The issue of legislative redistricting continues to create controversy in Texas, a state controlled by the Republicans where Hispanics are fighting to see themselves proportionally represented.
At the end of the legislative session last month, Republican Gov. Rick Perry convened an extraordinary 30-day session to resolve a large number of pending matters, the main one being redistricting.
According to Joe Cardenas, the director of Hispanics Organized for Political Education, or HOPE, what's at stake is political control of a state that for several decades has had a Republican majority.
"The redistribution of the electoral maps put in place in 2011 was characterized by a higher court as unconstitutional because it discriminates against ethnic minorities, specifically Hispanics, who have been the group with the greatest demographic growth," Cardenas said in an interview with Efe.
Civic organizations presented a lawsuit in which they accused the state executive branch and Republican lawmakers of manipulating the electoral redistricting map to favor the Republican Party.
The suit demands the nullification of the electoral map approved in the past legislative session because is does not conform to the parameters demanded by the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
"The future of the state is in the hands of the Hispanic population, whose political power is still negligible," Cardenas said.
On Thursday, the state House of Representatives is scheduled to hold a session during which lawmakers will vote on the electoral redistricting version proposed by the Senate and, if approved, it would then go to Perry.
Of the 32 lawmakers participating in the electoral redistricting committee during the last legislative session, 23 were Anglo Republicans.
According to U.S. Census data, Latinos make up 37.6 percent of Texas' 25 million residents. EFE