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Rosemary Martinez – An El Paso Advocate Who Exemplifies Solidarity

By on March 30, 2017 8:55 pm

Hero’s name: Rosemary P. Martinez (honored twice)

Home city: El Paso, Texas

Organization affiliation: Centro de los Trabajadores Agricolas Fronterizos and MEChA del Chuco (The University of Texas at El Paso)

How does the person’s work advance social justice? What is the person’s vision for an equitable world?

“Migration is a human right, and we will not allow a wall to separate our binational movements.”

— Rosemary P. Martinez

Rosemary is the president of the board of directors at Centro de los Trabajadores Agricolas Fronterizos, a community center in El Paso, Texas.

She also serves as the community adviser for the MEChA del Chuco, a Latino student organization at The University of Texas at El Paso.

She volunteers in the El Paso area, helping  veterans with their rights and claims. Specifically, she advocates on behalf of deported U.S. veterans.

A realist in this community and border region, she never gets tired, or at least has never shown it.

She will jump at a moments notice to march, protest and advocate for all disenfranchised and marginalized people in El Paso and Juarez, Mexico.

She sees a brighter future in this community because she has a firm belief in unity and solidarity, and she does not recognize any human-made border.”

Honored by (above): Joseph Martinez

How does the person’s work advance social justice? What is the person’s vision for an equitable world?

“At first glance, Rosemary is a typical Chicana from El Chuco, Texas. Follow her footsteps through her day, and you will quickly learn otherwise.

Rosemary is the president of the Mesa Directiva at the only farmworker center in the region and has been a true realist and contributor in the community for over four decades.

Her accomplishments: Raising five children while working up to three jobs, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is the former president of MEChA, a Latino student organization at The University of Texas at El Paso, and the founder of El Chico Autonomous Brown Berets.

She is the recipient of the Las Americas Advocacy Center for Migrants Border Hero Award of 2014 and a vigorous and fierce advocate for veterans and their rights.

She was responsible for the return of deported veteran, Manuel de Jesus Castano to the United States after his death on foreign soil. More recently, she is the recipient of the Freedom Award for civilians who help veterans in need.

Rosemary has pursued the task of advocating for and teaching people in the borderlands what their rights are and how not to get detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents or Border Patrol agents.

Her activism led her to Standing Rock for two weeks of prayer and speaking up for water and Native issues. She also spoke with Vietnam War veterans at the camp.

On any given day, you can catch Rosemary strapping on her boots and getting out into the streets for any number of causes.

Rosemary believes that if we open one person’s eyes, it will trickle down to 10 more and with these figures we cannot lose this battle for Social Justice. “It will start at the bottom, and only then will we reach the top.”

Honored by (above): Cuauhtemoc Villegas 

Note: This profile is part of Equal Voice News’ special Cesar Chavez Day Community Heroes edition. These submissions were edited for clarity.

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