{{featured_button_text}}

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico law enforcement agencies are preparing for a visit next week from President Donald Trump, three years after visits in Albuquerque sparked violence.

Authorities said they will be prepared for the Trump rally Monday in the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho as protesters vowed to step up acts of civil disobedience and demonstrations.

Multiple law enforcement agencies will help with security at the Santa Ana Star Center — an arena located in a barren strip of desert land, officials said. All offices of the city of Rio Rancho and schools will close in anticipation of traffic congestions and possible unrest.

Demonstrators who participated in previous Trump protests say they have discussed blocking traffic and lying down on highways. A Facebook group created to coordinate demonstrations was recently deleted after page administrators said they faced online threats.

Activist Javier Benavidez said many are angry that Trump is holding his rally in a state with the highest percentage of Hispanic residents on Sept. 16 — Mexican Independence Day.

"I think it's insulting," said Benavidez, who was removed by security from a previous Trump rally in Albuquerque. The president has faced criticism because of past racist statements about Latinos.

Some Democratic elected leaders were planning their own rally in Albuquerque on Monday. The event will be headlined by U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

Six officers were injured and about a dozen were arrested in May 2016 after a riot erupted outside a Trump rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Anti-Trump protesters threw rocks , urine-filled bottles and Molotov cocktail-type devices at police while others stole Trump T-shirts from vendors and lit them on fire. Trump supporters and protesters later threw bottles at each other.

The uproar caused around $10,000 in damage, officials said.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Another Trump rally weeks later at an Albuquerque airport hangar resulted in violence between Trump supporters and protesters.

Republican Party of New Mexico chairman Steve Pearce said in a statement that protesters and attendees have a right to exercise their free speech.

"We do not condone violent protests or any behavior undermining the rights of others," Pearce said. "We have full confidence in the law enforcement officers who will be protecting all people and property in attendance of Monday's rally."

Be the first to know - Sign up for News Alerts

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

The Santa Ana Pueblo reported receiving angry calls about the Trump event and said in a statement it is a party to the naming rights to the center but has no role in selecting and approving events at the arena.

———

Susan Montoya Bryan contributed to this report. Contreras is a member of The Associated Press' race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

———

Follow Susan Montoya Bryan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/susanmbryanNM

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments