CVNM Statement Following Politically-Charged Attack on their office

Nick Abraham, nabraham@lcv.org, 206-833-7021

Below is a statement from our New Mexico affiliate, Conservation Voters New Mexico, which was the target of an attack via mail containing threatening and anti-Semitic messages as well as a potentially dangerous chemical substance that thankfully caused no harm. Hatred and violence have no place in our democracy and we call on everyone to condemn this cowardly attack. At this time, any questions about the attack should be directed to the FBI who are actively investigating the situation. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, October 28, 2022

Contact

Frank Fisher, FBI Press Office, fafisher@fbi.gov, (505) 681-8906

Demis Foster, Executive Director; demis@cvnm.org; (505) 795-1242
Michael Jensen, Communications Director; michael@cvnm.org; (505) 362-1063

CVNM Issues Statement Following Politically-Charged Domestic Terrorism Attempt 

SANTA FE – On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) received an anonymous letter containing campaign material attacking Representative Nathan Small; offensive and threatening language directed at Small, the Democratic Party of New Mexico, and CVNM; anti-Semitic symbols; and an unidentified chemical substance. Authorities were immediately notified, and the entire office building was evacuated and quarantined.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) oversaw the testing of the chemical substance contained in the letter. Initial analysis indicated that the sample contained ingredients of a potent toxin used in terrorist attacks. Thankfully, it was found to be inert in the form present in the envelope. No CVNM staff were harmed in the incident.

 CVNM’s executive director, Demis Foster, issued the following statement:

“On behalf of our staff and board of directors, I condemn this terrorist attack. We are relieved that no one was harmed, but whoever carried out this vicious act was clearly intending harm. We want to be completely clear: someone has attempted to cause serious harm to people in our organization as part of a threat against Representative Small and Democrats more broadly. There is no place in a functioning democracy for anyone to resort to the use of terror because they disapprove of a candidate for public office. It’s shocking and terrifying that we have to experience such a malice-filled attack on our democracy.

The political climate that has been fostered nationwide since 2016 has opened a large space for people to believe that violence in political campaigns is appropriate. The January 6th attack on the Capitol, with people calling for the death of the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and other leaders is the most recent alarming incident, and it is shameful that there are many who to this day refuse to condemn it. 

We call on leadership in all political parties in New Mexico to condemn this attack against CVNM, Representative Small, and the Democratic Party of New Mexico, and all such language and action, in the strongest possible terms, without equivocation.”

CVNM’s board chair, Theresa Pasqual, issued an additional statement:

“As Board President, I strongly condemn the recent attack on CVNM and our staff. CVNM is an organization focused on bridging the political voice of New Mexicans with the decision-making process at all levels, including working deeply in partnership at the community level. This heinous act is also a direct attack on our communities and democracy, and another example of the obstacles and oppression from extremists seeking to frighten and silence the voices of New Mexicans as they advocate for their communities. We believe that our democratic process is strongest when all people are engaged, and will double down on our efforts to protect everyone’s right to vote and fight for our communities in the coming days. We encourage all New Mexicans to stay vigilant, and continue to participate as much as possible in the democratic process. This is how we move New Mexico forward.”

Representative Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) expressed his concern:

“While I am incredibly grateful that no one was harmed, it is devastating that the staff at Conservation Voters New Mexico would be targeted and attacked in this vicious manner. I know that incredible advocates for the people of our state, our land, our air, and our water at CVNM will not be deterred from this important work by threats and intimidation, but we cannot allow the dangerous and inflammatory political rhetoric that leads to this kind of attack to continue.”

Added Demis Foster: “We at CVNM would like to express our deepest thanks to the Santa Fe Police Department, Department of Health, and the first responders for their attention and care through this process, and the FBI for their responsiveness and for keeping us constantly updated on the status of the investigation.” 

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CVNM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization connecting the people of New Mexico to their political power to protect our air, land, and water for a healthy Land of Enchantment. CVNM does this by mobilizing voters, winning elections, holding elected officials accountable, and advancing responsible public policies.

 

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