January 15, 2010

Latino Evangelical Pastors To Launch Fight Against Hate Crimes In America

Washington, DC -The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC), consisting of leaders representing 20,000 churches in America, recently approved a resolution that places hate crimes at the top of its agenda for 2010. This year, in response to rising reports from church leaders regarding increasing numbers of victimization's due to bias against Hispanics, CONLAMIC leaders will launch a campaign to fight hate crimes.

“The case of Luis Ramirez, the Mexican immigrant who was beaten to death by a number of local boys in the Pennsylvania town of Shenandoah is only one example of the injustices that are happening to members of our community due to their race and ethnicity,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera, Chairman of CONLAMIC.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes an annual report on hate crimes in America. Much more needs to be done in order to ensure effective reporting of hate crimes by law enforcement agencies.
FBI has documented that hate crimes committed against Hispanics and those perceived to be immigrants has increased in each of the past four years.

The good news is that in November, President Barack Obama signed into law the "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act” (HCPA). HCPA is essential legislation that closes gaps in existing federal authority to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes.

“Latino Pastors want to support tough hate crime laws and vigorous enforcement, while educating communities to stop bigotry and bringing attention to this growing problem,” said Rev. Rivera.

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