Forty years ago, University of Arizona Associate Professor Roberto Rodriguez was severely beaten by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies while working as a journalist in retaliation for photographing a vicious beating in East Los Angeles by a different group of deputies. The trauma of that violence has followed him every day since.
His latest book Yolqui, a Warrior Summoned from the Spirit World, Testimonios on Violence has just been released by The University of Arizona Press. In Nahuatl yolqui is the idea of a warrior brought back from the dead. For author and activist Roberto Cintli Rodríquez, it describes his own experience one night in March 1979 after a brutal beating at the hands of L.A. sheriffs. Rodriguez revisits that day and brings forward contributors who offer their own important and timely testimonios on state violence.
University of Arizona Associate Professor Roberto Rodriguez, Ph.D. – or Dr. Cintli – is an associate professor, in the Mexican American Studies Department, at the University of Arizona. He is a longtime-award-winning journalist/columnist.
Framed by Rodríguez’s personal testimony of police violence, this book offers a historia profunda of the culture of extralegal violence against Red-Black-Brown communities in the United States. In addition to Rodríguez’s story, this book includes several short essays from victims and survivors that bring together personal accounts of police brutality and state-sponsored violence. This wide-ranging work touches on historical and current events, including the Watts rebellion, the Zoot Suit Riots, Operation Streamline, Standing Rock, and much more.
Rodríguez offers us an urgent, poignant, and personal call to end violence and the philosophies that permit such violence to flourish. Like the Nahuatl yolqui, this book is intended as a means of healing, offering a footprint going back to the origins of violence, and, more important, a way forward. Rodríguez believes that the perpetrators of state-sponsored violence must be held accountable.
Roberto Cintli Rodríguez (Author), Patrisia Gonzales (Foreword) With contributions by Raúl Alcaraz-Ochoa, Citalli Álvarez, Tanya Alvarez, Rebekah Barber, Juvenal Caporale, David Cid, Arianna Martinez Reyna, Carlos Montes, Travis Morales, Simon Moya Smith, Cesar Noriega, Kimberly Phillips, Christian Ramirez, Michelle Rascon Canales, Carolyn Torres, Jerry Tello, Tara Trudell, and Laurie Valdez.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger.