Petition calls for removal of Chavez mural

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HUNTS POINT -

A petition calling for removal is the latest in a series of reactions to a controversial mural of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez located in Hunts Point.

The mural, located at Barretto Street and Garrison Avenue, depicts the late president during his 2005 visit to the Bronx.

Over the past few months, the mural has been defaced at least twice, including one instance when the word "killer" was spray painted on it.

More than 900 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for its removal. The petition was started by Marianna Pierri, a Venezuelan native who says Chavez is seen as an "inhuman dictator."

In 2005, Chavez visited the community center for the nonprofit organization "The Point." The mural is painted on the center's façade.

"I'm not here to talk about how he was, I didn't know him personally," says Danny Peralta, who is part of The Point. "I'm representing my community…this is our history I would like people to respect that."

Peralta says the community center is working with police to identify the mural's vandals. He adds that he's willing to meet with those who want the mural removed.

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