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No cultural sites near blasting for border wall

NOGALES, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Arizona are defending the blasting of a mountain considered sacred by a Native American tribe to make way for border wall construction, saying their survey identified “no biological, cultural or historical sites” in the area.

That stance puts them at odds with the Tohono O’Odham Nation, a sovereign tribe in southwestern Arizona whose ancestors lived where the border wall is under construction and who have identified the mountain as a having significant cultural and historical value.

Last week, construction crews began blowing up parts of Monument Hill, west of the Lukeville port of entry on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The blasting will allow them to replace the existing wire mesh or vehicle barriers with new 30-foot bollards. 

CBP has said the blasting is controlled and targeted, and that it will continue for the rest of February. 

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