Civil rights activist Jaime Martinez dies after long battle with cancer

Jaime Martinez served as the Chairman of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation board.

Civil rights activist and farm worker advocate Jaime Martinez died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

Martinez served as the Chairman of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation board and was a lifetime advocate for civil rights. Martinez is a San Antonio native, growing up on the city's West side and attending Lanier High School.

His sons were by his side at the time of his passing.

The public is invited to a public viewing on July 19 at Porter Loring Mortuaries (2102 North Loop 1604 East) from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. A public procession will be held on July 20 at 8 a.m. beginning at Porter Loring and ending at Jaime P. Martinez Place (formerly Alta Vista Alley), located at the corner of Brazos and Laredo Streets, until 10 a.m. Attendees may line up along Laredo Street to S. Navidad Street and down Jaime P. Martinez Place. A private service will follow.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg released the following statement:

"Jaime Martinez's tireless, lifelong work to advance civil rights and workers' rights changed San Antonio and the nation for the better. Jaime's memory will be forever honored by the city that he called home, ensuring that the legacy of Cesar Chavez will continue to be celebrated long into the future.
"Jaime will be missed, but his vision of dignity for all will continue to be a light that guides our path, and it will be led by the generations of advocates that he and his family inspire. Rest in peace, Jaime Martinez."

"Jaime Martinez was an icon. He symbolized the kind of person he lived by fighting for the disadvantaged and we will always be indebted to him. He was a champion for the migrants and the epitome of the meaning 'humanitarian,'" League of United Latin American Citizens member George Alejos said.

Multiple other local leaders shared their condolences on social media.

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