Thursday, September 12, 2013

Abya Yala and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Living Document Abya Yala and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo— The Scars of Colonization
Tupac Enrique Acosta
Tonatierra Community Development Institute
February 12, 2011
ASM - Southwest Culture

ASM Podcasts - Episode 45 (28:38)

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Amistades, Inc. LogoThis program was produced by Lisa Falk, Director of Education, Arizona State Museum, in collaboration with Amistades, Inc.Opens in a new window, the University of Arizona’s Office of the Vice President for Research, and the University's American Indian Studies department.
Narrator Welcome to an Arizona State Museum podcast. This podcast is one of five recordings from a symposium held in conjunction with the display of the original pages of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the Arizona State Museum during February 2011. The treaty pages were on loan from the National Archives. Arizona State Museum extends thanks to Amistades, Inc., the Vice President for Research at the University of Arizona, and the University's American Indian Studies department for support of the exhibition and the symposium. For more Arizona State Museum podcasts, go to, or go to iTunes, keyword: Arizona State Museum.

Tupac Enrique Acosta I'm going to try to speak as clearly and as loudly as I can. I do have some speech impediment, so please bear with me. I'd like to introduce Cindy Mercurio Sandoval. By coincidence, the name Sandoval, is tied to that U.S. Sandoval (from what I understand) court case. Cindy, in her time in New Mexico, also worked on some of the community interventions that were done by the land grant movement at that time, related to similar issues that we're speaking of here. And she's going to help us with the slide presentation. So Cindy, could you go on to the next slide? [crowd noise]

Can anybody identify this location? The situation? Can anybody conceptualize it in reference to our symposium today? Whose army uniform? That's an army uniform, right? Is that Egypt? Oh, let's take applause. Egypt, the people of the Nile.

[man applauds]
[crowd applause]

What's in process in Egypt is the same discussion we're having today. What is that? The relationship of humanity to government states of the world. And the borders that they have imposed and incarcerated are conceptions of allegiance and citizenship, in contrast and in conflict to our relationship and our kinship as human beings of Mother Earth. So we're talking about putting threads of context in place, and leaving those threads of context in place to the purpose of what? To perpetuate our incarceration, or to achieve our liberation, as a realization of our humanity. Wherever you go in this Mother Earth, and I'll take a pause there. Last month, you can't go any further. It took me 30 hours to get there, and 36 hours to get back. I was in India, the original. I'm looking for India, well, I got there. Christopher Columbus, you know what I'm talking about.

We're talking about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, but the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo cannot be conceptualized without its context, which is the framework of the international law of the governments. States. In particular, of the government entities, of the states that have survived the independence movements in this continent, of Abya Yala. That came to be known as America as a result of, the guy who was trying to get to India, right?

So, it was always the same plan all along. How are we going to establish a continental network and the trade, the commerce, for the purposes of exploiting and expropriation, the natural resources and labor of humanity to the benefit of the corporate elites? Now they call that econogenics. In another era, during World War II, it was called eugenics. But that eugenics was birthed and born here. It was exported to Germany, no? I'm just giving you threads of the larger story, the longer story that is to be told, that is still to be told. Why?

Because India, last month, we recalled together, the indigenous peoples of this continent, of Abya Yala. The indigenous peoples of Australia, of Aotearoa. Of the Pacific Basin, what is that called? Oceana. Not just the rim, the whole Oceana. Africa. Indigenous peoples of Europe, the Sami were there, the Laplanders. We were called to India last month to put together the first round table towards the formation of a world assembly of indigenous peoples. And this is distinction, and in contrast to what is called a General Assembly of the United Nations. OK. So this is what's in question, the process of defining what is a nation, what is it to be international, and what is it to be a humanity. What is it to be a humanity. And wherever we look, wherever we saw, wherever we listened, wherever we heard, we heard the same story that the Yoeme said. That we have a core of, a kernel of our humanity is embedded in our original histories, that are not filtered through the lenses of the so-called western civilization, or the civilization concept itself. To the core of our humanity as homo sapiens.

