7/21/08

The Shenandoah Murder of Luis Eduardo Martinez

Pro-immigrant bloggers, Latino advocates, immigrant activists and human rights workers across the country are stunned and angry, not only by the horrific murder of Mexican immigrant Luis Eduardo Martinez, but by the shameful attitudes of some local officials.

Martinez was beaten to death in his homwtown of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania by a pack of six young toughs -- none of which has yet to be charged with a crime. Even with eye witnesses confirming the racially motivated murder, local authorities haven't acted against the young men.

Why?

Check out this outrageous comment by Borough Manager Joseph Palubinsky who doubts that race was a factor in the killing: "I have reason to know the kids who were involved, the families who were involved, and I've never known them to harbor this type of feeling."

Meanwhile, Ms Crystal Dillman, Mr. Martinez' fiance and mother of his two children, knows the locals all too well and has witnessed the heightening of anti-Latino bigotry. She rightly asks, 'How is it not a racial issue?'

Of course, if anyone in the Northeastern section of Pennsylvania is responsible for inflaming racial hatred it is Lou Barletta, mayor of nearby Hazelton. Barletta has used unconstitutional means to harrass and push out Hazelton's growing population of Latinos--most of which are legal residents and citizens.

A few days after Mr. Martinez' murder, Barletta was named the Mayor of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association for his anti-immigrant work. How's that for justice?

The Shenandoah murderers, Mr. Palubinsky, Hazelton's Barletta and other accomplices must be held accountable.

Links:
Murdered immigrant's fiancee ties death to Hazleton tensions
Immigrant's beating death exposes tensions in Pa.
‘How is that not a racial issue?’: Shenandoah residents react to homicide
Hazleton mayor named Pa.'s Mayor of the Year
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