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.