By DAVID LOPEZ
Jesse Garcia’s father, Jesus Garcia, passed away two Saturdays ago, unfortunately. His family was prepared to bury the elder Garcia in the old cemetery, where they say he purchased a plot in 2015.
Sadly, he claims the City of San Benito has not allowed the burial and, to this day, has not buried his father.
“They gave me a copy of the ordinance and said they do not want to dig up the old cemetery,” said Garcia.
Garcia said he spoke with the Park Director Ramon Rodriguez, Assistant City Manager Fred Bell, City Manager Manuel De La Rosa, and Mayor Ben Gomez.
“Instead of honoring my father’s contract with the city and his wishes to be laid to rest next to my mother, they have recommended we bury my father in the new part of the cemetery and they will give a spot next to him for my mother so we the family can pay for the exhuming and replacement of her body, which isn’t right,” Garcia wrote on his Facebook post detailing the occurrence, which had 290 shares on the site.
City Manager Manuel De La Rosa responded to the NEWS’ inquires via email, stating, “I have offered the family a burial plot in the San Benito Memorial ParkCemetery, adjacent to ‘El Nopal’, the City’s historic cemetery. The City has also offered an additional burial plot should the family decide to relocate their family member’s remains to the San Benito Memorial Park Cemetery.
De La Rosa continued by stating that that City closed the historic cemetery years ago after human remains were found multiple times by workers attempting to dig graves. He said this was due to the cemetery being over 100 years old and the lack of records detailing where plots were placed.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the July 24-30, 2020 issue of the NEWS.