July 30, 2007
IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
OKURA ASKED TO STOP REMOVAL OF CHAMORU BURIALS
Representatives of Chamorro organizations have sent an appeal to Guam Resorts, Inc. (dba Guam Hotel Okura) to save what’s left of the ancient Chamorro cemetery being excavated at the hotel’s renovation construction site. The groups are outraged that more than 280 ancestral remains have already been excavated without public notice and that the archaeological contractor, PHRI, has plans to mail these remains off-island via parcel post.
In a letter sent today, Chamoru representatives have also requested to meet with Okura Hotel officials to discuss:
1. Preservation plans for the cemetery.
2. Exact number of remains that have been removed (when they were found and where the remains are being stored.
3. The effects of renovation construction on the existing cemetery.
4. And, the hotel’s re-interment plans.
“We feel that the whole scale removal of this Chamorro cemetery is unnecessary and disrespectful,” said former senator Hope Cristobal, resident of Tamuning. “We want people to respect the dead in our ancestral cemeteries.”
For more information, please contact Hope Cristobal ---- or Victoria Leon Guerrero ------.