Three months after an Ecuadorean immigrant was slain in
Patchogue, his mother and sister are coming to Long Island to call for healing
- and to face the seven teenagers accused of the attack.
Rosario Lucero and her daughter Isabel are flying in from the highlands of
Ecuador tomorrow night. On Tuesday, they will attend what the Congregational
Church of Patchogue calls a "service of healing and reconciliation."
The next day, they will go to court for a pretrial conference, where the
Luceros expect to see the teens accused in the hate crime. "I'm hoping the
church service will give my mom some peace before we go to court," said Joselo
Lucero, the younger brother of Marcelo, who was killed while walking a few feet
from the Patchogue train station.
Joselo expects his mother and sister to seek healing between Long Islanders
and immigrants - including those who come into the country without documents.
"We're also going to call for justice to prevail against those who killed my
brother," he added.
Marcelo, 38, left Ecuador 15 years ago and hadn't seen his mother or
sisters since. Joselo, 34, hasn't seen his family since he left his homeland 14
The U.S. government issued a one-year visa to Lucero's mother and sister so
they can attend the trial, said William Murillo, a former minister of
migration in Ecuador who is helping the family. Murillo said schoolchildren and
others in the Patchogue area donated money to buy the family plane tickets.
The Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, pastor of the Congregational Church, said he
invited a wide range of politicians and community activists to the service,
including those who have been critical of undocumented immigrants. He also
invited relatives of the accused teenagers. "We all need healing despite the
tendency to choose sides," he said.