Letters to the Editor: A “short brown’ Oaxacan was Mexico’s greatest president. What say you, Nury Martinez?

A statue of Benito Juarez.
A statue of Benito Juarez stands in Lincoln Park in Los Angeles.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: The four embattled Latino leaders whose voices were heard on that infamous recording are justly accused of being racist.

In particular, former Councilwoman Nury Martinez’s remark ridiculing “short brown people” from Oaxaca failed to recognize that arguably the most distinguished president of Mexico was Benito Juarez.

Juarez was born in Oaxaca, stood 4’6” tall and was a full-blooded Zapotec Indian. He was quoted as saying, “El respecto al derecho ajeno es la paz.” (“Respect for the rights of others is peace.”)


Councilman Gil Cedillo professes to want to represent Latinos, while remaining silent when “short brown people” from Oaxaca are ridiculed. Silence gives consent.

Councilmembers Cedillo and Kevin de León should follow the example of Martinez and resign.

Victor Moheno, Visalia, Calif.