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Dallas Rights Groups Announce Events to Mark 45th Anniversary of Santos Rodriguez Murder

DALLAS, TX – The Santos Vive Project, a coalition of North Texas organizations headed by Human Rights Dallas, will mark the 45th anniversary of the chilling murder of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez on July 24, 1973. A series of events are planned to remember a dark and fateful day in Dallas history.

It was 2 o’clock in the morning when police dragged young Santos and his brother David out of their beds, handcuffed them and then drove to a nearby gas station where a vending machine had been robbed the previous day. The brothers denied culpability but Office Darryl Cain was unconvinced. Both boys were placed into the police car, and to scare Santos into confessing, Officer Cain placed his pistol to Santos’ head in a game of ‘Russian Roulette”. The gun clicked the first time but fired the second time killing Santos instantly. The nation was stunned and Dallas erupted in a race riot as thousands of enraged citizens rampaged in downtown in protest.

Santos Vive Project has three goals. To re-tell the story of Santos’ young life and death in a new documentary titled ‘Santos Vive’, to help build a memorial at Pike Park where Santos played and grew up, and to set up a fund to assist Santos’ mother Bessie Rodriguez.

Santos Rodriguez

Dallas filmmaker and producer of Santos Vive Byron Hunter said. “this film touches people of all races, religions and ethnic groups, we believe that to be a Latino living in Dallas in 2018, and to not know the history of Little Mexico and Santos Rodriguez is a tragedy unto itself. We hope that everyone will come out and learn important lessons about what Dallas was in order to better understand what Dallas is.”

The following events are scheduled:

  • 6:30 PM Thursday, July 19 Santos Vive Project Fundraiser at Pike Pike. 2807 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas TX 75201.
  • 9:00 AM Saturday, July 21 Graveside Ceremony, Oakland Cemetery, Malcolm X Blvd..
  • 7:30 PM Tuesday, July 24 Screening ‘ Santos Vive’ Texas Theater, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.

According to Dr. Rick Halperin, director of the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU, “The Rodriguez family was forced to wait 40 years before they even received an apology from city officials, and we are now hoping that true justice can be delivered to them. The city must confront and admit the pain and historical legacy of this tragic incident and work to ensure that no other family in this city ever endures such a terrible ordeal.”

Members of the Santos Vive Project include:

  • The Embrey Human Rights Program
  • Dallas Peace and Justice Center
  • North Texas Dream Team
  • R.A.I.C.E.S
  • Ledbetter Association
  • Amnesty International- Dallas Chapter
  • Mothers Against Police Brutality.
  • Radio EcoLatino

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