Jackie Cruz, the sexy and sassy Latina from Orange is the New Black, has her mom to thank for setting her straight after going through a rough, almost deadly patch.
The young actress was running in the wrong crowd when a drag-racing accident almost took her life.
“I woke from a coma to a collapsed lung, a swollen brain, and barely able to see.” And even though her mom was there by her side, Cruz thought she had disappointed her.
“I thought about all the beautiful women on stage I wanted to be, and I looked at myself, and thought I could never look beautiful like this. I would write to my mom and tell her how sorry I was for disappointing her. Then I got back in shape, started walking, then I started running. I finally started to feel good again.”
If you’re paying attention to all things Quintanilla, you know that the family is fiercely protective over the late Selena’s image and trademark. That fight has recently erupted over Eric Lee Tunchez’s promotion and revamping of the Molina Selena mural. Tunchez is the founder of non-profit Stop Bullying Inc. and planned to pass out backpacks and school supplies at the event. The Quintanilla’s legal team sent a cease and desist letter to Stop Bullying Inc. accusing the organization of ‘unauthorized and unlawful marketing and promotion’ of the Selena themed Fiesta de Selena Mural.
The whole ordeal has boiled down to a he-said, she-said, but Tunchez has recently responded with screenshots of the email from Suzette, and now the Internet is outraged.
On July 31, 2018, Tunchez posted to Facebook that he got “blessings” from “Selena Quintanilla’s father, Abraham, to re-do the neighborhood mural on Elvira and Bloomington.”
It seems as if Tunchez has been earnest in his year-long effort to unveil this mural for his community. In a Facebook post, Tunchez wrote, “I would like to share with everyone that I have been working hard to revitalize my old neighborhood Molina. Today, I got the blessings from the store owner of the Times Market and Selena Quintanilla’s father, Abraham, to re-do the neighborhood mural on Elvira and Bloomington.”
The day before the event, August 2nd, Tunchez was promoting the event as expected.
“With the Quintanilla family collaboration and my passion to carry on the Selena mural tradition in the Molina neighborhood, the revitalized memorial will influence Latinos for generations to come,” Tunchez posted. He consistently has thanked and credited the Quintanilla family for the cooperation.
Then, the day of the event, Tunchez told folks that he “received a love letter (cease and desist letter) by the estate of the Selena Quintanilla.”
“I understand, respect, and agree that people should not profit from Selena. It is very important to keep Selena clean,” Tunchez posted. “I’ve been inspired and she is a local icon and I in no way want to disrespect the family of Selena. My intent for today’s event is benign and is for the community of the Molina neighborhood.”
Then, he blamed “the corporate powers” that “want to stop today’s event, which I planned to hand out backpacks to disadvantaged families.”
“Today, I received a love letter (cease and desist letter) by the estate of the Selena Quintanilla,” he continued. “We may need to go through a legal battle to compromise something for the community in which where this mural stands.”
Abraham Quintanilla told the Caller-Times that Tunchez did reach out about a year and a half ago about updating the mural, but “never collected money for the project.” The Quintanilla family then hired New York artist San Sigüenza to do the work. Tunchez “didn’t pay one penny … and is taking credit for everything,” Abraham said.
Then, Suzette went on public television to denounce any contact she may have had with Tunchez.
Tunchez tried to clear his name on Facebook with a rebuttal post. “Suzette Quintanilla went to public television and said she had no association with me in regard to the mural. She reached out to me about my project. I didn’t ask them for anything.”
Tunchez went on to say that “they want the credit for my efforts and work to revitalize the Molina. I think that is pure greed. I still hope we can compromise to keep this event at the Selena mural every year to promote education and give out school supplies. My energy and motivation will propel me to continue to create something that will last forever because my neighborhood would not like to take down this mural that inspires many generations of Tejanos.”
Buckle up, because Suzette released all hell and fury at Tunchez on her own Facebook platform.
This is getting heated. “Now lets talk facts,” Suzette’s post continues. “FACT: This Mural was for the Molina Neighborhood, NOT to help promote anything you do sir. Never has been about you making money, its about you trying to use this mural for self glorification and wanting to use the Selena Trademark name and likeness to promote yourself. Our local newspaper failed to add the rest of the wording for the cease and Desist letter… AND /OR PROMOTE AND EVENT. thats a really important part. last thing I wanna share with everyone is my family and I have protect what is ours from day one and will continue to do so. This legacy Selena has left behind for all future generations is due to all of my family, we were a team. We created music from day one together since Sel was 9, I was 13 and AB 17. So we have all rights to do what we want what is ours.”
Tunchez then posted some receipts backing up his claim.
Within hours of her Facebook post, Tunchez kept it simple. “Hey Suzette Quintanilla,” he writes. “The fact is your father gave me the blessing to find an artist to re-do a mural that was neglected. The fact is I wanted to make things better for my neighborhood Molina. The fact is Sandra Gonzalez was going to do the mural with West Oso art students. Fact is you denied that opportunity for our community and went with your artist San Siguenza from New York. The fact is we can take down the current mural in Molina and give our community the opportunity to do so still. I will leave that up to my community.”
