduras.

THE BAD - URGENT ACTION needed: San Juan Indigenous-African descendant Garifuna community leader Jessica García was forced at gunpoint to sign a document relinquishing community land rights.

On Thursday June 22, 2006, an unknown man arrived at the house of Jessica García, community leader and President of the San Juan Tela 'Patronato', a local organization representing community interests to government institutions. He offered her money in exchange for her signature of a document in which the community recognizes the rights of private real estate company PROMOTUR to communal lands belonging to the Garifuna community of San Juan, located in the Tela Bay, department of Atlántida. When Jessica García refused to accept the money and sign the agreement, she was threatened and was forced to sign the document at gunpoint.

This incident is the latest in a series of grave human rights violations against the community of San Juan, collectively, and against individual outspoken community leaders. Along with the San Juan Lands Defense Committee president Wilfredo Guerrero, Jessica García has been one of the most active community leaders in the defense of communal lands and thus also a target for threats and persecution.

Years ago, the community of San Juan was granted a communal guarantee of occupation to 1775 hectares of land. This crucial document, however, conveniently 'disappeared' from a government office in 1997. Other important community documents were conveniently 'burned' last year, when the home of San Juan Lands Defense Committee president Wilfredo Guerrero was burnt to the ground in a related attack against the community.

San Juan has since been awarded a land deed of only 63 hectares, barely consisting of the current residential area, to the exclusion of the residential area of "Nueva San Juan" and all of the agricultural lands and natural resources vital to the subsistence and cultural survival of the whole community.

Despite the ongoing struggle to defend and obtain legal recognition for the entire communal territory, the loss and manipulation of official land documentation has cleared the way for the powerful interests that have long coveted the valuable lands along the Tela Bay, part of the country's Caribbean coast.

In the Nueva San Juan neighbourhood, with an illegitimate land deed, numerous incursions and threats have been made by PROMOTUR, owned by Jaime Rosenthal, powerful politician, banker, landowner and media owner. The latter's son, Yani Rosenthal, is both the Presidential Minister and an investor in the Los Micos Beach & Golf Resort, an environmentally and culturally destructive internationally financed (IDB, Inter-American Development Bank, BCIE, Central American Bank of Economic Integration, and investors from Italy and Spain) tourism complex planned between the Garifuna communities of Tornabé and Miami, neighbouring San Juan in the Tela Bay.

The struggle of Jessica García, Wilfredo Guerrero and others to defend the community of San Juan's collective rights and lands from such powerful and destructive interests has been met with intense repression and persecution.

Last November, Wilfredo Guerrero's house, along with all of his belongings and the Lands Defense Committee's archives, was burned to the ground. Other community members' houses were destroyed this past March and April.

On January 14, 2006, PROMOTUR representatives entered the community accompanied by a number of hooded men, armed with AK47s (illegal in Honduras). Although some of the intruders were detained after the community denounced their illegal construction of a wall around part of the disputed land, others returned the following day to
intimidate the community.

On February 26, 2006, the bodies of San Juan community members Epson Andrés Castillo and Yino Eligio López were found in a lagoon near the community of La Ensenada, also along the Tela Bay. Both Garifuna youth were reportedly detained the previous night near Tornabé by public security forces agents allegedly assigned to protect the zone
destined for the Los Micos enclave tourism project.

The motive of this double murder has not been explained or clarified; thus, many local community members interpret it as one more grave human rights violation carried out with the objective of terrorizing the local Garifuna population.

Local community organizations, the Honduran Fraternal Black Organization (OFRANEH), and other organizations, such as Rights Action, have repeatedly denounced many of these serious threats and crimes against the community of San Juan. Nevertheless, as has been demonstrated by the armed threats against Jessica García, the systematic persecution of Garifuna community leaders continues. Ongoing national and international attention and presence is urgently needed.