In all of the continents of the world, and wherever we are. Whether we're the Sami of northern Europe, whether we're the indigenous of Africa, the Zulu. Whether we're the Aotearoa of New Zealand, or the aboriginals of Australia, or the Adivasi of India. We found that we have an integrity, and we have a reality. We have the original same reality of the continuity of our human identity, that isn't defined, like the Yaqui said, depending on our citizenship or status in one or another of the conceptions of the so-called civilized world.

And that's the story that we bring to tell you today, as it relates to our discussion on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This isn't U.S.‑Mexico; this is Mexico‑Mexico. This is the Mexican federal troops, and this is one of the ladies of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Naciónal in Mexico. She's Maya, no?

This is what we were referring to, no? We're talking about being deported. We're talking about being deported physically. We're talking about being deported in terms of religion, no? Extracted and pulled into Genízaro nationalities. Not just communities but Genízaro nationalities. Start from the border and start going down. You see a bunch of Genízaro communities, but Genízaro nationalities that have been put in place in this continent.

Why? Because to get to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and this border here, you don't see it, but it's there conceptually, we're discussing it here intellectually. But to get to that one, there was other previous doctrines that were put in place that set about, set in place the legitimization of those so-called systems of jurisprudence that we call law and international law and treaties. Right? And what is a treaty, by the way? And who has a right to make it, what is that? And so in this context, we see what we see. We see what is there. But what we are also seeing is how we ourselves have been deported into the project of America, no?
During the last era, in the fight against neo-liberalism, it was one of the phases coming out of the massive movements in the south. Otra Americas Possible, Another America's Possible. They were bringing that phrase out as a challenge to the neo-liberalization and the invasions of the corporate elites partnering up with all the government states.
To bring in what was the same process of the extraction of the railroads across the West, right? What made this treaty necessary. I wouldn't say the transnational corporations. I call them supranational. They don't have any tie to any nationality of any constituency in any place in the world. They're coming in from China. They're coming in from Japan. They're coming in from... and itt doesn't really matter anymore where they're coming in because they have the same corporate interests globally. But the point I'm making here is that that's the NAFTA frame, that is another thread in putting together the context.
There's another frame that wasn't mentioned today here as of yet. That was the Doctrine of Monroe, 1823.You're not going to get to 1848 until you touch 1823. What was the Doctrine of Monroe? What did he say?
Woman America follows Americana?
Mr. Acosta   But who was he talking about? Was he talking about the original Americana, the original indigenous? Who was he talking about? He was talking about the same attitude that created a flex. Whenever U.S. intervention, this idea came up. Because supposedly the North American U.S. government says, "We're going to say who's going to say who's going to come in here. And by the way we're saying nobody else is coming in here. It's going to be our plantation now, the whole continent." Without having to put a physical border, they put a doctrinal border on the whole continent. To say that Asia discovery and exploration by the European interests, the gate's shut. Without the Monroe Doctrine you don't have that context of what's going to happen now, what is happening now up to this point.
Before, what did we have? The government of the Republic of Mexico, 1848, Santa Anna. The government of Washington, the government of Polk, their justification for territorial jurisdiction in this continent is based on what? Talking about doctrines. Based on what? The doctrine of... discovery, no? And the psychological, political, legal, cultural and intellectual frames that that set in place and then legitimizes... Added to that the traction of the economic might and the military forces that are tied to that, which we are still seeing every day here in Arizona and throughout the continent. But the original doctrine behind that was called the Divine Right of Kings. The Divine Right of Kings, and there was a King of Kings, The Vatican.
Under the Divine Right of Kings, when that concept arrived over here that was the original concept. That's how they got to claim discovery in the first place. But in the process of the Enlightenment, the exposure to the concepts of self-government, autonomy... Where there isn't a hierarchy of self-governance outside the humanity, the indigenous frameworks of confederacy where it isn’t necessarily a hierarchy imposed from a monopoly or a monotheistic or even a grammatical or legal singularity? We're talking about the plurality that is the ecology of nature and our part, as human beings, as part of the family of nature.
