The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) vehemently rejects the aggression against local businesses suffered during shootings and acts of vandalism, recorded as part of a purely criminal action, this Monday, August 10, in downtown Chicago,
The IHCC regrets that one of the most emblematic economic zones of our city has once again been held hostage by crime, at a time when we are still not recovering from the impacts of the current Covid-19 pandemic and the previous wave of looting at the end of May.
Companies cannot continue to function well if criminals go out to steal and destroy property with the confidence that their actions will not have consequences. No one has the right to take and destroy the property of others,” said Jaime di Paulo, President & CEO of the IHCC.
These acts of barbarism, attributed exclusively to unscrupulous criminals, have nothing to do with the just claims for racial equality and social justice that have rightly been demanded by multiple organizations and actors in Chicago’s political, religious and economic life in the past two months, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The IHCC agrees with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that Monday’s events cannot go unpunished. It is the responsibility of the Chicago Police Department to find out as soon as possible who is involved and bring them to justice.
The IHCC also understands that the Illinois law enforcement system bears a great responsibility for the increase in violence. It has been proven that many of those responsible for shootings and looting were on probation, without any supervision.
The IHCC is concerned that there are prosecutors who file cases and judges who open prison doors prematurely, easily, to release criminals with multiple priors who then end up being the perpetrators of shootings and bloodbaths in the most unprotected communities, affecting families and small businesses that guarantee the stability of the economic and social system.
The IHCC has built a permanent collaborative relationship with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and much of her team, defending good actions and being responsible in criticism, also pointing out when there are attitudes or failures that can be improved.
Although the fundamental mission of the IHCC is to protect and advocate for the Hispanic business community, we understand that social peace in our neighborhoods is a fundamental component of sustainable economic growth and social development.
The IHCC remains vigilant and willing to continue collaborating in whatever is necessary so that, together, in peace, without weapons and without impunity, we continue to make Chicago a good place to live and do business.