Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hita Guahan 2008!!!

Volume 6 Issue 5
December 10, 2008

Hafa Adai, yan welcome to i mina'trenta nuebi na Minagahet.

Este na Minagahet gof likidu, sa' para u mahokka' gi este, i pinagat i Mañamoru ni' humalom gi i United Nations gi este na sakkån.

On October 7, 2008, a delegation of Chamorros testified in front of the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on the question of Guam’s continued colonization. For the first time in years, the Committee received testimony from a Guam elected official. Senator Vicente Pangelinan prepared a testimony, read by Chamorro attorney Aileen Quan. The rest of the delegation included Victoria- Lola Leon Guerrero of I Nasion Chamoru, Craig Santos Perez of Guåhan Indigenous Collective, and Michael A. Tuncap of Famoksaiyan. The delegates discussed the cumulative adverse impacts of U.S. colonization and the current military build-up, highlighting such issues as environmental contamination, Chamorro displacement, alarming cancer rates, and the infrastructural strains expected from the island’s unprecedented population boom—which will make the Chamorro people a minority group in our homeland. The Chamorro delegation also met personally with UN Fourth Committee Chairman Jorge Arguello of Argentina, and world leaders from the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Virgin Islands to discuss ways to successfully expedite Guåhan’s Chamorro self-determination process.

In addition to these testimonies, this issue of Minagahet also includes testimonies made earlier in the year by Sabina Flores Perez before the United Nations Committee of 24, and Julian Aguon before the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The spirit that drives these testimonies is hardly new, and although most of those featured in this issue are young, it is not a young one either. Chamorros have made journeys to the United Nations for more than twenty years now seeking aid in their quest for decolonization, but their dreams of decolonization stretch back centuries. Despite the veneer of colonial acceptance that we see in Guam today, Chamorros have long resisted and criticized the colonization of their island in its Spanish, Japanese and American forms, the types of resistance and levels of intensity of course are always changing. Traveling to the United Nations is one important strategy of today, since it hopefully allows for Chamorros to reach the international community in terms of their plight.

This is the third issue of Minagahet like this, and I am hoping that there are many many more. Yanggen malago hao tumaitai i mina'dos na issue (2007) yemme' este na link: "Guinifen i Mañainå-ta" Ya para i fine'nina (2006), yemme' este na link: "Self-Determination På'go!"
For more information on the issues that these testimonies are discussing, you can check out the following blogs: JGPO Blog,, Decolonize Guam Blog, and my personal blog, No Rest for the Awake - Minagahet Chamorro.

As for all my other blogs and websites. is still a great resource and source of info on Chamorro events in Guam and in the diaspora. Famoksaiyan is still around, and just finished up assisting with this most recent trip to the United Nations and also a very successful report back in San Francisco last month. For more info on all these things, you can check out its blog, or look for it on Myspace or Facebook. There's also a Famoksaiyan Youtube channel, with some videos of recent Famoksaiyan related events. I don't post much anymore on Voicing Indigeneity or Postcolonial Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World, but there's still plenty of information there to read or download and so check them out.

Sahuma Minagahet yan Na'suha Dinagi


The Storm of US Militarization
Pinagat as Julian Aguon, Author and Activist
Ginnen I Nasion Chamoru
"In 2008, the indigenous Chamoru people of Guam brace ourselves for a storm of U.S. militarization so enormous in scope, so volatile in nature, so irreversible in consequence."

A Policy of Colonial Accommodation
Pinagat as Sabina Flores Perez, Economic and Environmental Activist
"The current plan of intensified militarization, slated to cost US$15 billion, was developed without the informed consent and against the will of the Chamorro people. It will further transform our island home into a forward base with the following developments, among many: the establishment of a Global Strike Force, the refurbishing of Naval Base Guam to enhance its capacity to port nuclear air craft carriers, the construction of an Army Base to serve as Patriot Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) task force, and the planned construction of a highway to be used solely for military purposes."

Ginnen i Ante yan i Espiritu i Mañainå-ta
Pinagat as Senadot Ben Cabrera Pangelinan
Ginnen i Leyeslaturan Guahan

"Ginen y anti y espiritu yan y man fotna na taotao Guahan na hu presenta este na testimonu, yan u fan libre y taotao pagu. It is from the soul and the spirit of our ancestors that I present this testimony today for the liberation of the people today."

Protehi i Tano'-ta, Kutturå-ta, Hanom-ta, Aire-ta yan Direcho-ta siha
Pinagat as Victoria Leon Guerrero, Author and Activist
Ginnen i Nasion Chamoru
"According to United States law, Guåhan is a possession of the United States but not part of the United States. This is evidenced in the planning process for the US military build-up on Guåhan. There is no consultation with the people of Guåhan and no regard paid to the needs of our people. The governor, lieutenant governor and their staff have provided input in the planning process, but have no real decision-making power in one of the largest decisions ever made for the island that will have rippling effects on future generations of Chamorus."

The Contamination of the Pacific
Pinagat as Craig Santos Perez, Poet
Ginnen i Guahan Indigenous Collective

"In terms of population, Chamorus constituted 45 percent of Guam’s population in 1980; in 1990, 43 percent; in 2000, 37 percent. In devastating contrast, the planned influx of non-Chamorus will increase Guam’s overall population by about 30 percent, causing a 20-year population growth over the next five years. History repeats itself: more foreign snakes, fewer native birds."

A Long History of Exclusion
Pinagat as Michael Gumataotao Tuncap, Scholar and Activist
Ginnen Famoksaiyan

"The legacies of a racialized military occupation in Guam continue to inform a widely accepted belief in difference between the citizen and non-citizen. The colorblind framework of the United States as a ‘nation of immigrants’ ignores the complex differences in the histories and cultures of indigenous Micronesian people, especially in Guam. Military discourses conceal the xenophobic immigration policies and manifestations of U.S racial ideologies. As Chamorro scholars and policy makers pursue new ways of addressing racial problems of exclusion and citizenship, the question of self determination in Guam remains unanswered."

Hita Guahan! Chamorro Testimonies at the United Nations - 2008

Hita Guåhan is a compilation of testimonies presented by Chamorus from Guåhan to the United Nations in New York in 2008. These testimonies carry on the legacy of more than 20 years of Chamorus who’ve appealed to the United Nations on behalf of Guam and Chamoru human rights. It can be downloaded free of charge by clicking the above link.

MINAGAHET is published by the Chamorro Information Activists, a non-profit, poorly funded, poorly staffed yan machalapon activist organization, created for the benefit of the people and the futures of Guam. Non-profit doesn't imply "non-profit status or anything" just that taya' suetdon-mami nu este. Pues an kala'u este, ti isao n-mami. Mismo i isaon i tinaigefsagan-mami. Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 MINAGAHET. All rights reserved. We aren't sure what that means, but we see it put at the bottom of other things, and the last thing we want to do is get in trouble for not telling people that all our rights are reserved as well. EMAIL PARA UN TUNGO' MAS

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