NBC San Diego

Lawsuit Alleges Contents at Burial Site Were Dumped

Simon Moya-Smith

A lawsuit filed last week in California alleges that a Native American burial site was desecrated and that the contents were dumped near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Two Jamul tribal members claim their ancestors were interred in unmarked graves on the site where a $360 million casino is currently under construction, reports NBC San Diego.

The lawsuit alleges that during excavation the contents buried in the ground were simply dumped.

The Hollywood Casino Jamul is being built on the Jamul Indian Village of California, located roughly 20 miles east of San Diego. The Jamul Indian Village is one of 13 bands of the federally recognized Kumeyaay Nation.

The casino, which is in the early stages of construction, is already facing four lawsuits on both the state and federal levels.

Jamul residents have also sued the tribe and argue the casino will congest the area with traffic.

The Jamul Action Committee, a coalition of residents who oppose the construction of the casino, has filed a lawsuit with the federal government arguing the tribe does not have the right to build the casino.

Raymond Hunter, Chairman of the Jamul Indian Village of California, said in a statement sent to NBC San Diego that the “Jamul Indian Village of California is a federally recognized sovereign nation. … Clearly, the law is on our side and we look forward to opening our gaming facility next year and finally being able to provide a greater quality of life for our people.”

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacobs told NBC San Diego that there are well-known burial sites next to where the casino is currently being built.

The Hollywood Casino Jamul is projected to be three stories tall and 200,000 square-feet in size. It will boast 1,700 slot machines and 50 table games. The casino is slated to open late next year.

Representatives of the Jamul Indian Village did not respond for comment.

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I can't understand the problem. There must be burial sites all over the country that no one knows about - how are we supposed to keep track of where every body has been dumped? It's ironic that so many tribes are trying to get a casino approved to help the financial status of the tribe, but here we have NDNs protesting the building of a casino. Have we become so "Americanized" that we're fighting amongst ourselves now? Whatever happened to "for the good of all?"