Talon News - Good Local News

By Brenda Landdeck
Special to TALON 

Mural Defaced

Vandals deface memorial mural


original mural created by AHS Students

#AztecStrong RIP Casey + Paco "Those we love never go away, they walk beside us everyday..... unseen unheard but always near. Still Loved, still missed and very dear." Shantell B. 12-7-17

These are a few of the thoughtful words written under the west side of the bridge on Aztec Blvd as a little-known Mural Memorial. It was created by students of Aztec High School who missed their friends, the two young people ready to start promising lives that ended on December 7, 2017 by a troubled young man who was filled with hatred and rage.

It was a touching and beautiful mural to discover while walking the Animas River. Sweet kind words and thoughts of friends were left for others to read and shed tears as the wounds healed in hearts. Graffiti as an art form has been called the soul of a city, this was our small town's soul exposed under the bridge. Beautiful murals of Aztec. Main Street. Our rich culture. A secret artistic sanctuary few locals knew about and loved.

The words have faded over the months and have been tagged along with other beloved murals by an unknown graffiti artist who seems to be lacking in respect and talent. Distressing to see such ugly hate filled scribble over what took talented artist's broken hearts filled with love to create. Hearts are still broken over this tragedy in Aztec, please don't deface the beautiful memorials for Casey and Paco. Why hurt the people of Aztec more? Why?

Thank you, thoughtful reader for bringing this to the Talon's attention and yes, this is a crime.

According to New Mexico Graffiti Laws; Graffiti could result in charges if the prosecution has probable cause to believe a suspect intentionally and maliciously defaced someone else's property with graffiti or other inscribed material without consent of the owner. The severity of charges are dependent on the value of the damage done to the property.

Damage determined to be less than $1,000 is a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $500 in fines. If found guilty the offender will be ordered to perform a mandatory 100 hours of community service as well as paying restitution to the property owner.

Property damage greater than $1,000, will result in a 4th degree felony charge, punishable by 18 months in prison. In addition the offender could face 160 hours of community service and pay restitution to the owner of the property.

Ref: NM Criminal Code §30-15-1.1

Please contact the Aztec Police Department if you have any information on who did this at 505-334-6622. We need to help the person responsible to understand this is not acceptable behavior.


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