The Liverpool department store chain has been pressed to withdraw a product it sold as stuffed Mexican rag dolls after consumers revealed the products were cheap Chinese knock-offs.
Called Muñecas Marías, the dolls were allegedly copies of the rag dolls made by indigenous women from Querétaro.
Once the knock-offs were revealed, an online petition was created to ask the retailer to stop selling the fake products, a call that was echoed by the mayor of Amealco, Querétaro, which is famous for the dolls.
The mayor’s complaint was echoed by the Querétaro Secretariat of Sustainable Development, which urged Liverpool to protect indigenous creations and handcrafts.
The state government also announced that it is drawing up legislation that would protect the dolls as intangible cultural heritage of the people of Querétaro.
The Sustainable Development Secretariat noted that its move was not to be taken as criticism of the retailer. “We only asked them to withdraw those products from their inventory with the intention of offering them Mexican products instead, ones that can be sold from Querétaro.”
It added that the state intends to seek agreements with other stores and shopping centers in order to sell the indigenous creations.
The newspaper Milenio reported today that the dolls had been removed from some Liverpool stores in the capital of Querétaro, but they were still being sold in other venues and on the retailer’s website.
The dolls, which were selling for 159 and 319 pesos (US $8.50 and $17), were being sold as “Mexican Doll Christmas Spirit.”