Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rod Coronado

Tucson, Arizona, US - Native American animal liberation activist Rodney Coronado is once again facing federal charges. He is accused of violating the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by possessing eagle feathers. Coronado is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who hold eagle feathers sacred. The law allows exceptions for native people who see feathers as spiritual objects, but requires that they first obtain a permit. Obtaining permits to posses feathers is a difficult and complicated process but those caught without a permit may be arrested and face fines of up to $25,000 and jail.

Last February Coronado was indicted on felony charges that he demonstrated how to use a destructive device at a 2003 lecture he gave in San Diego. The demonstration took place during the question and answer period of the talk and was in response to a question about how Coronado had burned down the the Mink Research Facility at Michigan State University in early 1992. The action was claimed on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Coronado served four years in prison for that arson and is currently awaiting sentencing in Arizona, for disabling a mountain lion trap.