A Latino Family Lost a Father to COVID-19. The Obituary Blamed the ‘Carelessness of Politicians'

The family of Mark Anthony Urquiza, seen here holding his daughter Kristin as a newborn, touched a nerve when they blasted elected officials for their "carelessness" in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Urquiza died of COVID-19 in Arizona.
Courtesy Kristen Urquiza

Many families have publicly expressed their grief in the last few months over the deaths of their loved ones from the coronavirus, but the Urquiza family has touched a nerve for publicly stating their anger — and blasting elected officials for what they see as inactions that have deadly consequences, NBC News reported.

In a gesture that has gone viral, the family wrote an obituary in the Arizona Republic, the state's largest newspaper, calling out "the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through a clear lack of leadership, refusal to acknowledge the severity of the crisis, and inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize risk."

Kristin Urquiza's father, nicknamed "Black Jack" because he loved playing the card game as a kid, is one of over 2,150 people in Arizona who have died of COVID-19. Cases have skyrocketed since May, after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey lifted stay-at-home orders, quickly reopened businesses and went on local news station KTAR "to encourage people to get out and about, to take a loved one to dinner, to go retail shopping."

Urquiza held an "ofrenda," or altar, ceremony in memory of her dad in front of the state Capitol and invited the governor to her father's funeral. She said she hasn't heard back.

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