Please write your own letters both to Honduran and US/Canadian diplomats, to your local government representatives, newspaper or other media outlet in order to raise attention to the critical situation facing San Juan and other Garifuna communities:

- denouncing the June 22 threats and intimidation against Jessica García and asking for protection for her and her family;

- denouncing the series of grave human rights violations, such as the destruction of Wilfredo Guerrero's house in November and the February murder of two San Juan youth;

- expressing your concern that these abuses stem from the violations of the afro-indigenous community's collective land and cultural rights by the government, PROMOTUR and destructive internationally financed projects such as Los Micos Beach & Golf Resort, highlighting the decision-making power (and thus responsibility) of
the US and Canada within the multilateral institutions financing these projects, such as the Inter-American Development Bank;

- urging that immediate action be taken to effect justice in past cases of human rights violations and to prevent further persecution and repression, such as the recognition of the San Juan community's legal rights to their full communal territory;

- communicating that you expect and thanks in advance a timely response to your concerns.

Honduran Embassy in Canada:
tel. (613) 233-9800, fax (613) 232-0913,
Canadian Embassy in Honduras:
tel. (504) 232-4551, fax (504) 239-7767,

Honduran Embassy in DC:
tel. (202) 966-7702, fax (202) 966-9751,
US Embassy in Honduras:
tel. (504) 236-9320 or 238-5114, fax (504) 237-1792

Spanish speakers/writers may also directly either send letters to the
following authorities:

Lic. Jany del Cid Martínez
Address: Av. República Dominicana, Edificio Las Lomas, Plaza #2,
Colonia Las
Lomas del Guijarro, Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras
Email: janydelcid@yahoo.es
Fax: (504) 221-5620

Public Prosecutor's Office (Ministerio Público/Fiscalía): fax (504)



- be a human rights accompanier with Indigenous-African descendant Garifuna communities;

- come on educational-solidarity delegations to Honduras;

- establish long-term partnerships with OFRANEH and Garifuna communities;

- donate funds [via Rights Action] for the community development, environment and defense work of OFRANEH and Garifuna organizations.

Carry it on … info@rightsaction.org

"...when faithful human beings or other creatures called upon them for help, they [the Powers of the Four Directions] must send their powers..." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA




for depicting Caribbean Indigenous Peoples as Savage Cannibals


Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow flees from SAVAGE CANNIBAL CARIBS in Walt Disney Pictures' Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest


UCTP in Solidarity with Arctic Alliance

Protest and Rally in Washington, DC
Capital Mall at 1:00p.m.
Come Out and Support


Taino Site Considered for UN World Heritage...

The Reef Bay Petroglyphs, above, have been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

VINP’s Reef Bay Petroglyphs Are Chosen As Possible UNESCO World Heritage Site
By Andrea Milam

A May 2006 meeting of 28 world rock art experts resulted in the Reef Bay petroglyphs being chosen as a significant rock art site, and the proposal of the site as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site.

The objective of the gathering was “to develop a proposed list of significant rock art sites for a transitional World Heritage nomination of Amerindian rock art spanning from South America through the Caribbean,” according to a VINP press release. “Eighteen ancient rock art sites out of thousands were identified for this transitional World Heritage nomination.”

“UNESCO contacted me to attend, and it was really kind of cool,” said V.I. National Park archaeologist Ken Wild, who attended the conference. “I felt very honored that I was one of the few chosen.”

Participants at the meeting were notified the list of significant rock art sites would be narrowed down to less than 20, according to Wild.

Several Thousand Rock Art Sites

“Right off the bat, they let us know that they wanted to narrow it down to about 18 sites,” he said. “There are probably several thousand sites throughout the Caribbean and South America. We wanted to come up with a list of the best sites.”

In order to be considered for a World Heritage site, one must prove authenticity, integrity and chronology of the site, according to Wild.

Archaeology work done at the Cinnamon Bay archaeology lab helped prove these aspects of the Reef Bay petroglyphs, Wild added.

