Sacred Native American burial sites within a national monument are being blown up to build Trump’s US-Mexico border wall. Construction crews in southern Arizona have started blasting hills at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to clear space for the new border wall system.

The BBC reports:

Authorities confirmed that “controlled blasting” has begun in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a Unesco recognised natural reserve. 

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Environmental groups also warn of the damage being done to the local underground aquifer, as well as to migrating wildlife in the remote desert region about 115 miles (185km) west of Tucson. Officials say the aim of the project is to construct a 30ft-tall (9m) steel barrier that runs for 43 miles on the national park land. In interviews with US media, Democrat congressman Raul Grijalva called the Trump administration’s conduct “sacrilegious” and said the environmental monitor that the government assigned to the project would do nothing to mitigate the cultural damage. 

In their bid to build the wall, the Trump administration has waived dozens of laws – including ones that protected Native American graves, endangered species, and the environment.

Tribal chairman Ned Norris Jr told the Arizona Republic that even though the land is now controlled by the US government, “we have inhabited this area since time immemorial.” Norris added  “They’re our ancestors. They’re our remnants of who we are as a people, throughout this whole area. And it’s our obligation, it’s our duty to do what is necessary to protect that.”