Jun 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers push for Spanish-language Uvalde updates

A law enforcement officer stands in front of a car looking down at his phone
A law enforcement officer looks at his phone near the entrance of Robb Elementary School on June 1. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images.

Several Latino members of Congress have asked Texas authorities to provide Spanish-language updates about the Uvalde mass shooting to the largely Latino community.

Driving the news: In a letter dated June 10, the lawmakers implored the Department of Public Safety to add Spanish-language updates about the shooting that that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

  • “It is unconscionable that public safety officials are neglecting to provide critical information in Spanish to a predominantly Spanish-speaking community,” wrote U.S. Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas).
  • “The people of Uvalde cannot be ignored, and they deserve answers in their preferred languages.”

Driving the news: The letter cites an Axios report showing authorities refused to provide Spanish-language updates during news conferences in the aftermath of the shooting.

  • Police at one point promised to provide Spanish-language updates but didn't follow through, journalists on the scene say.
  • DPS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • Uvalde is over 80% Latino, and many residents speak Spanish at home. Even those who are English proficient may not be as comfortable speaking and receiving updates in English as they are in Spanish.

Go deeper: Authorities ignore Spanish speakers at Uvalde press conferences

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