Who Would Shoot a 9 Year-Old Girl in the Face?


From the Presente.org news release:

Nine-year-old Brisenia Flores was murdered in her home in Arivaca, Arizona in May 2009. She pleaded, “Please don’t shoot me,” right before she was shot — point blank, in the face — by a member of the Minutemen American Defense Corps (MAD)1

The alleged mastermind behind Brisenia’s murder, Shawna Forde, has publicly represented anti-Latino hate groups including the Minutemen and the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR). Forde is currently on trial in Arizona for the murder of Brisenia and her father, Raul. As we speak, the jury is deliberating and will return a verdict within days, or hours.

Our community is waiting on justice for Brisenia.

Her murder represents the violence that follows when hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric and the groups that promote it goes unchecked.

Brisenia’s story has been largely ignored in the mainstream media, but her life has galvanized people around the country to speak out against hate violence towards Latinos. We at Presente designed a poster to honor Brisenia’s memory, and to send a statement that we want justice.

Together, let’s take a stand against anti-Latino violence and the hatred that ruins lives. Please download this memorial poster, display it proudly, and share it with your friends and family:


Brisenia’s murder follows the mainstreaming of the most dangerous strands of hatred in the United States. The extremist groups like those that Shawna Forde represented publicly are the same groups responsible for hateful laws like Arizona’s SB1070, attempts to repeal birth-right citizenship for babies born in the U.S. and the dehumanization of immigrants and Latinos.

It’s up to each of us to stand up against anti-Latino violence everywhere. By displaying this poster and helping people learn about the story of this amazing girl and her tragic murder, you can help build resolve to end the discrimination and violence that took Brisenia’s life.

Click here to take a stand and help us share this little girl’s story by spreading her image far and wide:


We will send out an update as soon as we the jury comes back with a verdict. Until then, we’re all waiting for justice.

Thank you y ¡adelante!

Joaquin, Laurie, Favianna, Roberto & the rest of the Presente.org team


1. “Slain Girl Pleaded for Her Life, Mom Testifies at Militia Leader’s Trial” AOL.com, 1/28/11

Can the U.S Assassinate an American?


A few days ago I was discussing the accomplishment and shortcomings of the Obama administration with a dear friend. The subject of target assassinations by the U.S. intelligence came up and I found myself defending the practice. The next day I woke up bothered by my support of this directive — if such a directive exists. What was most upsetting to me was that I was willing to take a position opposed to everything I’ve believed up until now without really knowing all of the facts. In the heat of the argument I sided with the government.

I want to know more about this issue. I called my friend and told her I was retracting my statement and that I would have an informed position soon. I found the following discussion helpful:

Worth Repeating


And, as for protecting “traditional marriage,” our opponents “don’t know” how permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry would harm the marriages of opposite-sex couples. Needless to say, guesswork and speculation is not an adequate justification for discrimination. In fact, the evidence will demonstrate affirmatively that permitting loving, deeply committed, couples like the plaintiffs to marry has no impact whatsoever upon the marital relationships of others.

Ted Olson, President Bush’s former Solicitor General during opening statement in California today on the federal trial challenging the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, focusing on Proposition 8.

Not Worth Repeating

”I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

—Justice of the peace Keith Bardwell, on why he declined to marry interracial couple somewhere in Louisiana.