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No piñatas? No confetti eggs? Signs in Houston parks irk Latinos

The Houston piñata controversy started with a few signs.

At parks in the northwestern reaches of Houston's Harris County, alongside the "Leash law will be enforced" and "No littering" warnings, authorities have posted signs saying, "No piñatas allowed" and "No confetti eggs."

Recently, Latino activists took issue with the signs, which they insist unfairly target Mexican Americans, because piñatas and confetti eggs, or cascarones, are popular Mexican party favors.

" ‘Piñatas prohibited' is not a synonym for ‘Do not litter’; it’s a synonym for ‘No Mexicans allowed,’ " Tony Diaz, founder of Houston-based El Librotraficante, told KHOU-TV News. "It’s almost as if all the signs that talk about the speed limit were to say ‘20 mph for your low-riders.’"

"If you condone this, it’s condoning a lot of negative stereotypes about Mexican Americans," Diaz said.

The county adopted the piñata policy six years ago, and officials noted that it covers a wide variety of party accessories. It reads: "All party favors containing paper, confetti, rice, silly string, glitter, or other filling which is designed to pop/break/shatter or otherwise burst and litter our parks are prohibited. This shall include but is not limited to: poppers, piñatas, confetti eggs, and silly string."

The policy only applies to Precinct 4, the largest precinct in the county -- one that includes more than two dozen parks and is at least 26% Latino. READ MORE

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