Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The small Native American tribe fighting Trump's wall in South Texas


When President Trump announced plans to build a wall along the Rio Grande River, Juan Mancias smelled a rat. Mancias is the Carrizo/Comecrudo tribal leader and a founding member of the Texas chapter of the American Indian Movement — not to mention an experienced human rights advocate and Native rights activist. When Trump first touted his plans to run a border wall through South Texas back in October 2018, Mancias couldn’t make sense of how this new construction would help protect the border, where his family has lived for generations. Through some document digging, though, he’d eventually uncover a possible alternative reason the government was so desperately seeking a border fence in this area — and Mancias thinks it has little to do with national security.

The land in question spans 1,954 miles in Texas along the state’s border with Mexico. It snakes through Cameron, Starr, and Hidalgo counties, passing through the city of Brownsville and up to McAllen. Included in this region are multiple Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe burial sites stretching from the Garcia Pasture down to the Eli Jackson Cemetery. The Carrizo/Comecrudo people were in Texas long before the Spanish colonists or any other white folks set foot on their land; the entire Rio Grande Valley is their ancestral home.


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