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In Hialeah, a mystery over campaign mirrors

It began as a classic Hialeah politics whodunit: Little mirrors were glued on some of Acting Mayor Carlos Hernandez’s campaign yard signs.

The mirrors prompted a rumor in the no-love-lost mayor’s race that Hernandez was trying to appeal to voters who practice Santería.

Or spiritism. Or some other potentially politically embarrassing sect.

Turns out it was none of the above.

The real culprit: Luis Lopez, a Hernandez supporter who owns Luis Glass & Windows. Lopez says he placed the mirrors on the signs to reflect sunlight and headlights, and draw attention to Hernandez’s candidacy.

“Even at night, the lights reflect,” Lopez said. Some of his mirrors are little triangles. Others are trapezoids or rectangles. He said he is working on a mirrored frame. (See a photo of one of the signs here.)

“I’ve seen his effort,” Lopez said of Hernandez. “I like him. He’s a lover of God, as I am.”

Hernandez — who described his first reaction to seeing the mirrors as, “Wow, it’s pretty cool” — said he had no idea how Santería and spiritism made it into the picture.

“Maybe you need to ask those people that are concerned about this,” he said, indirectly referring to his opponents, former state Sen. Rudy Garcia and former Mayor Raul Martinez.

Spiritists tend to believe that mirrors deflect evil influences or the evil eye, which is why they are often prominently featured in a home’s entrance, said prominent Santería priest Ernesto Pichardo of the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye.

On the other hand, santeros are not big on mirrors: “They get covered so as not to reflect any shadow that could cause disequilibrium,” said Pichardo, lamenting that his faith would be mistaken with believing in spirits.

“People constantly confuse one thing with the other,” he said. “In Hialeah campaigns, historically, you see everything imaginable.”