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Friday, August 30, 2013

Salazar Presente...

Awesome week... and it's not even over... wanted to end the night with some thoughts on Aug 29, 1970. Truly, that day shaped me as a young kid.. The moratorium and the death of Ruben Salazar made a dramatic impact on my life. Where he was killed was a just a few blocks down the street from where I grew up on Whittier Blvd. in East LA. In fact, I remember my brothers and I drove to the Silver Cafe where everyone knew Salazar had been shot, but the Sheriff's deputies would not permit anyone near there... we were turned away... they kept him inside the Silver Dollar for at least three hours after he had been shot by a 9-inch tear gas projectile. Today, I teach at the U of Arizona... and today, I taught about that fateful day....about something that happened 43 years ago. To this day, I am one of those who is convinced he was felled as a result of a well-orchestrated political assassination.In a sense, how or with what he was killed doesn't matter. What is important is that his death impacted a lot of youngsters like myself from that generation. That's what moved me to become a journalist... more than wanting to become a writer, his death instilled a powerful incentive to fight for human rights. It's a fire that still burns. I always remember that it was not just he that was killed that day, but also, Lyn Ward and Angel Diaz. Presente. Presente. Does his death matter today? Yes. In a sense, journalism is no longer the exclusive domain of those who work with media. Now we have the peoples' media... todos somos salazar... i always remember him, not as ana activist, but I do believe he had that quality we call Panche be -- to seek the root of the truth... I believe that was part of his ethic, even if he was not familiar with that maiz-based concept we are so proud of in Arizona. My last thoughts are for his family. To this day, they seek justice. A documentary on his death will be released this fall. the filmmaker obtained the long-held boxes of the LA Sheriff's department on Salazar... wonder if they received boxes from the fbi, cia and army intelligence... ojala que al fin pueda descansar en paz...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tucson Labor Day DACA Sept 2 fundraiser for Miquiztli

Calpolli Teoxicalli would like to invite our community to support Miquiztli in paying his DACA application fees. He is of the Nahua community in Tlamanalco (Tucson), and has been very active in our community at a time when Arizona has been heavily under attack, particularly as a result of anti-immigrant legislation such as SB 1070 and the anti-ethnic studies HB 2281. As a dream student, he is involved in defending the undocumented population of Tucson, particularly the rights of our Jornaleros (day laborers) to look for dignified work and receive fair wages. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) fees are $465 and will permit him to go back to school to continue his education and pay in-state tuition at Pima Community College.

Everyone is invited to a Labor Day breakfast, from 8-10am on Mon. Sept 2. in honor of our Jornaleros at the Southside Worker Center, who have participated in many actions against unjust laws. The breakfast is free, but all are welcome to donate toward the DACA fees. Location to be announced shortly.

To make a donation before the event, you can:
* Go to a Wells Fargo bank and deposit to the name of Alejandro A. Valenzuela - account number 6096801466.
·* Go online and sign into your bank account and transfer money to the name of Alejandro A. Valenzuela and account number 6096801466.
* You can also mail a check in name of Alex Valenzuela to Chucho Ruiz at 1223 S. 8th Ave. Tucson, Arizona 85713

Our goal is $465.

For more info, please write: or call 520-551-5229

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Dreams, Courage and Footsteps

Saturday, 17 August 2013 09:35By Roberto Cintli RodriguezTruthout | Op-Ed

How do you begin when there appears to be no beginning? My own memory goes back 7,000 years, symbolically and metaphorically, to the origins - to the creation - of maiz. But even that was not the beginning, although it is helpful in understanding the following stories.

Yet, how do you understand that which is often incomprehensible - the meaning of life, freedom, sovereignty, memory or dreams?

In March of 2006, Hopi runners went into Mexico from northern Arizona and ran all the way to Mexico City - Tenochtitlan to deliver a message regarding the importance and sacredness of water to the World Water Forum. They then continued on to Teotihuacan - dancing there for the first time in 500 years - then on to several other sacred sites, including the volcanoes in Puebla, where El Popo spewed while they danced. They then went on to Temoaya, the ceremonial grounds of the Otomie, where they also connected with Otomie and Incaica relatives.

