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Mazz's Joe Lopez: solitude, forgiveness, reflection
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Mazz's Joe Lopez: solitude, forgiveness, reflection

Sadness, fear, anger, hate, hope, prayers and joy. These were just some of the strong emotions elicited by our recent exclusive interview with Mazz's Joe Lopez, who is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.

We heard from those angry and disappointed in Lopez, demanding that we stop writing about him. We heard from those with lots of ever-lasting love, hope and tears with prayers for

 his health and eventual freedom.

We thank everyone who has written, emailed and called on Pt. 1 (Mazz's Joe López breaks his silence
) of our interview. There is no question that the captivating life of Joe Lopez - singer, songwriter, bandleader, son, brother, husband, father, military veteran, felon - continues to fascinate and intrigue. The controversial details surrouinding his legal case always draws strong reactions - on all sides.

We take no official position here on his legal case. We're simply reporting the facts in this interview update on his stage of his life.

In this Pt 2 of correspondent Ramon Hernandez's Joe Lopez interview, Lopez looks back on his life, frankly discusses the solitude and isolation, the darkness and regrets, his hopes and prayers.

By Ramón Hernández

“Joe López is innocent and must be set free” is part of the opening sentence on www.ipetitions.com/petition/freedom4JoeLopez

This link, which we neglected to include in Pt 1, contains many of the facts, more explicit information and details the public wants to know.

While the singer-songwriter’s attorneys, his family and Christina Hernández’s Justice for Joe López organization are in the possession of all the inadmissible evidence in the form of numerous records and documents, the public is again reminded that to disclose any of this information could jeopardize the legal battle to set López free. The bottom line is that all evidence will prove his innocence.

The exclusive interview conducted with the former lead singer for Mazz was to bring his fans up to date on his state of health and how he is handling being locked up for a crime he did not commit.

“I have forgiven those who prosecuted me (and he goes on to list them),” López wrote in his most recent letter to this writer.

If he flashed a big smile in the pictures taken, it was because he was elated to be visited by someone outside his immediate family. He was so happy that he even started hamming it up for us. Those photographs were taken at the onset of our interview and before he got serious as he spoke about his case and before he got teary-eyed about missing his mother and the rest of his family.

Physically, the Grammy Award winning vocalist looked healthy. He is also in protective custody and not in the general population. He also does not have to share a cell and he is allowed to have a crock pot and buy groceries at the facilities commissary. This means he is able to make tacos and cook other favorite meals. He is also now working out. In addition, he is especially grateful to many of the Ramsey Unit’s staff.

“Remember to mention Captain T …, Lieutenant H… and Sergeant K …,” the 58-year-old vocalist insisted. Unfortunately, Warden Turrubiarte said not to list any prison staff or guards by name.

Continuing in his shout-out, López said, “And all West One Row, my friends from San Antonio and the (Rio Grande) valley that are here and especially Fred H.”

Next he started to rattle off a list of names that included Paulino


Bernal, Gracie Rivera, Ofelia Goff, Mary Macias, Mira Champion plus others too numerous to mention. In addition, he even wrote down a list of newspapers, churches, congregations and ministries that are praying for his freedom; plus justice organizations, such as the Innocence Project in New York.

“Most of all, I am highly upset that my attorneys would not let me testify because I wanted for the jury to hear my side,” he said. Had the panel heard his testimony, he would definitely have received a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

When the discussion shifted to what it’s like being incarcerated, López said, “You know, if you put a human being into any form of isolation, they will hallucinate; and even celebrity is a form of isolation because you are cut off … people react and respond to you in an altered fashion. They indulge you, than they resent you for it. They blame and accuse you and use you for being nice. Then there is the jealousy … and the point when evil people want to break you.

“You live behind a glass wall. The more people stare, the more alone you feel. The more fame, the more poison you swallow. Yet I never felt success had made me worse.

It is obvious that the many hours, days, months and now years in solitude have given López a good look at himself. It has elevated his level of intelligence for he is now pouring over law books and other reference material. This was now a new Joe now speaking in eloquent terms.

