Randy Economy Investigative Journalist, Political Adbviser

Thursday, December 31, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: El Monte School Board Member Bobby Salcedo Murdered in Mexico. Community is in shock

By Randy Economy
Updated: January 1, 2010,
2:02 a.m.

This is really sad news on this the last day of 2009.

A local school board member has been murdered while vacationing in Mexico for the holidays, and his death has sent a shockwave through the San Gabriel Valley.

Agustin "Bobby" Salcedo,  the President of the El Monte City School District Board of Education, was shot to death while visiting family in a Mexico restuarant, it is being reported tonight.

Salcedo and five other men were literally executed near the town of Gomez Palacio, the sister city of South El Monte. His body was discovered Thursday morning.

Published media reports are claiming that Salcedo and his wife, Betzy Salcedo, were out to dinner with a large group of friends Wednesday in Gomez Palacio when armed gunmen stormed the restaurant and forced people to the ground, said his brother, Carlos Salcedo in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. (Seen below is Carlos swearing Bobby into office during a ceremony held last week in El Monte).

The gunmen took the six men from the group, before they were executed.

U.S. officials at the consulate in Monterrey declined to comment Thursday.

Salcedo, an incumbent member of the board, was 33-years-old.  (Seen here is a photo from Mexican media taking one of the victims away from the murder location.)

Besides serving on the board, he also worked as assistant principal at El Monte High School.

Bobby and his wife were married about a year and half ago, his brother said. The couple alternated spending the holidays between the U.S. and Mexico, he said.  The Salcedo's went to Gomez Palacio, where his wife's family lived, for Christmas and were due to return Saturday.

Andre Quintero (who is also a longtime friend of mine) and recently elected Mayor of El Monte,  told the Los Angeles Times today that Salcedo was "devoted to education and leadership," and that he also volunteered at book giveaways and local food drives.

“Bobby was an absolute bright, shining star in our community,” Quintero said in the Times edition on New Year's Day.

Quintero also told the Times that he hopes authorities would do whatever possible to catch the suspects. “They didn’t just take his life. They robbed him from our community We have to get justice,” Quintero said.

Salcedo is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, earning a B.A. in History with emphasis in United States and Latin American History and an M.A. in Educational Administration from Cal State San Bernardino. Currently, he is enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is completing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

He is presently employed with the El Monte Union High School District where he began as a teacher of World History, Government, and Economics. Since 2004 he has served the district as an Assistant Principal, first as the Assistant Principal of Activities at South El Monte High School then as the Assistant Principal of Instruction at Mountain View High School, and currently at El Monte High School.

Roberto was also a member of El Monte Kiwanis, a founding member of the El Monte Coalition of Latino Professionals, and is past President of South El Monte/Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico Sister City Organization. He has served as a board member on both the United States National Board, and the International Board of US/Mexico Sister Cities Association. In 2002, he served as a Chairman for the El Monte Union High School District's General Obligation Bond Measure "Y" campaign, and also served as a committee member for the Rio Hondo Measure "A" Community Oversight Committee. 

Seen are Members of the El Monte School Board: President: Elizabeth "Beth" Rivas, Vice President Robert "Bobby" Salcedo (top middle), Clerk: Terry L. Parson, Member Roberto "Bob" Cruz and  Member: Eddie Zuniga.

GOMEZ PALACIO is located in northeastern Durango, Mexico, located adjacent to the border with the state of Coahuila. The city is named in honor of former Durango governor Francisco Gómez Palacio y Bravo.  In the 2005 census the population of the city of Gómez Palacio was 239,842 people, making it the state's second-largest community in the State of Durango. The municipality's population was 304,515. The municipality's area is 990.2 km² (382.3 sq mi). The municipality and city are part of a large metropolitan area which includes the municipalities of Torreón and Matamoros in Coahuila, as well as Lerdo in Durango. The metropolitan area had an official population of 1,110,890 persons in 2005.   The original Houston, Texas stadium that was home for the Houston Colt .45s was dismantled in the 1970s and moved to Gómez Palacio, where it became home to a Mexican League baseball team.

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