September 12, 2004

Señor Walton and the Temple of Rolled-Back Prices

TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico (Reuters) - Burning incense and sounding a conch shell horn, residents of an ancient Mexican city protested on Saturday at the construction of a Wal-Mart store on the edge of the ruins.

The sprawling warehouse-style Bodega Aurrera, a unit of Wal-Mart in Mexico, is due to open in December in Teotihuacan, a major archeological site outside Mexico City.

Opponents say it will ruin a way of life that dates back centuries and have taken legal action to stop it, in a fight that gives a grand dimension to the classic battle between big business and small-town values.

"What they are doing in Teotihuacan is destroying Mexico's deepest roots for short-term interests like lower prices," local teacher Emanuel D'Herrera told about a dozen protesters outside Teotihuacan's town hall. "This is the flag of conquest by global interests, the symbol of the destruction of our culture."

Amid rising controversy, Mexico's government this month said a small pre-Hispanic altar was found buried at the construction site. Plans call for preserving the small structure under plexiglass in what will be the store's parking lot.

Not only does Walmart fund little league baseball, donate to charities, employ entire towns, cure cancer, and reverse global warming--they also excavate and preserve ancient pagan cultures for all the world to see (as they load their cars with 40 gallon bottles of Tide for 2.99).
"Mexico is one of the few places in the world where the seeds of culture and religion remain," said Tim Sikyea, or Lonely Eagle, a Dene Indian from the Northwest Territories in Canada who came to Teotihuacan this weekend for an annual ceremony with indigenous peoples from across the continent.

"When you have big business come in you lose touch with that culture."

No one knows for sure who founded the ancient seat of power and then abandoned it around 600 A.D. The Aztecs later came upon it and named it Teotihuacan (The Place Where Men Become Gods).

(the conquest of high prices continues...)

Well, mis amigos a través de la frontera, Sr. Walton está en el pueblo ahora y es un dios. (Mr. Walton is in town now and is a god.)

Posted by Kyer at September 12, 2004 02:01 PM