Present were Velia and Hans Koppenhoefer, Sr., parents of Efrén Paredes, Jr.; Adriana Abundis, Sara Vitale, Xavier Gonzalez, Jaime Gasca, Todd Mireles, and Crystal Cuevas of Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU); Sierra Lopez of MEXA de MSU; John Masterson of Peace Education Center (PEC); Jack Edukere of Culturas de Las Razas Unidas (CRU); and members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee.
Jaime Gasca read the press release and was followed by Efrén's mother, Velia, who read a statement supporting Efrén's release on behalf of their family. Velia's statement read as follows:
The family of Efrén Paredes, Jr. strongly supports the commutation request that was submitted by The Injustice Must End Committee on behalf of Efrén to the Michigan Parole Board. We know Efren is innocent of the crime he was convicted of because he was home with our family when the crime occurred.It was great to be in the company of this dedicated and courageous group of community organizers who are serious about combating social injustice. They lifted our spirits and it felt good to know that we are in such good company. I know that together we will bring Efrén home so he can join them and contribute to the work they are doing in a major way.
Efrén has been wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit since age 15. He is now 35-years-old. We are confident that upon his release Efrén will be a productive member of society and society as a whole will benefit from his release. As long as Efrén remains incarcerated we all remain imprisoned to injustice.