Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Horse and Pony Show; The Taking of The Lettunich Family Farm

The El Paso County Commissioner's Court held a Horse and Pony Show yesterday on the third floor of the EL Paso County Courthouse.

In attendance were people like Congressman Ciro Rodriguez, representatives from Congressman Sylvestre Reyes' office, members of the regional GSA office, all members of commissioner's court to include Anthony Cobos and even former Commissioner Miguel Teran.

Two people under the FBI public corruption investigation patting themselves on the back in public. Something is wrong with that if you ask me.

Plaques were passed out to just about everyone in the courthouse for taking part in the building of a new port of entry in Tornillo.

I stood their and watched about an hours worth of hand shaking, back patting, bro-hugging and butt kissing that just about made me loose my lunch.

At the end of the Horse and Pony show Willie Gandara signed over the deed to the land that was taken from the Lettunich family using eminent domain to the GSA office.

Steven Lettunich stood in the back of the room and watched in disbelief as his family's land was just signed over to the federal government even though there is an appeal in the works.

Let's go back just a little bit so you can understand what all went on. Steven had approached Willie Gandara before the show to ask if he could say a few words to the crowd about what his family was going through.

Dora Oaxaca, Willie's Assistant, basically told Steven that this was not the time or place and made Steven feel like he was not welcomed. You might ask, how can you come to that conclusion?

Dora called the Sheriff's deputies. They took away our press releases and stood behind us throughout the whole event.

Several supporters said they would be willing to get arrested to show support but I convinced them that getting arrested would accomplish nothing.

I personally think getting arrested is so over rated.

We are not as dumb as we look. We patiently waited for event to end.

Once that happened Steven jumped on the opportunity and asked Congressman Rodriguez where he stood on the land issue.

The Congressman told Steven and all the cameras that immediately caught the confrontation that this was the first time he had heard about his family's concern. The look on his face made us believe he was telling the truth.

The Congressman did say that he believed that the Lettunich family deserved to get a fair price for their land.

He also said the County is responsible for that at the local level and not at the federal level.

Willie Gandara was questioned by the media and quickly stated that the County did not do anything illegal to aquire the land. Why would he say that so quickly?

Gandara did take over this project after Miguel Teran's departure so it might just be a reaction due to Teran's alleged past.

Now I agree, the port of entry would bring money and badly needed jobs to the local area.....

but I don't agree how the County has taken the land from the family just to meet a federal deadline. We need to look deeper into this issue and assure that the Lettunich family is compensated fairly for the farmland that has been in their family for four generations.

Willie Gandara is always defending immigrants and their families yet he doesn't stand up for the Lettunich Family. Maybe it's not the immigrants he is used to. This is a story of a Lower Valley family whose ancestors came to this country for a better life. The typical immigrant story. yet nothing is said on that matter. Why?

I am calling you out Willie. If you really care about the people of the Lower Valley and the immigrants in this country, you will do something to help the Lettunich family. If not, then all your rhetoric will just go in one ear and out the other the next time you talk to us about helping the immigrant.

Please be consistant with your message.

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