In a brief phone interview with John Gomez Jr., President of the American Indian Rights & Resources Organization (AIRRO) he responded to his recent letter of banishment by the tribal council of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, headed by the corrupt Mark Macarro.
Original Pechanga's Blog: John, how is it that Pechanga could tell you that you were banished while at a meeting with other tribes, have you removed from the reservation and then explain that it was for something you said a week AFTER that meeting?
I have no doubt that the Tribal Council will fabricate something to reconcile the inconsistancies in their actions. However, does it really matter? They do not have to be right or do the right thing. They make the rules and they can enforce them as they see fit, regardless of the facts or circumstances.
Original Pechanga's Blog: Are you a threat to the Pechanga Reservation? Who is a bigger threat to the Pechanga People?
What is especially bothersome about the council's action is that they are justifying their action as necessary to protect the people. If the health and welfare of the reservation residents is such a high priority, why not exclude those individuals who have actually committed violent crimes. Maybe it's because those criminals are their criminals, their family.
Or as Chairman Macarro allegedly responded when asked why he was allowing criminals and thiefs to run amok, "That's who we are." I guess that explains it all.
OPB here are excerpts from Mr. Gomez's request for an appeal
1. As a Temecula Indian, I have a property interest in the lands referred to as the Pechanga Indian Reservation. Said lands were set aside by Executive Orders in the 1880’s and 1890’s for the use and benefit of the “Temecula band or village of Indians”. The use and benefit of said lands has never been extinguished or revoked by the entity that has the sole authority to do so- the United States Congress. Until such time as the use and benefit may be extinguished or revoked, I will continue to have a property interest in said lands.
2. I require access to the Pechanga Indian Reservation to personally use the Indian Health Services Clinic. At times, I also transport my grandmother to and from the Indian Health Services Clinic located on the Pechanga Indian Reservation.
... a hearing is also necessary to address the conflict that exists between the Notice dated May 4, 2010 and the notice of exclusion ... delivered by Councilman Masiel on April 14, 2010 as I attended a meeting ... on the Pechanga Indian Reservation.
On April 14, 2010, at or around 12:45 pm, Councilman Masiel asked to speak to me and lead me out of the Pechanga Cultural Resources Building. We were met by David Nelson of the Tribal Rangers. At that time, Councilman Masiel notified me that I had been banned from the reservation and asked me to leave. I notified Councilman Masiel that I had never been notified of any exclusion or banishment and asked when it occurred. He stated that it happened when he was “off the Council” and he had only recently been made aware of it.
.... I requested that Councilman Masiel have a notice sent to me.
On May 7, 2010, I received a Notice of Exclusion.... the Notice cites a statement made by me on April 18, 2010 and published in the Lake County News on April 19, 2010 as the basis for my exclusion. Therefore, I would like clarification as to how a statement published 5 days after I had been officially notified of my exclusion could be used as the basis for said exclusion. OP: Is the Tribal Council motto: A LIE is as good as the truth, if you can get someone to believe it?
... I can provide evidence that the statement referred to has not only been misinterpreted but has been taken out of context. The statement in question was a response to a specific incident that occurred at another reservation... the Chairperson of ... Rancheria and several of her family members had, on April 18, 2010, assaulted a member of the Rancheria who had recently been disenrolled.
Based on the information provided regarding the alleged incident and my personal knowledge that the Congressman from that district had been watching the events ... unfold over the years, I offered my opinion on that matter. (Incidentally, Congressman Thompson did act. On April 29, 2010, the Congressman sent a letter to the House Resources Committee requesting that oversight hearings be held regarding the enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act).
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