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Ann Arbor –
A Dia De Los Muertos rally and march is taking place in downtown Ann Arbor Nov. 3 for the release of Hugo Gallardo Petatan from detainment at Monroe County Jail.
Petatan left his hometown in Mexico after being bullied as a child and physically tortured for being gay. Leaving behind a difficult childhood and family life, Petatan came to the United States. Five years later, in Oct. 2011, Petatan was arrested outside of an Ann Arbor gay bar and accused of indecent exposure and inappropriate touching. According to, his partner Tim Hunter, Petatan was represented by an attorney who did not speak Spanish and dedicated little time to their case. Ultimately, Petatan was charged with a misdemeanor but was handed over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be detained and deported.
Petatan has been held in immigration detention for a year and is slated for deportation very soon.
Rally organizers are hoping to draw attention to Hugo’s case and help him be released from detainment and returned to his partner. The rally will be held at noon Nov. 3 at Liberty Plaza on the corner of Division and Liberty in Ann Arbor. Incorporating Dia De Los Muertos, the rally’s theme is “Death to Deportation” and attendees are encouraged to dress as skeletons.
Ann Arbor LGBT community leader and advocate Jim Toy will be speaking, as will Hunter. Toy said he intends to address and frame Hugo’s story within the case for universal human and civil rights.
This rally has the support of organizations such as One Michigan, Dreamactivists.org, Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigration Rights and Jim Toy Community Center. All are also encouraged to call ICE at 202-732-3000 and urge for the release of Hugo Gallardo Petatan (A#200-299-394) from Monroe County Jail, citing his low-priority case status and his past torture in Mexico. A petition is also available at http://bit.ly/releasehugo.