Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Hispanics Have Lost One of Their Greatest Legal Champions for Social Justice
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement early Sunday upon the passing overnight of its longtime legal counsel. Vera waged a courageous battle against an illness that finally claimed his life. Still, he had remained steadfastly active and working until very recently, the trademark of the fiery civil rights warrior for nearly 30-years. Vera was 65-years old and died in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and family at his bedside.
Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President
“We have lost a friend, and our nation’s Latino community has lost one of its greatest defenders. Luis was a man whose fight for justice often took him from the streets of our poorest barrios in San Antonio to the marbled hallways of our federal courts. Judges knew when Luis Vera walked into their courtroom, he was there to win on behalf of millions of Latinos, and he did just that. He was widely respected, even by those who presented opposing legal arguments in landmark cases across a broad spectrum from voting rights to educational, employment, and housing discrimination lawsuits filed by LULAC. Luis followed in the footsteps of those before him who have helped build LULAC into one of America’s most respected civil rights organizations. Vaya con Dios Luis Vera.”
Sindy Benavides, LULAC National Chief Executive Officer
“It’s hard to believe Luis is gone. He was a beloved mentor and wise legal advisor to LULAC, who helped us navigate some of the most difficult issues of our times. In days to come, I am certain that stories will abound from those who had the privilege and honor of working with him about the many tribulations Luis confronted, always with a sense of urgent purpose and very aware that his work was shaping our history. We are comforted by knowing that he dedicated his life to the very purpose that stirred his heart and spirit every day, and we are indebted to his wife and family for having shared Luis with LULAC and our nation’s Latino community. Ironically, Luis lives on through the recent lawsuits he helped file in federal court that will forever carry the imprint of his love for justice and the voice that shall never be silenced.”
Elsie Valdes-Ramos, LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for Women
“We are heartbroken and grieving over our brother, Luis, who has gone ahead of us, but thankful that he shall rest in peace because his work is done. He did everything and more always to help Latinos across the United States and Puerto Rico. I shall always respect the strength of his convictions, and even when we differed, he did so with respect and integrity. He was a fierce fighter for what is right and persisted even when the odds were against LULAC, as has been the case often given today’s volatile politics. Time and again, he and I would speak about legal battles we were facing, and his faith that right would prevail was his mantra. I knew we had in Luis, a tireless defender and a man who any enticement could never sway, nor was he seeking fame for himself. I think he was Boricua at heart because he lived life to its fullest, and he never gave up.”
Rodolfo Rosales Jr. – Texas LULAC State Director
“Latinos in Texas and indeed, our entire nation and Puerto Rico, have lost a selfless and brilliant legal fighter, cut from the same civil rights cloth as Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. He was fearless and argued with the fire and brimstone passion of a legal preacher. Yet, Luis was also a legal scholar who understood the significance of civil rights law for Latinos in America and was among its giants in the field. He was my trusted adviser and legal counsel in matters Latinos in Texas are confronting, perhaps more intensely than anywhere else in our country. Luis was more than an inspiration. He was my brother and part of the Rosales family. His passing is devastating, not only to the Latino community but our great country. He is an American icon, and history will reflect that. Goodbye, my dear friend, confidante, and brother. You will be missed!!”
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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.