Members of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona are expressing outrage and demanding justice following the recent decision not to prosecute Border Patrol agents involved in the fatal shooting of Raymond Mattia. The incident, which occurred in May 2021, has fueled long-standing tensions between the tribe and federal law enforcement agencies.
Raymond Mattia, a 55-year-old Tohono O’odham man, was fatally shot by Border Patrol agents in the village of Cowlic, located within the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation. The agents claimed that Mattia had been throwing rocks at them and posed a threat, prompting them to open fire. Mattia’s family and tribal members, however, dispute these claims and insist that he posed no danger to the agents.
The decision not to prosecute the Border Patrol agents involved has led to widespread protests and demonstrations across the Tohono O’odham Nation. Community members, along with tribal leaders, are demanding transparency and accountability in the investigation.
The Tohono O’odham Nation has repeatedly voiced concerns about the treatment of tribal members by Border Patrol agents and the impact of border enforcement policies on their lands and communities. They are now calling for an independent investigation into Mattia’s death and pressing for changes in federal law enforcement practices within their reservation.
The case highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous communities along the U.S.-Mexico border and the need for a comprehensive approach to address these issues. The Tohono O’odham Nation is determined to seek justice for Raymond Mattia and ensure the safety and well-being of its members in the face of continued tension with federal authorities.