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Law banning cold beer in Mexico City branded ‘stupid’ by locals

A lawmaker in Mexico City has put forward a motion that would make it illegal for shops to sell chilled beer, prompting a wave of outrage at the “stupidity” of the idea.

The motion, proposed by Maria Lourdes Paz, the deputy leader of the National Regeneration Movement, would ban shop owners from storing beer with an ABV of 7% or lower in a fridge.

The aim of the law is to discourage alcohol consumption in Mexico City, and targets “chelerías,” which sell litres of beer in seedy settings for low prices.

The lawmaker claimed that alcohol is responsible for a significant proportion of disease in Mexico, and is related to 6.5% of premature deaths. She stated the patterns of consumption are changing, leading younger people and women to consume alcohol more frequently.

Stores would also be required to post signs warning patrons of stiff penalties for public drinking.

Mexico City’s convenience stores often sell cold beer in big bottles and provide plastic cups, which people use to consume the product on-site.

However, many locals reacted ridiculed the idea, especially given the frequently high temperatures. The hashtag #ConLasCervezasNo (Don’t mess with our beers) began trending on Twitter yesterday.

“It’s incredible that our lawmakers think of so many stupidities without previously resolving the true and serious problems in CDMX and all of Mexico,” railed one tweet.

“If they want to disincentive the consumption of alcohol, would it not be preferable to increase the corresponding tax?” asked another.

Mexico’s consumer watchdog has warned 45% of the bottled spirits sold in the country are adulterated. Some proponents of banning cold beer sales complain the country is awash in cheap alcohol– and say convenience stores will still sell hard liquor of questionable quality for rock bottom prices.

Public drinking poses problems, too. The 2018 national victimisation and public security perceptions survey found 75.8% of Mexico City residents (and 66.4% nationwide) listed “consuming alcohol in the street” as the main source of “criminal and antisocial behaviour” in their neighbourhood.

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