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Mexicans March For Peace On Staten Island

Hundreds Of Mexicans Take To City Streets
Staten Island bias attacks

Hispanics took to the streets of the Port Richmond section of Staten Island on July 28, 2010, to ask for peace following a recent string of 10 bias attacks on Mexican immigrants.

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By DAVE CARLIN, CBS 2 News

“The hatred must stop” was the message hundreds of marchers brought to Staten Island on Wednesday night.

They want to stop a string of attacks on Mexican nationals that is up to 10 crimes since April.

Three hundred voices combined and rose above what was the scene of an ugly crime.

“No more violence. We are Staten Island!” they chanted.

They were helping lead a rally for Alejandro Galindo, on the spot where, on July 7, a gang left him with a fractured eye socket and brain trauma.

Being back at the scene of the crime had him feeling strong.

“I have value that like justice is on our side,” Galindo said through an interpreter. “I hope the violence ends.”

What victims had in common in the attacks were being male, Hispanic and walking alone. All were beaten, half of them were robbed.

Some suspects were caught, but most of the crimes remain unsolved.

Galindo’s 10-year-old grandson Javier said that is not good enough.

“I think they should put more police out on the street to stop more crimes,” Javier Galindo said.

The NYPD has added extra officers on streets and in parks around Port Richmond. Officers were out in force with a plea that victims trust law enforcement enough to speak up.

“There’s only way to do something about it, is to speak. We can’t stay silent. Silence is what makes victims,” resident Paola Suarez-Papp said.

“We obviously need to make sure that immigrant communities feel comfortable communicating with the police. That has been one of the challenges,” event organizer Ana Maria Archila said.

Her group, called Make The Road, aims to change how the public views immigrants, with a pride, power and purpose that grow with each step.

“Hispanics Across America” is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions in the Staten Island cases.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)