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Free Inez!
by Inez Garcia Defense Committee
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter Sep/Oct 1974

On the evening of March 19, 1974, in Soledad, California, Inez Garcia was raped. She was raped and beaten behind the two bedroom apartment she shared with Fred Madrano. Two men, friends of Fred's and casual acquaintances of Inez's had arrived at the apartment at 8:00 p.m., allegedly to talk with Fred. Fred was not at home at the time, and so they waited for him, drinking some liquor they had with them and making disparaging remarks at Inez.

Fred arrived home at about 8:15 or 8:30 p.m. He was harassed and threatened by these two men, Louis Castillo and Miguel Jimenez. A fight broke out initiated by Louis and Miguel. When the fight ended, Fred went to clean up and Inez ordered Louis and Miguel out of the house. She saw them to the door and walked outside to make sure that they left. While outside the two men (Miguel and Louis) forced her to come behind the house with them where they beat her, tore her clothes and raped her. After they finished they left her there, in a dazed condition, alone behind the house. A few minutes later they phoned her from their friend's house. Laughing about what they had done to her, they threatened to kill her if she did not leave town. In a state of shock and hysterical from the assault on her person, Inez loaded her.22 caliber rifle and set out to find the two men who had violated her. She found them - five blocks away - beating up her roommate for the second time. She saw Jimenez draw a knife and called out their names. Jimenez turned and threw the knife in her direction. Inez took aim and fired - killing Jimenez and missing Castillo completely.

Inez [a farmworker in Soledad, California] feels that she acted in self-defense - that her life was in danger as well as the life of her friend, and in turn the lives of other women. She believes she acted in a correct way and hopes her actions and subsequent plea of self-defense will pave the way and end the beating, rapes and threats for other women and children who live in fear.

Inez Garcia Defense Committee
Oakland, California

Inez Garcia was charged with first degree murder, convicted of second degree murder and sentenced with five years to life imprisonment. Charles Garry, Inez's lawyer, is presently preparing her appeal.

As all women are potential victims of rape, we are all affected by the Inez Garcia case. Inez acted to defend her life and her integrity. Her conviction demonstrates that women are not expected, and indeed are forbidden, to actively defend themselves. It further informs rapists that women are still fair game under the law. This is also a dangerous legal precedent; two more California women have now been charged with the murder of their rapists.

There is a crucial need for women to work around:
*arousing public support to have Inez's conviction reversed
*publicizing the potential effects of the Inez Garcia case on every woman's right to defend herself
*raising money to help meet expenses connected with the appeal.

Defense committees for Inez have been working in California and elsewhere. In Washington, D.C., representatives from seven area groups have formed the D. C. Coalition to Support Garcia. They are planning a "Women and Violence" teach-in which will highlight political education and fund-raising for the Inez Garcia case. Other projects that the D. C. Coalition hopes to undertake include speaking at women's social and interest clubs and sponsoring fund-raising parties which feature the sale of donated original artwork.

Send contributions and address requests for information on what you can do to:
Inez Garcia Defense Committee, <address>, Oakland, CA