MISSION, TX (KVEO/NBC News)– Members of the Carrizo Comecrudo tribe say they are prepared to stand in front of bulldozers in south Texas to prevent border wall construction from displacing the graves of their ancestors.
“We’ve had enough. They are digging up our people and anytime that you dig anybody up and you put them somewhere else, that’s just ethnic cleansing all over again…genocide,” says tribal chairman Juan Mancias.
For the past two weeks Mancias and his clan have set up camp in San Juan at the Jackson-Brewster Cemetery to take a stand against the border wall, something the tribe has been fighting since 2005. They’re now being joined by other groups as well.
“We’re the only native tribe that anybody has recorded in history that has fought against this border. So we’re still here saying, ‘We don’t want you to put this up because you’re giving up. From this point right here, you’re giving up almost three miles of U.S. territory,” Mancias says.
Their current campsite sits along the levy where the border wall is expected to be built. Mancias says 150 feet on both sides of the levy will be bulldozed over, which will include several grave sites.