Archive for March, 2014
Mexican Fiesta Should Be Kicked Out From The Summerfest Grounds For Profiling And Discriminating Its Own People
The Summerfest grounds are City of Milwaukee property, thus Mexican Fiesta, including the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation its sponsor should not be allowed to profile or discriminate its people for exhibiting body art (tattoos) and publicly labeling as gang members with the aid of the Milwaukee Police Department, while attending the festival endangering the lives of innocent victims.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 31, 2014
Milwaukee, WI – Last August, the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation (WHSF), a non-profit organization who sponsors the annual three-day festival was exposed by Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) after it learned that for at least the last four years, the Latino Peace Officers Association (LPOA) along with members of the Milwaukee Police Department used city resources and its department intelligence to profile and discriminate festivalgoers for having tattoos and clothing not in good taste, according to festival organizers. HNNUSA reported that two people at the festival were profiled and targeted by the LPOA and police for having tattoos or believed to be affiliated with a gang.
They were forced to vacate the festival or get cited and arrested for disorderly conduct when in fact the victims did nothing wrong at the event or violated any laws. Both of the victims were kicked out from Fiesta and no refunds were ever returned, including being barred from entering the event during the weekend long Mexican festival. HNNUSA confirmed, that both victims were not affiliated to gangs as police and the LPOA pretended to portray as the reason to violate their civil rights on city grounds.
Most members of the LPOA are in law enforcement and should know better then to profile people and accuse them of gang affiliation when in fact they were not. It was a clear violation of the victims civil rights, if in fact these members of the LPOA were in active duty, they wouldn’t act the same.
We believe countless victims were unjustly kicked out from Fiesta during prior years by the LPOA. Mexican Fiesta (WHSF) rents the Summerfest grounds from Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which they rent the Henry Mier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds) from the City of Milwaukee.
Since the grounds where the WHSF holds its three-day Mexican Fiesta is city property, it shouldn’t engage in blatant profiling and discrimination against its own people that it depends on generating revenue for its operation, staff salaries, funding projects and scholarships for students. This year, WHSF will include awarding scholarships to U.S. government registered DACA students (DREAMers) for the first time in decades, after HNNUSA criticized the organization for endorsing and advocating for immigration reform, but excluded DREAMers from getting any of the $2.5M of scholarships that it had previously awarded.
Mexican Fiesta was created by the Mexican community in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s to generate funds for scholarships and to include community involvement and not to exclude or discriminate its own people.
Several WHSF Board members conceded that LPOA controls Fiesta security and they can’t prevent the volunteer LPOA staff from discriminating. These two members and even the entire Board of Directors of WHSF do have the sole authority to change policy and to ensure accountability from LPOA, that no laws are violated by it members to prevent any lawsuits for violating the civil rights of festivalgoers at city property. The Board becomes liable, if a lawsuit is filed due LPOA’s inappropriate actions at the festival.
Former LPOA president Ruben A. Burgos, a retired Lieutenant for Detectives even denied access to HNNUSA in September, during a press conference about the same issue of profiling that HNNUSA had reported on. They only allowed several media outlets that support Fiesta and are co-sponsors. It only showed that, WHSF and Burgos don’t believe in free press and actual news reporting when it exposes their policy to profile and discriminate its own people and volunteers at Fiesta.
The WHSF Board should stop their practice to bar festivalgoers with tattoos at their event and stop using city police resources to profile Milwaukee residents as gang members when in fact they’re not.
The City of Milwaukee Common Council, Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. should consider in revoking the WHSF contract to hold its Mexican Fiesta at the Summerfest grounds for their blatant policy to profile and discriminate against members of its own community it is suppose to serve.
WHSF should become more transparent concerning funds generated and expenditures, allow community input to assure profiling and discrimination is avoided during the festival, hold current LPOA president Alexander C. Ayala and Mexican Fiesta executive director, Teresa Mercado accountable for letting it happen.
If the Board fails to eliminate the profiling and discriminatory policy, the community should demand the removal of the entire Board of Directors. Mexican Fiesta is facing a boycott at the moment for the issues mentioned, according to Facebook users spreading the word throughout the Midwest.
Editorial note: An open records request to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) requesting how many times did its intelligence center was used to provide information to police or Mexican Fiesta officials about victims alleged gang affiliation in 2013 and several years prior went unanswered. The open records department at MPD denied the request. Was Burgos as a Board member following the wishes of the entire WHSF Board to ban HNNUSA from the September press conference or was he acting alone? It seems HNNUSA is currently prevented from covering any public held activities at the WHSF warehouse office property. What do they have to hide from the community it self?
Milwaukee Police and LPOA profiling at Mexican Fiesta 2013 (Spanish version): News Video
The current Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF) Board of Directors who operate the annual Mexican Fiesta are;
● Antonio Guajardo Jr. (President)
● Gregorio Montoto (1st Vice President)
● Ricardo Ruiz (2nd Vice President)
● Arturo Martinez (Secretary)
● Ernesto Baca (Treasurer)
● Teresa Mercado (Executive Director)
● Ray Bacalzo
● Frank Gonzales
● Woody Welch
● Marjorie Cervera
● Oscar Cervera
● Julio Maldonado
● Luis Gonzalez
● Julio Guix
● Lupe Martinez
● Ruben Burgos
● Jason Hyland
● Diana Moreno
● Asael Ruiz
● Darryl Morin
These Board members can be contacted for information regarding Mexican Fiesta 2013 or WHSF.
