Brother of Murdered Immigrant Calls for Cancellation of Trump Rally

Joselo Lucero stands next to a mural painted in honor of his brother Marcelo, who was murdered in 2008. (Photo via El Diario)

Joselo Lucero stands in front of a mural painted in honor of his brother Marcelo, who was murdered in 2008. (Photo via El Diario)

“Considering Suffolk County’s history of intolerance and racism, it is unfortunate to see that candidate Donald Trump ‒ who promotes a xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant and misogynistic message ‒ has been invited here,” said Joselo Lucero, brother of Marcelo Lucero, the immigrant man who was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths on Nov. 8, 2008, in the village of Patchogue on Long Island.

The Republican candidate is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser organized by chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Committee John Jay LaValle in Patchogue on Thursday night.

In a phone interview with El Diario, Lucero said: “Suffolk’s Republicans are making the worst possible mistake. The least they could do is cancel the event. Trump is a man who lacks political training and social sensibility.”

The victim, Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero. (Photo via El Diario)

The victim, Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero. (Photo via El Diario)

“Trump’s presence in Patchogue does affect me. Knowing that he has been invited to come here ‒ someone who brings a message of hatred and intolerance against immigrants ‒ saddens my family directly, as well as our community.”

The canvassing event Trump was invited to will take place at The Emporium nightclub, close to the place where the Ecuadorean immigrant was murdered.

Visibly outraged, Lucero questioned “why that particular place was chosen ‒ instead of a different venue elsewhere in the county ‒ to raise funds to finance the campaign of hate that Donald Trump represents.”

Several local community and workers organizations including union 1199 SEIU, the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Make the Road Action, the Working Families Party and Joselo Lucero himself held a press conference on Monday to ask the Republican Committee to cancel Trump’s event.

The organizations are also calling for a demonstration to be held on Thursday, April 14, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 95 Railroad Ave. in Patchogue.

“We know that there are consequences,” continued Lucero. “When a politician says negative things about our community, it has an effect [on people]. The most poignant example is my brother’s murder.”

Lucero, who has become a community activist, remembered that seven years have passed since the crime, and said in a pessimistic tone that he had come to believe that Patchogue and the rest of Suffolk County had changed.

“I thought we were working to make this city and this county a safer place for our community, but we are now seeing that that’s not the case, that the repercussions of my brother’s death and the multiple attacks against immigrants we endured for many years will probably continue after Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. We’re going back to zero.”

Referring to the event they are organizing for Thursday, Lucero said that it will not be a protest but a demonstration with a positive message of peace.

“We have to articulate what we represent. We are working people who come to this country with a goal of working hard to help our families back in our countries and to contribute to make this nation better. We are not here to steal or to hurt anyone,” said Lucero.

The activist said that it is unfortunate to see some Hispanics supporting the Republican candidate. “I think that is the worst thing a Hispanic person could do. The way I see it, they do not know that the message of hate that Trump is spreading will end up hurting them.

“It doesn’t matter if they are citizens or not; the message is against all immigrants. Even if they don’t consider themselves immigrants, they are immigrants,” Lucero pointed out. “Hispanics who support Trump should look in the mirror and act in a coherent manner. I cannot fight this alone; we need to come together to defend ourselves from this abuse.”

Lucero ended by saying that his mother Rosario died in October of last year.

“I want them to know that after my brother died ‒ and because of the circumstances and implications of it ‒ she suffered so much that she fell into a depression and died. Those are the irreparable consequences of a crime. There are irreversible consequences: We will never see our brother and mother again. That is why we are fighting so directly, to prevent these things from ever happening again.”

(…)

Prior procedures

According to the records of the crime, which had national repercussions for being one of the worst racially-motivated hate crimes against immigrants, several attacks of the same type had been reported previously but the Suffolk County Police failed to file them in that category.

An inquiry by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which took more than two years, revealed that failures in the investigation carried out by the Suffolk County Police were crucial to the continuation of these attacks.

The DOJ recommended improving investigation procedures for racially-motivated crimes in Suffolk County, and cited that the procedural failures existed prior to Marcelo Lucero’s murder.

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