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Let Dead Rest in Peace in San Juan Capistrano

September 29, 2002

Re "Tug Over Indian Burial Site Escalates," Sept. 16:

The article focused on tribal politics and quibbling over burial estimates instead of the fact that at least 150 people attended the prayer vigil to save the site [in San Juan Capistrano]. Or that there are more than 500 local Acjachemem/Juaneno people who can trace ancestry to this village and cemetery.

I would bet that none want to see the site desecrated by construction of a school and athletic fields. I would also bet that if bulldozers roll, human remains will be exposed. It should be mentioned that besides the original burials, the site has at least three reburials from construction of the offices across the street. These remains should not be disturbed again.

Patricia Martz, PhD

Professor of anthropology

California State University,

Los Angeles

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