That exposure sparked different things: the French Revolution, the Enlightenment. And in the bounce back, when it came back this way, the Independence movement that happened with the U.S., I mean with the English, with the French. That's something we have, the independence movements that was mentioned to you in 1821. But then none of those independence movements, 1821, none of them, not Mexico, none of those were the indigenous nations. They never got their status as republics.
Although even in Guatemala, when Guatemala was pushing out a separation from Mexico, there's 48 cantones mayas at that time. The same like with the Yaquis. They almost literally stepped onto the world stage as Maya Republic, at that time. And they still are in place today, but they don't have international recognition.
The point is that nobody legitimately will argue anymore for this concept of the Divine Right of Kings. I don't believe that's so. I'm not going to hear that here, I don't think. Yet we see it still here, the argument. Or we hear the absence of the contradiction of the argument of the Divine Right of States. Supported every time we make a statement in justification of the international borders that have been established by the republics, that derive their jurisdiction and justification in this hemisphere based on the Divine Right of Kings.
Now we have the Divine Right of States. Example, Correa and Ecuador, last year. The petroleum companies that have... Really, Canadian petroleum companies, Canadian mining companies, they've been franchising with the Ecuadorian government. They say, "We're coming into the Amazon." The indigenous people, they say, "No, you're not coming into our territory."
And there's pictures of bows and arrows against armies, like the Ecuadorian army. Correa, a president who came in from the left says, "That resource belongs to the state. The indigenous have only occupancy on the territory." It's ancestrally theirs, no? A Divine Right of State. Here in this area, we just heard this argument last week in the state capitol.
When Mr. Eastman was arguing in favor of the modifications to the 14th Amendment, to Arizona's citizenship in conflict with the 14th Amendment. He was talking about the rights of expatriation. He was talking about the rights of the states to determine their own status of membership and citizenship, in relationship to the other states. The other states, which ones? The other 50 states, of the United States of North America.
So here we are in 2011 but 20 years ago we were called to the first continental encounter, that took place in Quito, Ecuador, in 1990. In 1990, we were there. At the whole level of the whole hemisphere, we were looking at 1992. And the Quincentenary celebrations of jubilee that were being planned by the Vatican and Spain.
I'll tell you a real quick, funny story. There was a resolution put on the floor of the general assembly to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus, the Quincentenary. At that time, Jean Kirkpatrick—you know who I'm talking about? Some of you in the room won't know how I'm talking about. Jean Kirkpatrick was the U.S. Ambassador. There's her signature on the resolution. It got adopted unanimously by every single country in this continent, and I saw the signatures myself, Jean Kirkpatrick's signature right next to the minister of Cuba. Cuba was ready to sign, too. "Let's go to the party, let's go to the party."
Who was the only ones who stood up and said "Hold it." Indigenous peoples. We stood up after this gathering in putting together the continental resistance, to say "Just a second, just a minute, let's take 500 years of seconds and minutes." Let's come back to reality and acknowledge one simple fact.
In 1960, as you know we've been organizing as Tonatierra, we had 100,000 people march through the state capitol last year. A lot of the people were wearing t-shirts that said "Legalize Arizona." Legalize Arizona. Now let's get this clear. Those 100,000 people with that message of legalize Arizona, when we went to the state capitol, we don't go to present ourselves to the state capitol, Brewer, Governor Brewer. We had the indigenous nations of this territory waiting for us there, the O’odham people were there waiting for us with their songs, with their ceremonies, with their narratives of relationships to each other, with each other, and of the land. Preceding the document of discovery, preceding the Divine Right of Kings, preceding the Divine Right of States, and still present until today. And still acting as if what we said was said again, but now trying to express it and broadcast it at a larger level, at what is the public.
One of the groups that was accompanying us in that process were the Mississippi summer folks, the folks who had been in Mississippi during that time. We had a side conversation with them, like in this room here. Hey, you know what? None of what Martin Luther King or the leadership of the SNCC and the other groups that were mobilizing in that time in Alabama, similar to how we're mobilizing in Arizona...that movement that Martin Luther King was pushing for civil rights within the framework of U.S. protections, responsibilities and rights...that movement would not have had a chance—we’re talking about the Mississippi summer movement, remember—that movement would not have had a chance, if Africa hadn't been moving toward decolonization. The U.S. Civil Rights movement being led by the African-American constituencies wouldn't have had a chance if Africa itself wasn't pushing through a decolonization process itself.
