José Guzmán, a warrior with an iron temper and a heart of gold
With his organization "Parents and Relatives of Crime Victims"
("Victims of Crimes US"), he has spent 16 years helping others get up and walk.
PHOENIX, AZ.- For 16 years, through his non-profit organization "Parents and Relatives of Victims of Crimes" ("Victims of Crimes US") José Guzmán has dedicated himself body and soul to heal the wounds of those that, like him, they have suffered in their own flesh the loss of a loved one at the hands of criminals, or that they have been victims of other kinds of crimes; he is a true warrior with strength and temper of iron, and with a heart of gold
Who is Jose
55-year-old José Guzmán is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico; from a humble family and the sixth of 12 siblings, as a child still barely 15 years old and after the death of his father who was a bracero, to help his family he emigrated to the United States, first settling in San Diego, without stopping working since then as it does until today.
Later he moved to Los Angeles, where for several months he lived on the train tracks, until a family, seeing that he was an honest and hard-working boy, offered him a garage in their home, where the young immigrant set up his first carpentry shop.
Shortly after, he met what would be his partner and the love of his life: María Guadalupe Sánchez, with whom he had 3 children (two boys and one girl).
The tragedy that marked his life
With the purpose of taking their children away from an environment tinged with violence such as Los Angeles was at that time due to gangs, José and his wife decided to come and live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ironically, on the night of November 5, 2005, fate played a trick on them; His eldest son, Guillermo, was brutally murdered along with his best friend Rafael, during an armed robbery at the fast food restaurant where they worked, by 3 juvenile delinquents.
The violent double homicide shocked not only Phoenix, but all of Arizona and the entire country; The viciousness, the cold blood and the artful way in which the 3 young criminals killed their victims who were almost the same age drew attention. José's son was shot with an AK-47 or "cuerno de chivo" rifle.
Like his friend Rafael, Guillermo was a brilliant student and an excellent basketball player; he admired Michael Jordan and dreamed of playing in the NBA, but 3 criminals not only ended his dreams, but his life itself; barely 16 and 17 years old, respectively, they were in the last grade of High School at Carl Hayden School.
Despite the magnitude of the tragedy and his great pain, the following year, together with his beloved wife, he founded the non-profit organization "Parents and Relatives of Victims of Crimes" ("Victims of Crimes US") to accompany and help heal the injuries to relatives of victims and to the victims of crimes themselves; It was a project and a mission started together with his wife, and now, without her, he strives to continue fulfilling it as from the beginning.
Seeing the great need to help more and more people, José Guzmán gradually expanded his field of action, until he had a presence almost nationwide.
Currently, the "Parents and Relatives of Crime Victims" ("Victims of Crimes US") Foundation serves victims and relatives of victims from cities in 24 states such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tulsa, New York, Denver, Chicago, San Antonio, San Francisco and Houston, just to name a few.
Despite having a small team with only 4 assistants, on average his organization serves between 70 and 80 people daily, that is, 600 to 800 each month nationwide, both in person and by phone; almost 80 percent are battered women and minors victims of some type of abuse.
In Phoenix, she spends part of her day every day transporting family members of victims and crime victims themselves to court, getting them financial support for funerals, counseling, psychological care, and putting them in contact with legal service agencies.
Shoulder to shoulder with police agencies
Throughout these 16 years, José Guzmán has worked shoulder to shoulder and arm in arm with government authorities and various police agencies at all levels; that is, local, state and federal.
In 2006, he began collaborating with the Phoenix Police Department, specifically with the Silent Witness program, which at that time was coordinated by Paul Penzone, now Maricopa County Sheriff, who was in charge of solving the homicide of his son Guillermo and his friend Rafael, capturing the assassins; Since then, he has helped encourage anonymous reporting of crimes in the community and thecriminal identification.
Today it works closely with the Police Departments of Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Surprise, Avondale, and virtually every police agency in Arizona, including the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Special mention should be made of the joint work he does with Sheriff Paul Penzone, of Maricopa County, and Juan Morán, of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in Arizona.
