Coppel: A company without answers
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
The Public Relations Department of Coppel responded in a general way to several question posed by Atención.
On June 9, Mexican actor Damián Alcazar (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, El Infierno, La Ley de Herodes), who has lived in San Miguel de Allende for 11 years and received the San Miguel Corazón award from the local administration in 2013 for being an ambassador of San Miguel’s culture in the world, declared to a state newspaper that the construction of Coppel was “repulsive” and also suggested that the local government granted the permits to the company in exchange for “a good amount of money.”
Following those declarations, Coppel’s Public Relations Department sent a letter to that newspaper stating that the INAH, which is the federal office in charge of taking care of historical monuments, delivered a document to Coppel stating that the demolished building on calle Codo is not a historical building, nor is it situated in the historical area protected by a federal decree.
Atención contacted Coppel’s PR department, and the call was transferred to Alberto Ramírez Romero, who asked us to send the questions by email, which we did. Some of the questions were: Why does Coppel insist on opening a store in the historical center, when the products are targeted to locals who could easily go to the store if it were located in the existing plazas outside El Centro? Does the location of Elektra have anything to do with the idea of opening a Coppel so close by? One of the proposals from the Protege San Miguel group—which is against the opening of this store and received the moral support of Alcázar in his comments—is to cancel the opening and open a cultural center in the building instead. What is Coppel’s opinion of that? Why has Coppel not sent a formal letter to Protege San Miguel, which called the representatives for a meeting? Atención also asked whether they knew that the group exists and if they would schedule a meeting with them.
The company sent to Atención an email signed by Gisela Casarín, director of the Public Relations Department, saying that they would answer the questions asked by Atención on a general basis.
They said that Coppel has fulfilled all the municipal requirements and has met all the regulations for its construction. They also remarked that the building on Codo is not an historical one. Although Atención insisted on a second email and call to get more information about the questions we asked, Ramírez reiterated that they answered our questions in a general way and made it clear that they “are very interested in being in touch with the media.”