Two posters advertising the biopic Che were vandalized outside of the Bill Cosford Cinema sometime Thursday evening.
The film, about militant revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, features actor Benecio del Toro in the title role. The cinema is scheduled to show both parts of the film this weekend.
The word asesino, which means “murderer” in Spanish, was scrawled in permanent black marker across a plastic case housing the poster, which depicts actor Benicio del Toro as Guevara.
Guevara, a supporter of Cuban socialism who invaded Cuba under Fidel Castro’s leadership, was executed in Bolivia in 1967. His strong-handed actions have remained controversial, particularly among the Cuban-American community in Miami.
“Che represents a figure who has a lot of blood on his hands. He is responsible for many of the executions that took place in the early days of the Cuban Revolution,” said Andy Gomez, assistant provost and senior fellow at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.
“If the movie portrays him as someone good, we’re not going to like it,” said freshman Chris Castillo, a Cuban-American.
The act of vandalism is not something that is taken lightly, according to UM officials.
“You may think it’s funny or silly, but there are extreme consequences for something like putting graffiti on a poster,” said David Rivero, chief of the University of Miami Police Department.
Consequences may include up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. The university will also discipline any student found guilty of vandalism with a suspension, warning or probation, depending on the situation and the student’s disciplinary history. Restitution will almost always be required of the guilty student by the university.
“It’s a cowardly crime. It upsets someone and the person is usually not willing to come forward and discuss why they did it,” said Ricardo Hall, dean of students. No suspects have been found at this time, but it is possible that a review of surveillance video footage may identify a perpetrator.