Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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Opinion
Opinion: Pechanga Band purges family of heritage


"Humphrey Bogart's character Fred C. Dobbs in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" has been reincarnated in the form of Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga, by virtue of him and his affluent tribe unceremoniously giving the boot to Lawrence and Sophia Madariaga after their lifetime of dedication to the tribe.

Not only has the tribe succeeded in cutting them out of their share of the gambling mother lode, more importantly it has purged them from their cultural heritage.

Macarro's response to the public that this is a very complex intertribal matter, not about profits, blah, blah, blah, essentially equates to the Mexican bandit's response to Dobbs that "We don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" Face it, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck ...

Here's a challenge: If it's not about money, take that $15,000 per month for each of the 233 "disenrollees" ---- that's roughly $3.5 million ---- and donate it to charitable organizations in the area. Maybe the Madariagas will be able to get health care through one of these available programs during their remaining time in this life. Sadly, no amount of health care has any hope of mending their dignity."

Get the Story:
John S. Philipps: Pechanga empire threatens Temecula (The North County Times 9/4)

Relevant Links:
Pechanga Tribal Disenrollment - http://www.pechanga.info
Bureau-of-Indian-Affairs.com, Disenrollment site - http://www.bureau-of-indian-affairs.com

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