The Spanish-language daily has just published a series of reports on the recent wave of attacks on Mexican immigrants living on Staten Island.
Tag: hate crimes against immigrants
A year ago this Sunday, in the heady days following the election of President Barack Obama, a hate crime took place in Long Island that initially went mostly unnoticed: a gang of teenagers attacked and killed Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero, as part of what was later revealed to be a frequent activity for the youngsters “beaner jumping,” a slang term for attacking Latinos.
Thursday, there was big news in the case when one of the teenagers, Nicholas Hausch, pleaded guilty to gang assault and hate crime charges as part of deal in which he will testify against the other defendants. Meanwhile, relatives and friends of Lucero are preparing to remember him this Saturday with a vigil near the Patchogue train station, where he died. And Long Island Wins, a pro-immigration website, launched a blogging campaign asking other sites to post stories to “Remember Marcelo” and other victims of hate crimes.
Law enforcement officials from around the country say that the current immigration system creates obstacles to their work because undocumented immigrants who are victims of hate crimes are often afraid to report them. The comments came in the same week that a civil rights organization reported that a hate crime occurs in the nation every hour on average and Attorney General Eric Holder called for updating the laws against those attacks.
The chiefs of police of communities in various states said Tuesday in a conference call that changes are needed to immigration laws to end the climate of insecurity and impunity, the Spanish news service Agencia Efe reported. The call included officials from Austin, Texas, North Charleston, N.C., and Topeka, Kansas.
“We need to reestablish trust in law enforcement,” said Art Acevedo, Austin police chief and the president of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.
“Our community is full of immigrants living in fear who therefore have doubts when the time comes to cooperate with the law,” he added.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
The men accused of killing Jose Sucuzhañay, the Ecuadorian immigrant beaten to death with a bottle and a baseball bat on a Brooklyn street last December, have been indicted under charges of murder as a hate crime and could face up to 78 years in prison.
Keith Phoenix, 28, and Hakim Scott, 25, were charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault, all of them as hate crimes.
On Dec. 7, Phoenix and Scott allegedly attacked Sucuzhañay and his brother Romel shouting anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs as the brothers walked home, hugging each other, after a party.
“The acts which we charge this morning are no less despicable because the victims Jose and Romel Sucuzhañay were not gay,” Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes said in announcing the indictments, according to The New York Times.
The December attack was the second against Ecuadoreans in the New York area in less than a month, after Marcelo Lucero was beaten to death by a group of high-school students in Patchogue, Long Island. Those arrested in that killing now stand charged with a rampage of attacks against Latinos in the area.