Mayor Joseph Maturo

January 28, 2012 by staff 

Mayor Joseph MaturoMayor Joseph Maturo, The mayor of a Connecticut community who is under fire for allegedly racist remarks about Latinos has been inundated by a deluge of tacos at his East Haven office.

The send-the-mayor-a-taco campaign, which took off via tweets, texts and social media websites , resulted in more than 2,000 tacos being delivered to Mayor Joseph Maturo.

He came in for criticism when he said he ‘might have tacos’ as a way to do something to help Hispanic people in a town roiled by allegations of police discrimination.

He has apologised several times but resisted calls for his resignation over the controversial comment so people offended by his comments have been making a statement by sending in the traditional Mexican food.

Initially Reform Immigration for America, delivered 400 tacos to his Town Hall office in protest, though Mr Maturo had left shortly beforehand for a meeting.

A soup kitchen picked up the tacos, but one was left symbolically for the mayor.

Since then the number of tacos being delivered has increased significantly.

In a statement released by his office, Mr Maturo said the abundance of tacos highlights the need for healing in the town.

‘The events of the past few days have focused our town, and my administration, on the need to deal sensitively and compassionately with the challenges currently facing our town,’ he said.

Connecticut’s largest paper, the Hartford Courant, has called for Mr Maturo to resign.

Many residents were still angry yesterday in East Haven, where 38-year-old Jose Tapia, a cook originally from Ecuador, joked, ‘We’ve got tacos!’ as he left a bakery with a bag of bread.

‘I took it as a joke, but deep inside, it’s the true version of racist, that comment,’ he said.

Those who know Mr Maturo say that he’s not an idiot or a bigot, but that if the taco comment was meant to be a joke, it was clearly a misstep they think he genuinely regrets.

‘It’s baloney. They’re making a mountain out of a molehill,’ said Michael Liso, 65, who said he worked as a firefighter with Mr Maturo and has known him for 40 years. ‘That’s why you put erasers on pencils. It’s over and done with. Now let’s move forward.’

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