Honoring Victor Toro

Last night in the Bronx, at the storefront headquarters of Sistas on the Rise, the life-long activist Victor Toro celebrated his new freedom after being detained by the immigration branch of Homeland Security over the weekend. A room full of us came through to show support and listen to the activist talk about his personal struggle, from being locked up and tortured by the US-funded and endorsed Chilean dictator Pinochet, to the grassroots organizing that he has been spearheading for a long while in the Bronx and the consequent harassment he has endured from the NYPD because of his activism.

Founding La Pena del Bronx in 1987, Victor Toro began fighting for immigrant rights and the youth of the Bronx as one of the millions of illegal immigrants living and working in the United States (well besides all the ones who came from Europe back in the day). Before that, he was a member of Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, or Movement of the Revolutionary Left in Chile, which was disbanded, imprisoned, and scattered after Allende’s leftist government was overturned by Pinochet’s US-backed regime in the early 1970’s [actually, September 11th, 1973 to be exact]. For more information on US intervention and covert ops in Latin America read Empire’s Workshop by NYU professor Greg Grandin, which goes to great length in uncovering the United States’ little talked about role in upheaval, massacres, and rampant poverty in South America.

Translating the testimony of Toro was the activist’s nephew and Chicago-to-BX emcee and activist, Rodstarz from the group Rebel Diaz, which just got back from a tour of the West Coast and is on the rise. Shout outs to Rod for organizing the event and having us and good luck to him and his fam, and shouts to everybody in attendance.

Victor Toro in the New York Times
Victor Toro in the never too word savvy New York Post – Feds Arrest Activist Alien? Come on. [although Rodstarz pointed out that they did mention “CIA-Assisted military coup led by Pinochet” which is a big admission]

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