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Nathan Peirce's Fundraiser:

Justice for the De la Torres

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Nathan Peirce


This fundraiser is for a family who made a difference in a poor area of Mexico, and was rewarded by their lives being turned upside-down by a corrupt justice system. I want this story to be told, in the hopes that it might help to bring these good people some much-deserved justice.

Here's the story in a very brief form. My grandmother, Paula McNight, has a school named after her in Mexico, near Mazatlan, as a result of her hard work as a volunteer there, along with her now-deceased husband, Jim. Her age has finally caught up with her, and she would love to see the school restored and the criminals responsible for its destruction brought to justice before she can rest peacefully.

The woman who ran the school, María Elena De la Torre, is now a fugitive from the law, along with her husband and daughter Elizabeth “Ely” Quintero De la Torre, who was studying to be a lawyer while working at her mother's school. Ely is taking care of her sister Linda's children while Linda and her husband are in jail. [Update: Linda and her husband have been released by a higher court and reunited with their children at last!] Ely and her mother must make the painful choice of remaining fugitives or trusting in a corrupt local justice system in the hopes that a higher court will eventually respond to the truth.

The local courts convicted her sister Linda and the others who witnessed the attempt of Mr. Tapia from the so-called Council for the Defense of Human Rights (which is in some way associated with the Attorney General’s office) to extort the school's money from Ely. The charges were various but always scandalous. The higher courts, being less corrupt and with no stake in the matter, kept setting them free for lack of evidence.

The fictitious crimes are the perfect attacks - Friends and colleagues look at you differently and wonder if any of it could be true. Your investors disappear. It threatens to ruin your life, and most people are so frightened that they'll do anything to have their lives back to normal, including paying extortion money, but Ely, her family, and the brave people who work at the school chose to do the right thing, even while knowing how corrupt the justice system can be.

This family and others have poured their hearts, lives, money, and even their personal safety into the dream of this school. The teachers and staff, including even the cleaning lady, hunkered down to defend the school against rocks and gunfire. The community rallied around the school and the De la Torres. They were all committed to giving the next generation the education they didn't have, a fighting chance against poverty. Now the school is in ruins. The government was supposed to lock up the school and keep it safe while the investigations and trials went on, but in another shady deal, they allowed it to be ransacked by those who would file false accusations. Everything is gone. They had books, furniture, school supplies, and even computers.

The corruption is staggering. Ely is smart and she has proof of the corruption, and yet she remains a fugitive. The worst part of all this may be the irony of a talented and hard-working law student on the run from the law. With all that education and knowledge, she sells tomales door-to-door with her mother.

I've written many letters to Ely and read her letters in return. You can read the story in Ely's own words (though the translation may be difficult for some) at

I'm doing all I can think of, but I'm afraid it won't be enough. Please donate now before your interest fades and you think "eh, I'd rather go save a whale".

Thank you. Peace.

-Nathan Peirce

P.S. If you donate now and tell at least one friend about this fundraiser (, then magical faerie dust from unicorns and Santa Clause will light up your life and make everything bad into good, or at least it would, if people got what they deserved. (Please donate. Thanks. Okay. Bye.)



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