U.S Border Patrol ran over an O’odham man today on the Tohono O’odham Nation.— Indivisible Tohono (@Indivisible_TO) June 15, 2018
This is an example of the fear O’odham have to face everyday because BP ravage our communities & are careless with our lives. pic.twitter.com/ZEbVlIe5cl
Footage of a U.S. Border Patrol mobile running over a Native American has ignited tensions between federal authorities and a Native American tribe.
The video was captured by Pablo Remes, the man who was run over by the U.S. Border Patrol officer.
At the time of the incident, Remes said he was standing outside his house, looking for a speaker to listen to music. Little did he know that out of nowhere a border patrol officer would run him over.
In the footage, Ramos can be seen standing on what looks to be a dirt road. A police mobile hurtles towards him and then hits him.
"They just ran me over, bro," he said in the video.
Talking to Arizona Daily Star later, Remes, a resident of Tohono O’ odham Nation, said he ran into the dirt road because he was certain the police would try and hit him.
In the aftermath of the incident, Indivisible Tohono, a group focused on federal and state policies affecting the Tohono O’odham Nation, uploaded the video on their Twitter handle condemning the inhumane actions of border patrol officers.
This incident is likely to strain the tense relation the tribe has with federal authorities. The tribe, lying along the U.S.-Mexico border, has been an important transit point for immigrants.
This means that the tribe has frequently faced such encounters with the Border Patrol. The tensions have only intensified with the Border Patrol being given more impunity in the way it deals with unauthorized immigrants.
Members of the 34,000 member tribe, 2000 of which are in Mexico, has campaigned against Trump’s proposed border wall, which will potentially sever ties that predate the U.S. These are fears they share with other Native American tribes that fear the divisive policies will destroy an ancient culture.
For the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indians, the water of the Rio Grande river takes messages from people who live upstream and carry it to people performing religious rituals downstream. The wall, they believe, will cut off people’s connection to the rives. The tribal chief, Jose Sierra has urged his people to tear down the wall if it is built.
Remes is recovering in a hospital and is said to be doing well. His mother has also weighed in on the incident and accused the Border Patrol of taking lives “for granted”.
In a statement, Border Patrol says it is investigating the incident. Tohono O’odham Nation has also said that the tribe’s police, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Mike Blake