Monday, November 2, 2009

CARINA 360°: Luis Ramirez murdered for being Latino

Luis Ramirez was a hard working undocumented Mexican worker living in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

On July 12, after going out for a walk, he was beaten to death by a group of high school teenagers.

"Go home you Mexican mother f----r!" is what Colin Walsh, 17, Brandon Piekarsky, 16, and Derrick Donchak, 18, shouted at Ramirez before ending his life.

The boys were “good kids.” So say their families. They ran track, were on the football team and grade A students.

These grade A students kicked Ramirez in the head that knocked him unconscious. Once he arrived at the hospital, his injuries were so severe that his brain was oozing out of his skull. He was in a coma for two days.

He died July 14th.

Ramirez was engaged to Crystal Dillman, a white woman. They had three children together. Now she suffers and must raise their children alone.

Like many interracial couples in Shenandoah, racial name calling seemed like the norm.

One would think the charges against these racist teenage boys would be a punishable one. I thought a life sentence would do it.

But no. That’s not what they received. Piekarsky was arrested on simple assault charges. Donchak - also simple assault and three counts of corruption of a minor.

The all white jury cleared both of ethnic intimidation charges. Piekarsky was sentenced to 6-23 months and Donchak 7-23 months in prison. If Ramirez was a white man murdered by a gang of Mexican boys, honestly, what do you think the out come would be?
Completely different, that's what.

This made me so mad. Justice was not served. Instead it feels like they were let off the hook. They kill a man, with a family, and all they got was a slap on the wrist.

Many people of Shenandoah deny this was a racist fueled crime. They suggest it was a street fight gone terribly wrong.

If so, then why do witnesses say they heard the boys call Ramirez a "spic?"
No doubt in my mind - this was a hate crime.

Sadly, hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise. Almost 600 alone in 2007. Up 40 percent from the over 400 in 2003. Racist acts of violence against Latino’s add up to eight percent of all hate crimes. Most crimes against undocumented Latinos go unreported. That is because many are not here legally, and very few have trust in the police.

Dillman strongly agrees the murder of her fiance was not an average street fight. Saying, "Truly, in my heart, I believe they beat him up because he was Latino."

Ramirez's story was featured on CNN's "Latino In America."


  1. this is a great blog carina!
    makes me sad though >:O

  2. dang thats really how racist the world could actually be.

    nice bkog carina...