To discuss Founder’s Preparation of Miami Council of Oriates

Date: December 12, 2001
Time: 7:30 PM

Minutes taken by Ileana Zambrano.

Meeting is held in response to the initial gathering of the Oriates of Miami, Florida, requested by Mr. Willie Ramos, to create the organization to be called “Miami Council of Oriates.” The mission of this organization will be circulated amongst the community at a later date.

Meeting Place: Mr. Popi Cioffi’s residence.

The meeting was called to order at approximately at 8:10 PM

Willie Ramos, Ernesto Pichardo & Roque Duarte presided the meeting.


Roque Duarte, Willie Ramos, Ernesto Pichardo, Tony Peña, Nelson Hernandez, Popi Cioffi, Pedro Alfaro, Roberto Abreú , Carlos “Machito” Bresó, Lazaro Ramos, Manolo Mederos, Carlos Bresó, Jr., Jorge Castillo, Willy Zapata, Juan Carlos Bresó, Michelle Abreú, Abelardo Hernandez, Juan Carlos Cabrisas, Antonia Sanchez, Jorge Ferreira, Flor Decker, Jeffrey Gonzalez, Angel Riana, Ileana Zambrano

Also in support, though not present:

Viki Gómez, Ambiro Terán, Gerardo Durán, Anibal Guerrero, Eduardo Faiña

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Willie Ramos. He briefly reviewed the decision reached at the November 14th, 2001 meeting, where it was agreed to go forward with the preparatory steps to initiate the above mentioned organization. He also stated his desire to elect the Board of Directors of this organization during this meeting.

Roque Duarte voiced his belief that though a Board of Directors was to be elected, under no circumstances should any Oriatés feel that there is a Sovereign amongst them. Mr. Ramos reiterated that the Board of Directors was only an administrative function and necessity in order to pursue the creation of this Council. Duarte stressed that to promote a strong, united Council, we needed equality amongst the members and unification, speaking as one voice.

With this said, Willie called upon Mr. Ernesto Pichardo to present his model for establishing the foundations of the Organization. He handed out a document he had prepared in advance to the Oriatés in which he explains procedures, vacant position of officer of the Board of Directors, and the position of the Church of Lukumi Babalú Ayé with reference to the Council. Mr. Pichardo further explained that the Miami Council of Oriatés would function as a branch of the Church and it would be a self-governing entity, directed by it own members.

He further informed that there are other Councils also branching from the Church, the purpose of these Councils and his own position as the current President of the Church of the Lukumi Babalú Ayé and how his presence would relate to the Council. He explained that his presence would be to oversee and assist with the procedures to create this Council and make sure that all steps are taken correctly, per the Church’s bylaws.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pichardo also informed that his participation in the Council would be limited, since his seat, as President of the Church of the Lukumi, would not allow him to take seat as an official of the Board of Directors for the Miami Council of Oriatés. He added that in order to create a Council, the members of the Council would need to become members.

Mr. Pichardo briefed everyone on the legal aspects of this function and explained the role and responsibility of each Officer of the Board of Director’s.

Mr. Roque Duarte asked if everyone understood Mr. Pichardo’s explanation of the procedure to take place and requested the attendees to voice their opinions or ask any questions they may have. Everyone showed understanding of Mr. Pichardo’s presentation.

Mr. Pichardo mentioned to the Oriatés that there was an urgency to be informed of the legal aspects regarding sacrifices. He discussed certain issues regarding this matter and stressed that in the coming weeks, it would be necessary to hold a seminar on the proper religious and lawful techniques for sacrifice. Mr. Duarte supported Mr. Pichardo’s idea of future discussion and stressed the importance of this matter for the council.

Mr. Manolo Mederos asked the presiding officers to further clarify the position of the Miami Council of Oriatés in regards to the relationship between the Church and the Council. He asked if the Council would be viewed as a branch or as a separate entity and if the Council were created, would the Church hold any rights over the Council.

Mr. Pichardo answered Mr. Mederos’ question reiterating that the Council would be considered a branch of the Church, however, it would be a self administered and self-governed organization. He as representative of the Church would participate in the Council only as a consultant basis and to assist the Council during this procedure or future procedures (i.e. answer questions to officers of the Board regarding their role, assure re-election of vacant seats to the Board, assure minutes be taken of meetings, etc.).

Mr. Duarte also participated in this discussion and informed everyone that these are the first steps in this structural process of the Council. He further informed that in the near future a Code of Ethics, and Regulatory Chapters would be created to further guide the members of this organization. He added that this Code would be open to discussion amongst the members and later submitted for approval by the entire Council.

With this said, Mr. Antonio Peña and Mr. Willie Ramos suggested to continue with the process of electing the Officers of the Board. Mr. Ramos suggested that this election of the Board be for a temporary term of 6 months to allow time to finalize the organizational stage.

Prior to the voting in, Mr. Abelardo Hernandez, stated to the attendees to be prudent and consider the responsibility the head officer will face. He also stated that many members of the religious community were closely monitoring, and in many cases censuring, this Council performance.

All the attendees second Mr. Peña & Mr. Ramos motion to continue with the votes. The nominees were accepted at the floor of the forum.

The following are the elected Board of Directors:

Director – Willie Ramos
Sub-director – Manolo Mederos
Treasurer – Roberto Abreú
Secretary – Carlos Bresó, Jr.
P.R. Rep. – Jeffrey Gonzalez

Director Willie Ramos, after the election of the Board, informed all that Mr. Roque Duarte would prepare the Code of Ethics and Regulatory Chapters of this Council. Mr. Duarte reiterated that this Code of Ethics and Regulations would be discussed prior to their approval by all Council Members to ensure that all are in agreement with such.

The next meeting will be held at Mr. Lazaro Ramos residence, located at 1930 N.W. 36 Avenue, Miami, Florida (305) 635-1866, on Tuesday, January 8th, 2002.

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