Fellow Pobladores. On July 25th, we were sent an email telling us that we would finally be allowed to view the remains of our ancestors which were dug up at Campo Santo, the viewing was scheduled for July 29th at 5:30pm. We were told we would have a 15 minute time limit within which we would be allowed to “view” some boxes where they are keeping the remains, but that we would be required to sign a release form. Well we knew that a release form would be standard procedure in the event of anyone becoming injured. We were told we would have to climb a steep ladder to get to the room where the remains are being kept and someone might become injured. So on July 28th we were sent a copy of their RELEASE form. When we saw the verbiage we refused and did not attend the so called viewing of remains. Had we signed we would have signed away our right to any claims. Here is the verbiage of the so called release form we would have had to sign in order to have 15 minutes of viewing some boxes of the remains. Another thing we were not told is if the boxes were clear plastic so we could actually see the condition of the remains, or if they would be in cardboard closed boxes. if the latter how would we have been able to see and know the actual condition of the remains. No we would not fall for that. I ask you to pray for us to be able to find an attorney to assist us in this matter. I had asked Robert Garcia if his firm could assist us and today was sent a message that he cannot assist us. I have emailed 3 differend Christian Attorney organizations and am hopeful that one of them can assist us. I will keep you informed via the web site on this very important matter.
County Unfairly Conditions Access to Human Remains and Artifacts on Waiver of Claims or Damages — El Pueblo Campo Santo
Posted: July 28th, 2011 The County of Los Angeles has unfairly offered selected individuals access for just fifteen minutes to the 118 sets of human remains and artifacts at the County Museum of Natural History — but only on the condition that the individuals waive any claims or damages. The form the County insists visitors sign provides in part as follows: “I hereby release the County of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Foundation, and their respective officers, employees, agents and assignees from any claims or damages . . . related to the Museum’s temporary care-taking of the boxes and other storage containers or their contents.”
County Supervisor Gloria Molina has publicly conceded about the excavations: “There’s probably gonna be plenty of blame to go around on all of it. For us, we probably didn’t have as thorough an EIR as we probably should have had.” According to Supervisor Molina, “Had they [Sapphos Environmental, Inc., a consultant for the County] done better work, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Descendants of the ancestors that the County improperly excavated from Campo Santo, including Native Americans and Pobladores, have a right to access the remains — under the free exercise of religion, and other authorities.
No wonder the County is eager to obtain waivers of claims and damages . .. .
This illustrates why the National Park Service and an objective mediator need to step in and preside over consultations, access and repatriation.
Read the County’s Participant Release for the July 29 visit here.
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