LA OPINION, JUNE 9, 1943
THE BATTLE BETWEEN MARINES AND PACHUCOS
. . . The Coordinator of Latin-American Youths . . . informed us . . . that during a meeting in which the situation created by the riots between the “pachucos” and the marines was discussed, a decision was reached to send the following telegram to Mr. Elmer Davis, Head of the Office of War Information in Washington; to Mr. Alan Cranston, Head of the Division of Foreign Languages, of the same office, and to President Roosevelt at the White House. Here is the message:
Since last Thursday evening various groups of marines and soldiers have attacked Mexican zoot suiters throughout the city of Los Angeles. Although the youth did nothing to provoke the attack or for that matter to resist the attack, many were severely wounded, including women and children. Supposedly the attack has been motivated by past conflicts between the two groups and has been amplified by the press claiming that Mexican youths have been disrespectful toward the servicemen, a claim without any foundation.
Despite precautions taken on the part of the military police and local authorities to control the situation, the servicemen continue to walk the streets of Los Angeles armed with clubs and appear to be tacitly supported by many city and local officials in charge of keeping the peace; their attacks have now expanded to include blacks. This situation, which is prompting racial antagonism between the Mexican, Anglo-Saxon and Black communities will undoubtedly have grave international repercussions which will inevitably damage the war effort and thwart the gains made by the Good Neighbor policy. We urge immediate intervention by the Office of War Information so that it moderates the local press which has openly approved of these mutinies and which is treating this situation in a manner that is decidedly inflammatory.
Eduardo Quevedo, president of the Coordinating Council of the Young People of Latin America.
Approximately fifty people, including the members of the Council, attend-ed the meeting in which the decision to send this telegram was reached….