PERRY, Iowa-- An outpouring of emotion and outrage after the killing of Mollie Tibbetts in eastern Iowa has led to fear and tension in the Iowa immigrant community. This week the Latino heritage festival in Perry was cancelled.
Hispanic United for Perry was planned for this weekend but was cancelled Friday. A similar festival in Iowa City has also been canceled.
"We felt that it was not the right time for a community celebration," HUP organizer Jon Wolseth tells WHO TV. He says the debate over immigration policies caused the organization to postpone the festival.
HUP was unable to say whether threats to the organization or a concern for safety led to the decision.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a pro-immigration organization says the Mollie Tibbetts case has sparked an anti-immigration narrative. In response to cancelling the festival, a United Rally will be held in Perry instead.
“The message of the rally is the title of the rally peace, love and unity,” Organizer TJ Maylum said. The rally starts at noon at the Josh Davis Plaza, organizers say it’ll happen rain or shine.