“Love is the reason we happen at all (meaning we are all the product of the love between two people).” Then he dives into true love in which one understands that beauty is not skin deep and how exterior beauty too will fade, but not that beauty within you.

“Your eyes will puff out. You will get loose in the joints, but those things don’t matter at all because once you accept it, it doesn’t matter at all. I was lucky. I got everything I wanted. Now I’d be crazy to wonder if it was worth it. I’ve since learned that the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Now what really matters is the truth. And with me, the truth has always meant everything.”

In reflecting of his fame and the glory days, López said, “I’m not a super great singer like people who I admire, Elvis, Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra. And I’m sure as hell no Ricky Martín, but my voice works and I feel blessed that it does. However, it works just when I’m being as honest as I can be with whatever I’m singing about.” In other words, his performance is heartfelt and that is why he filled concert halls and his recording outsold most everyone else.

López also feels a special kinship with the soldiers fighting for our country in Iraq because he too served in the United States Army Infantry, Division 141 to be specific from 1969 to the early ‘70s.

In closing López said, “I worked hard to make a name for myself … why would anyone want to give all this up. I will prove my innocence soon because God will not forsake me and He will give me my day in court.”

The latest on the legal proceeding is that on Wednesday, May 13th, the Grammy Awards winner’s Appeal went before the Justices at the Thirteenth Court of Appeals in Edinburg, Texas. His brothers Lorenzo, Raúl Jr. along with Tejano living legend Carlos Guzmán, singer Arturo Montez plus Ismael Ramírez and Lupe Villafranca were there for moral support; and put their arms around each other as they recited a prayer before entering the courthouse.

On Thursday, May 14th, Justice Dori Contreras Garza signed, on behalf of the court, a 15-page document with the conclusion that the judgment of conviction and sentence of the trial court is affirmed. In other words, López was denied his appeal to request a new trial.

“As a norm, most cases are denied the first time. This is not out of the ordinary,” Lorenzo said. “So there’s still hope. For now, all anyone can do is pray.”

For those who didn’t get to read Part One, we are again providing his address for fans to write and encourage Joe. It is José Manuel López 1399866, Ramsey Unit W-1-6, 1100 FM 655, Rosharon, Texas 77583. 

Pt. 1 Mazz's Joe López breaks his silence 


MORE:
2009-05-15 - Tejano artist Joe Lopez loses court appeal? 
2008-12-22 - Tragedy In April rocks Rio Grande Valley 
Lopez's brother: 'Joe Lopez is not doing good'
Mazz's Jimmy Gonzalez back in hospital for weekend observation
Mazz' s Jimmy Gonzalez is out of hospital; back home resting
Mazz's Jimmy Gonzalez back in hospital for weekend observation
Tears, anger, fear and sadness in Brownsville

Comments:

"I don't think you should stop writing about him.  Yes, it was extremely wrong for what he did but remember those who wanted Tookie Williams not to be executed and he committed some really heinous crimes and they still write about Manson and that guy shows absolutely no remorse.  I think Joe needs to let people know how he feels.  Forgiveness is a choice...and just because someone forgives him does not make his crime any less that what it is."
--Aurora Cantu

 

Comments (24)Add Comment
0
...
written by NT, August 06, 2016
At the time of Joe Lopez court proceedings from recent events regarding the prosecutions of former judges and lawyers and the D.A. in Brownsville who's to say that there could of been manipulation in the Joe Lopez case.The fact that these corrupt people were running the courts should be enough evidence to doubt the courts decision and allow an appeal to proceed.As a matter a fact all the cases that went on during the Da's time there should be reexamined and appeals granted to remove all doubt of a possible bribe taking place during that time.There could be innocent people behind bars and all doubt should be removed.

That fact that Joe Lopez did not try to plea deal means that he believed he was innocent from the start.And he should be given a chance to prove it through an appeal.!
0
solitude
written by Hector Rodriguez, July 21, 2016
Bottom line,Joe cannot be treated differently simply because he's a celebrity. Compare his sentance and how strongly the procecuter went after Joe to other similar cases. They tried that with The Stones and others in the sixties but a judge said no, no, no.
0
Can't wait to Hear you sing Again!
written by Ang, March 15, 2016
Joe Lopez and God know the truth! Other opinions, if he, did he, etc...is not for any of us to Judge!

