In The Sunny Salinas Valley—A Long Weekend In Occupied America

See also Report From Occupied America: The Fall Of Salinas, by Joe Guzzardi

The Salinas Valley, dubbed the “Salad Bowl of the World” by locals, is situated in Monterey County in California. The Valley runs from King City in the south to the city of Salinas in the north and verdant fields lie to each side of Highway 101 which runs through the area.

The fields of lettuce and strawberries may appear serene and pastoral. But the Salinas Valley is anything but bucolic viewed from the towns and cities along the highway. Mass immigration, legal and illegal, spawned a new generation of citizens who are ravaging their communities.

The Salinas Valley is rife with gang activity. Here is a You Tube video put together by one gang, the Salinas Norteños:

Besides the video, one week of news from The Monterey Herald gives just a feel for some of the problems in the Valley.

The names of the alleged attackers: Steven Perez, Robert Sanchez and Gabriel Zapata. Robert Sanchez is in jail because he is charged with a drive-by shooting; Steven Perez is charged with multiple counts of murder and Gabriel Zapata is charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.

The three attacked Henry Cortez, a former Norteno member who “dropped out of the gang in 2001” according to the article. The brother of Cortez, Raymond Sanchez, “was gunned down by the Norteno gang” in 2001.

In addition, Frank Sanchez Jr., the nephew of Cortez, was murdered by the Sureno gang in 2010.

In the preliminary hearing, four Sureno gang members, Ricardo Martinez, Santiago Ortiz, Alberto Prado and Roberto Montejano, faced murder charges in the slaying of Frank Sanchez Jr., aged 16. The article reveals that Martinez confessed as he was looking for a deal.

According to Martinez, the four attackers murdered Frank Sanchez, Jr. last July because he “mad dogged” Martinez.

According to the Urban Dictionary, mad dogged is:

“When someone has really embarrassed you in public, preferably in school or at work. After insulting you (preferably by physical means), they stand over top of you or climb to a higher point than you and shout down at you, “you just got mad dogged!”

But Martinez has a chivalrous side! He reportedly confessed because he and his girl friend were in jail for an earlier car theft in Salinas and he was worried about the safety of his girl friend and their daughter.

Note that they are not married.

Interestingly, on Sunday, August 14, the Associated Press ran a lengthy article by Gosia Wozniacka  entitled, Latino-indigenous Mexican divide stirs California town about Greenfield, in the Salinas Valley, where almost all the residents are Hispanic, mostly Mexican-origin.

Wozniacka quoted Rachel Ortiz, the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, who has lived in the town for over 50 years. She and many of her neighbors complain about the large and recent influx of indigenous people from Oaxaca, Mexico, who now make up a third of Greenfield’s population.

Ortiz helped found a group called, Beautify Greenfield, whose goal it was to clean up the trash and weeds and paint over the graffiti. Ortiz and other members of the group say that the Triquis, Mixtecs and other indigenous people from Oaxaca

“overcrowded apartments and garages, threw trash into the streets thronged city parks, held loud parties. Some urinated in public and were involved in break-ins.”

In addition, the community groups who complain about the illegal-alien farm workers say that they

 “ruined the town financially, ‘destroyed’ its school system, caused violent crimes and were part of gangs, which are pervasive in the Salinas Valley.”

Crime has indeed increased in the area. According to the article, the homicide rate in the city of Salinas, north of Greenfield, has “doubled in the past few years and in 2009 stood over four times the national average.”

The table below, from Wikipedia [September 7, 2011]shows the escalation of homicide in the last two years in Salinas.

Homicide rate (per 100,000)

1985

2001

2008

2009

Salinas homicide rate

11.1

9.7

17.4

21.7

National homicide rate

8.0

5.6

5.4

5.0

The homicide rate in Greenfield may seem to coincide with the influx of indigenous farm workers. But Greenfield’s police chief, Joe Grebmeier says that the increase in violent crime results from increased gang activity associated with drug wars. The facts support his point of view.

But are these young men in the stories above indigenous people from Oaxaca? No. In fact, most of them are probably U.S. citizens. The four accused of the murder of Frank Sanchez, Jr. are charged with being “active members of the Mexican Pride Locos”. They may be Mexican immigrants—but not necessarily.

Note that many of the victims and the accused in these stories have Anglo first names—such as Eric, Frank, Robert and Steven. Thus Roberto Martinez, Frank Sanchez’s accused killer, has a long history of run-ins with the law as does Greenfield gangbanger Eric Perez. They have not been deported even given their criminal histories. That means (presumably) that they are citizens.

Further, births to Mexican-Americans have now overtaken in-migration of Mexicans as the prime cause of population increase among Hispanics. To read more detail about the demographics, read a report by The Pew Hispanic Research Center. [ The Mexican-American Boom: Births Overtake Immigration, July 14, 2011 PDF]

Californians do not need to read the numbers as they can see with their eyes the monumental increase in Hispanic youths.

The burgeoning Hispanic underclass is no longer a problem confined to California. On August 23, the Seattle Times published a story entitled: ‘Fight on sight’ gang war menaces South King County. [By Sara Jean Green] Seattle is in King County and the county prosecutor said that rival gangs are shooting each other “on sight” (which is what happened at a car show in Kent on July 23 when 12 people were wounded).

The King County Sheriff estimates that there are 10,000 gang members in the County and they are “committing burglaries, robberies, car thefts and trafficking in stolen property, including firearms.”

Detective Joe Gagliardi, of the King County Sheriff’s Department, states in the article, “They’re second- and third-generation gang members,” and the majority “are U.S. citizens who were born and raised in Washington.”

Readers, once again: second and third generation gang members!

And there are 10,000 of them just in King County.

This story does not end happily ever after. And it goes on and on, generation after generation.

It will be coming to a community near you—unless immigration is stopped.

The U.S. is importing peasants with no skills and no education. Many live in poverty and their children do not do well in school. Many of the boys drop out of school and join gangs and the girls drop out of school because they are pregnant and not married.

That’s a story for another day.

The only answer: an immigration moratorium.

 

Linda Thom [email her] is a retiree and refugee from California. She formerly worked as an officer for a major bank and as a budget analyst for the County Administrator of Santa Barbara.