Decolonization was not a crime up until 1960. It wasn't a crime to come into another continent and take and rape and pillage, exploit, expropriate the natural resources of those peoples. The colonization of the European mercantile interests that began in 1492, I always say it like this‑‑when did World [inaudible] begin? I'll wait for an answer. When did World War I begin?
Man 1914
Mr. Acosta World War I began on October 12, 1492. [audience laughter] From that time to this time, up until this resolution in 1960, that was normal. It was considered civilized. A particular part of that burden of civilization was given to a particular sector of our human family. Some of our relatives that were extracted from the rest of us and basically deformed and tortured into a cultural identity that is known as "white people". Whereas if you go to any place on Mother Earth and say "Where's that country that's called 'white'?", there's nothing there. There's nothing there; we're all just human beings.
The General Assembly makes colonization illegal, but it wasn't until September 13, 2007—that's only four years ago, not even four years ago—that indigenous peoples were put into that same category. Up until that date, we're not peoples. We don't have access to those procedures to decolonize. So it isn't a wonder that we're here at this place where we are now. This is Thomas Banyacya, Hopi Nation, in front of the United Nations, according to the Hopi prophecies, fulfilling the prophecy of the Hopis that they would present themselves before the House of Micah to bring the message of indigenous nations to this body.
This clarifies, for purposes of communications. Yes, there are governments, look at all the flags. Yes, there are states, [pointing] boom boom boom. However, we are the nations.
Ser nacido. Nacer. Nacionalidad. Todo viene siendo de la madre tierra. El mismo raiz de pensar te dice eso. Que hace posible la vida? Nacer. La relacion con lo que es la madre tierra. La relacion con el agua, la relacion con el viento, la relacion con el sol.
Or you could say it like this: the material world. Solid, liquid, gases, and plasma. The four phases of matter. It's essential, it's elemental but it's also very scientific. In other words, it's reality.
Reality checks in every once in a while. Mother Earth's telling us, "Abya Yala, I am here. I am Yala. I am here, and I am going to the ceremony that Mother Earth is going to." She has elders, too. She's our mom. Father Sun, but even they have elders, too. We're part of a larger community of realities that we coincide in and coalesce around, according to the principles that we call the [Kasoli?] in our tradition of the Mexicayotl.
The [Kasoli?] of the Mexicayotl has pulled us together, since 1990 at the first continental encounter. We've had five summits since then. The last one took place in Puno, Peru. That should be in 2009. At this particular event, it was stated "Nosotros no somos imigrantes en nuestra propio continente." A political position was put forward to all of the government-states, not just the U.S., not just Mexico, Canada. The statement was made, "We are not immigrants in our own continent."
Especially since we haven't moved into the phase of decolonization in this continent. If we're going to discuss immigration, we're going to have to go back to October 12, 1492. Otherwise, we're not discussing immigration. The issue is being manipulated in the interests of certain economic interests that are entrenched and embodied in the political bodies of the government-states that come across as a result of colonization.
This one, go back one real quick. Last October. For all of this to occur requires communication. It requires the rebellion and cognition that is going to make it possible. This is the rebellion we are speaking of today, not just a rebellion in terms of political. There has to take place a reality check that is going to bring about a rebellion in the systems of cognition and to accomplish that, we need communication. We have in place a continental network of comunicadores indigenas. This was in Colombia just last November.
This is the symbolism of the iconography of our messaging to humanity. How we are going to regenerate and reclaim our place in global society, outside of the distinctions and contradictions and legalizations of our government-states, not only in this hemisphere, but planetarily.
This is our emblem of the Nahuacali. We have a process that drives all this which is inherent to our internal reality that we express at external levels according to the need and circumstances of the time.
This is the embassy of indigenous peoples in Phoenix where we operate out of. And this is one of our latest campaigns. It's an educational campaign. This was the document that was put in the hands of Senator Pierce when he came out on the first day he was going to announce the 14th Amendment. We put this in his hands and, we made it accessible to him, but unfortunately he didn't want to accept it as of yet. But the reality is there. The cognition is there. What part of illegal do you not understand? It's very simple.
