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Vigil to mark anniversary of immigrant’s 2008 hate crime death

Marcelo Lucero shown in a production still from

Marcelo Lucero shown in a production still from "Deputized," a bilingual documentary. Photo Credit: Courtesy Seedworks Films

An Ecuadorean man who was attacked by seven youths and fatally stabbed in a hate crime eight years ago will be remembered Sunday in Patchogue.

“We want to work toward building a culture of hope and peace in our communities,” said Susan Perretti, an organizer for the vigil. “We want to do more of coming together.”

The eighth annual ceremony honoring Marcelo Lucero starts at 3 p.m. at 1517 Oak St.

Lucero was walking with a friend near the Patchogue train station on Nov. 8, 2008, when he was attacked by seven teens looking to assault Hispanic immigrants.

One of the attackers, Jeffrey Conroy, stabbed Lucero, 37, who later died.

Conroy is serving a 25-year prison sentence after being convicted by a jury of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime. The other six defendants were given sentences ranging from 5 to 8 years.

While family members have worked hard to draw attention to hate crimes against immigrants, they haven’t gotten the results they want.

“There hasn’t been much change in the last eight years,” said Joselo Lucero, 42, the older brother of Marcelo.

He cited some of the rhetoric seen this election season as an example of widespread hate against immigrants across the country.

“We see so many hate groups rising across the country. I don’t want anyone to go through what my family went through,” said Lucero, 42.

He said he will continue to fight to stop attacks and bullying against immigrants: “We aren’t going to accept any more hate crimes in Long Island.”

Family and friends plan to lay flowers, light candles and release balloons shaped like doves into the sky on Sunday, Perretti said.

The hourlong ceremony will feature meditation, singers and other musicians. Afterward, those in attendance will walk a half-mile to the site of where Lucero was killed. The exact route of the walk hasn’t been determined, Perretti said.

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