- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - Community leaders say muggings and other violence directed at New Bedford’s Central American immigrant community are continuing despite increased police attention to the matter.

Juan Sam, who heads the board of directors of Centro Comunitario Trabajadores, says even he has been a victim. He says a man pulled a gun on him this month, but he used his cellphone to call 911 and his assailant fled.

Sam tells The Standard-Times (https://bit.ly/1bsk7Kn ) many Central American immigrants are reluctant to tell police. One problem is language a barrier. Immigrants, many from Guatemala, do not speak English or Spanish, but indigenous Mayan languages.

Police Chief David Provencher says there have been efforts within the department to reinforce that everyone deserves prompt responses. He says it’s important to increase dialogue with the immigrant community.


Information from: The (New Bedford, Mass.) Standard-Times, https://www.southcoasttoday.com

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