San Diego

Raul Ruiz, Chicano Movement Activist and Reporter, Dies

Raul Ruiz, a journalist, professor and longtime activist in the Chicano movement in Southern California, has died. He was 78.

Friends told the Los Angeles Times that Ruiz died Thursday in his sleep. No cause was given.

The Times says Ruiz experienced a political awakening while taking college classes in Latin American history.

He went on to found underground newspapers that criticized police brutality, apathetic school administrators and the mainstream media's stereotypical depiction of Mexican Americans.

Later Ruiz co-edited La Raza, a pioneering paper that documented Mexican American life in the US. His photo of a sheriff's deputy firing a tear-gas canister during a 1970 antiwar march ran on the front page of the Times. It became an iconic image of the Chicano movement.

Ruiz taught at Cal State Northridge for 45 years before retiring in 2015.

The school released the following statement on his passing: 

"Raul Ruiz was a true leader of the Chicano Movement and a champion of the power of education to change lives. He dedicated himself to using this power to open minds and eyes to the depth and talent in the Latino community and beyond. His influence and legacy will live on through the countless students, alumni, faculty and others he touched across multiple generations."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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