Rosario Lucero hadn't seen her son Marcelo in 14 years, since the day he left his native Ecuador for the United States, determined to make a better life for his family. Ever since then she says she's been “counting the hours, the minutes” until she could see him again.
Unfortunately for Rosario, the next time she saw her son, he was dead—viciously murdered by a group of 7 Long Island teens who were roaming the streets looking to do some "beaner bashing" as they called their excursions around Patchogue, seeking Latinos to attack. Lucero died at the hands of the young thugs last November, attacked out of the blue as he was walking down the street with a friend. Rosario traveled all the way from her native Ecuador to the United States for the first time in her life to ensure that her son’s killers pay for their crimes.
“I’ve come to the United States so justice is done. I think things can’t be left like this. They killed a human being who was important for us,” Rosario Lucero told Efe.
Six of the attackers have been charged with gang assault, conspiracy and hate crimes for their roles in the murder. The seventh, Jeffrey Conroy, has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime because he was the one who stabbed Marcelo to death. Although Conroy's trial is not set to start for months, the case has galvanized the local Latino and immigrant community.
Rosario says, “I thank God because a lot of people have sympathized with my grief. They tell me: you lost a son but you won many others, because we’re all awaiting justice for your son.”