Keep you head high, you will prevail!
0
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written by Sy l come home, October 17, 2015
Joe jesus on ur side
0
Mazz's Joe Lopez interview
written by Mari-elisabet G. Martinez, August 08, 2015
I use to be a radio DJ in a small town in TX. I had the honor and privilege of meeting Joe Lopez y El Grupo Mazz. They came to the radio station to talk to the radio listeners and "hang-out" with me. It was so funny... I tried to record his PSA announcement to the listeners; I played back the recording and he sounded like a chipmunk. On top of that, the speed was wrong so he was talking at 50 words per second! We could not stop laughing. I had to let whatever album I had on, play 3 more songs till we settled down. That night at the dance, we had a blast. I still have my pictures and I still love to hear "Calla." Listening to it right now. The perks of being a DJ was meeting all those groups, the music, the pictures, the fun, etc. etc. On a serious note: I was sorry to hear what had happen to Joe. I'm glad to hear that through this "storm" he has found the Lord. Keep the faith and never lose hope. The truth will come out. Thank you for putting his address out there. I am going to write to him. And for all his friends and fans, keep those prayers going. May God bless you!
0
...
written by C, January 17, 2015
Is this the same type of evidence that will set Selena's killer free?
0
...
written by Eduardo Lara, August 30, 2014
Joe,
I worked at Norton Co. in Brownsville when I first saw you working in maintenance in 1975.
You were wearing a Mikey mouse T-shirt that day. One of my favorite songs is Calla, and I will wait for someday to hear you sing that song one more time in public. God Bless You
Eduardo Lara Jr.
0
El Paso,Texas Ladybug
written by Paty Medina, June 22, 2014
Hi, I really haven't used the web, so excuse me if I mess up, so bare with me. Just to let you know I also am a great fan and it hurts me so much to imagine what you have gone through. When I first heard the news I was I disbelieve and my prayers are with you and my support. I was fortunate to see you preform. Here in El Paso, Texas . Hopefully I can reach you and write to you later. Paty
0
Ms.
written by Lupita Mancha, April 13, 2014
Hello Mr. Joe Lopez, i do believe u r innocent. The only thing i can say is be patient. Good things happen for those who wait. I have always loved ur music n still do. I was never fortunate enough to go to one of ur concerts to see u in person but i do hav all ur music. And even hav ur songs in ringtones. Keep ur head up high. We miss u.
0
SALUDOS JOE
written by PEDRO ESCOBEDO, October 25, 2012
SOY FANS DE JOE DESDE 1994, PORQUE MI HERMANO ANTONIO SE FUE A TRABAJAR A SABINAS HIDALGO, N.L. Y RECUERDO QUE ME DIJO LES TRAIGO LA NUEVA REVELACION TEXANA, NO LE CREIMOS PORQUE EL SABE QUE ACA EN MONTERREY ES ACORDEON Y BAJO SEXTO, DE HECHO CUANDO LLEGO EL CON SU CD NO LE DABAMOS OPORTUNIDAD DE QUE LO PUSIERA A TOCAR, PERO EN UN DESCUIDO LO HIZO, Y DESDE AHI HE SIDO ADMIRADOR DE LA MAJESTUOSA VOZ DE JOE DE HECHO EN UN MOMENTO LLEGAMOS A CONSEGUIR TODOS LOS DISCO QUE GRABO MAZZ, JOE SABE LO QUE PASO Y ESTA PASANDO, PERO ESPERO MUY PRONTO NO MENOS DE UN AÑO QUE EL SALGA LIBRE Y CAMBIADO A SEGUIR DELEITANDONOS CON SU MUSICA, EM GUSTARIA QUE SE REENCONTRARA CON JIMMY GZZ. Y LA DEMAS GENTE QUE CONFORMABAN LA BANDA
0
my prayer is with you!!
written by Deborah Medina, July 23, 2012
I beieve in Joe Lopez innocence. I remember the first tejano dance I went to was Joe Lopez and Mazz. From that night I feel in love with that incredible voice of his. For the next 51 years my husband and I went to as many Mazz dances as we could.
During every single dance I visited with Joe. and witness personally the number of women who literly threw themselves at him and making all kinds of advances occassion did I ever witness Joe taking advantage of any woman not even the young teenagers.
I have read all the so call evidence that supposely convicted him and in my heart I still believe in his innocence.I will pray for justice my friend Joe and justice always prevails! May God be with you always , God Bless you and TakeCare.smilies/kiss.gif
0
...
written by Henry M. Fletcher, July 11, 2012