Ruben A. Burgos and Alexander C. Ayala
Ghostly image shows that an alleged paranormal figure roams inside a Milwwaukee temporary employment agency at night.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 29, 2014
Milwaukee, WI – A security camera recorded a foggy transparent female figure at a Milwaukee area temporary employment service agency. Staff reported strange happenings and noises at the job during the day.
A staff worker reviewed the surveillance footage recorded during the night over a month ago, when the place closed for the day. A surprising image emerged and was sent to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. by courtesy of its contributor. Strange and interesting find.
A Milwaukee police officer arrested suspect in South side.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 29, 2014
Milwaukee, WI – A suspect was taken into custody by Milwaukee police at the corner of S. 13 Street and W. Lincoln Ave. after a foot pursuit ended. Police were called around 5:07 p.m. to West Lincoln Ave. and West Windlake Ave. for a battery investigation.
Several police squads responded to aid the officer who apprehended the suspect.
Garcia surrendered to U.S. Embassy in Managua and agreed to voluntarily return to the U.S.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 29, 2014
Managua, Nicaragua – On Friday, Juan Elias Garcia, 21, aka, “Cruzito” was taken into custody after he voluntarily surrendered to U.S. Embassy authorities in Managua and agreed to return to the U.S. to face several charges for murder. Garcia was placed of the FBI’s ten most wanted list on March 26, 2014 for the execution style murders of his girlfriend Vanessa Argueta, 19, and her son, Diego Torres, 2, on February 4, 2010 in Central Islip, New York. Garcia arrived in New York on Friday.
The FBI says, that Garcia, a Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member was dating Argueta and later became his girlfriend. Both Arguate and Garcia had an argument and Arguata told some friends from the Latin Kings and the 18th Street gangs about their falling out. The rival gang members threatened Garcia.
The FBI reported, that when Garcia explained to fellow MS-13 members Adalberto Ariel Guzman and Rene Mendez Mejia that he had been threatened by members of the rival gang as a result of information he believed Argueta had provided, they obtained permission from their leader, Heriberto Martinez, to retaliate against Argueta. On February 4, 2010, rather than go to dinner as planned, Garcia drove Argueta and Torres to a wooded area in Central Islip, New York. Once they were in the woods, Garcia shot Argueta in the chest, and Mejia shot Argueta in the head with a .22 caliber handgun, as Torres watched. They then turned the gun over to Guzman, who shot 2-year-old Torres twice in the head. But the first shot dropped Torres to the ground and he got up again and held his mother’s leg when he was fatally shot again. On February 5, 2010, the bodies of Argueta and her son were found in a wooded area in Central Islip, New York.
Garcia will appear before an Eastern District New York judge on Monday, March 31, to face homicide charges.
A $100,000 dollar reward had been offered for information leading to Garcia’s arrest. Garcia was born in Santa Rosa de Lima, El Salvador. When Garcia’s FBI wanted profile and reward aired in Managua’s TV news networks, Garcia decided to walk into the U.S. Embassy and surrender, according to the FBI.
Juan Elias Garcia, Vanessa Argueta and Diego Torres
Rodríguez to speak at the LULAC Women’s Conference VIP Reception and President Obama proclaimed March 31, 2014 as Cesar E. Chavez National Day.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 28, 2014
Milwaukee, WI – On Friday, Wisconsin Republican State Representative Yesenia Eldermira “Jessie” Rodríguez, 29, will be one of the main invited featured speakers at the LULAC Women’s Conference VIP reception in Milwaukee. The other invited speaker is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The LULAC Women’s Conference began on Thursday.
Representative Rodríguez became the first Hispanic Republican woman to be elected to the state Assembly and one of the Assembly Republicans who voted against a Cesar E. Chavez state employee optional holiday on March 18.
Rodríguez hasn’t explained why she voted along Republican party lines against a Chavez optional holiday bill that was sponsored by State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, the first Hispanic woman Democrat from Milwaukee to be elected to the state Assembly.
Zamarripa told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that she approached Rodríguez in January to support and sign into the Chavez optional holiday AB783 bill, but Rodríguez refused. On March 18, Zamarripa attempted to pull AB783 from committee to bring the bill into a debate and vote on the Assembly floor, but the Republican controlled Assembly voted against the bill, including Rodríguez. HNNUSA requested comment from Rodríguez, to explain her reasoning for not supporting a Chavez state optional holiday, but has not responded to HNNUSA or has made no public comment about her controversial vote.
Rodríguez, a Salvadorian immigrant will no doubt feel pressured to deal with her controversial vote at the LULAC Women’s Conference, since the National and local LULAC members support a Chavez state optional holiday and a national holiday. Members of the Cesar E. Chavez family are attending the event as well and I’m sure they’ll be interested to hear Representative Rodríguez reasoning for not supporting a Chavez optional holiday.
