Antonito Labor Day Parade Starts With Tragedy, Town Preservers

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Article & Photos by Miguel Baca Barragan, Latin Life Denver Media

Labor Day weekend 2018 was filled with children chasing candy thrown from decorative parade floats, friends dancing to live bands in the streets, food and merchant vendors, and community members of all ages enjoying a family day together. But, for the small town of Antonito, CO, where Latin Life Denver was a media sponsor and MC for this year’s Labor Day parade, the
morning started with a tragic event that affected the entire town.

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According to Valley Publishing, “CBI investigates burglary, shooting in Antonito”: The owner of the G6 Hamburger Stand (210 Main St.) in Antonito was alerted of a burglary in
progress through his security system at 5:30 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 1. After instructing a family member to call authorities, the business owner traveled to the restaurant.

While standing outside the restaurant, the business owner was allegedly charged by the burglary suspect as he exited the building. The business owner, who was armed, fired his weapon, striking Byron Garcia-Duran (DOB: 08/04/1992) of Antonito. Garcia-Duran was later pronounced deceased.

Due to the horrific tragedy, event organizers met with Mayor Aaron Abeyta and decided that the show must go on.  The parade was rerouted, volunteers and attendees were advised of the change, and parade entries pulled together a new respectful line up.  The entire town came together for each other to make the day a festive event.

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The Antonito Labor Day Parade and Festivities is one of this MC’s favorite annual event.  The community of Antonito is a town of beauty that I have had the opportunity to experience over the past three years.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the citizens of Antonito and the friends and family of Byron Garcia-Duran.  May you rest in peace.

CBI agents are in the process of conducting interviews and additional follow-up. At the completion of the investigation by CBI agents, case information will be forwarded to the 12th

Judicial District Attorney’s Office for their review. The business owner’s name is not being released, as there have been no arrests made in the case
to date. Part of the DA’s review will be to determine if any charges are appropriate in the case.

Photos by Miguel Baca Barragan, Latin Life Denver Media