New Mexico Crusaders for Justice respond to handling of Albuquerque homicide cases

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two years after her son’s death, Sally Sanchez is still waiting for justice.

“My son is Antonio Jaramillo,” Sanchez said. “And he was murdered one week before his 33rd birthday, in his own home, December 16 of 2020.”  

Josette Otero and Sally Sanchez are cofounders of New Mexico Crusaders for Justice, a group for those who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. 

“So I just believe that, you know, APD is doing a hell of a job to get these people arrested. But then they go in front of a judge, they get released on an ankle bracelet. They you know, arrest them. And then, here it is, a month later, they’re rearresting for the same charge or worse,” Otero said.

Recently, Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina announced online the department had its 70th homicide suspect either in custody or charged for a homicide this year.

Otero said those 70 charged or arrested by APD is a good start – but for the families waiting for those charges to be acted on, it’s tough. 

“But it seems like the APD is doing their job. And then it stops right there,” she said. 

Her son Kyle Martinez was shot to death in April 2020. His accused killer does not go to trial until next year.

Melissa Hernandez is not from Albuquerque but she lost her nephew, Joshua Vigil, in December 2021 – just outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Vigil was shot to death at a New Year’s Eve party.

“But I think that people don’t realize that this isn’t just a local issue to Albuquerque, it really is a statewide issue,” she said about the gun violence plaguing the state. 

While these victim advocates are glad to see the rising success of APD, for many of them there’s still a long road to justice.

“All I have is his memories, his pictures, and I’m his voice,” said Otero of her 15-year-old son Kyle.