ADL Condemns Alleged Austin Hate Crime, Commends Investigation

Austin, TX, April 21, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemns the murders of 24-year-old Norma Hurtado and her mother, 57-year-old Maria Hurtado of Austin—murders that appear to be motivated by hate—and commends Austin law enforcement officials for investigating the case thoroughly, and as a possible hate crime.

According to reports, 45-year-old Jose Alfonso Aviles, upset about his daughter's lesbian relationship with Norma Hurtado, went to the Hurtado home and allegedly shot Norma Hurtado and her mother.Avileshas been charged with capital murder.

"The Anti-Defamation League is shocked and appalled by the murders of Norma and Maria Hurtado. We commend the Austin Police Department for launching a thorough investigation of this horrible crime," said Karen Gross, ADL Austin Community Director. "This case underscores the need for Austin's new Hate Crimes Initiative," Gross added.

The Initiative, spearheaded by ADL, members of the Austin City Council, and the Travis County Community Justice Counsel under the leadership of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and County Attorney David Escamilla, is devoted to preventing and responding to bias-motivated incidents and crimes, addressing the impact of these crimes on their victims and the community, and bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.  

"ADL will continue to work with law enforcement, city leaders, religious and civil rights groups, academic institutions and others to address hate and discrimination through prevention, response, and restoration," Gross said.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.