Excerpts from Archives of Richard V. Cruz
"...To secure, for benevolent, educational and charitable purposes,
justice for and protection of the civil rights of the poor, victims of
racial and ethnic discrimination and other persons who are in need of
effective legal representation in civil and criminal matters, and to
preserve, protect and defend the environment against misuse insofar as it
relates to the protection of the rights of the aforesaid persons..."
(Articles of Incorporation of Abogados De Aztlan, 1972)
"...To advance the knowledge of and appreciation for the law among the
general public in regard to human and civil rights and misuse of the
environment, in cooperation with the courts and with the Bar, and with
social agencies, and any and all other persons, person or groups of persons
interested in the administration of justice...." (Articles of Incorporation
of Abogados De Aztlan, 1972)
"...In this paper I want to analyze, as best I can, the
requirement that each and every one of our activities as lawyers must in some
way reflect a goal. What I am assessing, in other words, is the process itself
that must be mastered so that when we choose cases it is not by accident, but
by design; when we say "my" case is "relevant" we know what we mean; and when
asked or pressured by camaradas or associates to handle "their" case, we can
say yes or no with firm assurance that we are making the right decision.
we are found with but vague and romantic conceptions and notions as we begin
to deal with these problem areas.
In the first place we must understand, as most of us do
already, that the goal is social change. This is the foundation, the absolute
if you will, upon which our many levels of choices and dilemmas must be
resolved..." (Richard V. Cruz, "For Members of Abogados De Aztlan", 1972)
21st Century Progress?
We believe the spirit of Abogados De Aztlan is still alive in
the groups and struggles of many Chicana / Chicano lawyers in the Southwestern
United States. The relevance of what we do as attorneys dedicated to
social justice may be a question that needs further discussion even thirty
years after the dialog began in 1972. We hope to bring out the voices of
new Abogados De Aztlan and provide a forum for discussion on the web and
in printed periodicals. As asked by Richard Cruz, "What is the relevance
of the cases we undertake for our community?"
We invite you to join this foundation as members of Abogados
De Aztlan and to submit letters and dialog about the relevant issues of social
justice in the 21st century. The dialog may consist of simple questions
e-mailed to the foundation for the attention of other members. It may
consist of expressions of outrage over recent cases of injustice such as
police abuse or violations of privacy and the dignity of immigrants. It
may consist of thoughtful compositions or papers such as those presented by
Richard V. Cruz in the 1970's.
This dialog we hope will extend beyond the regional boundaries
of many of our professional associations and communities and will reach across
borders, states, countries and even oceans. In fact, we know that the
peoples of old Aztlan are not bound by borders or even oceans, but live and
work today in areas that once were considered foreign and strange.
The 21st century finds our people facing new laws, new institutions and new
lands. In this context we invite your participation as a new member of
Abogados De Aztlan.
Please visit the Participate
page for more information on how to join as a new member of Abogados De