He then included attachments of the email where he claims she “reached out… so please do not call me a liar. I’ve been really nice to you and you have been real mean to me. I don’t need your money. Let me know.”
People have opinions about all of this.
Jesse Lino Villareal commented, “At the end of the day this was sopose to be a community thing and it has blown up to an Quintanilla thing…..this is about the Westside Molina not them folks….Selena was apart of this neighborhood he just wanted to honor her by helping revitalizing the mural……at the end of the day this is about the community not them other folks”
When someone replied with some legal facts like they can sue because they “own Selena rights,” someone else responds in all caps, “NO ONE OWNS A FOLK HERO LIKE SELENA. NO ONE.”
Thanks to social media, we get to see all kinds of pictures from awesome parties. The food, the piñatas, the dancing and the guests; seeing these videos and pics on Twitter and Instagram makes us feel like we were actually there to enjoy the festivities, too.
However, we think we recently found the party to end all parties and the theme was fit for Tejano royalty.
Back in July, Texan Jesús Antonio Sanchez threw himself a Selena-themed birthday party and the pictures of his fiesta are amazing!
Twitter / @stoowii
Sanchez is a Houstonian who works as an emergency dispatcher for an energy company. For his 32nd birthday, he decided to do it big and throw himself a party themed after his favorite singer. He started planning the big event two months prior to the party — his first since his 12th birthday. Sanchez spoke with MITÚ about his big day.
“Selena holds a special place in my heart,” the Texan explained. “She was the first singer/person I idolized growing up. I actually attended her Rodeo concert when I was 8 where she wore the famous purple jumpsuit!”
The party came complete with custom made Selena themed decorations and goodies.
Twitter / @stoowii
For the party, Sanchez used his own creative skills to add to the decor with a custom drawn Selena cardboard cutout, a Selena Snapchat filter and Selena-themed centerpieces. We can only imagine how flattered the Queen of Tejano would be if she saw these innovative details.
“I actually drew the cutout on my iPad Pro (with the exception of her face, I didn’t want to draw her incorrectly and insult her beauty) and had it sent to be made,” Sanchez shared. “I also drew the Selena Snapchat filter used for the day of the party. Snapchat sent me the statistics and says it was viewed more than 7,000 times! I didn’t get to take a picture but the centerpieces were empty Mexican Coca-Cola bottles with a white rose inside.”
The party food was pizza, Selena’s favorite, and Sanchez played the entire Rodeo Houston soundtrack during the party.
“I was happily surprised when my friends and family erupted in cheer when she asked the famous words upon hitting the stage; ‘How you doing, Houston, Texas!?’”
Sanchez also used the expertise of cake masters in order to get his microphone-shaped cake pops and Astrodome cake.
Instagram / @epiphanies_
Twitter / @stoowii
Richmond cake studio, Epiphanies Dessert Studio, took care of crafting the cake pop microphones for the Selena fan. Ruby Cakes, a Houston bakery, was commissioned to make the cake for the birthday party. Sanchez opted to get a cake in the shape of the Houston landmark, the Astrodome, to commemorate Selena’s iconic final appearance at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
“I didn’t want to get a cake in the shape of her just to cut [Selena] up, Sanchez told MITÚ. “So I got it in the shape of the Astrodome since it’s already the perfect shape of a cake.”
While these touches are incredibly original, we have to say the party’s piñata is our favorite detail.
Twitter / @stoowii
Just as Sanchez didn’t want to cut up his icon, he didn’t want a Selena shaped piñata that would eventually get beat up by his party goers. So, he came up with a better solution — a piñata shaped like Selena’s murderer, Yolanda Saldivar.
“The piñata was made by this talented lady who owns a business called Piñatas Crystal. People usually get piñatas made of their favorite characters. But it makes no sense that you would want to beat up your favorite character. The adults who attended the party and grew up listening to [Selena] wanted to be the first ones to hit the piñata!”
The incredible pictures of his party received lots of attention when Sanchez posted them on his Twitter account.
Twitter / @KingBeyonceStan
This Twitter user expressed exactly what we were all thinking when we saw that piñata. They shared this gif of Beyoncé from her “Hold Up” music video and we definitely feel this energy. We’re just waiting for our time up at bat.
This tweet pointed out that the party theme was super creative and had just the right levels of disrespectful towards Saldivar.
Twitter / @Miss_LadyJuice
We can’t think of a more touching way to honor Sanchez’s love for Selena than to make her the focus of a celebration of his life. As for Saldivar, she should be so lucky to even be included in the same breath as La Reyna.
We have to say that we L-O-V-E Sanchez’s theme and are super impressed by the effort he put into the party. Here’s hoping we get an invite to his next fiesta!
Lmaaoooooooo those sooooo creative and disrespectful at the same damn time 😂😂😂