Things That Matter

The San Antonio Four Were A Set Of Wrongly Convicted Lesbians Who’d Been Accused Of Devil Worship In the 90s

In the ’90s, members of the LBGTQ community were finally starting to find some tolerance in mainstream culture. Most major cities around the world had a gay night scene and many small communities were being formed by lesbians and gay men. Unfortunately, LGBTQ people still encountered bigotry and homophobia regularly. From everyday altercations to murderous attacks, being gay in the ’90s was still dangerous.

That didn’t stop Elizabeth Ramirez from coming out and living her life as a gay woman. Although her hometown of San Antonio Texas was very conservative at the time, Ramirez was happily involved with her girlfriend, Kristie Mayhugh. The two were building a happy life together along with their close friends, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez.

Unfortunately, devastating accusations would rock San Antonio and cost each women years of their freedom.

This is the story of the San Antonio Four and the horrible accusations and homophobia that led to their incarceration.

Twitter / @maurinanoe

The events that led to their imprisonment started innocently enough. The four women were staying together at the time. It was 1994 when they welcomed Ramirez’s young nieces into their home for a weeklong stay. After the visit, the girls’ father went to the police and reported a truly horrific story.

According to the father, Javier Limon, the girls had been sexually abused and tortured by the women. More than that, his accusations claimed they had been gang-raped in a Satanic ritual and “indoctrinated into a lesbian lifestyle.” The nieces were only 7 and 9 years old at the time.

The girls were interviewed several times and gave inconsistent statements with varying details. Physical examination found no major signs of sexual assault. However, prosecutors used child abuse specialist, Dr. Nancy Kellogg, to argue the opposite. In now-defunct testimony, Dr. Kellogg blamed common vaginal wear on abuse by the San Antonio women.

The San Antonio police department claimed that the women’s sexuality was not relevant to the investigation. Yet, their actions argue the opposite.

Twitter / @PopularLonerr

This case was during the Satanic Panic of the 1990s. The public was obsessed with news of Satanic rituals and cults during this time. Homosexuality was often linked to these reports of rituals and sex magic. It was also a common thought at the time that homosexuals were more likely to sexually harm children. Had the four women not been recently-outed lesbians, the police more than likely wouldn’t have pursued the complaints.

Likewise, had the women not been lesbians, the complaints probably never would’ve been made to begin with. Limon, the girls’ father, was romantically interested in Ramirez. The San Antonio man was her brother-in-law but he had expressed desire for her before. Notably, when she was just a teenager. Ramirez had rejected him before coming out. However, her happy relationship with Mayhugh probably encouraged Limon to retaliate against the women.

Sadly, the San Antonio Four were tried and found guilty. They each received between 15 to 37 years in prison for a crime that had no proof.

Twitter / @mercurymiya

It wasn’t until 2012 when any relief seemed likely for the jailed women. That year, one of Ramirez’s nieces recanted the allegations. Furthermore, she explained that her father, Limon, was to blame for the accusations. Her father, she said, threatened her and her sister as girls and continued the emotional abuse all their lives. This is what kept the San Antonio Four’s innocence a secret for so long.

In 2012, Vasquez was the first of the San Antonio Four to be released from prison. However, it was parole that released her, not her own innocence. It wouldn’t be until 2013 that the other three were released on bail while their guilt was reassessed. Later that same year, their sentences would be cut short and they would be declared innocent of all charges. The San Antonio Four were finally free.

Their struggle encouraged the documentary “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four.” Now, you can stream the truth for yourself.

Twitter / @DaRealChrisCo

“Southwest of Salem” follows the redemption of the San Antonio Four. The documentary was released in 2016 but is now available to stream on both Hulu and Amazon Prime. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100% Fresh and is scored 7.1/10 on IMDd.com. The documentary also won a Peabody Award and won “Outstanding Documentary” at the 2017 GLAAD Media Awards.

“Southwest of Salem” clearly deals with difficult themes. However, it’s an important documentary to see — especially as more cases of police and prosecutor misconduct become uncovered. If we know of the atrocities that have happened in the past, we can stop them from ever happening again.

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Investing Latina’s CEO Is Here To Tell You The Best Ways To Save You Money

Fierce

Investing Latina’s CEO Is Here To Tell You The Best Ways To Save You Money

Saving money and investing it properly is tough. It is hard to know where to take your money to make the most of it. Fortunately, FIERCE is here with another chat with a money queen to make sure that you get the most of your money.

Jully-Alma Taveras is here to help you reach your money-saving goals.

Saving money is tough. How much should you set aside? Where do you keep it to make sure it is safe? When should you start? Taveras started Investing Latina two years ago to help people figure out the best way to start their savings journey. There are a lot of things to save for from retirement to big purchases to emergencies. Here is some of what Taveras had to say when our very own Sam sat down with her.

Sam: “Let’s talk about savings. What would you recommend people do to start saving today?”

