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LatinoJustice Statement on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Decision Granting Petition on U.S. Human Rights Violations Against Latinxs for Merits Hearing

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 20, 2020

Contact: Elianne Ramos, Chief Communications Officer, 212.739.7513, [email protected]

LatinoJustice Statement on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Decision Granting Petition on U.S. Human Rights Violations Against Latinxs for Merits Hearing

New York, NY – LatinoJustice PRLDEF in December 2008 shortly after the hate crime murder of Marcello Lucero in Long Island filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning a series of racialized violence and hate crimes fostered by an anti-immigrant climate espoused by the U.S. government, local officials and news media. After ten years, the Commission in February 2019 issued a report substantiating many of the petition’s claims in advancing the petition to a merits hearing.  

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Senior Counsel at LatinoJustice, issued the following statement in response to LatinoJustice’s recent supplemental merits report submission:

“Unfortunately, not much has changed in the past 12 years since we filed this petition to address numerous human rights violations committed within the U.S. with the complicity of the state. We have filed a supplemental report highlighting the proliferating increase of racist violence being perpetrated against Latinxs under the Trump administration, both by private actors emboldened by the inflammatory and divisive rhetoric and behavior by the President and other members of his administration, as well as by law enforcement who have made the Latinx community a primary target for discriminatory policing and enforcement policies. LatinoJustice’s submission reflects the Trump administration’s coordinated effort to create a narrative of criminality concerning Latinxs that criminalizes their presence, activities and movement in order to justify racialized government violence and policies that are designed to terrorize our communities.”

BACKGROUND:

After a series of heinous hate crime murders committed against Latinos including Luis Ramírez in Shenandoah, Pa, Marcello Lucero in Long Island, NY, and Jose Zuchazany in Brooklyn, NY, LatinoJustice filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in December 2008. After ten years of review, and overruling objections submitted by the United States, the Commission in February 2019 granted the petition finding that it satisfied all jurisdictional requirements, and substantiated the charges alleging multiple human rights violations by the United States for failing to protect Latinx residents within its borders from racialized hate crimes. The Commission admitted the petition for further hearing on the merits. 

LatinoJustice’s petition had cited the increasing anti-immigrant federal government policies under then-President Bush, which resulted in a series of fatal hate crime attacks against Latinx immigrants in the wake of the daily anti-immigrant vitriol being spewed by political pundits. Unfortunately, we have not departed far from that moment in time, given the xenophobic racist government policies promulgated by President Trump since taking office that have outraged and shocked the nation are only a continuation of long-standing policies towards the Latinx immigrant community.

The United States under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, adopted 60 years ago by the members of the Organization of American States, of which the U.S. is a founding member and host nation has an international obligation to ensure the safety of all those who reside within its borders.

 

RELATED DOCUMENTS:

IACHR petition - Filed: Dec 2008

IACHR Letter - Submitted Feb 2019. Letter grants our petition for a merits hearing.

IACHR 12/31/18 Report on Admissibility 

LJ April 2020 IACHR Supplemental Report