Solomon Peña, the failed Republican nominee charged with at least 15 felonies related to shootings of Democratic state officials and politicians, was brought before a judge in a video conference call Jan. 18. He remained silent while the judge ordered him held without bail pending his arrest. The next hearing is scheduled for February 1.
Although Peña’s attorney, Roberta Yurcic, did not contest the non-bail request, she later issued this statement: “At this time, the charges against Mr. Peña are merely allegations that have not yet been examined by the full rigor of the court process became . I intend to fully defend Mr. Peña and vigorously protect his rights throughout this process.”
Since his arrest, more details about Peña have been released, dispelling any doubt that not only does he have a long criminal record of “smash and grab” assaults, but he is also deeply disoriented and, in the words of a neighbor, “not polite, nice.” person,” he holds full-fledged fascist beliefs. In a social media post, he claimed, “Critical Race Theory, the entire Black Lives Matter movement, fetal abortion, food stamps, affirmative action, etc. are all demonic.”
On his Twitter account, Peña boasted that he traveled to Washington DC to attend former President Donald Trump’s failed coup on January 6, 2021. It’s unclear if Peña committed any crimes in Washington DC
After his election defeat in New Mexico’s District 14 by state representative Miguel Garcia, a Democrat who received 74 percent of the vote, Peña refused to concede defeat. Instead, he uninvited visited the homes of two district commissioners and at least one of the MPs, alleging that the election results were falsified and urging them not to confirm the results.
The shootings in the Democrat homes took place from December 4 to January 3. According to an Albuquerque Police affidavit with warrant and citing a confidential witness, one of the plotters initially told the gunmen to “aim over the windows to avoid hitting anyone inside,” but Peña told them to ” be more aggressive” and “wanted them to aim lower and fire around 8 p.m. because the occupants probably wouldn’t be lying down [sic] Low.”
In the recent shooting at Senator Linda Lopez’s home, police found evidence that “Peña himself walked … and actually pulled the trigger of at least one of the firearms used.” According to Albuquerque Deputy Police Commander Kyle Hartsock, an AR-style weapon Peña attempted to use malfunctioned and another gunman fired more than a dozen shots from a separate handgun.
The source told police that Peña’s instruction to do the drive-bys earlier in the day and shoot lower made them “uneasy, knowing it was more likely to end in death or injury.” In the same report, a police officer notes that they understood why Peña joined the attempted assassination of Lopez on Jan. 3 “to ensure better targeting.”
Hartsock pointed to gun evidence, surveillance video, cellphone and electronic recordings, and witnesses in and around the conspiracy that helped police connect the five co-conspirators.
The reactions – and non-reactions – of both state and national bourgeois parties add to the damning evidence of “the advanced decay of bourgeois politics and the capitalist system as a whole”. World Socialist Web Site reported.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last Tuesday, after recounting the shots that struck both her and her daughter in the rooms, State Senator Lopez said “this country needs to take an inside look at itself” and bid the usual broideas about how “the rhetoric has to stop.”
“We have to find out what is acceptable; Violence is not acceptable,” Lopez said, adding that “democracy is what our country is built on and these individuals are willing to destroy it, that’s something I won’t stand for and I know it is there are others who will not stand up for it either.”
She then hailed the state Republicans — a party that represented election deniers and condemned participants in the 6th. She concluded by urging everyone to “agree, disagree,” an appeal to “civility” that had nothing but contempt among fascist Republicans.
Lopez’s sentiments were echoed by other Democrats, including Albuquerque Mayor Timothy Keller and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who said, “There is no place in our society or our democracy for violence against elected officials or their families.”
At the national level, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the Democrats was on full display. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized that President Biden “has made repeated and strong statements about our nation’s rejection of violence as a political tool. That is a basic principle of our democracy.”
Jean-Pierre spoke for a government that supports such paragons of democracy as Saudi Arabia, the capital of the world’s beheading, and the blood-soaked al-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt. And by bringing together the twin issues of attacks on democracy and “violence as a political tool,” the government is doing just that by supporting and providing billions of dollars in arms to the fascist-infested regime in Ukraine for the NATO/US proxy war with Russia.
Domestically, police violence has continued under the Biden administration, as have anti-democracy moves such as illegalizing strikes by railroad workers.
New Mexico Republicans, meanwhile, issued a statement saying, “These recent allegations against Solomon Peña are serious and he should be held accountable if the charges are upheld in court,” then ridiculously claiming that the GOP “condemns all forms of violence”.
Indeed, last year the Republican National Committee overwhelmingly passed a resolution declaring the violent failed Jan. 6 coup a “legitimate political discourse.”
The New Mexico Republicans added that the shootings are “another example of a convicted felon unlawfully gaining access to a firearm he is prohibited from possessing or possessing and using the gun in a manner causing public harm.”
Indeed, armed members of far-right groups, self-proclaimed “citizen militias,” and Trump supporters have routinely turned up at protests in Santa Fe and Albuquerque to threaten, intimidate, and even shoot protesters.
On January 18th, Yahoo! News reported, “The Republican National Committee has not responded to requests for an explanation.” This is not surprising given that Republican officials such as Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia) and Lauren Boebert (Colorado) have repeatedly threatened Democratic lawmakers and “joked” them with turn off weapons.
The Democrats cannot be counted on to wage a serious fight against the violence being fomented by Republican-leaning terrorists like Solomon Peña. They are too busy gaining and maintaining Republican support for their imperialist designs, including the ongoing US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine and eventually against China. They will continue to misrepresent the world’s Solomon Peñas as outliers while appealing to mythically “responsible” Republicans to step up their war drive.