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Ricardo Cruz / Catolicos por La Raza Papers, 1967-1993.
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Ricardo Cruz / Catolicos por La Raza Papers, 1967-1993


Cruz, Ricardo., creator


Online Archive of California


The collection includes correspondence files, legal documents, transcripts, photographs, news clippings and ephemera. The preponderance of the Ricardo Cruz Papers, 11 boxes, the Legal Files series, represent his legal cases as a Los Angeles attorney.


1967 (issued)


Cruz, Ricardo -- Archives
Mexican Americans -- California -- Los Angeles -- Politics and government -- 20th century
Mexican Americans -- Civil rights -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
Mexican Americans -- Politics and government
Mexican Americans -- Economic conditions
Mexican Americans -- Social conditions
Mexican Americans -- Legal status, laws, etc -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
Political activists -- Legal status, laws, etc -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
Lawyers -- California
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Trials, litigation, etc


Use of the collection is unrestricted.
Ricardo Cruz was a Chicano rights attorney during the Chicano Movement era. He is most well-known for his advocacy on behalf of the Latino poor people of the Los Angeles area. Cruz was a law school student at the time he founded the controversial organization known as Catolicos por la Raza. Through this organization, he led demonstrations against the Catholic Church for its neglect of the Latino community. He is also know for his successful legal battle against Los Angeles County's forced sterilization of undocumented workers, and for his successful defense of a young Latino wrongly convicted of murder.
Cruz was born in 1943 and raised in Los Angeles. After graduating from California State University-Los Angeles in 1967, Cruz attended Loyola Marymount University School of Law. While a law intern with the California Rural Legal Assistance in Santa Barbara, Cruz helped to organize farm workers in Salinas.
Cruz received the Juris-Doctor degree from Loyola Marymount School of Law in 1971. His attempts to practice law, however, were short-circuited by the California State Bar's refusal to certify him. The State Bar claimed that his "moral corruption," in disrupting a religious sermon, was inappropriate. With the support from The American Civil Liberties Union and others, Cruz was eventually admitted to the Bar.
Later, in 1982, Cruz fought and won the dismissal of charges against a young Latino named Gordon Castillo Hall, an adolescent who was falsely convicted for the murder of a Duarte postman who was shot in 1978. Cruz died in 1993, following an unsuccessful battle with lung cancer.
Cite as:[Identification of item], Ricardo Cruz / Catolicos por la Raza Papers, CEMA 28, Department of Special Collections, Davidson library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Donated by Camilo Cruz, November 12, 1998.
Use governed by UCSB Special Collections' policy.
Finding aid available in the Department of Special Collections.


Legal documents.

Physical Description:

13.2 linear ft.







Copyright Note:

Use of the collection is unrestricted.
Use governed by UCSB Special Collections' policy.