THE . . . MURDER . . . AND RESURRECTION OF RUBEN SALAZAR BY THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT . . . SAVAGE POLARIZATION & THE MAKING OF A MARTYR . . . BAD NEWS FOR THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN . . . WORSE NEWS FOR THE PIG . . . AND NOW THE NEW CHICANO . . . RIDING A GRIM NEW WAVE . . . THE RISE OF THE BATOS LOCOS . . . BROWN POWER AND A FISTFUL OF REDS . . . RUDE POLITICS IN THE BARRIO . . . WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON . . . BROTHER? . . . THERE IS NO MORE MIDDLEGROUND . . . NO PLACE TO HIDE ON WHITTIER BOULEVARD . . . NO REFUGE FROM THE HELICOPTERS . . . NO HOPE IN THE COURTS . . . NO PEACE WITH THE MAN . . . NO LEVERAGE ANYWHERE . . . AND NO LIGHT AT THE END OF THIS TUNNEL . . . NADA . . .
Strange Rumblings in Aztlan, by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, was published in Rolling Stone #81, April 29, 1971. Blending Gonzo Journalism, which Thompson experimented with so famously in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, with traditional investigative reporting, it examines the case of Ruben Salazar, a Chicano reporter with the L.A. Times and the news director for KMEX-TV. On August 29, 1970, he was assigned to cover an anti-Vietnam demonstration put on by Chicano activists, he fled when riots began to break out. He went to the Silver Dollar, a local bar, to calm down—and was shot in the head by a policeman with a tear gas bazooka, dying instantly.
The police claimed that they had recieved an anoymous tip that an armed rioter was in the bar, and that they had warned those in the bar that they would shoot if everyone did not leave the building. The police reaction to the incident—a denial that they were negligent in the situation—led many to suspect that Salazar had been targeted and silenced by the police as a result of his activism. Salazar became an instant martyr to Chicano activists.
One part subjective, first-person narrative, one part traditional reporting, it not only investigates the Salazar case, but also tells the story of Hunter S. Thompson's investigative process. The article is almost unashamedly biased against the Los Angeles Police Department, with Thompson writing in the Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that he "[figured] that I might be next." It was his paranoia and the "tense and depressing" nature of the investigation, in fact, that led him to take Oscar Acosta (Fear and Loathing's Dr. Gonzo, Raoul Duke's Samoan attorney), the lawyer working on the inquest into the Salazar case, out of L.A. on the infamous road trip to Las Vegas.
Salazar's story is covered excellently by Gone Jackal in the node Ruben Salazar, thus I felt it would be a bit foolish to give a detailed account of his story in this node.