Esau and Euler Torres are suing the city of Tulare, chief of police, and the city’s fire chief after they claim city officials portrayed a large music festival, they were promoting as being linked to Mexican cartels.
PuebloFest, a music and cultural festival drew thousands to Tulare in March 2017 to check out more than 50 Mexican performers.
“The dream. The idea was to make this an annual event where Tulare could be like the Mexican Coachella for Mexican music,“ Esau Torres said.
According Emilio Huerta, the attorney representing the Torres brothers, after the promoters got the green light from the city, Tulare Chief of Police Wes Hensley and other city staff tried to sabotage the event.
“We felt that their civil rights were violated when the city of Tulare put up all of these arbitrary and these capricious practices and only because of their race and only because this was a musical event,“ Emilio Huerta said.
According to the lawsuit, city staff told the organizers they weren’t allowed to sell tickets on the day of the event, either online or on site.
“We feel that they failed us big time, when you have a group of individuals like my brother and I who bring in millions of dollars worth of revenue to a community. Why would you try to stop that?“ Torres said.
The Tulare Police Department referred all statements to the city attorney, Mario Zamora.
Zamora releasing a statement via email.
“The Plaintiffs and City – according to Plaintiff’s own complaint – have worked hand in hand since 2005 to have events in the City of Tulare. Those events, such as Viva Tulare continue to this day.
The Plaintiffs give no explanation as to why, after working for over a decade together, staff became racially motivated and conspired against them or this event as alleged.
Plaintiffs also give no support to their claims that the City characterized this event as cartel or gang related.
The City of Tulare is welcoming to all persons and does not engage in discrimination in any way, shape, or form, and will continue to welcome events proposed by Plaintiffs in the future.
The City intends to defend itself from all the allegations stated in the complaint.