An immediate rename of El Chapo Belfast restaurant and public apology of its owner
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Mexico, April 16th 2018
It is very disrespectful and I would not agree at all with a German restaurant in Mexico called “Adolf Hitler”, or an Irish pub in the middle of Mexico city called “IRA” in which they prepare within the menu alcoholic drinks named “bombs”; while their respective country flags are advertised in Facebook along with the restaurant concept; clearly the owners are trying to profit out of those unfortunate events. Thereby, why should this case be treated differently?
As a proud Mexican who once lived in Northern Ireland, I am writing this letter now because I see with sadness a major issue about how the Mexican drug lord called El Chapo impacted Belfast, and how a restaurant on Stranmills street is using the Chapo´s nickname in order to make profits. Nevertheless, before I keep describing this terrible situation, I would like to highlight the fact that Joaquin, El Chapo Guzman confessed in 2014 the murders of between 2,000 to 3,000 people. In fact, the number of these Chapo victims do not include the indirect deaths that reach more than 120,000 people according to some media.
Therefore, I have seen with my own eyes the horrors of drug traffic, and how drug lords like El Chapo brought blood, disgrace, and pain to my people, and I see with tremendous disgust how the owner is making profits at the expense of our pain.
However, I understand why his attempt to create “Mexican” food is so successful; evidently, it is due to our amazing heritage and mixture of cultures. Although, I certainly do not understand why a non-Mexican is running a business called after a major druglord in Mexico. Actually, it is not only the name of the restaurant that hurts my soul; it is also the name of its food and drinks, which promote the narco business, glorifying it with Mexican flags in their social media (for example; it can be found in the current menu, names of drinks called “2oz of Coke or Drug Mule”, also Joaquin” El Chapo” burger is served in its menu).
Additionally, I do not understand why the name of the drinks like “drug mule” is served as an apologetic Mexican theme. While thousands of several poor men and woman are forced to carry drugs on this way, and unfortunately many of them die after the bursting of the bag content in their intestines (people like this are called “drug mules”).
To sum up, this kind of places bring a negative stereotype of Mexican culture and drug trafficking should not be used as unapologetically as this restaurant does, and we should not allow it, needless to say the cultural appropriation of our flags, food and culture.
In consequence, I personally believe this place is insulting and offensive and the owner should be asked to make a public apology and also rename his business due to his lack of sensitivity and information about how drug traffic works, and destroy in many ways social cohesion in poor communities in Mexico, while he is making drinks at the expense of a humongous human rights crisis in all Latin America.
Finally, terrorism and drug trafficking should not be commercialized as a joke.
We are not trying to close the restaurant; The owner could negotiate a good agreement without offending Mexicans. Mexico needs cultural ambassadors and he can be one but he should change its way of thinking first.
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