First, burglars stole her crown. Now Española’s reigning La Reina could lose her title as well after she expressed anger toward the town on Facebook in a comment that incensed others in the community.
The Española Valley Fiesta Council scheduled a public meeting for Thursday evening to discuss whether to strip Angelina Vigil of her title as La Reina of the 2015 Española Valley Fiesta. The meeting was postponed shortly after the crown and scepter were recovered by Española police.
Late Thursday night, the council rescheduled the meeting for 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Beatrice V.Q. Martinez Senior Center in Española.
Detectives Daniel Espinoza and George Martinez arrested Eva Ortega, 19, and Josh Vigil, 20, both of Española, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary and transfer of stolen property.
Espinoza said that as far as he knows, Josh Vigil is not related to La Reina. The detective said police are still looking for a third suspect, Miguel Perez, an Española man in his early 20s.
Before the council meeting was canceled Thursday, the city’s liaison, Mark Trujillo, said, “My understanding is they will listen to La Reina’s explanation about her social media comment. They’ll take comment from the public and then they’ll decide whether or not they will vote on her remaining.”
Bernadette Jaramillo, president of the Fiesta Council, did not respond to calls seeking more information.
Angelina Vigil came home Tuesday night to find her mother’s house in Española had been burglarized. Among the items stolen were a silver-and-turquoise crown used in the community’s annual Fiesta since 1969 and a donated silver scepter.
Vigil, angry and frustrated about the thefts and the break-in, which left the home in shambles and her mother and little brother in tears, posted a comment about how much she hated coming to “this effn town.” The post quickly drew an angry response from others in the Española Valley, and Vigil took down the comment. Comments critical of her and the local Fiesta Council also were removed from the council’s Facebook page.
Vigil, a 2008 graduate of Española Valley High School, apologized later and said she posted her comment out of anger over the high crime rate and drug problems in the town. “I love Española,” she said.
“The post was blown out of context, but I understand why,” Vigil said. “I meant I hate what goes on here, not that I hate all the people in Española.”
The executive committee of the Española Valley Fiesta, which celebrates the arrival of Spanish Conquistador Don Juan de Oñate to the valley, is appointed by Española’s mayor. The rest of the committee consists of two dozen or more people who live in the communities in the valley.
The agenda originally sent out for Thursday evening’s meeting listed “social media comments by the Reina” as one item and “vote of confidence” as another item.
Some weren’t happy when the meeting was canceled. “There are issues that have been raised regarding La Reina,” posted Naomi Tafoya on the council’s Facebook page. “Whether you the Council decide to keep her or not … the integrity of what she represents to the Valley has been forever tarnished” and “the integrity of the Council is on the line.”
While the council debated holding a public meeting to decide La Reina’s fate, the detectives found Ortega and Josh Vigil at a gas station at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in a blue truck matching the description of one that a neighbor had seen outside La Reina’s home during the burglary. According to police, Ortega denied being involved in the burglary, but Josh Vigil said they, along with Perez, broke into the home and stole televisions, the Fiesta crown and the scepter.
Detective Espinoza said Josh Vigil invited police to come to his house to retrieve the crown and scepter. “Josh said he knew what they were,” Espinoza said. “He felt kind of bad. He said he wanted to make things right.”
Ortega and Josh Vigil were put in an Española holding facility until they could be booked into a county jail.
Call Staci Matlock at 505-986-3055 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @StaciMatlock.