Metro

Mexico condemns Boston beating of citizen

Brothers plead not guilty to hate crime

The Mexican government on Thursday condemned the brutal beating of a homeless man in Boston this week and confirmed that the man was a citizen of Mexico.

Officials said they are providing the 58-year-old man with consular protection and legal assistance. The man is in the hospital with a broken nose and bruises to his head, arms, and chest.

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“We emphatically condemn this specific act of violence against a Mexican national or any act of violence against our citizens anywhere,” Daniel Hernandez Joseph, the consul general of Mexico in Boston, said in a phone interview. “We believe that the relationship between Mexico and the US should be, and is, one based on shared values of respect for human life.”

Early Wednesday the Massachusetts State Police arrested brothers Scott and Steve Leader of South Boston after they allegedly attacked the man outside of a Dorchester MBTA stop. State Police alleged that the brothers punched the man, beat him with a metal pole, and urinated on his face. The man was admitted to Boston Medical Center.

State Police said in their report that Scott Leader, 38, told them that “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” a reference to the Republican presidential candidate who has made comments against immigrants.

The Leader brothers pleaded not guilty in Dorchester District Court. They face multiple charges, including assault and battery based on national origin — a hate crime.

In a press release Thursday, the government of Mexico said it “energetically condemns” the attack and called on the public to recognize the immigrant community’s contributions to the economy, society, and culture of the United States.

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The Mexican government said it “rejects any act of violence” motivated by racism, national origin, or immigration status.

The government also vowed to “take the necessary measures to defend the rights and interests of Mexicans regardless of their immigration status.”

Officials said they would follow the investigation into the man’s attack “very closely” to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

Trump, the frontrunner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, told reporters this week that the reported assult was “a shame.”

In June, Trump made disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants that spurred Univision, NBC, and others to cut ties with him.

Robert O. Trestan, the New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Thursday that inflammatory words on the campaign trail and elsewhere can create fear.

“The climate of bias and hostility against immigrants that has emerged in recent weeks is unproductive for the immigration debate and can pave the way for people to act on bigotry and prejudice,” he said.

Scott Leader was previously convicted of a hate crime for attacking a Moroccan man after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Hernandez Joseph said his consular staff interviewed the Mexican immigrant Thursday and said they were still attempting to contact family members.

“Right now what we’re worried about is his physical condition,” Hernandez Joseph said. “He’s very badly beaten.”

Maria Sacchetti can be reached at maria.sacchetti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @mariasacchetti.
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