With them and with the Phoenix Police, José organizes community forums bringing together between 500 and 1,000 people each time, in which they offer information for crime prevention, as well as resources to those who have been victims of crimes and inform them about their rights; they teach them how to defend them and make them count.
One of the main purposes of these forums is also to foster citizen confidence in the police and the authorities in general, and thus together fight crime.
In recent years, José Guzmán and his organization have focused on working closely with the US Border Patrol, given the growing number of minors recruited by human trafficking gangs and drugs. The modus operandi of these cartels is to deceive the naive boys (12 to 17 years old), offering them easy money and telling them that they will not do anything to them because they are minors, which is a great falsehood.
The "Parents and Relatives of Crime Victims" Foundation and José Guzmán, together with the Border Patrol, also focus on the protection of these young people, and educate their parents to prevent them from falling for the tricks of these criminals.
With Juan Morán and the Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) they guide people who are in immigration processes, so that they do the right thing and do not make mistakes that they could regret for the rest of their lives; likewise, alert them not to fall into the clutches of pseudo lawyers, notaries and dishonest and unscrupulous individuals who only want their money.
With a board of directors made up mostly of law enforcement officers, José Guzmán and his Foundation "Parents and Relatives of Victims of Crimes" ("Victims of Crimes US") enjoy great prestige, but above all the respect of the community and the own authorities.
People trust him and that is why they come to him for help. For his part, especially the Phoenix Police, Maricopa County Sheriff and USCIS frequently look to him as a bridge to get closer to the community.
On different occasions they have publicly recognized it; the Silent Witness program and the Phoenix Police, presented him with an award for his great work in supporting the prevention and resolution of crimes.
In 2013, during the presidency of Barack Obama, he was invited to the White House and the United States Congress to speak about his community work, as well as to demand greater attention to mental health and stricter control of the firearms.
It has been 16 years of hard work by José Guzmán and his organization, despite their limited economic resources. But far from throwing in the towel or resting, he is willing to redouble his efforts, and he is more determined than ever to lend his hand and help the fallen, those who suffer the loss of loved ones due to violent crimes and those who they are victims of crime and abuse, most of whom are defenseless and vulnerable people such as women and minors.
Director and Founder
Detective Luis Samudio work for the Phoenix Police Department for 25 year. Working really close with the Hispanic Community and for the last 15 years he always supporting and working closely with Jose Guzman Director and Founder of this foundation of VICTIMS OF CRIMES.
Carlos is a young example for many, since his condition did not prevent him from practicing the sport of his dreams, and so we also support him...
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With great pain in the soul, a Father seeks to make a difference
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Our Foundation VICTIMS OF CRIMES was part of the MARCH FOR OUR LIVES PHOENIX.
This year JOSE GUZMAN Director and Founder of the Foundation was on of the speakers.
We join with the STUDENT LED march at the Arizona State Capitol as we call for gun safety reforms to keep our schools and communities safe. This time, we will be heard.
Share his testimony, why he is involving on the GUN VIOLENCE MOVEMNET.
His son and the best friend get kill by another teenager almost the same age and since there Jose is always supporting our community and the families were there victims of any crime.
Saturday June 11, 2022 The Down Town Phoenix was not the exception.
And join the over 400 protest around the Country to express the CONGRESS they need to past THE GUN REFORM.
Despite it being 115° outside, despite a looming giant dust storm, and despite most people thinking no change ever will come - you all still showed up. Over 5,000 people strong. You showed up and sent a message that we will NOT quit until something is done. And now they’re doing something. It wouldn’t have been possible without all of you, and we’re just getting started
Jacob D Martinez
THANK YOU ARIZONA
Acknowledgment from the Silent Witness Agency for our humanitarian work and work with the community to report crimes.
US Border Patrol Recognition
for our participation and support in the T.E.A.M. Kids Parenting Symposium. November 14, 2019.
.For the humanitarian work and for being the Organization that helps and supports Crime Victims in Arizona and throughout the US.
09:00 am – 05:00 pm
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