Is Nativo Lopez Really the President of MAPA?

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Since 2004 Nativo Lopez has presented himself in the media and in political circles as the President of the National Mexican American Political Association.  But MAPA members have been silent on Lopez’ recent arrest for eight felony charges related to voter fraud in 2007 and hearings  regarding his mental-competency.  Is it because Lopez has not officially represented MAPA for many years?

After months of delaying trial setting by refusing to identify himself and casting sufficient doubts about his mental competency to have three different judges order examinations by a series of psychiatrists, L.A. Superior Court Judge George Lomelli announced on February 10, 2011, that the latest evaluation states that in the doctor’s opinion Nativo Lopez appears to lack the capacity to understand and cooperate in a trial and recommends that he be hospitalized  to provide ongoing evaluation.  According to the judge’s statement, the psychiatrist believes that Nativo does not appreciate the nature of the proceedings against him; however, the doctor did not make a commitment that it is his conclusion that Nativo Lopez is “incompetent.”   

Judge Lomelli announced that another psychiatrist has been agreed upon by both  the prosecutor and defense attorney. As Lopez again attempted to dismiss his court-appointed Deputy Public Defender, Judge Lomelli assured him that, if the psychiatrist determines he is mentally competent, he will have the choice to represent himself.

Nativo had one last question for the court, “Do you have the authority to administer the estate of Larry Lopez aka Nativo Lopez? “ The Judge reminded him that estates are a civil matter and not administered in criminal court.

Whether this is all a ploy by Larry Lopez, aka Nativo Lopez, or he has actually lost touch with reality, there is no question the lengthy proceedings are taking a toll.  Lopez’ steel-gray hair is turning white and his pervasive fiery, polarizing voice for rights of illegal immigrants (and cockfighting)  is suddenly silent in the media, possibly dampened by his recent loss of an appeal against an Overhills Farm lawsuit for defamation and extortion.

Born Larry Lopez, former MEChA organizer Nativo Lopez has long been the center of controversy--accused in 1996 of registering voters before their citizenship was finalized for the Orange County race in which Democrat Loretta Sanchez defeated conservative incumbent Robert Dornan.   Lopez was recalled as a member of the Santa Ana School Board amidst claims that he misused funds granted by the CA Department of Education for English classes for immigrant students. Lopez’s activities have also included advocacy for cockfighting, which he justified as a Mexican cultural tradition.

So, who and where are the members of the Mexican American Political Association Lopez claims to represent? Have they abandoned their leader? Or is his leadership of the once highly influential MAPA  a figment of Nativo Lopez’ imagination?

The following statement appears in an archived history of the MAPA-GBA:

“March 2004, Mexican American Political Association - Greater Bay Area learned of possible corruption charges by the FBI involving Hermandad National and Director Nativo Lopez through a letter from former MAPA State/National President, Maria Martinez. MAPA-GBA members decided to incorporate as an autonomous corporation. On March 1, 2004 MAPA-GBA becomes an autonomous corporation C2439295 to prevent possible shut-down of our work in progress; already paid chapter dues to MAPA State/National, retained chartered chapter status with MAPA State/National until December 31, 2004.”

The next hearing regarding the mental competency of Nativo Lopez to stand trial is set for March 10, 2011, in Dept. 123, Los Angeles Superior Court.


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