Received by the O'odham Solidarity Project 6/21/06
Help the Tohono O’odham Indigenous Peoples of Sonora, Mexico
Stop the Proposed CEGIR Hazardous Waste Dump Near Quitovac!
The Mexican government, led by the federal Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT), and a
company called CEGIR/Centro de Gestion Integral de Residuos S.A., have been quietly planning to put a hazardous
waste dump in O’odham territory close to the sacred site of Quitovac. Just a few miles southwest of the Sonora state
border with Arizona and close to the beach resort of Puerto Peñasco. This project has been conducted with no
involvement of the Indigenous O’odham communities in the decision-making processes.
Under the Border 2012 program, a bi-national program for the U.S.-Mexico border region, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency is working with Mexico to promote this type of facility, ignoring the impact on the traditional O’
odham communities and their culture, traditions, sacred sites and spiritual well-being.
The site would potentially treat and separate up to 45,000 tons of hazardous waste materials annually, including
asbestos, organochlorides and waste sludge from industries. To date, SEMARNAT has approved all permits except
the land-use permit - a permit that requires the local municipality's approval. The community had not been informed of
the plan or any health risks and dangers associated with such a scheme prior to this approval.
The proposed site would expose children and nearby communities to dangerous toxins released in the land, air, and
water, potentially contaminate the underground well water the communities depend on, desecrate the sacred
ceremonial grounds of Quitovac, thus devastating the culture, traditions, sacred sites and spiritual well-being of the
O’odham Indigenous peoples in both Mexico and the U.S. as well as Potentially repel vacationers who frequent nearby
Puerto Peñasco which would threaten the income of Sonoran residents dependent on tourist dollars. The dump
would also potentially destroy the biodiversity of a nearby natural lagoon.
Join the O’odham in their fight to stop the proposed hazardous waste dump!
CONTACT THE MEXICAN & U.S. GOVERNMENTS TODAY!
Alfonso Flores, Mexican Secretary of the Environment The Mexican Embassy – Washington D.C.
Tel: +52 5556 243334 * Fax: +525556 243589 Tel: (202) 736-1000 * Fax: (202) 234-4498
E-mail: email@example.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mexican Consulate in San Francisco The Mexican Consulate in Tucson
Tel: (415) 354-1700 * Fax: (415) 495-3971 Tel: (520) 882-5595 * Fax: (520) 882-8959
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX – Wayne Nastri (415) 947- 8021 email@example.com
DON’T LET THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT TURN TRADITIONAL O’ODHAM SACRED SITES AND SONORA
COMMUNITIES INTO A DUMPING GROUND FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE!
For more information contact:
Ofelia Rivas, O’odham community representative:
(520) 471-3398 firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice:
(415) 248-5010 email@example.com <www.greenaction.org>
Indigenous Environmental Network:
(218) 751-4967 firstname.lastname@example.org <www.ienearth.org>
International Indian Treaty Council:
(520) 471-3398 email@example.com <www.treatycouncil.org>