Mark. C. Charfauros
Chamorro Nation


The following submission to Dialogue Between Nations from Chamorro leader, Mark C. Charfauros, has been written in order to open a global dialogue between Mark, his colleagues, and visitors to this web site on the topic of self-determination, with a focus on strategies and solutions to concerns of the Chamorro people.

We also hope that the term "self-determination" might be looked at from distinct perspectives, and that you will take the time to share your own struggle, and any positive progress which may have been made between your community and the Nation State which occupies your territory, with your host, Mark C. Charfauros.

One of the Best Kept Secrets of the United States of America

One of the best-kept secrets of the United States of America is on the question of self-determination by the Chamorro people on an island under colonial rule for over 400 years. The Chamorros were first colonized by Spain, then came the United States, Japan for a short period during World War II, and back to it's present colonizer, the United States of America.

The Chamorro people's inalienable right to self-determination is embodied within the United Nations Charter and supported by various U.N. Resolutions and Position Statements. Guam remains on the United Nations list of non-self governing territories that has yet to exercise it's right to self-determination. The United States has changed its official position significantly since it signed a treaty with the nations of the world to assist the native inhabitants of Guam in their quest for self-determination.

The present U.S. position on the Chamorro people's right to self-determination is that this issue is no longer an international concern but an internal issue of the U.S. The United States has challenged the right of the Chamorro people to deliver testimony before the United Nations on the progress of Chamorro self-determination under the colonial rule of the United States of America. The U.S. has flooded the island of Guam with it's own citizens and now claim that the question of Chamorro self-determination must include the participation of all U.S. citizens. The U.S. has utilized the Constitution of the United States of America as the main reason why the Chamorro people cannot for themselves determine their own destiny and relationship with its colonizer.

It is ironic that the U.S. will use their Constitution to deny the Chamorro people their right to self-determination on the basis that it is applicable to the Chamorro people yet other rights granted under the same Constitution has been denied. These rights include but are not limited to having a voting representative in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Chamorros are not allowed to vote for the U.S. President, and Guam continues to be view as a foreign country by several Federal Departments and Agencies. Putting it simply, Chamorros are good enough to be drafted in the U.S. Armed Forces, good enough to tax, good enough take their lands without just compensation or legal proceedings, but not good enough to be made part of the United States. The U.S. Citizenship of Chamorros are considered second class because it does not emulate from the Constitution of the United States of America it comes from a piece of document passed by the U.S. Congress called the Organic Act of Guam.

The Organic Act of Guam was passed on August 1, 1950 not to have the Chamorro people enjoy a measure of U.S. citizenship but to justify the illegal land takings of Chamorro homelands by the Federal Government. Under the Constitution of the United States the Federal Government can only condemn land owned by U.S. citizens. Since 1898 the U.S. Federal Government initiated it's takeover of Chamorro homelands and regarded the indigenous Chamorros as foreigners. The U.S. totally disregarded the fact that the Chamorros have existed on Guam and the Mariana Islands for over 4,000 years. By enacting the Organic Act of Guam this made the Chamorro people second class citizens since not all the protection and rights granted under the U.S. Constitution were applicable but it was good enough to legitimize their illegal land takings.

While the United States condemns mainland China for human rights violations and launches air attacks on Yugoslavia for again human rights violations they on the other hand feel their human rights violations against the Chamorro people is nothing more then an internal problem.





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Subject Line: Self Determination

Your comments will be posted.

30 Aug 2001 14:24:25

What always puzzles me is the deep belief among many that Guam is somehow ready to take on "Self-Determination." Firstly, I need someone to define the term "self-determination." So far the thought still seem nebulous. What are we to gain should we be deemed self-determinant?
Mark C. Charfauros
02 Sep 2001 07:35:11

For those Chamorros on Guam who have been born and raised under the colonial rule of the United States we are not puzzled as to our growing believe in the process of self-determination. We are good enough to be drafted into the U.S. military, homelands taken away from us by the the U.S. military, considered by several federal government agencies as foreiners when it suits them, and prevented from participating in the political destiny of the United States, we have no choice but to aspire for a change in our political relationship with the United States.

Self Determination is an inalienable right of a people to determine for themselves their relationship with their colonizer. It is a right that cannot be taken away nor given to someone else.

On Guam, the right to self determination belongs solely to the Chamorro people. They are the "Self" in the process of Self Determination. Under United Nations treaties and resolutions the Chamorros have been identified as the people who have been disinfranchised through colonial domination.

By completing the process of self determination, the Chamorro people will end over 400 years of colonial domination. The Phillippines and every Pacific island nation in Micronesia have exercised their right to self determination with the assistance of the United States. Guam has received no assistance from the United States in it's quest for self determination and we are the sole remaining U.S. colony in Micronesia. All efforts in education and fulfilling the process of self determination on Guam has been through the Government of Guam and Chamorro activists.
Marshall Kirkpatrick
28 Feb 2002 13:43:19

Thank you for maintaining this page. It is a good source of information. I just read Michael P. Perez's article about Guam in Volume 23 of Ethnic Studies Review. Your web page compliments that article well. Thank you for having the bravery to condemn US colonialism. Many are not so brave, yet the proccess continues, albeit in different forms, every day around the world. Economically, it seems that the very existence of the United States requires colonization. On account of that, I see one thing that it seems unavoidable to demand... I work with a group in Eugene Oregon, whose web adress is: Keep up the good work. Would love any recomendations of quality sympathetic news sources online. -Marshall
Pablo Gutiérrez Vega
11 Mar 2002 11:42:08

I am a researcher on treaties between the Spanish Monarchy and indigenous nations throughout America and curently interested on the genesis of Article XXII of the OAS Project, I have happened to come accross some news realting to the interest of some gouvernments to tremove completely this article from the Project. Any feedback would be unvalueable. Thanks. When will be the debate about sovereignty be open? Congratulations for the website
Roman Romero Goday
11 Mar 2002 10:19:44

 I'd like to know what is doing, the Human Rights for the self determination of Catalonia.. as an old nation of Europa
gerald eduado
05 Mar 2003 12:20:39

quiero permanecer en las fuerzas armadas de los estados unidos favor llamar o comunicarse al 0416 7027814 y 02432454959 pais venezuela ciudad maracay estado aragua ok.... se sobre estrategias de guerra
Sonia Colon PArrilla
08 Oct 2003 09:59:50

Estoy tratando de entender cual es la relacion de Guam con Estados Unidos y tratar de compararla con la relacion de Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos. De aqui viene pregunta: cual es el sistema de gobierno que tiene Guam, sera igual que el de Puerto Rico. Si tienen informacion al respecto le voy a agradecer me indiquen como funciona el gobierno de Guam. Muchas gracias: Sonia
d sablan
18 Oct 2003 20:46:42

why are chamorrows given the same rights as native americans and native hawaiians? how can this be changed? my children are chaorrow and deserve to be recognized as an endangered race/culture


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