February 14, 2011
Contact: Derechos Humanos: 520.770.1373
Justice for Brisenia!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:00am
El Tiradito Shrine (Cushing and Main Streets), Tucson, AZ
Tucson – The Coalición de Derechos Humanos, southern Arizona organizations and national allies extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Brisenia Flores, and hope that today’s verdict will help in the healing process. Many have been quietly and anxiously monitoring the trial of Shawna Forde, head of the Minutemen American Defense. Forde was the mastermind behind the planned home invasion, robbery and murder of the Flores family in order to fund their racist activities; Raul and Brisenia Flores, his nine year-old daughter, were shot and killed. Today, Forde was found responsible for her actions-she was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and other related charges. Her accomplices are scheduled for March and June trials.
Even though the evidence was very solid, because of the lack of accountability for other murders of Mexicans or Mexican-Americans, many in the community feared that justice would again be denied. We know that this case is not isolated, and that it reflects the deeper issues based on the anti-immigrant hatred organized by extremist groups. Since 1996, we have called on the local and federal governments to monitor and investigate vigilantes that have openly called for and acted in violence; we have been met with denials, silence, and cover-ups. Other governmental entities have characterized many of these actions as “free speech,” thus allowing for the continued growth of these violent and dangerous elements in our communities.
We call on the media to be socially responsible by reporting the linkages between Forde’s and other hate groups’ extremism and the consequences we are living, such as the brutal murder of Brisenia. We call on the media to halt the mainstreaming of the most noxious and dangerous strands of hatred in the United States. We must condemn all media outlets that have helped disseminate hatred. Only then can we find justice for Brisenia and all victims of racial hatred.
Coalición de Derechos HumanosP.O. Box 1286 Tucson, AZ 85702