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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews Around the Republic of Mexico | August 2008 

Beer Name's Drug Ties Raise Controversy
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Guadalajara, Mexico - A Mexican business owner's association has objected to the marketing of a beer named after a legendary outlaw known as the "patron saint" of drug traffickers.

The Los Mochis Area Business Owners' Association blasted the Minerva Brewery in Guadalajara, Mexico, for naming Malverde Beer after Jesus Malverde, a legendary figure from the late 1800s and early 1900s who is said to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor during the reign of Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

Historians are split on the subject of whether Malverde was in fact a real person, but shrines have been built to the figure in the Mexican state of Sinaloa and in recent years he has become a revered figure among drug smugglers, some of whom are known to carry pictures of Malverde while on runs.

"When a product exalts something illegal, that's wrong," said Paul Velazquez, president of the Los Mochis Area Business Owners' Association.

Wal-Mart of Mexico has refused to carry the beer due to the connection between its name and the drug trade.

However, Minerva Brewery, which donates 1 percent of its profits from the beer to a chapel dedicated to Malverde in the city of Culiacan, said the product is not meant to glorify the drug trade.

"We're just trying to honor a Mexican legend, that's all," said Jesus Briseno, general manager of the brewery.



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