I am reaching out to report back on behalf of our delegation to the 2022 LULAC National Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico last week. Overall it was a productive trip but we did have an issue with the elections at the National Assembly.
The national elections were suspended due to a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that was issued to LULAC and its National Board by a District Court in Texas that prevented the assembly from holding elections. To put it broadly – the TRO which was petitioned by a LULAC Council in Dallas, Texas, alleges that a partisan organization in Puerto Rico called the New Popular Party (NPP) devised a plan to take over LULAC and its leadership by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to LULAC operatives and leadership on the mainland and island. This allegedly involved creating hundreds of “paper councils” on the island to create illegitimate delegates, paying transportation and hotels for votes, and influencing LULAC operatives to run for LULAC National Board.
The Iowa delegation received the TRO the morning of the assembly so we did not attend. Unfortunately, since it’s one of the main reasons to go and represent our membership and have our voice heard as a state charter. However, an illegitimate election still took place that was mostly led by LULAC operatives and leadership involved in the alleged scheme – breaching the TRO that was issued. This action of holding an illegitimate election and the ongoing investigation has so far resulted in the suspension of several LULAC National Officers and the immediate discharge of former LULAC CEO Sindy Benavides. These types of actions can also result in expulsion from the league, fines, lawsuits, and jail time.
I am sharing this to make sure our leaders and members are aware of what is going on at the national level in case we are not receiving press releases or hearing the news. We do not want outside partisan groups to influence LULAC. This is also the result of LULAC leadership over the years ignoring calls to update the draconian voting process and close constitutional loopholes to avoid situations like this.
LULAC National who promotes democracy and champions voting should not have issues in their own house.
LULAC of Iowa will continue to focus on state and local issues. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or action items on this topic. I will keep our leaders/members up-to-date.
Nicholas Salazar – State Director
League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa