1974 murders of Navajo men stir strong feelings
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The murders of three Navajo men 30 years ago this month still generate strong sentiments among residents of Farmington, New Mexico.

Dodge Benally, 34, John Earl Harvey, 39, and David Ignacio, 52, were brutally beaten and left in the hills. Authorities said the men were intentionally tortured.

Three teenage white boys were charged with murdering the men. They were accused of "rolling" Indians, a reportedly common practice in the Four Corners. Some non-Indians deny the practice exists.

Throughout the ordeal, Navajos staged peaceful protests in Farmington. But when the boys were sent to a reform school instead of being treated as adults, tensions erupted when tribal members sought to hold a protest march the next day but were denied a permit.

Of the indent, The Farmington Daily Times in an editorial says: "We are not pointing fingers or stirring up old wounds, but rather looking at the killings of three human beings and the atmosphere that made three seemingly normal teenagers think it was OK to commit such a crime."

The paper is examining the history of racism and discrimination in Farmington this week. Tomorrow's story will focus on racism among businesses.

Get the Story:
The Broken Circle (The Farmington Daily Times 4/21)
Editorial: Uneasy accord was shattered 30 years ago (The Farmington Daily Times 4/21)

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