Paramilitary repression and police brutality continue unabated on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border three years after the assassinations of Lorenzo Sampablo Cervantes in Oaxaca, Mexico and Fong Lee in Minneapolis, MN
By Steven Renderos & Sylvia González
November 1, 2009
Two different people – different stories, different places, – separated by nearly 2,000 miles, were connected three years ago when their lives were cut short by gunfire. Fong Lee and Lorenzo Sampablo Cervantes suffered a death inflicted by the gunshots of police and paramilitary officials. For Cervantes, it was one gunshot wound to the chest; for Lee, three gunshot wounds in his back, and five more to the front. Cervantes died seeking justice during the popular movement in 2006 in Oaxaca, Mexico, while Fong Lee died as a result of deeply rooted racism and police brutality in communities of color across the United States.
The stories of Lorenzo and Fong tell the tales of paramilitary repression during the popular movement of 2006 in Oaxaca, Mexico and police brutality and racism in the Hmong community in Minneapolis- and how they play out in different sociopolitical contexts. While their lives ended tragically, their stories continue as their family and community members are fighting back, building unity, and defining “justice” and “dignity” on their own terms and based on their own experiences.