When it was time to return to Hopi land, there was a problem. They had crossed into the land of Quetzalcoatl without passports or visas. Despite that, they boarded their plane and returned safely home.

Amid high tension, intense security and frequent terror alerts, how did they get through? Forget the details; the point is, in the end, they managed to board their flights and return across a militarized international border simply with their Hopi identification cards. Deep down, government officials of both countries understood that the sovereignty of the Hopi trumped and superseded the European-imposed borders of their modern nation-state sovereignties.

It is highly likely that US State Department officials are continuing to scratch their heads over that one.

Similarly, the world has just witnessed something that will take years for people to comprehend; the case of the Dream 9. After having lived virtually their entire lives in the United States, three Dream students (Lulu Martinez-Valdez, Marco Saavedra and Lizbeth Mateo Jimenez) went back into Mexico, picked up six more Dream students (Claudia Amaro, Adriana Gil Diaz, Mario Felix Garcia, Luis Leon-Lopez, Maria Peniche-Vargas and Ceferino Santiago) and walked back into the United States via Nogales, Arizona.

Rodriguez can be reached at:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Being and Becoming Human: A Maiz-based Ethos and Philosophy of Life

In Lak Ech
Panche Be
Hunab Ku
Et p’iz

To Give and to Receive
As taught in MAS, highlighting the responsibility one assumes in learning these ethos or concepts. 

Not a counterstory

They are gleaned from the works of Maya  scholar, Domingo Martinez Paredez. They include: Un Continente y Una Cultura, El Popul Vuh tiene Razon, Hunab Ku, Parapsicologia Maya, El Hombre y el Cosmos

UA CLASS THIS FALL: The Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery

Special Topics:  Fall 2013 Class MAS 496A
The Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery
Professor Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez, PhD
DATES 8/26/2013 – 12/11/2013
Tues  3:30-6pm
Cesar Chavez Bldg, Rm 104 520-626-0824
Office Hours: TUES 1-3pm or by apt

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will examine the dark ages philosophy of the Doctrine of Discovery, that which created the colonial model of the world.  It will examine how this doctrine continues to be alive and have reverberations in Arizona today. It will examine the papal bulls of the colonial era and the Requerimiento, documents that enabled the doctrine. It will examine international law, The Monroe Doctrine, The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the Gadsen Purchase, and the 2007 UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Students will examine the international treaties and decrees that determine(d) what makes people human/inhuman, whether they have souls and are godless, whether they are legal/illegal, and what makes people entitled to full equality under the law.

The class will be taught as part of collaboration between Indigenous scholars throughout the country, including Steve Newcombe (Pagans in the Homeland), along with Tonatierra in Phoenix and Calpolli Teoxicalli and the Indigenous Alliance Without Borders in Tucson. The class will examine the proceedings of an April 19-20, 2013 conference on the same topic. This includes an examination of HB 2281 and SB 1070 in relationship to the doctrine and international law.

Knowledge of Spanish is useful, but not necessary. Students will carry on individualized or collaborative research projects involving these topics. Creative projects are encouraged. Students will write one personal/research paper and one research paper, and several in-class assignments – by hand. The content of these research papers may become the basis for presentations for a symposium. 

This course requiring previous coursework in Mexican American Studies. For further info, please contact: MAS at
Margaret Yrun: - 520-626-8103 or Chavez Bldg. Rm. 208  - Tucson, AZ 85721.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

In a country that has always denied its actual origins, it is not surprising that conversations – including soul-searching – about race in this country, generally rely on a black-white binary. The Trayvon Martin–George Zimmerman case perfectly illustrates the nation’s inability to see beyond black and white… despite the fact that we live on Indian land.
It’s akin to how some describe history: It’s what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget.

By acknowledging that we live on Turtle Island or Pacha Mama, the automatic impulse is to avoid that inconvenient fact; to acknowledge that reality would lead to questions of genocide and land theft, and worse, we might actually have to speak to live indigenous peoples, but we don't want to go there, right?

We might even have to acknowledge that the nation's draconian immigration policies are, in effect, modern day Indian removal. But again, we don't really want to talk about that either, right?

For the rest of the column, go to: