Ruben Salazar, alrededor de 1970. Ruben Salazar, circa 1970. Photo Courtesy Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) settled its lawsuit last December against Sheriff Lee Baca and the County of Los Angeles while representing Phillip Rodriguez—a documentary filmmaker from L.A. The settlement, obtained by way of the California Public Records Act, allows for the release of official documents related to the mysterious death of L.A. journalist and activist Ruben Salazar following the Chicano Moratorium March in 1970.

Ruben Salazar was a successful columnist for the L.A. Times, who was a pioneer in reporting on Chicano and Latino issues for mainstream media. He became news director for Univision’s KMEX-TV, and he advocated for minorities’ causes by informing majorities about Chicano and Latino issues.

The documents to be released through this settlement include records related to Salazar’s death on or about Aug. 29, 1970; the investigation, autopsy and analysis of his body and the circumstances of his death; and coroner’s photos taken at the scene, as well as records referring to any investigation, surveillance or inquiry in regards to Salazar’s death.

Phillip Rodriguez is making a film about the life and death of Ruben Salazar. The documentary “Ruben Salazar: The Man in the Middle” will be released by PBS this fall.