DIECIOCHO Podcast – Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante on Arizona’s Mexican-American Studies Ban


El Librotraficante is at it again, smuggling banned books into Arizona, setting up underground libraries. This time from Houston to Tucson where a trial is underway to fight a ban on Mexican-American studies in public schools. VL

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco 

The trial to turn back a ban on Mexican-American studies in Arizona schools has entered its second week.

This is the latest in a chain of legal actions against a law that was signed by then-Governer Jan Brewer. At the time Brewer justified the ban because, according to her, the courses “promote resentment toward a race or class of people” or, “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

The 9th circuit court of appeals said yes, and no – parts of the law pass constitutional muster, but others don’t. That’s where the present law hinges its chances, on the “don’t” parts.

And that’s what my conversation with Tony Diaz is about. Tony, known also as El Librotraficante because he organized a series of smuggling events where he took books banned by the Arizona state government across state lines and helped set up underground libraries.

When I spoke to Diaz he was at it again, this time taking a book caravan from Houston to Tucson with the intent on reaching Arizona on the day the trial started.

I caught up with him when he was in Albuquerque, visiting a new open market, talking to people about ethnic studies and banned books.

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