SANTIAGO RAFAEL CRUZ
One year after your assassination,
your family, friends, colleagues, and members of FLOC
celebrate your life as our compañero.
"Tantas veces me mataron, tantas veces me mori, sin embargo estoy aquí
resucitando...." ["So many times they killed me, so many times I died,
however I am here resurrecting.. "], sings Maria Elena Walsh, the singer
and composer from Argentina celebrating the life of the extraordinary
who give everything they've got, even their lives, for justice and for a
better world for all of us.
On April 9, 2007, Santiago Rafael Cruz, an organizer with FLOC, was
brutally murdered at the FLOC offices in Monterrey, Mexico. The FLOC
office in Monterrey was opened in 2004 after the union signed an
agreement covering some 8,000 agricultural guestworkers from Mexico. The
new members requested the union open an office in Monterrey as they
explained many of their grievances arose during the recruitment process.
Before the FLOC victory, workers used to pay on average $600 dollars to
corrupt recruiters just "for the benefit" of being recruited into the
program. All of that was eliminated by the new FLOC contract,
re-negotiated last February. An additional $346 that workers used to pay
in visa and travel expenses was also eliminated per agreement between
the union and the employers.
As the union challenged and changed the old system of recruitment and
travelled all over Mexico educating the workers on the new regulations
(which saved over $3 million dollars to the workers just the first
year!) hostility towards union staff grew. These events led to the
assessination of Santiago Rafael Cruz. As of today, the crime has not
been resolved and it is under investigation. One person has been
aprehended. He has presented a complaint arguing his confession was done
under torture and blames two men and a woman as the actual murderers.
One of the accused was caught by US authorities trying to cross the
border last November and returned to Sonora to be liberated soon
thereafter by Mexican authorities.
FLOC has hired two well known human rights attorneys in Mexico to pursue
the case for the organization and Santiago's family. Our own
investigation will continue until we bring justice to the
For the anniversary of Santiago Rafael Cruz's assassination, several
special events are being planned:
In Toledo, FLOC will celebrate a mass on April 10
at 7:00 pm
at St. Peter and Paul Church, 728 S. St. Clair Street.
In Monterrey, FLOC will celebrate a mass on April
12 at 10:00 am
at La Purisima Church, followed by a march and a press
at the FLOC office.
In Detroit, the Labor Notes conference on April
11-13 will honor
Santiago Rafael with a special presentation in the plenary
by the FLOC President Baldemar Velásquez.
In Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Latinos in
on April 18-20 is celebrating this year in honor of
FLOC invites the community to join us in celebrating Santiago's life and
to honor all like him who gave their lives for a better world.
Santiago's hand is warmly extending the torch to us, to continue the
work for justice and equality for all. Let's take the torch and run!
FLOC asks our supporters to write
Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Felipe Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de "Los Pinos", Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
México D.F. 11850, México
Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 27-89-11-00
Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 52-77-23-76, 52-77-23-76
With copies to:
José Natividad González Parás
Gobernador de Nuevo León
Zaragoza y 5 de Mayo, Colonia Centro
Monterrey N.L. 64000, México
Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52) (81) 2020-1226 or 2020-1509
Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (81) 2020-1087 or 2020-1085
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F St., NW
Washington, D.C., USA 20006.
Telephone: (202) 458-6002
Fax: (202) 458-3992
Ambassador Antonio Garza, Jr.
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Mexico, D.F. 06500
Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 5080-2000
Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 5525-5040
Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO
1221 Broadway Street
Toledo, OH 43609
Fax: (419) 243-5655
In your message, explain:
1. One year after the assassination of Santiago Rafael, the government
of Nuevo Leon has not been able to show clearly and
what happened and has clearly demonstrated that it is not
in investigating who is behind
his vicious murder.
2. Without a resolution of the murder, the FLOC staff and members
cannot feel safe, as is the intent of the protective
order of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Then ask that:
The Government of Mexico take over the investigation of the
vicious murder of Santiago Rafael Cruz, which it is entitled to do in a
human rights case. Ask that the investigation focus on political
motives for the murder, particularly the corruption in the recruitment
of Mexican migrant workers, in violation of Mexican national labor laws.
For more information and a sample letter to President Felipe Calderon,
Please circulate to your
networks. Thank you for
your support in the fight for justice for Santiago Rafael Cruz.
This list is operated by the Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice
to keep supporters informed about FLOC activities and events. More
information can be found on the FLOC website at www.floc.com,
If you wish to support the efforts for farmworker and immigrant justice,
please go to the CMWJ website at www.cmwj.org, where you can find
information about donating, volunteering, and supporting the FLOC
movement in your local communities. Tax-deductible donations to support
the farm labor movement can be made to the Campaign for Migrant
Worker Justice, Inc., 1221 Broadway St., Toledo Ohio 43609,
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Thank you for your support for the FLOC movement.