Please help us get out this Urgent Alert

Call for Rapid Response letters and witnesses to travel to Black Mesa Arizona.


Peabody Coal Company destroys a

Kiva containing 28 ancient Anasazi burial remains


We urge individuals and organizations to send this rapid response letter

and share it with your friends and networks. It is crucial that the

Dineh-UN investigation is supported by individuals, organizations and the

international Non Governmental Organization (NGO) community.


In September, 1998, Mr. Amor, the UN investigator of the UN Commission on

Human Rights will be presenting his report on the US to the General

Assembly. But in flagrant disregard of the UN investigation and US law, the

US Department of Interiorís Office of Surface Mining (OSM) has allowed

Peabody Coal Company to begin construction on Hopi Partition Land (HPL), an

area in which a 20-year moratorium was in place and prior to a permit

approval being granted. Residents living inside the proposed expansion

area are being harassed, intimidated and pressured to relocate. They

continue to be denied any participation in the permit review process and

are unable to protect their homes, cemeteries and sacred sites from

industrial activities.


A Kiva (Indigenous Church or Synagogue) containing 28 ancient Anasazi

burial remains was just destroyed by Peabody Coal Company. Please help the

Dineh protect their land by documenting your support of the Dineh peoplesí

human rights.


Please send a letter/fax to each of the following and copy SDN NY Support

Group either by US mail or E-mail. We are also asking for human rights

observers to travel to Black Mesa to support the elders.









Ms. Elsa Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Representative for the High Commissioner

for Human Rights

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

for: Ms. Mary Robinson, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and

Mr. Abdelfattah Amor, Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance,

UN Commission on Human Rights

Room 2914, Secretariat, UN Headquarters

New York, NY 10017

Fax: (212) 963-4097

Phone: (212) 963-5930


Professor Saul Mendlovitz, Tribunal Chair and Dr. Clarence Dias, Advisor

The International Peoples Tribunal on Human Rights and the Environment

475 Riverside Drive, Room 246

New York, NY 10017

Fax: (212) 870-2392

Phone: (212) 870-2391


Mr. Willis L. Gainer, Director

Albuquerque Field Office

U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining (OSM)

595 Marquette Avenue Suite 1200

Albuquerque, NM 87102

Fax: (505) 248-5081

Phone: (505) 248-5096


Dear Ms. Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Ms. Robinson, Mr. Amor, Professor

Mendlovitz, Dr. Dias, and Mr. Gainer,


We believe that the UN Commission on Human Rights and the US government

must urgently address the destruction of Dineh (Navajo) lands before it is

too late. The Dineh, many of them elderly, do not speak, read or write

English, and are denied any right to protect their homes, cemeteries, and

sacred sites. The Dineh people have been denied any legitimate

participation and redress to those affected. Living in the shadow of

Peabody Coal Company, for over 3 decades, they have been denied all

services, including electricity and access to water.


We are concerned that their culture and human rights are being sacrificed

in order to provide short-term profits for a non-sustainable industry that

also threatens the regional and global environment. Their sacred land,

estimated to contain 21 billion tons of coal within 6 feet of the surface

is being destroyed by industrial activities.


The Dineh demonstrate the abuse suffered by Indigenous peoplesí living in

communities that are directly affected by mining operations. It was the

intent of the Surface Mining Coal Reclamation Act (SMCRA), that no

government-sponsored coal mine could evict people. However, in reality,

Indigenous people are not afforded this protection because they are treated

as tenants at the will of their tribal council governments, whose

continuation is dependent upon coal mining revenues.


Such policies as they are presently applied allows tribal councils to evict

people and Peabody Coal Company to destroy burial sites at a minutes notice

if their presence impedes mining operations. The granting of land title to

the tribal councils rather than to the homeowner denies the rights of

people living in a mining permit area.


Currently, the Hopi Tribal Council is in the process of granting approval

of a mining permit on HPL in spite of the moratorium. And Peabody, in

flagrant disregard of the law, began construction on HPL prior to OSMís

approval of the mining permit. OSM must immediately demand that Peabody

Coal Company cease all new construction until the permit approval process

is completed, first allowing directly affected residents to participate in

the permit review process. OSM must cite Peabody for all applicable

violations of federal law including the destruction of a Kiva containing 28

ancient Anasazi human remains. The desecration of Dineh cemeteries must stop!


Peace Brigades International (PBI) visited the traditional Dineh and Hopi

people. In their June 1997 report they state: ìThe Dineh believe that the

Hopi Tribal Council, once it has secured the right to the land, intends to

lease it to mining companies, even though the Tribal Council points out

that they have had in place a 20-year moratorium on all mining on Hopi lands.î


We believe that the UN should cite the US for human rights violations

against the Dineh and pressure the US to recognize and respect the Dineh

peoplesí right to protect their homes, cemeteries, sacred sites and

ancestral lands. The preservation of the Dineh land-base is essential to

the existence and perpetuation of their tribal society and culture. The

land, which they regard as sacred must be protected.


Sincerely yours,








cc: SDN NY Support Group, 231 Frost Street # 2L, Brooklyn, NY 11211