Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gov. Bill Richardson to take action for Lomas del Poleo!

I really like Gov. Bill Richardson. Southwesterners generally like him (I live 5 months annually on the border of New Mexico) and Iowa liked him in the primaries. What's not to like? I hope he'll be our next Secretary of State.

When he was out stumping for some Dems, activists in Las Cruces NM brought Lomas del Poleo to his attention, according to Grassroots Press (10/24/08).

"On Saturday, Oct.18... the governor was provided a new packet of information containing documented human rights reports, articles and photos of demolished homes. The group explained how the situation was escalating in Lomas, and that within the past two weeks four homes had been destroyed, two elderly residents were kidnapped and beaten by the Mexican military, and that residents were being denied water and electricity by “guards” employed by the powerful Zaragoza family, which claims ownership of land in the colonia.

"After making the rounds and giving a short speech, the governor returned to the group to talk about the situation. He admitted he remembered hearing about the conflict, though in the past six weeks—crunch time for the political campaigns—it had slipped his mind.

“What do you want me to do?” Richardson asked. “I want to do something more than just make a public statement about it.” [BE: emphasis mine]

Contacting the Chihuahua governor and pushing to stop future development until the human rights of Lomas residents are respected were two action suggestions Richardson received. He learned that residents of Lomas had wanted to come and speak to him personally about what life is like living in the besieged community, but that they were too afraid to leave their homes out of fear that they would be destroyed while they were away.

“I will see what I can do,” Gov. Richardson told alliance members.

According to the article, about 35 families remain in the fenced-in area of Lomas. While several families have left out of fear and relocated elsewhere, those living within the barbed wire are still fighting for their rights to their land. They are without access to water or electricity, and they face daily acts of intimidation and violence, now by the Mexican military as well as by the guards hired by the Zaragoza family.

Residents have asked for: water (gallon jugs), flashlights and batteries, kerosene lamps, walkie talkie radios, cell phone chargers, and whistles. Blankets and warm clothing are also welcome. Students and faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso are collecting items for Lomas.

People from outside the local area can help by participating in an email campaign. Addresses and letter to email are on this post. Join Bill Richardson and voice your concern for this oppressed community.

15 comments:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is good news indeed.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Thank you for listening, Gov. Richardson.

I hope he can get someone in Chihuahua to listen and change this terribel situation.

Mariamariacuchita said...

ooops, typo alert, should be "terrible."

Randal Graves said...

Yeah, yeah, what he's doing is cool - and don't forget to email those of you like me who don't live in Real America® - but it's all because of the beard.

DivaJood said...

I don't know whether I would like him to remain Governor of New Mexico, or have a cabinet position in an Obama administration. I like Richardson a lot.

BTW, I love those superpokes at Facebook! Hilarious.

FranIAm said...

I like Bill too and felt like there were some good reasons to support him when he was running early on.

This is really good news and I am not surprised.

Good on him!

afeatheradrift said...

I am a huge Richardson fan and I am glad to here of his involvement in this. I too hope he finds a place in the Obama admin.

Border Explorer said...

Thank you all for your good wishes and support for Lomas. It's great to have some encouraging news to report about this abominably oppressive situation. Gov. Bill Richardson has the international experience that is sorely needed here. May justice prevail!

an average patriot said...

Deeply respect Bill Richardson he is a good man. In reality just what difference do you think he can have on the situation and I do hope he does his best? When all is said and done isn't it up to Mexico to get those supplies to to the people? Seems to me like there in lies the problem and we are powerless to force them as we were Myanmar and any other inadequate Government! Straighten me out B E!

Border Explorer said...

James, it is up to Mexico and, likely, there is little any of us can do. But the MX authorities don't want to attract negative attention, so if they feel like they are in a bad spotlight, they will sometimes take action to put themselves in a better light.

I'm happy to know so many others also respect Bill R. He has the diplomacy I trust to engage the Chihuahua governor positively and perhaps motivate him to take action to end the violence. But the Zaragosas are extremely wealthy and therefore powerful. Stay tuned...

And thanks for your comments!

susan said...

Oops! I've already signed that petition but it's great news that Bill Richardson has got involved. Perhaps once we have a government with a moral philosophy some decent results might be attained. Little steps are a way forward too. Nice work BE.

isaiah said...

I wish the optimism expressed here about Governor Richardson were true. Unfortunately, within the past two years many have informed Governor Richardson about the human rights violations in Lomas del Poleo and despite his promises to intervene he has done nothing. It seems that this time around has been no different. Pedro Zaragoza Fuentes, the binational developer behind the violence in Lomas del Poleo, sits on a binational development commission that is chaired by Richardson. The governor is a huge proponent of development in Santa Teresa, San Jeronimo and in Lomas del Poleo. It's not in his interests for the people of Lomas del Poleo to remain in their homes. Here's the link to the New Mexico-Chihuahua binational commission:

http://www.nmpartnership.com/press-releases/article.phpid=954&title=More+Trade+with+Mexico%3A+New+MexicoChihuahua+Commission+Meeting+%96+First+for+State

Robert Rouse said...

What do you think the odds are that Richardson may end up in Obama's administration? Perhaps as Secretary of State???

Border Explorer said...

Robert: Very good odds.

Isaiah: Welcome back and thanks for your comments. I found the link you mentioned. What hope do you see? Is there any? Feel free to email me off-line: borderexplorer (at) gmail (dot) com
I'll be back on the border by beginning of Dec. and I want to do what I can.

Carol said...

Thanks for this information. I appreciate the education I got by reading the comments also.