Sunday, July 16, 2006

It appears that Avenues is once again making national news. Since the Federal hate crime case started downtown, the Avenues' ethnic cleansing policy has so far made it to the LA Times, Newsweek, got a mention on Drudge and will soon be appearing in the LA Weekly. Information has filtered into In The Hat's vast underground intel bunker that Fox News is actively looking for informed people to talk to about this case. They haven't called here, of course, but what else is new?

For the benefit of out of town, and out of country In The Hat readers who have expressed an interest in this case and have contacted me privately, here's the case in a nutshell. This will spare me the time of answering each query individually. Apparently, the Mideast isn't the only item of interest to the foreign media. So here goes.

The US Dept. of Justice unsealed an indictment last year charging five members of the Avenues gang with conspiracy to deprive blacks of their civil rights. We guess shooting and killing non gang-affiliated Blacks qualifies as depriving people of their civil rights.

The five defendants are Alejandro "Bird" Martinez, Gilbert "Lucky" Saldana, Porfirio "Dreamer" Avila, Fernando "Sneaky" Cazares and Merced "Shadow" Cambero. All except Cambero are in custody and on trial. Cambero is in the wind and a fugitive. The victims in the case are three male Blacks - Christopher Bowser, Anthony Prudhomme and Kenneth Wilson. All three were shot to death within a short time period in mid-1999. All the victims had a documented history of being harassed, assaulted and robbed by the defendants. Several witnesses who knew the victims have come forward and testified that this harassment had been going on for some time prior to the murders.

The prosecution's two main witnesses are Jessie (aka Jesse, depending on which document you read) "Listo" Diaz and Jose "Clever" De La Cruz. Both are serving a very long time on state, not Federal, charges. Diaz went away on four counts of attempted murder (not related to this case) and De La Cruz is doing time for his part in the Wilson homicide. The motivation of these two informants is to get the US Attorney to petition the State to reduce their sentences. The defense, of course, is doing its best to paint these two as untrustworthy bottom feeders who would put a case on their gandmothers to go free.

What's interesting here is the motivation. What prompted these guys in this part of town to ethnically cleanse their neighborhood of Blacks? Let's face it, that's what it is. So far, the prosecution hasn't touched that subject. It may do so further into the case.

According to the original IOs in Northeast and Hollenbeck who first investigated these cases, their belief is that Avenues and many other neighborhoods all over SOCAL have been given orders by the Brothers to broom the blacks out of the varrios. This was not a bottom up policy, but rather one that came down from on high. Shoot a black, earn a stripe. You're in up status with the carnales. That's the theory of law enforcement.

There's more than a little truth to that according to the files locked deep in Wally's Fortress of Solitude. Similar racially motivated shootings, assaults and murders have happened in Pomona, Riverside, San Bernardino, Compton, Venice, Santa Monica, San Diego and San Pedro among others. There are at least two that may go that way in the San Fernando Valley if the IOs ever get the cases solved. These are notoriously hard to solve without a confidential informant (snitch to the unitiated). And, of course, we're all familiar with the dust kicked up regularly in County, the CDC and the local high schools between Blacks and Hispanics. This is not a new phenomenon. This has been brewing for decades.

This trial is setting off some interesting issues. One is retaliation. The murder of the Marcials and Cervantes in South LA two weeks ago sounds an awful lot like payback. Like the victims in the Federal trial, these victims were non gang-affiliated. Casual people as the homies call them. And then there was the death threat made against one of the defense attorneys. There's also a lot of talk as to why the US DOJ is even prosecuting this case. Observers are asking each other what's to be gained from this, especially since all the accused are already doing lots and lots of time? One of the defense attorneys inexplicably blamed the Bush administration for filing this case. Frankly, this accusation doesn't make any sense.

If you're following current events, GWB is, if anything, pro-Latino and in favor of very liberal immigration policies. This has gotten him in trouble with his base and with other GOP politicians. Goosing the DOJ to go forward with this reflects badly on W's immigration policy. If anything, it would make more sense for W to try to sweep something like this under the rug rather than put it up in neon. If you're opposed to illegal immigration, you can use this entire Brown on Black issue as one more reason to clamp the borders shut if for no other reason than to spare the lives of innocent blacks. Granted, the accused aren't all illegal immigrants, but they could be used as a foil to demonstrate how unassimilated Hispanics are negatively impacting society's march towards color blindness, tolerance and ethno-diversity. So this defense attorney's argument is dopey and doesn't make the slightest sense.

As to why, the US DOJ is prosecuting these Avenues for hate crimes, the answer is simple. The US government is sending a clear signal to the shot callers that this has to stop. Left unchecked, ethnically mixed neighborhoods could turn into little Rwandas or the Balkans. I can't understand anyone even asking that question. Why is the government bothering? Because we're not Bosnia.

One other issue that is notable by its absence is the call for more hate crime legislation. The dragging death of James Byrd made national headlines for weeks. Black activists called for more hate crime legislation and the case even became an issue in the presidential election. Byrd's sister was used in Democratic campaign ads saying that the failure of the Republicans to endorse more hate crime legislation was like having her brother killed all over again.

The point here is that the silence of Black activists on this case, and the others I've documented, is absolutely deafening. Not one peep out of the usual suspects. No Rainbow Push, no NAACP, no Najee Ali, Earl Hutchinson, Maxine Waters, Leo Terrell or Nate Holden. You have to wonder why. If anything, the response from Black civil rights activists should be even louder. Look at the scale. The Byrd murder was an isolated act by individuals out of personal racial animosity. Once the killers went away, the danger from them was over.

These murders, on the other hand, are the result of a policy initiated by a powerful criminal organization. Even after the shooters are put away, there are hundreds, if not thousands more ready to take up where the guilty left off. This is, and will continue to be, a major social problem because the gangs and the carnales aren't going away. If anything, they're getting bigger and more violent.

So, to all the out of town and foreign readers of In The Hat, that's the story so far. Yeah, we've got a big problem here and it's about time we stop pretending it doesn't exist.