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Jailed Kickapoo leader claims no knowledge of English

The former chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe of Texas says he never went to school and doesn't understand English or the law.

Raul Garza appeared in federal court on Wednesday after being charged with theft from a gaming establishment and embezzlement. Authorities say he and Isidro Garza, a non-Indian, used the tribe's casino as their personal piggybank.

The two men did not enter a plea but Raul Garza tried to address the court in Spanish. "I am a Kickapoo tribal member and I have never been to school. I don't know the laws and I don't understand English," he told the judge, The San Antonio Express-News reported. The men are being held in jail until their detention hearing set for Monday

Many members of the Kickapoo Tribe speak Kickapoo, Spanish and English, and tribal ceremonies and events are often conducted in all three languages. Tribal members often travel to Mexico, where they were granted a reserve.

Get the Story:
Former Kickapoo leaders accused of casino scheme (The Houston Chronicle 12/9)
Pair to stay behind bars (The San Antonio Express-News 12/9)

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