Standing atop a 2,000 year old ancient pyramid on the sacred site of Teotihuacán in Mexico, one can see why these primordial ruins are known to the Aztecs as "the place where the gods were created." Archaeologists agree this is one of the world's most important historical sites. But near the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, you can now find… a Wal-Mart. The 71,902 square foot store is due to open any day, but protests are on the rise.
An angry and increasingly sizeable majority of Mexicans feel that Wal-Mart has literally gone too far. Several weeks ago, a three foot square Aztec altar was excavated–after Wal-Mart contractors had paved it over with a parking lot. Wal-Mart claims a store is needed in the area, since without it there isn't another Wal-Mart for nearly 15 miles. Wal-Mart now controls 30% of grocery sales in Mexico and is, by far, the nation's largest retailer with sales of $12 billion per year, more than the entire tourism industry.
In a recent letter to Mexico's President Fox, 63 prestigious Mexican scholars and artists protested the Wal-Mart construction, stating, "The struggle for Teotihuacán is a war of symbols. The symbol of ancient Mexico against the symbol of transnational commerce; genetically modified corn against the Feathered Serpent [the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, Kukulcan in Mayan] and Mexico's traditional foods." Learn more…
FUN WAL-MART FACTS:
- Despite Wal-Mart being the largest corporation and largest employer in the U.S., richer than the entire country of Switzerland, it has recently received over $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer subsidies.
- $1 billion of U.S. real estate is purchased and developed by Wal-Mart every week.(source: New York Times 7/25/2004)
- John Kerry has publicly attacked Wal-Mart for its low wages and union-busting activities, while Dick Cheney commends Wal-Mart for its "spirit of enterprise, fair dealing, and integrity."
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