Thursday, November 18, 2004

I despise Wal*mart

Having stood atop the Pyramid of the Sun at ancient Teotihuacan, in awe of the vast and stunning metropolis that has dominated the skyline for thousands of years, I could weep at the mere thought of the Wal-Mart that opens next month only 1.6 km away.

I'm appalled that "the national anthropology institute that oversees the ruins says the building poses no threat." And it's most certainly no consolation that "a small altar unearthed during the construction of the Wal-Mart store will be preserved in its parking lot."

When it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, the ICOMOS Advisory Body Evaluation stated:

"Very special protection ought to be given to this unique property. At an hour's drive from Mexico City, the beautiful valley of Teotihuacan is choice prey both to heavy development projects and unbridled urbanization ... [ICOMOS has] noted with satisfaction that the Government of the State of Mexico is fully aware of this critical situation."

But Wal*mart says:

"Don't small towns have the right to have access to the same level of quality goods that Mexicans have in larger cities? Today, residents of Teotihuacan have to travel 15 miles to get to the closest department store."

Well then. I guess that settles it. Shopping wins.


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