Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Immigrant Death in Brooklyn

Many people have cautioned me when traveling about foreigners--especially U.S. citizens--being targets of attacks, whether simple muggings or politically motivated assaults. But when I was on the road for eight months, the only hassle I had was a street brawl in Lima, Peru, that ended up in a stalemate. I have generally found Latin America to be as safe as New York City. (In fact, the only time I've had a knife pulled on me was on a public bus in Minneapolis.) There are risks to traveling, to be sure, but I've never found it to be prohibitively dangerous (there are certain exceptions, though).

The United States, though, is looking really scary now--if you're an immigrant, that is. I'm ashamed to see that an Ecuadorian immigrant, Jose Sucuzhanay, has died today, after being beaten this past Sunday by a group of men in Bushwick. Witnesses report that the men yelled racial and anti-gay epithets at him and his brother, who were walking arm in arm in the early morning.
Diego Sucuzhanay said that his brother, one of 12 siblings, came to New York 10 years ago “because there were job opportunities.” He said Jose worked as a restaurant waiter for seven years, and founded his real estate agency several years ago. “He helped this community,” he said. “He loved Bushwick.”

This comes on the heels of another Ecuadorian immigrant, Marcelo Lucero, being killed last month on Long Island. His alleged killers are in custody.

Let's hope that Mr. Sucuzhanay's killers are brought to justice.


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