Just waiting for Joe to maybe get out in 2016, yes I hate to say it he was guilty and now he is paying for it. Tejano music has been on the down side the last 5 years or so and Norteno has taken over. What does Tejano need to bring it back---------Joe Lopez, he was the Show, he was the one that brought Tejano to the Peak and he is the only one that can bring it back. Mazz is playing everywhere now, anything to get a gig and yes Jimmy was doing all the writing and he is great at doing it But he is not the Show--------Joe was the show and it will always be. I'm sure Freddie Records will put him under Contract and Joe will be back Stronger then Ever. To this day there has never been another Joe Lopez----------I will be there to see him for he will have payed dearly for his crime but it will be over and lets get back to Tejano Back.-----------Turn Him Lose and he will take over the music industry.
0
...
written by MAURICIO, June 20, 2012
Joe mi amigo my prayers are with all the way from Las Vegas New Mexico. I believe in your innocense .I have loved your music for years and years, you are and will be the best.
Tu amigo Mauricio from Las Vegas New Mexico
0
...
written by Julia, January 27, 2012
I write to Joe often. He always writes back & truly loves his fans. I can read he tries to keep a positive attitude. I am so grateful to get to know him. It is a shame that people who he thought were his friends are no where to be around in his time of need. (Jimmy Gonzales) He helped create the sound of Mazz. Jimmy's web page says he did it alone! Let's just kick Joe under the bus! Shame on hiim! I have read many articles about the trial. There was evidence that was not admissible in court that might be allowed now. Joe is up for his final hearing and lawyers are not cheap. He has given all of us some wonderful memories with his music so we should stand by him and help during his time of need. I am making a contribution to help with attorney fees. They are not cheap and the family has been struggling with attorneys for years. This is Joes last chance and he needs us more than ever! Please Please donate to Joe Lopez Legal Defense Fund 7517 Boca Chica Blvd Brownsville Texas 78520 It is tax time and I know I have some extra $ to spare and i am not going to hesitate to donate. It is in my heart that it is the right thing to do. Thank you everyone. We love you Joe! It's time to come home!
0
Joe Lopez forgiveness, solitude, reflection
written by Julia, January 27, 2012
I write to Joe often. He always writes back & truly loves his fans. I can read he tries to keep a positive attitude. I am so grateful to get to know him. It is a shame that people who he thought were his friends are no where to be around in his time of need. (Jimmy Gonzales) He helped create the sound of Mazz. Jimmy's web page says he did it alone! Let's just kick Joe under the bus! Shame on hiim! I have read many articles about the trial. There was evidence that was not admissible in court that might be allowed now. Joe is up for his final hearing and lawyers are not cheap. He has given all of us some wonderful memories with his music so we should stand by him and help during his time of need. I am making a contribution to help with attorney fees. They are not cheap and the family has been struggling with attorneys for years. This is Joes last chance and he needs us more than ever! Please Please donate to Joe Lopez Legal Defense Fund 7517 Boca Chica Blvd Brownsville Texas 78520 It is tax time and I know I have some extra $ to spare and i am not going to hesitate to donate. It is in my heart that it is the right thing to do. Thank you everyone. We love you Joe! It's time to come home!
0
mi gran amigo Joe Lopez
written by izzy, December 04, 2011
Mi Gran amigo Joe. Did not do that. Como on man he had women all over. He did not need that.i know he is innocent. GOD KNOWS. For all none fans ect. U dont have to be a fan. But human think. He had it all. smilies/cool.gif
0
...
written by Diana B., January 17, 2011
I don't know about his innocence. All I know is that I miss the hell out of his dances. Nothing, but true romance in his music....Ahhhhh! Those were the days...
0
...
written by Nigel Brooks, January 29, 2010
Sorry but I find the story non-compelling

