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On Wednesday, January 12, over a dozen San Diego residents spoke in protest of the recent news that the mainly Hispanic equestrian group Asociación de Charros de Escondido is being evicted from a one-and-a-half-acre location that they have occupied for nearly 40 years.

According to Filemon Jarra, a schoolteacher, the group received a letter from Escondido Community Services director Jerry Van Leeuwen notifying them of their eviction from 3410 East Valley Parkway. The letter said the City would like to make "better use of land," per Jarra. "I urge you to reconsider this decision," said Jarra to the city council. "We firmly believe that there's no better way to celebrate and honor our family-oriented traditions than to keep the Charro area where it is."

Jarra said even though he lived in Chula Vista, he and members of his family spent weekends growing up in Escondido at the rodeo grounds. The Charros are facing eviction on January 17, and the land they have occupied will be the site of a water-distribution facility, as reported by the North County Times.

Manuel Ponce de Leon spoke before the council to bring up his belief that the City is motivated to evict the Charros because Escondido needs to move their water facility to make room for the construction of a new Padres minor-league ballpark. "I don't see why they have to move just to make room for a ballpark that nobody is going to attend," said Ponce de Leon.

Image: charrousa.com

Pictured: Miguel Bautista of Charros de Escondido, 2006

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Comments

nan shartel Jan. 15, 2011 @ 2:20 p.m.

this is so completely unfair i can believe it ;-(

i mean really...they can't find no other site for the water plant

because that land has had horses on it for so long i can tell u it's probably rampant with Strongyloides stercoralis....to the point that the ground could probably never be cleared of it

it is a protozoa that atacks the lining of the gut and is very difficult to control and cure...both soil and water is usually contaminated where horses have had permanent or semi permanent residence

let the horses stay...it's theirs now

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ericmills Jan. 16, 2011 @ 11:35 a.m.

I'm a big fan of cultural diversity, but I draw the line at animal abuse. And charreada crosses that line Big Time.

Your readers need to know that the Mexican-style rodeo called charreada features nine standard events, only three of them near-identical to American-style rodeo: bull riding, bareback bronc riding, and team roping (all with their share of problems).

But charreada features THREE events in which running horses are roped by their legs, putting them at great risk of serious injury: "manganas a caballo" (roping the horse's front legs from horseback); "manganas a pie" (roping the horse's front legs while on foot); and "piales" (in which the horse's HIND legs are roped).

In the even more brutal "steer tailing" event ("colas," or "coleadero"), a mounted charro grabs the tail of a running steer, wraps the tail around his leg and stirrup, then rides his horse off at an angle, dragging or slamming the hapless animal to the ground. Bruises and contusions are routine, tails may be broken, even torn off, and horses sometimes suffer broken legs when the steers run the wrong way. Some "sport"! Steer tailing was banned in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA in 1993, and by the State of Nebraska in 2008. The Board of Supervisors for San Diego County should follow suit. Ditto the Escondido City Council.

None of these events are standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor are they sanctioned by any American-style rodeo association.

CONSIDER THIS EXCERPT FROM A LETTER WHICH CESAR CHAVEZ WROTE TO ME IN 1990:

"Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cockfighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves." Words to live by.

TIME FOR STATE LEGISLATION TO BAN THESE CRUELTIES: ALL LEGISLATORS MAY BE WRITTEN C/O THE STATE CAPITOL, SACRAMENTO, CA 95814.

Sincerely,

Eric Mills, coordinator ACTION FOR ANIMALS Oakland email - afa@mcn.org

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