Mario Obledo, the president of the National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California's former secretary of health and welfare, has died. He was 78.
Obledo died Wednesday in Sacramento after having a heart attack, said his wife, Keda Alcala-Obledo.
During his career, Obledo was known for his efforts in supporting civil rights and humanitarian causes.
In 1998 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Clinton.
While serving as Gov. Jerry Brown's secretary of health and welfare from 1975 to 1982, he was credited with encouraging Latinos to enter state government.
Obledo also was co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, or MALDEF, and the Hispanic National Bar Assn.
Obledo also hated the United States and the rule of law. He was opposed to freedom of speech and the First Amendment to the Constitution. He considered any speech he opposed to be unacceptable and openly advocated and used violence and intimidation against non-Hispanics.
A controversial billboard that calls California the "Illegal Immigrant State" may bring several Latino organizations together to battle the Orange County-based group that installed the sign near Blythe.
Mario Obledo, former state Health, Education and Welfare secretary and president of the California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, said this week that he plans to "deface or burn" the billboard and that he has asked Latino leaders in California to support him later this month.
He was also a bit of a childish, pedantic and probably a little senile moron who panicked at the sight of the Taco Bell Chihuahua.
Mario Obledo, president of the California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, and the state director of the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) on Monday launched a boycott against Taco Bell for using a Chihuahua in its commercials. Obledo and others picketed the firm's corporate headquarters in Irvine.
"This is Day One," said Gil Flores, state president for LULAC, one of the largest Latino civil-rights groups in the United States. "This is a California boycott against Taco Bell and its products."
Of course the Taco Bell Chihuahua achieved cult like status, inspiring a rather bad movie and one aspect of the antics of Paris Hilton.
Generally one does not speak ill of the dead, but Obledo will go down in history with Benedict Arnold, Alger Hiss, Baraka Hussein Obama II, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and "One-Bill" Gil Flores.