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Mother of fallen Marine hero: Reporter tried to play Latino 'race card'

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The family of a fallen Marine hero is accusing a reporter for The Washington Post of attempting to play the Latino race card by trying to trick the family into stating that the combat hero's Mexican heritage was a factor in him being denied the Medal of Honor, as reported by The Washington Times on Feb. 27, 2014.

Rosa Peralta, mother of the recipient of the Navy Cross Sgt. Rafael Peralta, as well as her youngest son L/Cpl Ricardo Peralta, USMC, are hammering Washington Post reporter Ernesto Londono for repeatedly attempting to get family members to accuse the military hierarchy of denying the Medal of Honor to the Marine Corps martyr because of his Latino lineage.

As previously covered, in a recent article for The Post wordsmithed by Londono, he heavily leaned on accusations by two former Marines that supported the decision by the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of refusing to re-open the case of possibly upgrading Sgt. Peralta's Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor on the grounds of "insufficient proof."

Despite the eyewitness accounts and the official Marine Corps citation for the Navy Cross to Sgt. Peralta for his dying act of scooping a live grenade to his own body, thusly saving the lives of many of his brother Marines, civilian leadership within the Department of Defense continuously deny requests to re-investigate.

In a letter signed by both mother and son to their Congressman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Major, USMC Reserve, the Peraltas penned:

During the phone interview, this reporter had began asking questions about her son Rafael Peralta, my mom answered his questions but this reporter began harassing my mother and changing her words as to making him come off as some sort of punk.

She felt that by his words that he was trying to force her into making statements that he wanted to hear.

He tried to get me to pull the ‘race card’ as to being the reason for the denial of the Medal of Honor on three separate occasions of the interview.

Congressman Hunter, himself a Marine combat veteran, has championed the cause for Sgt. Peralta's MoH review.

In a three-page letter to The Post, Rep. Hunter cited numerous details of the physical evidence, as well as inconsistencies in the accounts of the very small number of former Marines who are now questioning the accounts of Sgt. Peralta's heroism.

As cited, Ernesto Londono "referred questions from The Washington Times to a company spokeswoman, Kristine Coratti, who did not address the concerns [Congressman] Hunter raised."

"The Washington Post stands by the story," she said.

Coratti went on to state the accusation against Londono "to bait the family into blaming race for the denial of a Medal of Honor was 'absolutely untrue.'"

However, in a separate correspondence to The Post, Peralta family spokesman George Sabga informed Londono of "several objections to the report including disputing the claim that Peralta was an illegal immigrant."

Not done yet, Sabga also hammered Londono by again accusing the WaPo reporter of repeatedly bringing up Sgt. Peralta's Mexican ancestry, "even after Mrs. Peralta’s initial rejection that her son’s Mexican ancestry was involved in the decision-making."

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