El Paso

Confusion over source of 'Duranguito letter'

Letter states residents favor relocation

EL PASO, Texas - A letter circulating around the Duranguito neighborhood left many residents on Chihuahua and Leon streets concerned and confused.  

The letter, addressed to the El Paso City Council, was typed up on behalf of Duranguito residents who live on Chihuahua and Leon streets. Part of the letter states that the opinions of those affected by the arena plans have been "misrepresented," and once they sign, they are in favor of being relocated. 

Juan Munoz lives on the 300 block of Chihuahua Street. He said a young man recently knocked on his door with the letter, but he didn't sign because he's content where he lives. 

"We get along together real good," said Munoz. "It's peaceful. It's quiet. We don't have problems with anybody, even with the businesses. I don't think anybody wants to move out."

News of the letter showed up in the City Council meeting Tuesday. Rep. Lily Limon called the letter "harassment," and ordered the circulation to be "ceased immediately." 

When questioning who was behind the letter, City Attorney Sylvia Firth chimed in. "It wasn't city staff, certainly not," said Firth. 

The mystery surrounding the letter was revealed when Guillermo Garcia took to the podium. Garcia said that the opinions of Duranguito residents about the arena were not being taken into account.

Outside of the meeting, Garcia revealed his involvement in the letter to ABC 7. He said he typed up the six lines of the letter in English and Spanish, and went around to properties presenting it to tenants. 

"They were very surprised this is still happening," said Garcia. 

Munoz concurred, he too thought the arena decision had already been made. "Who wants to move to a new place when they're so comfortable here?" said Munoz. 

With the downtown area flourishing, Garcia said the arena, and moving Duranguito residents, would benefit everyone. 

"Everybody's doing this out of good hearts with their best interest," said Garcia.  "Both sides," city representatives added. 

Garcia was adamant that 90 percent of the people in Duranguito he spoke with had signed the letter, but didn't show any evidence. 

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