LatinaLista — Eloisa Tamez is a proud Lipan Apache woman and caretaker of her family’s ancestral lands in El Calaboz, Cameron County, Texas — along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Eloisa Tamez, at the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center, hours after hearing the news that the U.S. (Obama Administration) will take possession of her lands, irregardless of numerous attempts by her, Margo Tamez, attorneys, and the Lipan Apache Women Defense support community to encourage peace settlements, peace negotiations, and dignity for human and indigenous peoples’ rights.
(Source: Lipan Apache Women Defense)
The land where she was born was granted to her family before Spain even colonized the “new land” in 1767. To say that the land means a lot to Eloisa and her family is a gross understatement. So that’s why when she heard yesterday that she had lost her court battle with the federal government in having her land condemned to make way for the controversial border fence, she wasn’t just unhappy — she was justifiably angry.
It just so happened that Eloisa was given the news while she was participating on a conference panel in Albuquerque. The title of the panel: “Indigenous People’s and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Militarization, Resistance, and Rights.”
Under the ruling, the government must pay Tamez $13,500 before the 15 to 18 feet high fence can be erected. The ruling said seizure of the land is worth $8,500 and the distress caused to the family is worth $5,000.
Eloisa’s land only consists of three acres but it’s land that the federal government can’t live without for building the wall. Yet, plans for the construction of the wall were created under the Bush Administration. We now know that certain areas of the Valley where the wall was to pass through were avoided. These areas included sites of high dollar homes and a prominent country club in the area.
Given the preferential treatment to some of the Valley residents and businesses, that is now coming to light, it would be wise for the Obama Administration to do another study to make sure that the site of construction where the remaining wall is to be placed is, in fact, the best option for it.
It would be a gross miscarriage of justice to see that some residents were favored over others simply because of the size of their bank accounts.
After all, what’s the hurry?
The wall still isn’t keeping people from coming over.