Alex Sanchez, founder and Executive Director of Homies Unidos, was arrested this Wednesday on federal racketeering charges. By the irresponsible account of most write ups in the corporate press, the anti-gang activist, who was indicted alongside Mara Salvatrucha gangmembers, has basically been presumed guilty in print of the allegations he was taken in custody for. With that in mind, Sanchez’s organization hadn’t yet made a public statement about his arrest until today:
“The Homies Unidos Board stands united in full support, behind our executive director, Alex Sanchez and his family. For the past 11 years, Alex has been committed to helping bring about change in his community. He is an exemplary leader, respected colleague and dedicated husband and father. Just as we are confident in Alex’s innocence, we are confident that Los Angeles and the nation will remember that an indictment is an allegation only. As stated in the FBI press release, “Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.”
We have sought another path, a peacemaker’s path, through intervention and prevention, and we remain committed to it. We appreciate the tireless work of peacemakers in all these arenas and the danger that sometimes accompanies it.
We thank our staff, partners, community allies and generous donors and funders who have supported our work during the past 11 years and encourage you to remember the positive impact that Homies Unidos has had on countless lives and improvements in our communities.
In Alex’s absence, board and staff will continue to lead these important efforts and we ask for your support during this critical time.”