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Mescalero Apache Tribe bans county commissioner from reservation

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin

ALAMOGORDO – The Mescalero Apache Tribe announced via its Facebook page that District 2 Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin has been banned from the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation.

The tribe said its decision was made after reviewing two videos filmed on tribal land and disseminated by Griffin via the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page. Griffin is the founder of Cowboys for Trump, a for-profit organization whose mission is to “support our sitting President Donald J. Trump and his Make America Great Again policies,” according to the organization’s website.

Tribal President Gabe Aguilar said the content of the videos “harmed the community,” and contained false information and statements about tribal members.

Tribal officials claimed in a news release that in one video – which the Alamogordo Daily News was unable to locate and verify, and which may have since been deleted – Griffin met with a small group of tribal members. The names of those residents were not released to the media.

“During the first video, the residents make numerous allegations against the tribe and tribal members. Many of the facts stated in support of the allegations are uncorroborated and Griffin did not reach out to the tribe for comment before posting the video.”

A second video posted online Sept. 20 shows Griffin receiving a Mescalero blessing ceremony. Aguilar criticized Griffin’s behavior in the video, saying such ceremonies are not meant to be “comical.”

“This second video is offensive. Tribal blessings are not comical and are not to be used to make political statements. The Tribe feels like it has no choice but to banish Mr. Griffin,” Aguilar said.

In the video, Griffin is shown laughing. Off screen, a second person comments that Griffin should “go after some dead Democrats … they can’t do nothing to you now.” Griffin answered, “That’s right … bring it on, Nancy Pelosi.”

The Mescalero Apache Tribe clarified that the ban does not extend to other members of the Otero County Commission or other members of Cowboys for Trump.

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