Sunday, April 21, 2024

Teens Sentenced in NY Hate Crime Killing As Violence Against Hispanics Continues to Rise

Four teens faced sentencing on Wednesday in New York for their role in the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant.   Meanwhile, as reported in La Plaza, a surge in violence against Hispanics in East Baltimore claimed the lives of three men.

Marcelo Lucero, 37, was stabbed to death on Nov. 8, 2008 by a group of teenagers who admitted to carrying out a campaign of violence against Hispanics.  Three of the teens, Anthony Hartford, Jordan Dasch and Jose Pacheco, all 19, received a sentence of seven-year prison terms. The fourth received a six-year sentence.  The court did not provide a reason for the lighter sentence, except to say the teen had not participated in earlier attacks.

Jeffrey Conroy, 19, was sentenced in May to 25 years in prison for inflicting the fatal stab wound.  Two other teens who pleaded guilty have yet to face sentencing.

New York’s Suffolk County became the focus of the national debate over immigration and prompted an ongoing U.S. Justice Department probe of how the police on Long Island respond to hate crimes.  The case now echoes the escalating violence against Hispanics in East Baltimore.

A mentally deranged teenager there has allegedly confessed to killing 51-year-old Martin Reyes on Saturday because he hated “Mexicans.”  In fact, all five men who have been attacked in Baltimore are Honduran.  Just the previous week two Latino men were shot during a robbery resulting in one of the men’s death, allegedly by a 13-year-old girl.

The cases are leading some to believe that the anti-immigrant mood across the nation with state after state proposing legislation similar to Arizona’s SB 1070 could be contributing to the violence.

“It’s at least plausible that the clamorous anti-immigrant hysteria demonizing people of Hispanic descent nationwide may have played a role in tipping an already unbalanced mind over the edge into violence,” reads an editorial in the Baltimore Sun.  “It would be foolish, however, to dismiss the attack on Mr. Reyes, an immigrant from Honduras, as an isolated incident carried out by a mentally deranged individual.”

Baltimore Sun