Mexican carnival goers burn clown`s effigy over jokes

Mazatlan: An effigy of a clown was burned at a carnival over the offensive jokes told by the performer about the June 2009 day-care center fire that killed 49 children in northern Mexico.

A committee decided Platanito`s effigy should go up in smoke Saturday night in the Pacific port city because he was the most distasteful celebrity they could identify.

Comedian Sergio Verduzco, who performs as Platanito, unleashed a storm last month on social-networking sites when he made several jokes on a televison show about the children who died at the ABC day-care center in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state.

Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto and National Action Party, or PAN, presidential hopeful Josefina Vazquez Mota, as well as Mazatlan`s mayor, who banned the distribution of condoms at the festival, were among the others nominated for the burning of effigies.

The committee, however, selected Platanito as the most offensive personality for showing poor taste and being loud.

The clown`s effigy was burned at a ceremony right before a massive fireworks display that featured the detonation of at least 2,500 fireworks.

Mazatlan`s carnival, which started last Thursday, has drawn thousands of tourists, who are enjoying parades and other events.


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