MCALLEN, Texas – As border wall construction is underway in the Rio Grande Valley, some residents are still fighting back; this time in a federal court house.
For more than 10 months the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas has been taking a stand against the border wall. Now they are taking that stand to federal court. This morning tribal leaders filing a suit against the federal government.
Chief Juan Mancias, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe, “It’s kind of a Writ of Mandamus. To let them know we are setting a claim as the original people of the lands and reclaiming our lands back and also to declare our sovereignty.”
The Chief says they have claims to the original lands dating back to 1532 and have the history to back it up. He adds that they have tried to speak with CBP officials, but they have not listened or been forthright. Calling their actions secretive.
“We have a right to be listened to and we have a right to ask them to cease and desist until they provide the evidence that is needed.” says Chief Mancias.
Mancias says he hopes the suit will force border wall officials to give them a better understanding of the exact plans near the Eli Jackson Cemetery in San Juan. He adds officials are misleading the public because the wall is not being built on the actual border and is being funding by taxpayers.
In addition to sovereignty the tribe is seeking monetary damages including compensation for pain and suffering.
Chief Mancias adds, “We are really looking at this you know the reparations as it’s happened over 500 years and what’s happened to our people. Especially when they ignore us and don’t want to listen to us. You know they continue to just write us out of history, out of their history.”
Tribal leaders adding not only is the border wall a burden to tax-payers but also an environmental hazard for the region.