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In January, San Diego police officers were called to a North County migrant camp by migrant rights activists, who alleged that a group of vandals had run riot through the camp, slashing possessions and terrorizing the migrants. I wrote about the case back in March.

The camp, which sits in McGonigle Canyon, just south of the 56 Freeway in Carmel Valley, was the setting for a series I wrote last year about the lives of migrants who live in makeshift huts in canyons around north San Diego County.

Crimestoppers have been offering a $1,000 reward for information about who was responsible for the crime, which the SDPD’s northern division captain estimated caused $600 worth of damage.

I just got a press release saying that reward has been bumped up to $10,000 thanks to fundraising by a number of Latino groups, who raised the extra $9,000. Those groups include El Grupo, La Raza Lawyers Association and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

Here’s an extract from the press release:

“We consider this a hate crime,” says Bill Flores, speaking for El Grupo, an umbrella organization for Latino and other minority groups in North County.

“And it’s a very small step from the slash job done at these camps to something much uglier,” adds Claudia Smith of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

Anyone with information about the crime can call Crimestoppers’ anonymous tip line (888) 580-TIPS.

WILL CARLESS

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