October 13, 2017

El Paso Special Agent in Charge Announces Reward in Civil Rights Investigation Involving Vandalism on Tigua Reservation

The El Paso FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas have opened a civil rights investigation into the vandalism of the Nestora Granillo Piarote Memorial Statue located adjacent to the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Cultural Center on the Tigua Reservation. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence. 

The El Paso FBI is announcing a $6,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who committed this crime. The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo already has offered a $2,000 reward and the Sociedad Cultural de España also has offered a $2,000 reward. In total, a reward of $10,000 is now being offered.

The perpetrators of this crime are believed to have poured red paint onto the statue, along with placing a large red wooden cross in front of the statue. The wooden cross had white letters on it. This crime is believed to have occurred sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. early Monday morning, October 9, 2017, which was Columbus Day.

The FBI has jurisdiction to investigate both hate crimes and crimes occurring on tribal lands. Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim, they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community. Because of their wide-ranging impact, investigating hate crimes is a high priority for the FBI. As the law enforcement defender of civil rights in the U.S., the FBI has the authority to collaborate with state and local law enforcement to investigate many types of hate crimes. The FBI is currently working with our law enforcement partners, including the El Paso Police Department and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribal Police Department, to determine if this incident was bias-motivated.

We are asking anyone with information about this crime or who might have seen or heard anything suspicious, to contact the FBI El Paso office at 915-832-5000 or online at tips.fbi.gov. Any homeowners or business owners in the area who have surveillance video from the night in question are also encouraged to contact the FBI.