We're going to have a hearing on this issue and the invitation to that event is on your packet. Please look at that. At Pueblo Grande one month from now, we're going to have a hearing. The United Nations has launched a preliminary study on the impact of the doctrine of discovery on indigenous peoples. We're going to have a hearing on that next month at Pueblo Grande. So this story here is to be continued at that point one month from now, so I urge you to keep in contact with us through our website and the different means that we're going to put in place.
You see that line up there? That's the Adams-Onis line, right? There's no indigenous nation indicated in that line at all. So, whatever jurisdiction territorial that Mexico thought they had that they were passing to the U.S., guess what? There's flaws in the concept not to mention it's the absolute deformation of reality. This is a more closer version.
This is what the relatives were speaking about. These are our confederations, the ancient confederacy of the Ute-Azteca nations. When we speak about borders, really the only borders we have as human beings is language because we all use the same thought process. We have the same cerebrum in all parts of the world, in India and everywhere. We've had the same hardware for 100,000 years. The only borders we have are cultural borders. And this is why the fight in Egypt is so critical, because you're talking about getting to the core of that relationship and finding a seed of how we might regenerate our self-determination as humanity.
You see that these maps, there's a misconception here. They were never like that. You saw the Yaquis overlapped with the O’odham , the O’odham with the Mayo. We never had borders that were: “I’m on this side, you’re on that side.” That's a flat world conception. That's like “the world is flat.” The world is not flat. The world is made up of relationships.
And the expression of value that we give externally to those value systems that we carry, that's called law. This is the law of the description from one perspective in the central part of the continent known as Mexico. Tenotichlan. The eagle and the condor you see evident in the background.
And this is up here in Phoenix. There's a bunch of junk on the riverbed. You've seen all the dumping that took place up there. We're talking again about our ecological relationships, and that means our ecological responsibilities—I said law—to the Mother Earth and to the natural world. You see these creatures here, [A’astar?]; in our language, they're called [A’astar?], the white heron. The messenger and the responsible, el responsible, for relaying the message of confederacy and peace among these nations because they live along the waterways.
You see more of the picture now but it's the same picture, no? What kind of weaponry is that? What kind of resistance is that? Change that gun and put in place the government state mechanism planetary, change her to Mother Earth and change this guy to… maybe it's us. But what about the uniform? Is that our uniform? What are we fighting to defend? What are we fighting to protect? What should we be fighting to defend and protect?
What we say is this, it's the ways of life that makes life possible. The water, they go together in pairs—the land and the water, the air and the fire.
And reality, the reality is that—and I got into trouble with my elders once for saying this, for asking this; I almost got into trouble; I thought I was going to get in trouble—but I asked it like this. "Hey elders," (I work with an organization called the Seventh Generation Fund. We're part of the traditional confederacies of the continent of the north, the Turtle Island that is part of this continental, like was mentioned, no? …reality of indigenous confederacies at a continental and planetary level. For us, there isn't seven seas. There is only one ocean. And the ocean doesn't separate us. The ocean binds us together.) So I asked them like this, "Hey, Elders." (My time is up, no?) "Elders, isn't it true, elders, that we're all originally and eventually we are all indigenous people of Mother Earth?" Elders said, "You got it. You got it." That's the distinction and that's the reality we wanted to share with you today as we go forward.
Next Tuesday, we'll be back at the state capitol bringing the more precise elements of this argument to try to convince those who want to be convinced, who are willing to be convinced, related to the justifications that have been proposed in the state of Arizona in terms of the Arizona state citizenship acts and its implications on the 14th amendment. It's one of the activities we're engaged with on the street level, at the ground level and the community level. We have 400 families in Phoenix in the comites en defense del barrio that are working with us together.
By way of closing, I want to extend my appreciation to the folks in the museum and the staff here who made all of this possible. And thank you for your kind attention and patience. Thank you.

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