Several New Mexico Advocacy Organizations Targeted By Politically Motivated Domestic Terrorism

NMFL News:

ALBUQUERQUE — At least three advocacy organizations active in the 2022 election season have become targets of politically motivated domestic terrorism.

Last week, Conservation Voters New Mexico reported receiving an anonymous envelope containing mail pieces about the election campaign of State Rep. Nathan Small (HD36, Las Cruces), covered in antisemitic imagery and containing a chemical substance that is a chemical precursor to a potent toxin often used in terrorist attacks. The letters attacked Rep. Small and the Democratic Party and included images defaced with drawings of swastikas and Hitler.

The New Mexico State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and EDF Action Votes also received similar envelopes: 

The only statement from any Republican Party representative on these attacks targeting advocacy organizations who endorsed Rep. Small, a Democrat and conservationist, was, “We are unable to comment until we review a police report.”

These coordinated attacks in New Mexico occurred in the midst of the national news reports of politically-motivated violence and threats, including the brutal attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband and credible threats to synagogues in New Jersey. 

President Biden, in his speech to the nation this Wednesday night before his trip to New Mexico, called attention to this disturbing trend, stating, “It’s [Trump’s Big Election Lie] a lie that fueled a dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years…”

New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President Ashley Long stated, “While these attacks are frightening, rest assured that we are undaunted in our drive to turn out every vote this Tuesday. Terrorism is designed to instill fear and inaction and threatens public safety. It is having the opposite effect for our staff and leadership team, working class New Mexicans who make up the ranks of our membership, and all those who believe in democratically run elections and peaceful transfers of power.” 

Jon Goldstein with the Environmental Defense Action Fund stated, “This type of hate speech and domestic terrorism simply have no place in our democratic process. Our country was built on a set of shared values, most importantly the freedom of speech and the freedom to participate in our democracy without fear of intimidation or retaliation. We are proud to stand with leaders who stand up against hate and safeguard our democracy.”

Last week, Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Demis Foster stated in a media release, “On behalf of our staff and board of directors, I condemn this terrorist attack. We are relieved that no one was harmed, but whoever carried out this vicious act was clearly intending harm. We want to be completely clear: someone has attempted to cause serious harm to people in our organization as part of a threat against Rep. Small and Democrats more broadly. There is no place in a functioning democracy for anyone to resort to the use of terror because they disapprove of a candidate for public office. It’s shocking and terrifying that we have to experience such a malice-filled attack on our democracy.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) oversaw the testing of the chemical substance contained in the letter as part of their ongoing investigation. Thus far, no one has been injured in these attacks.

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