Noticeably moved by the Mexican honor, a somber but dapperly dressed Zacarias told reporters, “The important thing isn’t Ruben Zacarias, the individual, but rather that the system improve.” And then it was on to getting the prize, a commendation from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and even a letter from el jefe, President Ernesto Zedillo, who lamented not being able to share the moment in person.
The ACLU suit alleges that the district and the state are failing to provide adequate and equal protection to children like those at Rosemont, who also happen to be mainly Latino and working-class, including many of Mexican origin. Now, OffBeat is not one to judge people by the latest lawsuit against them, but we had to wonder what was going through Zacarias’ mind. Violator of children’s rights, or hero of Mexican-immigrant families? Will the real Zacarias please stand up?