Say FBI data show hate crimes against hispanics grew 40% in the last 4 years.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hispanic leaders on Tuesday issued a call to quell the recent increase in racial crimes against Latinos in the United States, like last week's slaying in New York of Ecuadorian Jose Osvaldo Sucuzha˝ay.
Representatives from the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda at the U.S. House of Representatives to denounce the the murders of three Hispanics in the past five months.
"We regret the murder in Brooklyn of Jose Osvaldo Sucuzha˝ay, whose life was taken by a group of people who, according to witnesses, committed a crime motivated by an act of intolerant hate," said NHLA chairman John Trasvi˝a at a press conference.
Sucuzha˝ay, 31, was attacked while he was returning home by three men who got out of an automobile and shouted anti-Latino and anti-gay epithets. The Ecuadorian died in a hospital of his injuries.
The murder occurred just a month after a group of teenagers stabbed Ecuadorian Marcelo Lucero in Suffolk County, New York.
These tragic killings are evidence, the NHLA says, of the growing wave of hate gripping the United States, where in July a group of young people beat 25-year-old Mexican Luis Ramirez to death in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
Because of the crimes, the NHLA, the National Council of La Raza and other groups said that Congress and the incoming Obama administration should "make passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act a priority."
That bill provides federal assistance to the states and local jurisdictions to bring hate crimes to trial.
This national coalition, which encompasses 26 Hispanic organizations, also condemned at the press conference the violent rhetoric that various U.S. media outlets use to refer to undocumented immigrants and certain minority groups.
"Many U.S. radio and television personalities, like CNN host Lou Dobbs, have minimized these anti-Hispanic hate crimes by ignoring the deeds," Trasvi˝a said.
In May, the Media Matters Action Network published report that discussed the threatening language regarding illegal immigration that can be heard almost daily on influential cable news channels.
Also, the NHLA's Trasvi˝o said that the latest FBI data emphasize that "hate crimes against Latinos grew 40 percent in the last four years."