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Latino Leadership and Gang Violence

January 11, 2002

I agree with "Our Gangs, Our Terrorists" (editorial, Jan. 5), which states that many Americans do not stand firmly behind the war against gang violence because they do not feel as vulnerable to this threat as they do to international terrorism. For this reason, I believe that the Latino political and community leadership should take a more active role in considering new methods to end the senseless killing of our innocent children.

This is our new struggle. Families and children are being terrorized and kept hostage in their neighborhoods, even shot in their front yards by our own people. The silence of Latino leadership on this issue has made it difficult for social services and law enforcement agencies, as well as our judicial system and local governments, to act decisively against street terrorists. For community empowerment to have real meaning we must act to resolve the incessant problem of gang violence in our poorer neighborhoods.

Jose A. Hernandez

San Fernando

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