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Tohono O’odham Leader Responds To Negative Gosar Post

KAWC file photo
Sara Mae Williams

A member of the Tohono O'odham Nation who ran for political office in the district that includes southern Yuma County spoke out against an online post by U.S. Representative Paul Gosar that refers to the Native American tribe as “known for rampant drug smuggling.”

Sara Mae Williams spoke to KAWC about the post, where Gosar shared an article from the Daily Caller, a Conservative publication. The article said “House Democrats invited the leader of the Tohono O’odham Nation to speak out against construction of the U.S.-Mexico wall, despite the tribe’s long history of cross-border drug smuggling.”

In 2018, Williams was the Green Party candidate for Arizona state representative in District 4. She lost to incumbents Charlene Fernandez and Gerae Peten.

Williams said she has discussed the article with her fellow community leaders.

“I believe that he’s taking words and he’s misconstruing them to his advantage to push the border wall,” Williams told KAWC.

Williams said she hopes for dialogue between Border Patrol leaders and Tohono O’odham community members that will lead to more trust between the two groups.

Gosar shared the article on his Twitter account writing “Arizona’s border lands & our environmental laws are exploited by drug cartels, human traffickers, and illegal aliens to gain entry into our Country. In order to protect our communities from these vicious criminals, we need to #BuildTheWall.”

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