The Herald’s report last Monday on the murder of Rachel Ream in Ignacio was hugely disturbing. While we are used to being the grisly murder capital of La Plata County, this one was still a shock. Violence against women has been endemic in the Four Corners, with both Native and non-Native victims. It is, indeed, an enduring feature of rural life both locally and nationally.
Still, as an utterly senseless murder, this one takes the cake. The telltale signs of recurrent violence were crystal clear, as is the curious negligence of those who had the authority to prevent it.
While the reporter labored valiantly to avoid pointing the finger, the real culprits are unmistakable – District Judge J. Wilson and District Attorney Christian Champagne.
This recurrently violent guy should not have been out on the street, free to finish the job he started last November. His record of years of violence against women was out there for all to see, making this murder utterly preventable. Perhaps it will take appointing a woman judge and electing a woman DA to start changing this depressing trend.
Restorative justice is all good and well, but Rachel Ream is not going to be there to see it.
Tom Givón, Linda Cruz Givón and Pearl CasíasIgnacioEditor’s note: Damon Lamont Mathews, Ream’s husband, has been arrested on a warrant citing suspicion of first-degree murder. He has not yet been charged.