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Youth-Painted Pro-Immigration Mural Defaced By Graffiti

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 29, 2009 5:40PM

Local radio station Radio Arte WRTE 90.5 FM - "a Latino-owned, bilingual, youth-driven public radio station" - is reporting this morning that a youth mural supporting immigration on their Pilsen building, shared with youth arts outreach group Yollocalli, was defaced overnight. The mural, based on last year's "A Declaration of Immigration" exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art, was defaced with the spray-painted words "LIES" and the phrase "Mexicans Are Racists."

Part of a youth mural project run by Yollocalli, the mural is scheduled to be complete in August; muralist Salvador Jimenez has been working with a group of young artists (ages 16 to 21) to create and paint the mural. According to Yolloccalli [PDF] - who has partnered with the National Museum of Mexican Art on the project - the mural is, "a visual dedication to all immigrants and allies who have marched hundreds of thousands of miles to advocate for fair legislation for immigrants and who have stood strong in the face of anti-immigrant rhetoric."

We spoke with Vanessa Sanchez, Youth Programs Project Manager at Yollocalli. Said Sanchez, "From my point of view, it's just sad. We're just trying to share our own point of view about our own people, about other immigrants throughout the nation, and I don't how the mural relates to what these people [put on the mural]...It's sad to think that people would do that to a mural, a work created by youth, and to a community organization. We're here for the community. People just don't know who we are or what's going because they didn't take the time to read a statement that we have posted on our door that talks about the mural." According to Sanchez, the mural will still be completed on schedule.

We've reached out to Jiminez for comment and will update when we hear back from him.

Special thanks to Silvia Rivera of WRTE for the tip and her help.