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Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of South Texas

An Indigenous tribe in the South Texas Rio Grande delta working to protect sacred sites, promote environmental justice, and resist the militarization of the borderlands.
Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of South Texas

Location: Floresville, Texas 

For years, the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of South Texas (Esto’k Gna) has defended their lands from the triple threat of militarization, desecration, and environmental racism. In 2019, they took the Trump administration to court, resisting the government’s efforts to run a “border wall” through the heart of a local cemetery. More recently, they faced down corporate attempts to build liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals on the lands of their ancestors—and won. 

UUSC’s partnership offers general support for the Tribe. This enables them to continue to hold resistance camps on the border of Mexico and Texas while flanking their advocacy efforts in resisting new LNG pipelines through Native lands. In May 2020, during the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the Tribe hosted its virtual Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribunal for Human Rights. Grounded in a Native perspective, the Tribunal examined past, present, and future human rights violations of the Esto’k Gna inflicted by extractive industries and border militarization. 

Out of hundreds of nominations from around the world, the Garcia Pasture, an area in Brownsville that is sacred to the Tribe, was chosen to be added to the World Monuments Watch List in 2022. This distinction recognizes the cultural and historical significance of the Tribe’s ancestral land and the critical need to protect it from resource extraction. It also highlights the need for the Tribe’s formal recognition so they have a legal right to defend their land from the devastating effects of pipelines and oil wells.

Through these and other advocacy efforts, in March 2021, the Tribe was able to defeat plans to install environmentally harmful LNG terminals on their native lands and sacred sites. 

Image Credit: Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of South Texas