• June 18th, 2024
  • Tuesday, 05:25:34 AM

In Loving Memory of Ricardo Martínez—Rest in Love and Power Hermano

En Memoria de Ricardo Martínez ¡Descansa en Amor y Poder Hermano!


Ricardo Martínez has joined the ancestors and all who knew him are deeply saddened that we have lost such an incredible friend and comrade. Ricardo was taken from his familia and from his friends on January 21st by a massive stroke and the many complications that followed.


Ricardo’s life was a living testament to the principle that a true revolutionary is motivated by deep feelings of love for the people. He was born to a working class Chican@ family of campesinos in Caliexo.  His devotion to the cause of freedom, justice, and self-determination was reflected in a lifetime of organizing and struggle: from support for the campesinos of the United Farm Workers Union, to the fight for democracy for the Chican@ people in La Raza Unida Party; support for workers right and gender justice in the Dasco strike in Oakland; for the members of the Cannery Workers Union in the San Francisco Bay Area.


You have forever touched our hearts and we will honor your memory by continuing on your same path of beautiful resistencia.


Solidarity and internationalism were at the heart of Ricardo’s organizing. Building Coalición de Niños and La Alianza de La Raza in Tejas; supporting the striking coal miners at Peabody Coal; solidarity with the Diné Nation at Big Mountain; in the fight for language justice and against English-only with Coloradans for Language Freedom; organizing a multiracial janitorial workforce for SEIU (Service Employees International Union) at Denver International Airport; and consistent support for the Zapatistas in Chiapas following their uprising in 1994. In all of these important struggles, Ricardo was joined with and supported by his lifelong Amorcita Corazón Pam Martínez.


But perhaps Ricardo’s most outstanding organizing was in founding and building, with Pam, Padres & Jovenes Unidos one of the most powerful and effective grassroots organizations in Colorado and Aztlán. Ricardo and Pam built Padres as an organization deeply rooted among working class Chican@ parents and students in Denver, many of them people without documents. Padres became a respected leader in fighting for educational justice, immigrants’ rights, ending the school-to-prison pipeline in Denver schools, and for reforms that opened the doors to higher education for thousands of Chican@ students.


Ricardo’s work was embedded in a vision, a vision that one day the Chican@ people would achieve their self-determination, would restore our connection to Madre Tierra; would liberate a complete flowering of our cultura, and enable our children to walk in unity and freedom. And his beautiful vision included an end to the exploitation and oppression of all working and oppressed peoples in the world.


Ricardo made his transition surrounded by his Amorcita Pam and his loving daughters, Rita and Flori. ¡Hasta La Victoria Ricardo!  Rest in Love and Power Hermano! You have forever touched our hearts and we will honor your memory by continuing on your same path of beautiful resistencia.


Written by Pam Martínez, Lucia Aguilar Navarro, and Bill Gallegos.