The Hispanic National Bar Association Recognizes the Life of an Inspirational Leader, Dr. Mario Guerra Obledo

August 20, 2010

Washington, DC – The Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”) takes a moment to mourn the passing of one of its Founders and Former Presidents, Dr. Mario Guerra Obledo. Dr. Obledo died on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in Sacramento, California, leaving behind a legacy of more than fifty years of leadership and advocacy.

After co-founding the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund(“MALDEF”), Dr. Obledo internationalized his advocacy efforts, holding office in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). In the same vein, he co-founded the HNBA to serve as one of the important pillars to unify racial, ethnic, religious, business and legal professional groups. He recognized the need for the Hispanic community at large to understand the legal rights to which all individuals are entitled, and the need to encourage service in the legal profession in order to advance broader civil rights, humanitarian and equal justice issues concerning all Hispanics in our Nation.

“Dr. Obledo was a visionary. He understood the connections between independent – and sometimes even disparate – industries, individuals, and Nations. His leadership forged a path to unify the Hispanic community and made strides for the generations that were to follow. Dr. Obledo was also an exceptional attorney, and he used his talent to serve our community. The HNBA owes him a debt of gratitude for his contributions to our Association,” said Román D. Hernández, HNBA National President.

“The older you get, the more you realize that all problems are communal. We are all segments of one community. To learn, and be able to accept, unique perspectives is the cry of diversity. Dr. Obledo’s leadership was an embodiment of these principles,” said Donato Tapia, HNBA Co-Founder.

“Dr. Obledo’s legacy lives on today in the countless individuals that he inspired, in the values that he instilled, and in the memory of the colleagues who had the good fortune to preserve his legacy as it was forged,” noted Román D. Hernández, HNBA National President.

“Mario Obledo lived his entire life in the tradition of great Americans who sought to have our country be true to its ideals of equality and freedom for all Americans. As a young lawyer, he filed actions to desegregate public places so that all Americans can now enjoy those public spaces. Later, he worked with various organizations of diverse racial and ethnic groups seeking to approximate the ideals of our Constitution for all Americans. We all owe a debt to Mario Obledo,” said Justice Cruz Reynoso (Ret.), another HNBA Founder.