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Cartoon stickers seized in dramatic copyright crackdown

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The Attorney General’s office displays evidence in a crackdown on counterfeit merchandise. Photo: Handout

Mérida, Yucatán — Militarized authorities in camouflage were in full force Wednesday, paralyzing part of the the Centro’s shopping district and alarming shoppers.

The object of their aggression: An arts and crafts store selling novelties labeled “Gorditos Yucatecos” and “Cabezones Yucatecos” in apparent copyright violation.

While 20 armed officers stood guard, authorities seized boxes of stickers and cutouts depicting allegedly counterfeited cartoon characters.

Federal police, aided by multiple agencies, seize allegedly bootleg cartoon novelties. Photo: Ron Allanach

Social media was ablaze with criticism against what many considered police overkill.

After a judge signed off on the raid, the operation was carried out by the Attorney General’s Office through the Criminal Investigation Agency with the support of the municipal, state and federal police, the Defense Department and the Marine Secretariat.

Allegedly counterfeit “Gorditos” cartoon novelties were seized from an arts and crafts store in the Centro. Photo: Handout

While the raid took place, online news sites and social media reported the dramatic series of events, some assuming something on the level of a narcotics case.

The Attorney General’s office later clarified the nature of the sting, sharing photos of the evidence: 483 cartoon wooden figures and 121 self-adhesive labels, also depicting the cartoon characters.

The store, El Nuevo Fenix on Calle 65, near Calle 58, is a a branch of a Mexico City-based chain that sells supplies for artists and crafters. They specialize in scrapbooking merchandise.

Five people from the store were detained by the attorney general’s office.

With information from a PGR press release

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