László Bogdán Death | Obituary – László Bogdán age 46 sadly passed away, He has gone through rubbish and fought in the street but a Roma mayor’s unorthodox style has turned around his small Hungarian village, slashing crime and unemployment and fighting stereotypes in the process.

The Roma (also known as Gypsy) minority makes up about seven percent of Hungary’s population of 10 million and is one of the largest in central Europe, according to the Council of Europe.

But anti-Roma prejudice remains rife, with 58 percent of Hungarians saying “crime is in the gypsies’ blood,” according to a recent study by the Budapest-based research institute Political Capital.

Laszlo Bogdan, mayor of Cserdi, a village in southwestern Hungary where more than half of the 430 souls are Roma, set himself the task of proving people wrong.

“I wanted to change perceptions,” the soft-spoken, dark-skinned and tough 40-year-old, with tattoos up his arms, told AFP.

Since his election in 2006, he has revitalized the once run-down and disreputable village and give it a facelift.

He also cut back on welfare aid, while local police confirm that the crime rate has been on a downward trend since he took office.

We express our sympathy and deepest condolences to Bogdán’s family today and in the days, weeks, months, and years that are to come as they cope with his passing. May his soul rest in peace.

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