By Antonia Rusca
(From Novedades [Quintana Roo], August 8, 2003)

Franchises Warned about "Globaphobes"

Transnational firms from the United States such as fast food restraurants like McDonalds, Subway, and Burger King are taking security measures against possible acts of vandalism by globaphobes during the World Trade Organization Summit that will take place in this tourist spot.

Concession holders of the aforementioned firms and others requested the municipal authorities to designate sufficient numbers of public security agents to guard commercial establishments and the public in general.

Several chains had received the advice to ward off damages that could be inflicted by groups of protesters, revealed Oscar Olavarrieta Fristche, head of the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Food Condiments Industry.

Edward Smith, representative of the Association of Mexican Concessionholders in the Southeast declared that it was the duty of municipal authorities to take charge of the security of the whole city. He said that guarantees against acts of vandalism were contained in the franchise contracts, though there were no extra guarantees.

The worries about the security of this type of business during the World Trade Organization summit comes from the sense that the globaphobes see the franchises as a clear symbol of globalization.