On the two-year anniversary of José Sucuzhañay’s brutal murder in Brooklyn, his family and local leaders gathered to remember him and condemn anti-immigrant and anti-gay violence.
Tag: José Sucuzhañay
By Merry Pool, FI2W contributor
BROOKLYN, New York — The death of José Sucuzhañay, an Ecuadorian immigrant, who last December became the victim of a hate crime aimed at the Latino and LGBT communities, has turned from tragedy into a symbol of hope with the naming of a street in his honor.
On Saturday Aug. 1, representatives from the governments of Ecuador, New York City and the State of N.Y. along with police officers from Brooklyn’s 83rd Precinct and numerous family and friends, gathered for the unveiling of Jose Sucuzhañay Place, located at Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place. The corner marks the spot where, on December 7, 2008, the 31-year-old Ecuadorian who had come to the United States in 1998 was attacked with a bat and beer bottles while walking home arm in arm with his brother. Witnesses heard the aggressors yell anti-immigrant and homophobic slurs before they got into a car and drove away.
Watch City Council Christine Quinn speak at the ceremony:
José Lucero, the brother of Marcelo Lucero, another Ecuadorian who was also a victim of anti-immigrant hatred when he was stabbed to death on Long Island only a month before Sucuzhañay, said that while the street naming wouldn’t take away the pain of losing a brother, it would empower people who in the past have remained silent.
“More people are speaking out about abuse and injustice, they aren’t afraid,” he said.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
For the second time in less than a month, an Ecuadorean immigrant was savagely attacked in New York by men shouting anti-Hispanic slurs. Once again, as with the death a month ago of Marcelo Lucero, the pain was felt among Hispanics in the United States and in faraway South America. The attack that left José Sucuzhañay brain-dead seems to confirm the rise in hate crimes pro-immigration advocates have been warning about since Lucero’s passing.
José and his brother Romel Sucuzhañay were attacked on a Brooklyn street last weekend by three men who allegedly shouted anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs while beating them with a bottle and a baseball bat. The brothers had been walking with their arms around each other.
José, 31, was declared brain-dead Tuesday at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, although his family was keeping him on life support until his parents and two children arrived from Ecuador.
“Today my brother is the victim, but tomorrow it could be your brother, your mother, your father,” another sibling, Diego Sucuzhañay, said Tuesday at a press conference outside the hospital.
According to the New York Daily News,
Diego said he had been talking with his parents in Ecuador by phone, telling them Jose “was okay.” But, he said, now “it’s time to tell them the truth.”
Thousands of miles away, Mercedes Quintuña, the Sucuzhañays’ mother, also spoke to the press.