Spectre: Campaigners criticise Mexican government for allegedly spending £13 million on James Bond

'Bond may be a hero to some but for many here he is now cast as a villain'

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The Independent Culture

At the beginning of Spectre there is one long shot featuring Daniel Craig’s James Bond walking through a Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festival, dressed in a skeleton costume. It has been praised by critics for being a fantastic set-piece and has reportedly boosted tourism in the city.

However, it has since been unveiled that the Mexican government allegedly bargaining with producers, offering financial incentives and tax rebates of £13 million to portray Mexico favourably in the film.

One local campaigner, Felipe Jurez, is hoping to hit back at the government. He told The Mirror: “He may be able to save the world but not even James Bond can rescue our image.”

According to the report, city chiefs demanded the countries reputation for corrupt cops and drug crimes not be mentioned in the film.

Spectre will open during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico

“The Government demanded 007 brush this country’s problems under the carpet robbing those who need that money most of vital services,” Jures continued.

“How many teachers or doctors would that cash have provided? It is a disgrace how our leaders put Hollywood before its own people.

“Poverty is so rife here, £13 million is a life changing amount for so many communities. Box offices around the world will be raking in millions, what have we got to show for it - nothing.”

The campaigner, along with hundreds of others, is demanded the Government justify their actions. The allegations were first brought to light by the Sony email hacking scandal.

Mexican officials demanded the studio do a number of things, including replacing city cops with a ‘special police force’, the villain not be Mexican, and the inclusion of a recognisable Mexican actress, Stephanie Sigman. 

A local restaurant boss, Marcos Ruiz, said: “We have seen an increase in the amount of mainly westerners visiting the square.

“Of course it is very welcome the increase in trade but it is nothing to what that money could of done for us in the city.

“Bond may be a hero to some but for many here he is now cast as a villain.”

Spectre, starring Craig, Christopher Waltz, Ben Whishaw and Lea Seydoux, is in cinemas now.