Zalaquett denies accusations of xenophobia after eradicating Peruvian food-stands

The Mayor says that he plans to meet up with Peruvian associations in order to come up with a solution to the problem.

12 de Febrero de 2009 | 12:53 | El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- Insisting in the need to eliminate food stands on the streets of downtown Santiago, Mayor Pablo Zalaquett assured that his determination is not based on xenophobic discrimination against the Peruvians who sell food on the streets of Catedral and Bandera.

Zalaquett specified that, in addition to the health risks faced by people who eat street food not prepared with basic hygienic standards, he has also received complaints from the neighbors.

He stated that the municipality was forced to intervene and eradicate the food vendors because "drugs were being sold and the stands were host to other illicit activities".

These reasons were given in addition to other sanitary problems affecting the food stands such as bad odors, the absence of public bathrooms and the lack of potable water for those preparing the food.

Zalaquett expressed that the municipality is aware of the unfortunate economic situation of the Peruvians who previously made a living from these food stands, which is why he plans to meet with them in the coming days to discuss possible solutions.

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