Especially, when Hispanic national pride pride and celebrations are taking place nationally for the release of the Chavez movie, which opens on Friday in Milwaukee and the upcomming Chavez Birthday on Monday.
On Wednesday, the Common Council’s Finance and Personnel (F&P) Committee voted unanimously to pass a annually Cesar E. Chavez city worker optional holiday. The Chavez optional holiday city ordinance was authored by Alderman T. Anthony Zielinski and co-sponsored by the following Aldermen, José G. Pérez, Robert “Bob” Donovan, Nik Kovak and Robert W. Puente, including Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs. The F&P Committee approved Chavez optional holiday ordinance goes before the full Common Council on Wednesday, April 2, and is expected to be approved.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) has not announced, if he will proclaim a Cesar E. Chavez Day for March 31, 2014. Walker as a former Milwaukee County Executive proclaimed a Cesar E. Chavez Day on March 31, 2008.
Also, recently the National LULAC, the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation (WHSF) who sponsors the annual Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee changed their traditional exclusion policy to now accept scholarship applications from U.S. government registered DREAMers. The deadline to apply for WHSF/LULAC scholarships is March 31.
HNNUSA had exposed major and local non-profit Hispanic organizations that were endorsing immigration reform, but excluded DREAMers from applying for scholarships. Since the HNNUSA article was published, many Hispanic organizations that offered scholarships for only U.S. Citizens and legal permanent U.S. residency status students, but excluded DREAMers have since changed their exclusion scholarship policy to include DREAMers in scholarship awards.
Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America has proclaimed March 31, 2014, as Cesar E. Chavez Day. “I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy, ” Obama stated. Obama declared Chavez Day annually, since 2011.
Yesenia Eldermira “Jessie” Rodríguez
Immigration reform rally, march and protest ends with 37 arrests at Chicago’s ICE facility.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 27, 2014
Chicago, Illinois – On Thursday, at least 37 people were taken into custody for acts of civil disobedience at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Headquarters, 101 Congress Blvd. An estimated 250 gathered at the downtown Federal Plaza for a rally and then peacefully marched to the ICE facility where 37 people blocked the main entrance, were arrested and cited by police.
U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D) and Elvira Arellano were not arrested with the group, but joined the impromptu protest to bring attention to the massive deportations by the Obama administration. More than 2.1M undocumented immigrants have been deported, since 2009.
Gutierrez and Arellano want the U.S. House GOP to take action and vote on immigration reform. The protesters want President Barack H. Obama to use his executive authority to stop deportations and extend deferred action for the parents of DREAMers.
The impromptu march and protest was organized by multiple organizations.
Luis V. Gutierrez and Elvira Arellano
Tamil parents of registered DREAMer facing deportation in April and rally set to call for a stay of their removal from the U.S.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 27, 2014
Newark, New Jersey – Both Julian and Kirubanesam Anandarajah, originally from Sri Lanka who belong to the ethnic group Tamils are facing deportation by April 8. Their daughter, Jennifer Anandarajah is a registered DREAMer who might be forced to leave the U.S., if her parents get deported.
The Anandarajah’s entered the country in 2003 to escape the Sri Lankan civil war and had petitioned 3 times for asylum for fear of being prosecuted and killed, if they were deported back to their country. The asylum petitions were denied by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to lack of evidence that they would face discrimination, torture and death, if deported to Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan Sinhalese government is accused of killing more than 40,000 Tamils at the end of their 30 year civil war, which ended in May 2009. Most Tamil Tigers had surrendered or were taken alive, but were put to death by the thousands while bound and women were brutally raped during an ethnic cleansing order by the ruling government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The United Nations is investigating the mass killings of unarmed Tamil civilians in the weeks leading to the end of the war and will most likely bring war crime charges against the high military command, officials and the head of the government.
In 2010 and then last year, the Channel 4 News UK exposed video of some of the Tamil civilians killed. Photos and videos from government soldiers surfaced showing the brutal killings and bodies of dead civilians in shallow mass graves.
On September 9, 2006, Julian accompanied his wife to an immigration hearing and was arrested by ICE. His lawyer apparently didn’t file for stay of deportation and Julian spent three years in ICE detention.
In mid 2009, julian was released and place on an electronic ankle monitoring bracelet for five years.
His case was mentioned to President Barack H. Obama last week when a group for immigration reform activists were invited to meet with Obama. Since, the meeting, the Obama administration has done nothing to grant the Anandarajah’s a stay. But Obama agreed, he would order a review of deportation procedures of cases.
On Thursday, DREAMers and the Sri Lankan community in Newark will rally at the Newark ICE Field Office, 614 Freylinghuysen Ave. in Newark, New Jersey to called for ICE to grant a stay and avoid the deportation of the Anandarajah family.
The March 27 ralley will start at 11:30 a.m. and will run until 2:30 p.m., according to Communities United from New Jersey.
Kirubanesam, Jennifer and Julian Anandarajah