Today, CALÓ NEWS and our staff celebrate a milestone. This issue marks our one-year anniversary. Last year, the Latino Media Collaborative (LMC), an emerging non-profit organization that develops high-impact media outreach, launched CALÓ NEWS with the mission of informing, engaging and empowering our greater Latino community on the issues and perspectives that mean most to us, particularly for those who live in a growing number of news and media deserts.
As the Managing Editor, I can tell you that our team believes one of the most important issues that we can have an impact on is that of hate – more specifically, the issue of hate and violence aimed against Latinos/as/x communities for no more reason than the color of their skin or the virtue of their heritage. And we want to cover the heroes and power players who have made it their mission to stamp out hate, in all of its forms, whether it breaks out in Hollywood or downtown LA or the streets of Boyle Heights.
This February, nine Peace & Healing Centers are expected to open and begin offering services to working-class residents living across the various communities in Los Angeles. The centers, launched by the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights), are part of the city’s first participatory budgeting pilot program called Los Angeles Reforms for Equity and Public Acknowledgement of Institutional Racism (LA REPAIR).
In places like LA County, hate crimes have been increasing instead of decreasing. The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released its annual LA County Hate Crime Report last month on December 7. The report shows hate crimes in LA County grew 23% from 641 in 2020 to 786 in 2021. This is the highest number recorded since 2002. The report revealed that Latinos are the second-largest group of hate crime victims.
On February 14, members of an active social justice coalition showed up in numbers at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting to demand “love” and “care” for the approximately 350 incarcerated youth in the detention camps and juvenile halls operated by the LA County Probation Department. The Los Angeles Youth Uprising (LAYUP) is a group of 16 or so social justice organizations working collaboratively to dismantle or reform the county’s juvenile justice system, which they classify as “racist” and would prefer that city leaders divert city resources toward holistic models of youth development.
The city government is relying on one particular department and its leader to focus on maintaining and strengthening the city’s diversity, equity and accountability, the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. You can call it the LA Civil Rights (department) for short; and its main goals are to reduce bias, hate crimes and injustices. Capri Maddox was named as the Executive Director of LA Civil Rights in June 2020. “If there is a government start-up, it is us,” Maddox told CALÓ NEWS. “We are new, but we are here to serve all of what LA is. We have a very diverse staff. We want to represent the diversity of Los Angeles.”
People of color, who make up around 40% of the U.S. population, comprise more than 60% of all people killed by or who died in the custody of the police. By comparison, whites, who constitute more than 60% of the population, comprise less than 40% of all deaths over the 2014-2021 period, according to The Raza Database Project
Gun violence may seem like an insurmountable problem. But there are ways to make guns less accessible and also to restrict access to assault weapons.
On Jan. 23, right after the Monterey Park shooting, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced two bills to ban assault weapons.
Eyvin Hernandez was wrongfully detained in Venezuela last March. He is currently being held in a maximum-security military prison in Caracas, Venezuela. his family and colleagues are asking for President Bidens’ help to bring him back home.
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released its annual LA County Hate Crime Report last month on December 7. As the new year begins, the high level of hate crimes portrayed in the report brings heavy concern about the state of the city. The report shows the number of hate crimes in LA County has reached the highest number in the last 19 years. Reported hate crimes in LA County grew 23% from 641 in 2020 to 786 in 2021. This is the largest number recorded since 2002. The Latino community was also a prime target in 2021. They were the second-largest group of victims.
For the Hernandez family, there was one loved one missing at this year’s holiday table. Eyvin Hernandez, 44, a beloved son, father and brother, was wrongfully detained in Venezuela in March 2022. His return home is obstructed by the current legal situation he faces in the South American country. Hernandez can face up to 16 years in prison after being charged with criminal association and conspiracy by the Venezuelan government. Today, Hernandez is being held in DGCIM, a maximum security military prison and one of the most notorious prisons in Cataratas, Venezuela.
Rivera-Guzman migrated to South Central Los Angeles with her mother and siblings to escape the 12-year war that was occurring in El Salvador. Years later, with hard work and dedication, Guzman received a scholarship to attend the College of the Holy Cross located in Massachusetts, where her interest in politics began. Today, Guzman is the president of the board of directors for Latino Coalition of Los Angeles and continues to help communities thrive in LA.