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Denver council members call colleague's meme 'offensive, frustrating and damaging'

Four Denver city council members are expressing anger at member Candi CdeBaca for referring to them as “Malinches” over redistricting disputes.

DENVER — As the city works on redrawing its council districts, four Latina members of city council are speaking out against another Latina council member over what they call an insulting meme posting. 

In an Instagram post by Candi CdeBaca, images of council members Amanda Sandoval, Debra Ortega, Jamie Torres and Stacie Gilmore were displayed with the term “#malinchestrong.”

Calling someone “La Malinche” is seen as an insult, and is like calling someone a traitor to their own people. The insult traces back to La Malinche, an icon in Mexico’s history, who aided Hernán Cortés when he conquered Mexico in the early 1500s.

Credit:
Screenshot of post by Candi CdeBaca

The four council members collectively wrote an op-ed, which was sent to 9NEWS, about CdeBaca’s posting and the “La Malinche” insult. 

“It is rooted in racism, sexism, and hatred and its use against one another not only exacts trauma between one another but also brings forth trauma for all Latinas and Chicanas in Denver. We are better than that,” the op-ed says

Every 10 years, the city redraws its districts using updated census data. The end result can have significant impacts to the city’s leadership as populations throughout the city have shifted and swelled. New district boundaries can also impact city neighborhoods, businesses and cultural areas in Denver. 

A spokesperson for CdeBaca provided the following statement to 9NEWS Friday morning.

"Redistricting is perhaps the most important vote of our tenure on Denver’s City Council. It happens once every ten years and determines our constituents’ representation for the next 12 years.

Yes, emotions are running high. But if our news coverage about redistricting focuses solely on an op-ed that tone polices a meme I shared on my personal social media, then this is a disservice to the public.

I have been fighting for equitable city council districts that preserve and build power for our historically marginalized communities. Last night, I stood in solidarity with our neighbors who  are freezing on Denver streets because of an inadequate response from our mayor and Council. 

I will continue to unapologetically fight for my constituents, especially those with the least power, even when that may hurt some people’s feelings."

If you have information on this story or would like to send a tip, you can email jeremy@9news.com.

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