New York, NY, October 19, 2009 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned a violent attack against a Mexican immigrant in Brooklyn in an apparent hate crime.
On September 23, Mario Vera was on his bicycle returning home when a group of three men allegedly shouted anti-Hispanic slurs and physically assaulted him. The attack left Mr. Vera hospitalized with serious injuries.
Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:
The vicious beating of Mario Vera, apparently motivated by anti-Latino sentiment, is another troubling example of baseless hatred being carried out to a violent conclusion. Whatever one's views on the immigration debate, bias-motivated violence is utterly unacceptable.
These crimes are intended to send a message of intimidation and instill fear, but if we stand together to condemn such acts, we can demonstrate that needless violence has no place in New York and will be countered at every turn. All members of the community should be treated fairly and with respect, regardless of their background.
We applaud the New York City Police Department for investigating this incident as a hate crime, and look forward to seeing the alleged attackers held accountable.
ADL has documented a growing atmosphere of bigotry and xenophobia and a disturbing increase in the number of violent assaults against Hispanics - legal, and undocumented immigrants – and those perceived to be immigrants.