“We proved the authenticity, integrity and chronology of the petroglyphs with the archaeology that was done at Cinnamon Bay,” he said. “The data from Cinnamon Bay dates the petroglyphs from as early as 900 A.D. to 1450.”

The Reef Bay petroglyphs were carved by Taino people and are religious in nature, according to Wild.

“As Taino culture is developing, so is religion, and petroglyphs develop,” Wild said. “Ancestor worship in Native American cultures is huge. The petroglyphs were a place where the Tainos went to communicate with these other ancestors, because nothing they did in this world happened without consultation of the other world.”

“Pivotal Point of Interaction”

“Different symbols play a different role,” Wild added.

The Reef Bay petroglyphs suggest the Virgin Islands were a pivotal area for American Indians, according to Wild.

“Our petroglyphs play an important function in the fact that we’re kind of in that little corner of the Caribbean, where we’ve got the Greater Antilles in one direction and South America in another,” said the VINP archaeologist.

“Some symbols found here you can find in the Greater Antilles, but not in the Lesser Antilles, or vice versa, and some symbols you find in both areas,” Wild added. “We were kind of at a pivotal point of interaction for American Indians as they traveled.”

“The Reef Bay petroglyphs play a very significant role in understanding this geographical exchange of ideas and belief systems,” Wild continued.

Authenticity, Integrity, Chronology

Based on research conducted at the Cinnamon Bay archaeology lab, the Reef Bay petroglyphs are in good shape when it comes to UNESCO’s three important criteria — authenticity, integrity and chronology, according to Wild.

“For authenticity, we’ve found images like the ones at the petroglyphs in the archaeological record,” he said. “If somebody had gone to the petroglyphs and done graffiti, that would have compromised the integrity, but they are in good shape.”
Other factors considered in designating World Heritage Sites are whether the area has a buffer zone and a management plan, both of which are provided to the petroglyphs by the VINP.

“One of the big, big things about World Heritage Sites is they have to have a buffer zone, and we’re perfect,” said Wild. “They are right in the middle of a biosphere reserve, and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place. A lot of sites will not have that.”

Although the petroglyphs’ consideration as a World Heritage Site is exciting news, it could still be many years before that designation is made official, according to Wild.

“The exciting news is we made the list,” said Wild. “Just because it’s been put on that proposed list doesn’t mean it’s going to happen — it just means that UNESCO has started the process. It is a long process, and a lot of things can happen between now and then.”

Regardless of whether the petroglyphs are designated a World Heritage Site, they remain an important rock art site, he said.

“The Reef Bay site is important because it’s a monumental testament to ancient human art,” he said.

Source: http://www.stjohntradewindsnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=553&Itemid=38


You Know You're Taino If:

1. You were told that not only were the children of your uncles and aunts your cousins, but also the children of their best friends, their compradres and comadres and the children of all the ex partners they ever had, and to this day your still meeting new cousins you never heard of.

2. You prayed in front of your home shrine much more then in any church.

3. You have at least three starches with every meal.

4. You get excited whenever you see Mavi.

5. If your family shrine had statues of Native American warriors next to the statues of Jesus and Mary.

6. If your elders blew cigar smoke on you to purify and heal you.

7. If the family cure all was a bottle stuffed with green plants covered in alcohol.

8. If as a kid, the first word and the last word out of your mouth was "Bendicion"

9. You said Agu..elo and Agu..ela instead of Abuelo and Abuela.

10. Your neighbors called the fire dept, and it was just your mother smudging the apt.

11. You call every cat you see as "Misu, Misu"

12. You know you're in trouble when your parents called you by your full name.

13. Powdered eggs and government cheese were the best part of the hand out packets.

14. If your parents had no idea what to do with the bags of flour the government would give them, other then make bacalaitos fritos.

15. If when you said something like "Tu te cree que es un guame mover esa butaca del año de la guacara" you swore it was perfect Spanish.

Hope every one enjoys this,
Domingo Turey Hernandez