Jully-Alma Taveras: “Savings is kind of the beginning of it all, right? It’s kind of where we start laying down the bricks and foundation to our financial house. When I say laying down bricks, that’s really what I mean. I mean that they are small and heavy but they build up. That’s exactly how you have to think about how you start saving. It really starts small. Nobody starts with $10,000 in their savings account. Nobody. Everybody starts putting in $25 per week. Fifty dollars per month. Whatever it is that you can do. You have to be able to just kind of put it aside.

“I always recommend using a savings account first. Your core savings account at a bank that you can easily access if you needed to access your savings and then having a bulb of savings to a high-yield saving account so that you can also use the technology that exists right now with high-yield savings accounts. You can have little envelopes so you are saving for designated things. You can save for specific goals.

“I think that when it comes to savings, you really do have to set a big goal for yourself, and then you kind of start working backward. Then you’re like, ‘Okay. My goal is to save $10,000 in 2021. That’s what I want to get to. I want to be able to have my 1,000 immediate little emergency need savings account with just $1,000 and then I want to have the rest into a high-yield savings account where I can really start building my money confidence. That’s what happens when we start saving money.”

S: “One of the things I know that we started chatting about was high-yield savings accounts. Can you go into some more details about what exactly that is for everyone?”

JAT: “When we talk about a high-yield savings account, it really is a way for you to put savings into a bank or institution, or nowadays it’s really just an app sometimes. You put it in a place,  secure place that’s FDIC-insured place, where you can get a higher interest rate than what typical savings accounts offer. When you open up a checking account, you’re automatically, or usually going to get the option of opening a savings account with our bank. The retail banks that we typically use, the ones that we can walk into, that we can have ATM cards you can easily access and have teller access are usually positioning themselves where they offer retail services.

“What happens with that is that they don’t give you a lot for holding onto your money. They’ll offer something like a free checking account or a free savings account. They won’t charge you for it depending on what category you’re in, especially teens or if you are in school. You can definitely get a free checking account. But, they won’t give a higher interest rate than likely .02 percent. What a high-yield savings account offers is a higher interest rate. These are usually with banks that you don’t normally see as you walk down Main Street in your neighborhood. We aren’t talking about the Chases the TD Banks the Citi Banks, right? These banks that we know and are familiar with because we see them on Main Street. We see them in our neighborhoods. They’re not typically going to have a high-yield savings account. They want you to just use their services, their savings accounts, and their checking accounts. That’s it and they’re just going to be happy holding on to your money while you transact and do what you have to do with your money.

“With high-yield savings accounts, those are typically going to be with banks that don’t have retail stores. Some examples are Marcus by Goldman Sachs. SoFi, which is one of my favorites because of the tech that they’ve implemented in their app and their website. Ally Bank. These are banks that we typically won’t see actual physical banks of but they do exist online.

“What they do, mechanically, just so you kind of understand what happens when you put money into a high-yield savings account, is truly, they’re actually, putting all of our money together and they’re kind of investing our money behind the scenes. That’s what happens. You have the security of your digitized dollars and you will never lose it because it’s not an investment account.

“That’s basically what’s happening. Just so you know. You can feel safe that your money is there. It’s FDIC insured or it is completely insured up to the $250,000. That’s typically what we get insurance on. Then you also make a little extra so you make a couple of dollars every month.”

Taveras has so much more to say about saving and investing. Watch the full video below!

READ: In The First Episode Of FIERCE’s ‘Money Moves,’ We Explore The All-Important Budget

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Latinas Share The Movies They Love To Watch With Their Friends

Entertainment

Latinas Share The Movies They Love To Watch With Their Friends

Sure, we’re still in quarantine but that doesn’t mean all female bonding goes out the window! Cuddling up with your friends and staying in for a good movie is still totally possible thanks to Zoom and wine. And while our options of views might seem to be dwindling thanks to a lack of content on streamers…

Fortunately, Latinas are coming together to share the best movies to watch.

Check them out below!
“Practical Magic” –jessica_546

“Birds of Prey.”- brainsbeastbeauty

“Bridesmaids.” –

“Mean Girls” –dominiricanmarie


Paramount Pictures


“13 going on 30!” –_mariaaceves

“Twilight.” –vivaloscupcakes

“Moulin Rouge.” –ninasandra

“Practical Magic. “ isabel__maria__

Warner Bros.
Roadshow Entertainment

“Selena.” –momma_bear_of4

“Bridesmaids & Mean Girls.” –glamit_gabby

“Romy & Michelle, Legally Blonde, Devil Wears Prada, How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days, the Wedding Planner, Sex & the City.”- mixtapemcgee

“Aquamarine.” –itz_me_otra_vez

“Hustlers.” –mellowagrelo


STXfilms

“Legally blonde!! HELLO!! My big fat Greek wedding, anything hallmark.” –luvgabz

“Coyote ugly.” –sugarandstorytime

“Now & Then.” –l.a.momma

NOW AND THEN, Thora Birch, Gaby Hoffman, Ashleigh Aston Moore, Christina Ricci, 1995


“Riding in Cars with boys.” –mrs.ssg415

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