By Josette Madonia
Arizona Community Press | www.azcommunitypress.org
On Saturday, August 3rd, Angel Diaz, a Phoenix-based artist, painted a mural of Carlos LaMadrid in Tucson, Arizona at 422 5th Avenue at 6th Street. Carlos LaMadrid was killed by a Border Patrol agent in May 2011. Diaz painted the mural as a reminder that the families of those killed by Border Patrol agents have not seen justice. “I want to use my art to make people aware that there have been 20 killings by Border Patrol since 2010,” says Diaz. “Not one case has been brought against these agents and they’re getting away with murder.”
LaMadrid was 19-years old when he was shot three times, including in the back and the thigh. He was a U.S. citizen and was unarmed. This is not an isolated incident. Border patrol has been responsible for other deaths around the border. Rock throwing seems to be an action that has led to the death of several young men. Justice is not something that the families of the victims attain. “The LaMadrid family’s attorney says that convictions for border patrol agents are rare in his memory. “I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time and I’ve never seen a Border Patrol agent ever convicted in these cases, even when the circumstances are really egregious,” [the family’s attorney, Richard] Gonzalez said.”
The LaMadrid family was present for the painting of the mural on August 3rd. Carlos’ mother, Guadalupe Guerrero, was touched by the artwork and had tears in her eyes the whole day. The Tucson Weekly wrote this about Guerrero,
The mural, Guerrero says, brings a little peace. When she arrived at the parking lot on Saturday and saw the early drawing on the large wall she started crying. Every day is hard and every day something reminds her of him. After this happened, she says she felt so alone. The mural makes her proud and presses her to continue asking for answers.”
Angel Diaz is an artist based in Phoenix. His work can be seen across the valley, from 99th Avenue to East Phoenix. His murals can be seen in Downtown and Roosevelt Districts. More information about the artist and his artwork can be found at angeldiazarte.com.
The following is a timelapse video of the creation of the mural that day: