Ecuador President Vows To Fight Homophobia

In the wake of the Brooklyn murder of Ecuadorean immigrant Jose Sucuzhanay, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa has vowed to fight against homophobia and xenophobia. Andres Duque at Blabbeando provides a translation of Correa’s statement:

The Ecuadorean immigrant José Sucuzhañay, of 31 years of age, was “vilely assassinated for xenophobic reasons, for homophobia; They mistook him for a homosexual and was with his brother” as they walked in Brooklyn, New York, said Correa. “We will fight together … to forever uproot these aberrations of certain maladjusted [individuals], uproot them from the face of the earth, from humanity: Xenophobia, homophobia and all kinds of discrimination, all kinds of violence,” he said.

Duque notes that while one of Jose’s brothers had denied that anti-gay slurs were used against his brother, another brother echoed Correa’s statement at Jose’s funeral in Ecuador.

“My heart is broken and so is that of all my family,” his brother German said during a funeral Mass in the cathedral of the southern town of Cuenca. Sucuzhanay’s coffin was scattered with roses and covered with the Ecuadorean flag. “The brutal killing of my brother Osvaldo is the result of xenophobia, of homophobia and racism that our compatriots are experiencing in these times,” he said, calling on Ecuador’s government to demand that U.S. authorities solve the crime.

There was some initial concern that the family was backing away from the homophobic aspect of the crime, but every speaker at the vigil I attended clearly stressed that Sucuzhanay’s murder had been an anti-gay hate crime. However many early press reports did not mention the anti-gay slurs used by the attackers.