November 4, 2004

WM "Planting the Staff of Globalization" in Teotihuacan

The controversy noted earlier over WM opening "near" (1 mile away from) the pyramids has been resolved. WM has opened:

TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico (Reuters) - Bargain-hungry shoppers flocked to a new Wal-Mart-owned store half a mile from ancient Mexican pyramids on Thursday, ending a bitter fight by opponents who said U.S.-style consumerism would mar the ruins.

Around 200 shoppers, some flashing victory signs, stormed into the sprawling Bodega Aurrera in Teotihuacan, the site of major archeological ruins outside Mexico City. Many had lined up with shopping carts for hours while last-minute glitches in the cashier system were repaired.

"This is progress," said shopper Jesus Cabrera, who like many neighbors welcomed the store for the low prices and jobs it brings. "People need the well-being of their families more than they need culture."

Less than a mile away, a handful of local opponents kept a lonely vigil outside the tourist park housing the 2,000-year-old Teotihuacan pyramids, pledging to continue a protest that has drawn international attention and prompted a national debate.

"It's like planting the staff of globalization in the heart of ancient Mexico," said Homero Aridjis, a writer and environmentalist who led a national drive to block the store. "It is supremely symbolic."

See also the BBC report with great pic.

Posted by Kevin on November, 4 2004 at 08:32 PM