Los Seis de Boulder

Just after dark on May 27, 1974, three activists, two women and one man, were killed in a car bomb at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado. Neva Romero, 21, and Una Jaakola, 24, two university students who shared an off-campus house, and attorney Reyes Martinez, 26, died instantly in the explosion which destroyed their Oldsmobile sedan. Forty-eight hours later, three more Chicano activists were killed in a second car bombing in Boulder. Francisco Dougherty, 22, Florencio "Freddie" Granados, 32, and Heriberto Teran, 24, died in a station wagon parked at a liquor store. Antonio Alcantar, 23 of Denver, was getting into the car as it exploded. He was seriously injured and burned. He survived, but disabled for life.

Hundreds of people participated in the mournful ceremonies, including a march to both bombings sites. Their deaths shocked the state and the news reverberated throughout the Southwest, Mexico, and other countries. They became known as "Los Seis de Boulder."

Mystery surrounds the case to this day. No official explanation was ever provided by police, saying only they believed the victims were arming the bombs. A federal grand jury was convened, but its findings were not made public and no person was indicted.

Support for the demonstrators grew as community groups and individuals from all over Colorado went to help in the standoff against the University, Franco and Acosta. Among the supporters were los mejores hijos y hijas del pueblo, Los Seis de Boulder.

They exemplified the leadership of the Chicana/o Movement. Neva Romero, an UMAS leader, was a CU Student Senator; Teran, a former UMAS student, was an accomplished poet and artist; Granados, a former UMAS president, had been a La Raza Unida candidate for CU Regent and published El Escritor del Pueblo, a Denver community newspaper; and Dougherty, active in teatro, had organized voters in Texas. Martinez, a well known attorney, worked among the poor traveling the state representing clients in court cases while working out of his car. He believed his profession was to help Chicana/os, particularly activists; Una Jaakola, his girlfriend, worked with youth in Denver.

Los Seis regarded University politics as annoying and petty compared to work needed in the community, recognizing the importance of the Chicana/o student movement within the overall rights movement of the day. Their ideals were much broader than University politics, as documented in their speeches, writings, art, and actions.

Chicana/os regard Los Seis as martyrs of the Chicana/o Movement, and they are commemorated annually in communities throughout the state. A memorial stone for Martinez was dedicated in a park named in his honor in his hometown, Alamosa. Other artists have painted their portraits. Poets and musicians have written poems and songs, and many babies have been named after one or more of Los Seis.

On the 25th anniversary of their presence and then of their martyrdom, Los Seis deserve our respect, admiration, and love. They are alive and present in those who struggle for human rights. They were dedicated individuals who did not seek the glory and honors we bestow on them today; only a promise from us to continue the struggle, their struggle, our ancestors' struggle.

A mural dedicated to these Chicana/o activists use to cover a wall in our old office. Since the renevation to the UMC, the wall was taken down slab by slab. At this time, the wall has been taken to a Chicana/o Historical Museum in Pueblo, CO. The mural was digitally photographed before renovation. The photograph can be seen in the UMAS/MECHA office in room 341 or in the Dennis Small Cultural Center.

©2003, UMAS; Last Updated February 26, 2003