UCTP Liaison Addresses Indigenous Peoples Corn Conference in Mexico

UCTP Liaison Officier Tai Pellicier speaking at an international conference
Tlaxcala, México (UCTP Taíno News) - The International Indian Treaty Council held its 4th International Corn Conference in Vicente Guerrero, Tlaxcala México from March 7-8, 2019. Indigenous Peoples from throughout the hemisphere and the Pacific attended the conference whose theme was “By our ancestral rights, we protect and guarantee our Food Sovereignty and that of our future generations.” The United Confederation of Taíno People was represented at the conference by Tai Pellicier, a UCTP Liaison Officer. 

Taking place on day one of the conference, Tai’s presentation was entitled “Transgénicos, una amenaza que va más allá que semillas.” It focused on Borikén (Puerto Rico), as an example, and touch up colonialism; the U.S. invasion; land grabbing; contamination of soil, air, and water, environmental racism; subsidies given to corporations not provided to local people; and free corporate access to water.

Panel topics at the conference included the History and Importance of Corn for Indigenous Peoples; Threats to milpa systems by genetically modified seeds, pesticides, loss of fertility of the land, dispossession, false solutions and the green economy; Youth and Food Sovereignty; International Work on Food Sovereignty; Practical uses for corn; and Strategies, Projects and Solutions. A conference declaration was also developed and adopted.

UCTP Taíno News 03.8.2019


Taíno Elder Hector “Barakutei” Gonzalez Crosses into the Spirit World

Taíno elder Hector Barakutei Gonzalez displays a traditional Taíno drum
Groton, Connecticut (UCTP Taíno News) – Elder Hector “Barakutei” Gonzalez Benitez, 71, a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe and a Liaison Officer of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) crossed into Koaibei, the Spirit World on Friday, February 22, 2019.

In a condolence message sent to the Gonzalez family, UCTP President, Roberto Múkaro Agüeibaná Borrero stated “Arakoel Barakutei, was a Taíno guaribo (warrior) who now has a special place with the ancestors.”

Elder or arakoel Barakutei was a veteran of the 19th and 20th Special Forces Group, which are the two National Guard groups of the United States Army Special Forces. Elder Gonzalez was also a retired security officer of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. As Liaison Officer for the Confederation, he consistently sought out ways to raise the visibility of the indigenous Taíno Peoples and regularly gave talks on Taíno culture. A passionate flute player, he often voluntarily performed for children at local area hospitals.

“The passing of this dear brother leaves a profound feeling of sadness in our hearts, as he was a beloved community member, a warrior, yet a gentle loving man who loved this Taíno Family and all Native American Peoples” stated Angel Lionheart Ortiz, a UCTP Liaison Officer in Connecticut.

Barakutei Gonzalez is survived by his 4 children Michelle Cruz, Myree Allen, Melody DaSilva, and Marc Gonzales, as well as 13 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. His is also survived by his mother, Francisca Gonzalez Benitez and his brother, Julio Gonzalez Benitez.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 9th from 11am-1pm at the Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames Street, Groton, CT.

UCTP Taíno News 03.7.2018


Taíno Daka Receives Award at Wisconsin Film Festival

Filmmaker Alez Zacarias; UCTP Liaison Officer, Martha Bahaku Brito; and UCTP President, Roberto Borrero attending the screening of Taíno Daka (I am) at the 2019 Green Bay Film Festival
Green Bay, Wisconsin (UCTP Taíno News) - The 7th annual Green Bay Festival took place January 31-March 3, 2019 at St. Norbert College’s Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts in De Pere, Wisconsin. Among the various selected entries screening at the festival was the documentary “Taíno Daka (I am)” by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Alex “Guaragua’ko” Zacarias. After the film’s screening, a question and answer session was held with Zacarias and Roberto “Múkaro Agüeibaná” Borrero, President of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Borrero was featured in the film. Taíno Daka was awarded 1st Runner Up in the Audience Choice/Wisconsin’s Own category. The film is currently available for download at the VIMEO platform

UCTP Taíno News 3.4.2019