Law | Politics

Mescalero Apache Nation holds liquor referendum on May 12

A view of the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico. Photo from Vimari R / TripAdvisor

Members of the Mescalero Apache Nation in New Mexico will vote next week in a liquor referendum.

The tribe operates a package liquor store, also known as the tribal bar, on the reservation. The May 12 referendum will determine whether the operation will continue.

"There are a lot of alcohol-related deaths here and alcohol-related violence," Vice President Gabe Aguilar told The Ruisodo News. "Our young people are dying. It's what is best, but we're leaving it up to the people to decide."

Some tribal members believe the store serves a legitimate purpose -- it prevents people from looking for liquor elsewhere and it limits drunken driving.

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Mescalero "bar" referendum May 12 (The Ruidoso News