For those who weren’t quite sure what the sweater might be suggesting, its product description read:
“We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole. That’s why Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow.”
On Saturday, the retail giant issued an apology about the sweater at issue and removed it from the Canadian website, along with several other pieces of risque Christmas clothing.
“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused,” Walmart said in a statement. The company did not immediately respond to follow-up requests for comment.
But some unsatisfied Colombian officials still say Walmart should pay for the insulting Colombia-cocaine connection, literally.
The National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State on Tuesday threatened to sue Walmart and demanded the U.S. chain indemnify Colombia for the damage caused by listing the sweater. According to El Tiempo, the agency is preparing legal filings and if the chain fails to comply, will move forward with legal process by the end of the week.
“The Walmart sweater is an offense to the country. It generates damage to the legal products of Colombia and damage to the country’s reputation,” said agency director Camilo Gómez Alzate, the outlet reported. “Although Walmart apologized, the damage was done.”
In addition to monetary damages, Gómez, who in 2014 ran on a ticket with Martha Lucía Ramírez to be the country’s vice president, said Colombia will demand that Walmart promote legal Colombian products and spend 10 times the amount invested in advertising cocaine-related products.
The funds would be donated to foundations that support the families of members of the police and military forces who were killed or wounded fighting drug trafficking.
“Colombia must be respected,” Gómez said, according to El Tiempo. “What will the family of a person who died in the fight against drug trafficking feel when a firm like Walmart promotes a bag of cocaine from Colombia?”
Walmart has faced similar issues before.
Last year, President Trump supporters called for a boycott over a T-shirt sold on Walmart’s U.S. marketplace. The shirt bore the words “Impeach 45,” a reference to Trump, the 45th president of the United States.
“We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies,” Walmart said in a statement at the time.
In 2017, Walmart apologized for a third-party seller’s online ad, which contained a racist slur. The listing from a British company that sold hair products tailored to black people was for a wig cap in the color “n----- brown.”
That year, the company also apologized for a misplaced back-to-school sign that was placed over a firearms display in one of its stores. The banner, which was part of a superhero-themed marketing campaign, read: “Own the school year like a hero."
Gabriel Florit and Charles Lane contributed to this report.