Claims of evidence that cannot be disclosed because it would harm the appeal is absolute rubbish. If there indeed is evidence which would explain Lopez' dna on a 13 year olds underwear then it needs to be disclosed. If there is other exculpatory evidence that would show Lopez was wrongly convicted then publish it. The justice for joe site mentions possible Jury bias - but fails to mention that the defense had every opportunity to remove any juror that they felt could not render an unbiased verdict.

Public disclosure of exculpatory evidence is not going to harm an appeal.

Further - the claim by Mr. Lopez that he was prevented from testifying by his attorneys is absolutely ridiculous. Every defendant has an absolute right to testify in their own behalf. The downside of testifying is that it subjects the witness to cross examination and most defense attorneys caution their clients not to testify.

I have no doubt that Lopez was advised not to take the stand and that he took his attorneys advice.

In short - if there is any compelling evidence that would tend to show that Lopez was wrongly convicted - it needs to see the light of day, and the press is certainly capable of providing that light.
0
hairstylist in austin texas
written by rosieharaway, January 14, 2010
watch the movie on lifetime on sunday at 8 pm called wronged man dont rem much but its about a man in jail accused wrong rh.
0
Justice just an ILLUSION
written by Diana Ibanez, December 03, 2009
It is upsetting that someone that might be able to bring awareness of how corrupt the system is, and how it is done to be able to confirm convictions to all that cannot bye Justice, has done nothing to advertise the truth about how this system is not made to file motions, or to appeal, rather than to plea bargain or be punished with more time for exercising your right for a jury trial, and how attorney's, and Judges play a part in it, don't forget who your fans are.
0
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written by Tejano Ram, November 25, 2009
smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif Hello Tejano Joe from Tejano Ram. We are still praying for you. I've lost 5 loving relatives including my DAD within a year. My faith in God is better than ever! The Justice system is twisted with a vicious attitude of throwing away the key even many innocent people. God's justice and forgiveness will prevail. I sent a prayer booklet and cariñito to Mr. Jose Manuel Lopez. Please remember this American Tejano Veteran in your prayers as well.
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written by Trunx, August 14, 2009
asta el fin mi amor vuelvo estar contigoooo por que solo tu es aquien yo quieroooooooo......WHATEVER YOU DO YOU STAY ALIVE AND BE SOMEBODY TILL WE MEET AGAIN GOODNIGHT......take care my brother
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Ms.
written by Mari Alejos, August 14, 2009
First of all, my prayers are will Joe Lopez. Im a hard-core fan from McAllen, Texas and have been going to his dances since I was about 16, now 39. I continue to listen to his music and it just lights up my heart. I know he is innocent and the truth is going to set him free-it's just a matter of time--good things come to those who wait. There is no problem, circumstance or situation that God CANNOT handle! I believe that things happen for a reason and God has a plan for Mr. Lopez. Again, my prayers and faith with the Lord ALWAYS, be patient! I'll be writing soon..(gee, always wondered how i could get Joe Lopez' address) thank you guys for this post.. Ill pass the word around.
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Joe's Innocence
written by Celina, June 04, 2009
I beieve in Joe Lopez innocence. I remember the first tejano dance I went to was Joe Lopez and Mazz. From that night I feel in love with that incredible voice of his. For the next 41/2 years my boyfriend and I went to as many Mazz dances as we could.
During every single dance I visited with Joe and witness personally the number of women who literly threw themselves at him and making all kinds of advances including keys to their hotel rooms. Older women and yes even very young teenagers. Never during any occassion did I ever witness Joe taking advantage of any woman not even the young teenagers.
I have read all the so call evidence that supposely convicted him and in my heart I still believe in his innocence.I will pray for justice my friend Joe and justice always prevails!

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