Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mexican Fiesta In Milwaukee Turning Into A Family Drunk Fest?

Ruben A. Burgos and Alexander C. Ayala


Today's Mexican Fiesta sponsored by the WIsconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. at Milwaukee's Summerfest grounds is definitely becoming a family drunk fest.

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 14, 2013

Milwaukee, WI - The Mexican Fiesta organizers and the WIsconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF) Board continue to market the rich Mexican culture, including others to attrack crowds into its festival in late August. But beer and other alcohol items sold at the event has become prevalent in generating funds for those selling it.
The consumption of beer and alocohol at the event is evident by those who over consume and by those who continue to sell them even more without setting a limit for those showing over consumption. Some of those people who over consume had to be forcibly removed from the grounds either by Summerfest security, police or the volunteer Fiesta security, the Latino Peace Officers Association (LPOA). The countless people who over consume at the Mexican Fiesta then hit the city streets by driving, walking and using public transportation. Police didn't report, if any arrest for drunk driving or other infractions attributed to alcohol took place.
On Friday, a news conference was held with limited press or media access to cover it. The Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) and other main stream media weren't allowed access, but only three Spanish language newspapers and CBS 58/Telemundo 63 were allowed to cover it. By the way, a majority of those allowed are sponsors of the event.
Ruben Burgos, retired Milwaukee Police Lieutenant of Detectives, recently named the UMOS Hispanic Man of the Year, former president of LPOA and active Board member of WHSF said, that he was present at the Mexican Fiesta office to "deny access to HNNUSA."
Fiesta organizers confirmed, that indeed they are working with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) to actively identify potential gang members under a "zero tolerance" policy, which definitely violates the First Amendment rights of those unjustly accused or label as gang members, despite if inaccurate information is provided by MPD. Two people expelled from Mexican Fiesta on Friday, August 23 who were actually accused by the Milwaukee Police Intelligence Center as gang affiliated say, they are not gang members or belong to any gangs, which family members and friends attest to it. One of them (victims) is seeking legal advice and representation for possible legal action against WHSF, Mexican Fiesta, Officer Alexander Ayala, LPOA and the Milwaukee Police Department. 
Victims that were unjustly kicked out of Fiesta have 190 days from the day it happened to file a complaint against police officers involved with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.
Fiesta organizers and WHSF stated, "Mexican Fiesta's policy is that known active gang members will not be allowed onto the grounds. The plan is to have the Anti-gang unit of the Milwaukee Police Department identify known, active gang members as they attempt to enter the Summerfest grounds. Mexican Fiesta security will then deny entry to these identified individuals." In contrary of the latest Fiesta policy, Police Officer Alexander Ayala, the current president of the LPOA previously explained to HNNUSA that, multiple victims who were at the festival were singled out and identified by the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) as "past, present or future" gang members."
Ayala said that a 30-year-old man "was identified by the Milwaukee Police Department last night (Friday night) as a (gang name excluded) member...we have a right to kick out anybody out (according to the back ticket policy info.) and we are exercising that right...he was told not to come back and he is traspassing."
"Gang members are not allowed in the festival...this is a family environment and we don't want any gang members past, present or future. No gang members allowed. We had these for the last three years and this (policy) is nothing new. If you're identified as a past (name of gang excluded) or any gang member or a current gang member, you are not allowed on the grounds. This is a family environment and we don't want any violence, so we are not discriminating against anybody because of sex, gender, race or anything...we are not labeling, we are identifying...if you want to sue Fiesta, do it the right way, send them a lawsuit, don't threaten me or warn me," Ayala said.
Despite Mexican Fiesta's efforts to keep gang members out of the three day festival, every known gang was represented inside the Summerfest grounds by its members that fell through the cracks of the LPOA security crack down. Gang members no longer dress in colors, but do dress to blend into the crowds at the festival.
Burgos reported one fight at the festival, however another fight took place inside with no security involvement, according to some Fiesta attendees who witnessed the altercations. The fight was sparked by at least seven females.
If Burgos, Ayala, WHSF and Fiesta organizers have a goal to keep Mexican Fiesta "safe, and enjoyable for our guests, friends and family." They should have a non-alcoholic three day festival.
Using the Anti-gang unit of the Milwaukee Police Department and its Intelligence Center to identify known gang members has definitely failed for the last three years, because they are allowed to enter, but now gang members conform to the norms at the festival and keep out of trouble. 
Information used by the Police Intelligence Center at Fiesta during late August proved one thing for sure, some of those people kicked out were unjustly identified and labeled as gang members or affiliates, when in fact they were not gang members.
Shame on Mexican Fiesta, WHSF, the Milwaukee Police Department, LPOA, Burgos and Officer Ayala for violating the First Amendment rights of those victims that were unjustly profiled, labeled and expelled from Mexican Fiesta without returning their refunds. What a rip off!
Also, Mexican Fiesta and WHSF generate a majority of revenue for scholarships during the three day festival from a majority of undocumented immigrants that attend the event. But no scholarships are given out to the children of undocumented immigrants who want to attend college or a university.
Only students who are U.S. Citizens or legal permanent residents can apply for WHSF scholarships, according to the scholarship application from WHSF/Mexican Fiesta and LULAC Councils 319 and 322.
A call to boycott Mexican Fiesta in 2014 is spreading through Facebook (FB) rapidly, according to FB postings around the tri-state area.

The current Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF) Board of Directors who operate the annual Mexican Fiesta are;

● Antonio Guajardo Jr. (President)
● Gregorio Montoto (1st Vice President)
● Ricardo Ruiz (2nd Vice President)
● Arturo Martinez (Secretary)
● Ernesto Baca (Treasurer)
● Teresa Mercado (Executive Director)
● Ray Bacalzo
● Frank Gonzales
● Woody Welch
● Marjorie Cervera
● Oscar Cervera
● Julio Maldonado
● Luis Gonzalez
● Julio Guix
● Lupe Martinez
● Ruben Burgos
● Jason Hyland
● Diana Moreno
● Asael Ruiz
● Darryl Morin

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