On Saturday, it was reported that members of a Washington State anti-immigrant vigilante organization were charged in the brutal slayings of a nine-year old child and her father.
Jason Bush, Shawna Forde, and Albert Gaxiola of the Minutemen American Defense group have been charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and other charges. The three are said to have murdered Raul Junior Flores, his 9 year old daughter, Brisenia, and injured her mother during a home invasion attack on May 30th in the Arizona border town of Arivaca.
According to detectives, Forde, the Director of Washington State Minutemen group, wanted to use the home invasion to steal money and possibly drugs to finance the group she led. The trio reportedly shot the family because they "did not want to leave witnesses". The second daughter, whom the three attempted to find during the deadly invasion, was not in the home at the time.
The Center for New Community reported on Sunday that Jason Bush, Shawna Forde , and Albert Gaxiola “have a history of using anti-immigrant sentiments as an excuse to act violently against Latinos”. And that Forde has “a history of criminal activity and has continuously lied about being attacked by Latino gang members.”
At their newsblog, Imagine2050, they said in regard to the slaying of Raul Junior Flores, and his 9 year old daughter, Brisenia:
"This is part of a larger increase in violence by individuals associated with racist groups; a direct result of the acceptance of racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric used in mainstream media."As for media coverage of the hate crimes and anti-immigrant activity, they report that
"The group that they belong to, Minutemen American Defense, and other groups like it, such as the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, Minutemen Project, and ALIPAC are dangerous vigilante groups who believe they have the right to take the law into their own hands."
“There continues to be a rise in hate crimes and anti-immigrant activity…Yet only a few mainstream media outlets are willing to report extensively on the rise of racially-motivated violence. Networks such as FOX and CNN continue to air programs that encourage bigoted viewpoints and refuse to report on hate crimes.”Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels and a leader in the immigrant rights movement, told East County Magazine in San Diego that “These Minutemen are violent vigilante groups as I’ve always said. Their motivation is hate.” He told the magazine that hate speech and vigilantism can lead to violence and in this case, the tragic death of an innocent child.
Over the weekend, Immigrant and Civil Rights advocates around the nation are called for violence against Latinos to be stopped and that it is time for the Minutemen Vigilante Border Patrols to be ended.
We will continue to report on this tragic story as there are developments. To read the full article from Imagine 2050, a newsblog maintained by Center for New Community, please link here.
Minutemen Members Murder Nine Year Old and Father http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2009/06/14/minutemen-members-murder-nine-year-old-and-father/#more-2324
MINUTEMEN LEADER ARRESTED IN MURDER OF 9-YEAR-OLD TRAINED AT EAST COUNTY MINUTEMEN CAMP
Murder suspect Shawna Forde feared for border security