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Aide to Miami mayor candidate & commissioner used arrow-chucker insult, 'tira flecha.'

@MarcACaputo

Indians-1In addition to trashing old people and constituents on Twitter, an aide to Miami mayoral candidate and City Commissioner Francis Suarez also hurled what many see as a racially tinged insult: "tira flecha."

The phrase, which literally means "arrow thrower" (but loosely translates as "spear-chucker" to some) is frequently used by people of Cuban descent in Miami to refer to those who look like Native American Indians -- particularly South or Central American -- but it's also less commonly used to refer to an ignoramus.

The exact context of its use by Suarez's aide, Christina Haramboure, isn't clear because she won't return an email about it.

"I guess someone has to like tira flechas....#quepena," she tweeted July 12, 2012 at 1:10 a.m., about the time she was complaining about her noisy neighbors.

A friend replied:"HAM is going HAM!" (a pun off her Twitter handle, @ChristinaHam, and the abbreviation for the phrase "Hard as a Motherfu-ka").

Haramboure's response: "tony, you have no idea, but someone is about to find out, #dassit."

Haramboure, a 24 year-old special aide and administrative assistant, abruptly cancelled her Twitter account Tuesday when reporters from The Herald/El Nuevo contacted her and Suarez about her tweets from the day before that bashed "angryoldpeople" and criticized those who complained about garbage service. She said in one message that some constituents needed a "lobotomy."

“I regret the Twitter postings and I apologize to anyone I may have hurt," Haramboure said in an email about the constituent-bashing tweets. Story here.

Suarez said at the time that she offered to resign, but he kept her on because she does good work and this was a "mistake." Haramboure began working for Suarez in 2011.

“This has come to light now because I’m in a political election,” Suarez said.

The mess involving Suarez's aide reinforced the sharp young-versus-old divide between the 35-year-old commissioner and his 66-year-old opponent, Mayor Tomás Regalado.

Miami isn't just getting more hip and young, it's also becoming less Cuban relatively speaking as the numbers of South and Central Americans grow.

There are some tensions (see this column about how "Nicaraguan" was used as a slur in one state House race), and many don't find "tira flecha" as anything but a racial insult. One Miami-based political consultant, for instance, once told me about how a former state legislator of Cuban descent used the phrase as a racial offense (the pol denied it, but witnesses confirmed it and no one wanted to go on the record).

After the initial bout of Haramboure's constituent-bashing tweets came to light Tuesday, Regalado held his tongue.

But with the latest revelation, there's more of a chance he'll make his rival suffer the slings and arrows of political fortunes on the campaign trail.

 

Comments

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Jose

That's straight up racist. She must be a Republican. How is she not working for Marco Rubio?

Esteban

Esa hija de balseros es mas racista que un pinche gringo!

Kabron

Pepe Billete dice que es una para sucia.

Ed Jenkins

That's a funny term, I think I'll start using it now. Even better reason to use it because it upsets people who are too sensitive.

Tomas Regalado Jr.

Give me a break, why doesn't the Miami Herald concentrate their efforts on issues that have plagued the Regalado administration.

1. Current SEC investigation
2. Police brutality - killings
3. The Ghost Mayor - Armandito
4. Marrero pouring his OWN homes driveway using city funds and resources.
5. Trying to pay off the previous Chief of Police.
6. Losing and then finding $40,000,000.00
7. Supporting the red light cameras.
8. Regalado paying ethics fine for campaign contribution irregularities.
9. Regalado states net worth of 5,000.00?????? Are you serious. The guy has a salary for being a radio personality and an elected official.
10. City management staff, highest turnover in recent history.
11. City crime rate increasing.
12. Ada Rojas

I could go on for hours, the herald's focus on stupid petty issues like Suarez's aid are the reason why our city is viewed as a banana republic. I hope Suarez is not discouraged by the continued attacks by the Herald and Tomas's girlfriend, Mrs. Rundle.

Pepa Moneda

Dude everybody is missing the story here....la tipa esta ENTERA! En vez de Hambourne le debian decir METELEMANO!

ray

The reason Miami is viewed as a Banana Republic is because it is. That Suarez didn't immediately fire her, that she had a raise - I guess because of her strong work ethic and great attitude? --because new and old generation elected officials could care less about the public and are all, always, looking for side lucrative deals for themselves, friends and family, and because, well most people here think this is normal and not the banana republic it is and other americans know it is based on the endless stream of news stories from here which could not come in Miami.

Lou

Stupid girl. Clearly this HAM idiot never grew up. You don't post crap like this on Twitter especially when you belong to a political campaign. I would have fired her, not for what she thinks or says but for being stupid and posting on Twitter. Idiot...

Jackie

This is not news. This is pure sensationalism. The Miami Herald reporters responsible for these back-to-back articles (the second one based on a tweet posted in 2012 at 1am, not during work hours) do not deserve to call themselves journalists. They are gossip columnists at best.

Funny/sad how these tweets were important enough to publish two articles on the matter after they already got the girl fired, yet it wasn't important to report about the fact that one of Tomas Regalado's top aides, Ada Rojas, making twice as much as what this girl made, was arrested in 2010 for drunk driving and disobeying a police officer's orders.

Not only was that never reported, but she was certainly never fired. Instead, she got two raises in a matter of three months after the incident.

The New Times article says it best: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/08/why_does_the_herald_care_so_mu.php.

I thought journalists were supposed to have some integrity.

Jackie

Never will I ever subscribe to The Miami Herald. It is a sorry excuse for a "news"paper.

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