Some residents of Oaxaca city claim that a national convenience store chain is a threat to heritage in the state’s capital.
A movement calling itself anti-Oxxo erected blockades on several streets yesterday to prevent the mega-chain from constructing a new store in front of an elementary school.
Led by local visual artist Arnoldo Dámaso, the group hopes to see the closure of all Oxxo’s locations in the city. Members demand that the city government review every location’s construction permits and prohibit the franchise from opening more stores.
According to Dámaso, the convenience store chain is a principal cause of unemployment by hurting smaller, more local businesses in the city. He said Oxxo had received government permission, believed to be the result of bribes, to construct at least 12 stores in Oaxaca city. At least five are located in the city center, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The group’s leader explained that not only does the proliferation of Oxxo stores threaten the existence of local businesses and hurt the local economy, it also represents a threat to the city center’s historic colonial buildings, several of which were torn down to construct new Oxxo locations.
The artist told reporters that he has received several death threats because of his activism as the face of the anti-Oxxo movement.
Oaxaca Mayor Osvaldo García said no new construction permits have been issued to Oxxo during his administration. He promised to revise all permits and licenses issued to the franchise and to cancel any that are not in full compliance with the law.
Source: Milenio (sp)