FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2022
Contact: Teran Villa, [email protected]
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – Following the discovery of new spray paint defacing La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs, some 8,000 years old, the All Pueblo Council of Governors released this statement.
“The recent desecration of petroglyphs in the Caja del Rio weighs heavy on the hearts of all Pueblo people throughout New Mexico and Texas,” said APCG Chairman and former Governor of Tesuque Pueblo, Mark Mitchell. “The act is nothing short of violence against our ongoing cultural connection and our spirits who reside on the landscape.”
In December of last year, the APCG passed a resolution (attached) affirming the historic importance of the Caja del Rio as a significant cultural landscape, which includes a dense concentration of petroglyphs, ancestral homes, sacred sites, and irrigation structures.
“This area has suffered from years of mismanagement as the landscape is at the crossroads between federal, state, and private oversight that continues to result in undue and irreversible harm to our history and culture,” continued Chairman Mitchell. “We call on the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, State Historic Preservation Office, and the New Mexico State Land Office, to quickly and effectively investigate and address this instance of desecration, and we renew our call for all entities, including federal and state agencies, and the New Mexico Congressional Delegation to take swift action to protect and preserve the Caja del Rio, in consultation with Pueblos and tribes.”
In addition to the persistent threat of desecration of Pueblo cultural artifacts, the Caja del Rio and its wildlife corridors are facing imminent danger from a proposed 12.5-mile-long, 3-phase, overhead 115-kilovolt power transmission line terminating at a Los Alamos National Laboratory Substation, proposed rad development, additional water pipeline infrastructure, highlighting the moral and legal requirements for consultation, free prior and informed consent, and co-management with Pueblos and tribes in how significant cultural landscapes, like the Caja del Rio, are stewarded.