Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Soriana blasts Manuel López Obrador, accusing him of inciting violence against Mexican mega grocery chain

" . . . lies and groundless accusations" by leftist leaders, company alleges

*Update Aug. 2: Soriana in Ecetepec robbed*
Soriana, Mexico's largest retailer with 600 stores nationwide, today condemned defeated Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, claiming that he is promoting violence against the publicly held company.

The announcement came just 48 hours after three unidentified men attacked a Soriana self-service facility with Molotov cocktails in Guadalupe, in Nuevo León state. Mexico's Soriana grocery chain targeted by bombers. No one has been arrested in that case, which caused property damage but no injuries.

The grocery and consumer goods chain, founded in 1968 and headquartered in Monterrey, employs almost 95,000 people nationwide.

López Obrador claims that the Institutional Revolutionary Party bought the July 1 presidential election by (among other things) passing out tens of thousands of Soriana cards carrying prepaid credits. PRI has flatly denied the claim, which the Washington Post referred to last month as "Soriana-gate." Rising protests against Enrique Peña Nieto, amid charges of "Soriana-gate." That issue and others are pending before a federal court, which is expected to rule on the claims in September (Manuel López Obrador fires in all directions, demanding a new election; López Obrador will take his case to Inter-American tribunal if vote challenge fails).

In a press release Soriana said that it holds both López Obrador and Jesús Zambrano, PRD's national leader, personally responsible for what it called "intensifying aggression and violence," designed to unjustifiably impugn its corporate reputation.

"We demand an end to the defamation and negative publicity against our company, which affects our image through the use of lies and groundless contentions for which there is not the slightest proof."

PRD fired back, rejecting Soriana's accusations as a "perverse display by our adversaries, designed to discredit our peaceful struggle to build a better country." Zambrano said, "This once again shows the desperation of those involved, in the face of the extensive evidence we've handed over to federal authorities proving that Soriana cards were used to buy votes for PRI and Enrique Peña Nieto."

Soriana director says PRD is behind disorders at its locations
Late today Soriana executive Humberto Fayad told the Milenio news network that there have been at least 180 incidents at its stores, including demonstrations, threats to customers and employees, theft and damage to company property, by persons who identified themselves as PRD sympathizers. "They've even tried to stop our personnel from entering our locations," he said. "And that's a crime."

Aug. 2 - Soriana robbed
In Ecetepec, in the State of Mexico, a Soriana unit was attacked by an armed commando squad early this morning. The target may have been cash registers or ATM machines inside the facility. Authorities have not reported the amount of the loss.

July 11 - Memo to Andrés Manuel López Obrador: "Ya basta, señor"
July 16 - YoSoy 132 discusses civil disobedience to stop Peña Nieto from taking office

Aug. 2 - Soriana urges PRD to "calm" its supporters
Aug. 2 - YoSoy 132 denies that it's behind Soriana attacks
Aug. 2 - PRD leader Jesús Zambrano will sue Soriana for "defamation"

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