Tuesday, January 13, 2009
San Pasqual Members DENIED Civil Rights Says BIA Official James Fletcher
UPDATE: The comment link doesn't appear on the page for some reason. Simply click on the title which will bring up the single story and the comments can be accessed from there.
San Pasqual's chairman instructed tribal security officials and sheriff's deputies to block about 50 members from voting in Sunday's elections, a possible violation of their civil rights, according to a federal official.
Angela Martinez-McNeal said she and her family were prevented from entering the facility where elections were held because the chairman, Allen Lawson, and his supporters say they are not valid members of the tribe.
"They treated us like criminals," Martinez said Monday.
Lawson, who apparently won re-election Sunday, declined to comment on the matter.
The Valley Center-area tribe, which has about 300 members, owns Valley View Casino.
A spokeswoman at the Sheriff's Valley Center Substation declined to comment on the incident and referred questions to the tribe, which has a contract with the department for law enforcement service. OP: The Sheriff's won't COMMENT ON THEIR OWN ACTION??
Lt. Phil Brust, a spokesman for the department in San Diego, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. OP: WHATCHA doing PHIL? HIDING OUT?
Martinez said she and her family received a letter from the tribe's enrollment committee saying they were ineligible to vote because of their disputed official membership in the tribe, even though the federal government tentatively has sided with Martinez and her family. OP: HOW ABOUT NOT HOLDING AN ELECTION UNTIL THE MATTER IS SETTLED?
"The enrollment committee declares and verifies that the disputed Marcus R. Alto Sr., and all of his descendants have been disenrolled and all membership rights have been suspended as part of the disenrollment," according to the letter dated Dec. 29 and provided by Martinez to the North County Times.
Not allowing the Alto family members to vote could be a violation of their American Indian civil rights, said Jim Fletcher, superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Southern California. OP: And Pechanga tribal member who allowed the same thing to happen in his tribe!
"There were a number of them that told me that they weren't allowed to vote," Fletcher said.
However, Fletcher said he must wait until he receives official election results from the tribe and testimony from those who were banned from voting to look into the matter. Fletcher has said that the federal government considers the family to be official members of the tribe until the bureau makes a final decision on the enrollment question.
OP: THEN STAND UP JOAQUIN, for the San Pascual people, even though you didn't for your OWN.
Read the rest of the article HERE