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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 03:55 AM

Civil rights concerns headline Latino farm, ranch gathering

Source: Associated Press

Civil rights concerns headline Latino farm, ranch gathering

Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press
Updated 10:07 pm, Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Leaders of minority farm and ranching groups took aim at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, saying the agency hasn't done enough to address decades of discrimination and civil rights violations against Latinos and women.

The groups outlined concerns about dozens of civil rights violations in New Mexico and Colorado and the agency's process for settling discrimination claims among Latinos and women during a news conference as the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association kicked off its annual meeting in Albuquerque.

They said claims filed by Latinos and women as part of a $1.3 billion settlement with the USDA have been denied at much higher rates than those of other minority groups, including black and Native American farmers who settled with the government following separate class-action lawsuits.

"We've got a systemic problem here with the settlement-claims process," said David Sanchez, a northern New Mexico rancher who helped organize the meeting. "It appears it's a numbers game, and it can't go ignored any longer."

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Civil-rights-concerns-headline-Latino-farm-ranch-6539446.php

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