By Ariana Pekary, producer
Over the past five years, attacks against Hispanics in the United States have increased forty-percent so that now Latinos are targeted more than any other ethnic group. In the worst of those attacks last year, three men were killed. One of those men had lived in Patchogue, New York for sixteen years before he was stabbed and bled to death outside his friend’s home.
Driving to Patchogue for this story, we didn’t really know what we were going to find. There was clear evidence that the Latino community was systematically being harassed (at best) and living in fear (at worst). After Marcelo Lucero was killed in November 2008, the New York Times documented numerous incidents of attacks in Patchogue and the police response, which many felt lacked. The Southern Poverty Law Center also released a report about the Long Island community. But we didn’t know the extent of the characters we would find, from the candid mayor to the unapologetic county executive.
Not every American is against immigrants – whether documented or not – but some are. Some are against them vocally. And then there are some who are willing to threaten immigrants physically – again, whether documented or not. So innocent people are being targeted in acts of violence. This documentary attempts to present the various angles of this growing problem.
Here are some of the organizations referenced for this documentary:
Lastly, for you music hounds out there, Alejandro Filio is a Mexican folk artist who did not want to sign big commercial contracts, so he is not very well known outside of his home country. But his music is really beautiful so I tried to use some throughout; the song that is most relevant, Cain, plays at the end of the third segment. Argentinean Mercedes Sosa recently passed away, and her music was played at Marcelo’s vigil – so it easily made sense to play at the end. Todo Cambia means “everything changes.”
On that note, happy new year.