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Schuylkill County Vs. MALDEF

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Dear MALDEF, On behalf of the residents of Shenandoah, PA, Shenandoah Heights, PA, and the county of Schuykill in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we hereby request that you refrain from any further slander, defamation and disambiguation of our region in direct and indirect regard to the Luis Eduardo Ramirez-Zavala (aka John Demasio, aka Eduardo Zavala, aka Luis Ramirez) beating death in which two of our residents were found not guilty of. From a period of time spanning July 15th 2008, to present day, your organization has, without invitation, interjected itself here and maliciously vilified, slandered, and attacked the once proud name of this division, casting upon all who reside here the dark shadow of a modern day lynching mob. Time and again, you have used the media as a tool to abuse the populace of our area in an attempt to further your own personal agenda. Your baseless attacks have cost this community it's reputation for being proud, protective, straightforward, intelligent, honest, caring, and safe. Instead, it is now recognized as "the county where you can go to get away with murder". The effects of such remarks will surely ripple for years to come. Not only are we affected by these claims, but also our children, our grandchildren, and our grandchildren's children. In all honesty, it is quite early to tell just how many generations may have been damaged by your misinformed claims. On May 1st 2009, the jury in the beating death of illegal immigrant Luis Eduardo Ramirez-Zavala found the defendants not guilty of murder in the third degree, aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation, and several other charges. Yet the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund continues to verbally assault Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania on a national level by declaring it's people racist against Latinos. Phrases such as 'all white jury' have been vocalized on several news networks by your representatives, as if the county's public had any hand at choosing it's twelve members. You have also selectively forgotten to mention the fact that Schuylkill County's most recent census states that we are predominantly Caucasian, over 97%. We believe that members of your association have attacked this corner of the country on the grounds of bias in hopes of gaining recognition and more corporate financial backing. Financial backing which comes by way of American based companies such as Ford, AT&T, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Financial backing being spent in the form of very sizeable donations given to someone not only unrelated to Mr. Ramirez, but also not Mexican American by heritage. Luis Eduardo Ramirez-Zavala was not legally a resident of Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, or the state of Pennsylvania. He was not legally a resident of the United States. He has no documented next of kin in this area. Yet your organization continues to state publicly these mistruths about the life of a man who was proven, in a court of law, to be at least partly responsible for his own demise. Luis Eduardo Ramirez-Zavala's family reside in Iramuco, Mexico. Though we have heard of little if any direct connection between the two. Instead, you have taken the opinions of others and stated them as fact in a public forum for the entire nation to hear. Your comments and allegations serve no purpose other than to discredit and defame an entire community in regards to an incident that included only six people, two of which have been declared not guilty. Such remarks have caused this town to endure violent outbursts of crime, such as drive by shootings and fist fights in public parks involving entire groups of people. Your words of hate have caused this community to be threatened anonymously by people who claim to have direct connection to gangs such as MS 13, and Vatos Locos. We feel our children are no longer safe to play outside, and we feel your unfounded statements are the direct cause. Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and it's residents legally inform you that such incorrect and abusive remarks will no longer be tolerated. Should you continue with your smear campaign, we are fully prepared to take any and all legal action against you, your employees, your volunteers, and your donors. Please contemplate taking your plight to a platform more suitable for your cause. Consider this an official cease and desist. You have been notified. Sincerely, Shenandoah, PA, et al

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