El Paso

Former Duranguito resident on protesters: 'You didn't live there. People just want attention'

Former Duranguito resident on...

EL PASO, Texas - Protesters in Duranguito have been in the neighborhood for three straight days, condemning the attempted demolition OF certain buildings in the Downtown arena footprint.

Some protesters even spent the night.

"It's been kind of a roller coaster really. It's been a mix of emotions," protester Gustavo Urrea said. "The history of El Paso, you know. It's our city. This is history, so we have to preserve it."

The Paso Del Sur group, along with historian Max Grossman, have been at the forefront of the fight to preserve Duranguito. The majority of the protesters ABC-7 spoke with said they are not from Duranguito, but feel compelled to help because they feel it's the right thing to do.

"The people, the community [are my biggest motivation]," Cemelli De Aztlan said. "This is about El Paso's history and our narrative and how we sculpt it."

Tuesday, the 8th Court of Appeals granted Grossman a second amended emergency order ordering the City of El Paso "to suspend any and all demolition permits which authorize the demolition of properties in the Duranguito neighborhood."

Jose Luis King is a former resident of Duranguito relocated by the city. He said he is thankful for the city's help because his old apartment in Duranguito was difficult to live in.

He now lives in a the Tays South Apartment housing community. He relocated in mid-May.

"I'm very comfortable here. This is 100 times better than where I was at," King said. "The environment is clean. It's safe. It's up to date."

King said he is in favor of the city building the arena in Duranguito and questioned why people were protesting.

"To me, it's kind of like you're a hypocrite," King said. "You didn't live there. People there just want to get attention. A lot of people just want to get attention."

King used to live on the 300 block of Chihuahua Street. He said his apartment was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

"There, we had a wall furnace and that wall furnace didn't heat up the whole apartment. Sometimes, I would have to turn on the stove," King said. "The restroom was falling to pieces. The kitchen, there was a lot of rodents, and roaches."

A Duranguito resident who continues to stand her ground is Antonia Morales. She lives at 323 Chihuahua Street and has refused to be relocated by the city.

"We have to keep fighting, but I stand here today," Morales said in Spanish. "I stand here today."


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