Elotero Man is Murdered In a Shooting; Fresno Community Is Distraught
Photo: GoFundMe via Jose Rivera
On Friday, an elotero man was killed while selling corn on the street in Fresno. His name was Jose Luis Rivera and he was 53-years-old.
According to witnesses, Rivera was working, riding his tricycle and selling snacks when an unmarked, dark-colored SUV pulled up to him and open-fired.
According to his family, Rivera died on the way to the hospital. The police and Rivera’s family do not know what motivated the killing.
Well known in the Fresno community and affectionately known as “Corn Man”, Rivera’s death death was immediately met with immense grief and outpouring of support for Rivera’s family. Local artist Omar ‘El Super’ Huerta even created a mural dedicated to Rivera. The mural has become a vigil with candles and flowers.
As for Rivera’s family, they are still in shock. The family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral expenses and medical bills, but the family is still coping with the aftermath of this tragic and unexplained event.
“My family is grieving as we’ll never get to see him again,” wrote his son, Jose Rivera Jr., on their GoFundMe page. “We don’t know why he has taken from us.”
Rivera’s death is not the first assault against a street vendor this year.
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Ortiz, violence against street vendors has risen in LA County since the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of this year. Although Fresno is not in LA County, it is worth noting that the rise in violence against street vendors is not an isolated incident.
Recently, a community activist named Marcos Navarro based in National City, California, began fundraising to provide paleteros, eloteros, and other street vendors with pepper spray to protect themselves from possible assailants.
“I wanted to put up some sort of protection so that way they can have a chance to run,” Navarro told CNN. “It’s not illegal to carry pepper spray and you can use it in self-defense.”
Unsurprisingly, the city of Fresno is grieving the loss of a beloved community figure.
Many people in Fresno have personally bought corn from Rivera before. It makes his death all the more shocking.
People can’t comprehend the continued and escalating violence against eloteros across the country.
Like every other person in the world, street vendors are simply trying to provide for their families by making an honest living.
Some people are calling for some larger systems to be put in place to protect elotero workers.
We hope this is the last we hear of such terrible and tragic violence against an innocent member of our society. Rest in Peace, Jose Luis Rivera.