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Car Attack On Teen In Iowa Adds To A Year Of Pain For Latinos In U.S.

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today demanded that a hate crime be declared in the deliberate running over and attempted murder with a car of 14-year old Natalia Miranda in Clive, Iowa by a white driver who told police she did it because the girl was “a Mexican”.

“This is the latest victim in what has already been one of the bloodiest years for Latinos in the United States and no one is more to blame for this dangerous toxic environment in our country today than President Trump himself,” says Domingo Garcia, National President. “He has steadily beat the drum of racial bigotry since he started campaigning for office and inspired murder, assaults and racial taunts all across America in 2019. We have felt the scourge from his continued clamor to build the wall and insults against us daily like Taco Tammy in Dallas who verbally attacked two Latinas for simply working a food truck on a public street,” said Garcia.

According to the FBI, hate crimes against Latinos are up for the third year in a row. While attacks against Muslims and anti-Semitic incidents have dropped, crimes targeting Latinos have shot up 41% since 2016. There were 485 incidents in 2018, the last full year measured, compared to 427 in 2017. The FBI reports the country is witnessing the largest spike in race-based hate crimes since 2001.

“We must never forget the cold-blooded slayings of 6-year old Stephen Romero and 13-year old Keyla Salazar in Gilroy, California or the 22 men, women and children gunned down in El Paso along with 24 more who were wounded because the murderer wanted to kill Mexicans”says Garcia. “Now, to see 14-year old Natalia, a young woman who could be our daughter or granddaughter run over while innocently walking to a high school basketball game is a crime that must be prosecuted for what it is --- attempted murder motivated by blind rage over the color of the victim’s skin,” he said.

Joe Henry, LULAC Advisor to the National President for Civic Engagement and Elections said Saturday that a coalition of community-based organizations is being formed to call for action by the Polk County District Attorney’s Office which has local jurisdiction in the community where the attack occurred, less than 10-miles west of downtown Des Moines. “Already the excuse of mental health is being raised as being a factor in this incident but we must denounce this type of behavior,” states Henry. “When hate is promoted by the president of our country, it is going to show itself in the weakest elements of society and Latinos have been targeted,” Mr. Henry said. “We had to deal with this ever since he was a candidate for president and it has just gotten worse over time.”

LULAC says it is monitoring safety conditions for Latinos across the nation and is concerned that the dangerous trend will continue. “This should be a time of year of peace and goodwill and instead another Latino family today is bedside with a loved one because of hatred,” said Garcia. “I call on President Trump to stop his hate speech against our community and pray God has mercy on him for the blood of innocent Latinos on his hands,” concluded Garcia.

Click here to download press release in PDF format.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/