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Annual Watsonville Peace and Unity March remembers loved ones lost to violence

Posted: Monday, Oct 1st, 2012

About 400 people marched Sunday in the annual Watsonville Peace & Unity March. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

WATSONVILLE — Peace in the community was the central topic Sunday at the 18th annual Peace and Unity March in downtown Watsonville. The five-hour event is organized by Tomas Alejo and local youth, local community groups and the growing number of families who have lost loved ones to violence.

Following an hour ceremony in Watsonville Plaza and a dance performance by the White Hawk Dancers, about 400 people marched through downtown toting signs and large photos of family members and friends who have died in street violence. They carried three giant signs with the names of 87 victims who have died since the inception of the march in 1994.

The deaths of Jessica Cortez, 9 and her 16-year-old brother, Jorge, who were chased and gunned down in 1994 in a Pajaro bakery spurned organizers to form the Peace and Unity March.

Caroline Cervantes took part on the march.

“My son was killed with a knife in 2008 on Lincoln Street,” Cervantes said. “I had to come out and march to support him. This, today, gives me strength. He was my baby. It’s very hard.”

For the complete article see the 10-02-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-02-2012 paper.

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