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#91629 - 09/06/04 08:06 PM Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Published on Saturday, September 4, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins

by Jo Tuckman in Teotihuacan

From the top of the Pyramid of the Sun in the ancient ruined city of Teotihuacan, Emma Ortega blows a haunting ode on her conch shell and points out a half-built Wal-Mart supermarket in the valley below.

Her blood boils at the sight. "It is an attack on our heritage," fumes Ms Ortega, a colorful figure in a small but vocal protest movement against the construction of a Bodega Aurrera superstore, a Wal-Mart Mexico subsidiary, half a mile from the monuments. "It is an attack on our cosmic equilibrium."

A pyramid at Teotihuacanis shown in this Sept. 18, 2003, photo at the archeological site 18 miles from Mexico City. A Wal-Mart store is being built a half-mile from the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan and a small, embattled group opposed to seeing the store from atop the pyramids is fighting a lonely battle for what it calls Mexico's landscape and culture.(Photo/Marco Ugarte)

The movement gives full rein to spiritualists, such as Ms Ortega, who believe Teotihuacan's pyramids and temples possess a special energy that Wal-Mart's presence threatens to throw off balance.

The protest is brought down to earth by traditional conservationists who fear that the development will encourage urban spillover from the capital 30 miles away and spoil the largely rural valley for ever. Then there are the local shopkeepers and stall owners from the small town of San Juan who cannot compete with the biggest retailer in the world.

Most recently the anti-Wal-Mart campaign in Teotihuacan has attracted support from other campaign groups because of the undeniable importance of the ruins.

One of Mexico's oldest and most mysterious civilizations, Teotihuacan boasted a population of up to 150,000 about 300AD. It faded away a few centuries later for unknown reasons and leaving few clues about what life was like. Archaeologists furiously debate issues such as whether it was ruled by kings or collectives.

"A big supermarket so close to the monuments sounds worrying," says Javier Villalobos, of the Paris-based International Council of Monuments and Sites, an influential conservation group. Mr Villalobos is planning to visit Teotihuacan this weekend to evaluate the threat.

But even if the protesters get international heavyweights on their side, theirs is no easy battle. There are many who welcome Wal-Mart, seeing modernization where the protesters fear desecration.

"These people who are trying to stop it [the supermarket] don't understand the meaning of progress," says Victor Hernandez, a bicycle salesman who is fed up with traveling 15 miles to shop in bulk. He is hopeful that Wal-Mart will give his son a job. "This is progress," he says.

The protesters are also having a tough time challenging a construction that apparently has all its permits in order.

The development on an alfalfa field, just outside the zone where all building is prohibited, was approved by the archaeological authorities on condition that Wal-Mart employed archaeologists to survey the site.

The archaeologists have reported that there is little worth saving beyond a semi-rural domestic compound unlikely to produce anything of value when excavated.

They have also questioned the authenticity of the protesters' claims to have found pots and ceramic figurines in waste heaps from the site.

It is very difficult to find out what is actually being uncovered behind the perimeter fence; the company refuses to let visitors in and armed guards keep a watchful eye for snoopers.

In the meantime, less than a month after construction began the gray concrete warehouse shell is already largely in place and the roof supports will be constructed shortly.

Still, Ms Ortega insists that Wal-Mart has met its match in Teotihuacan.

"We are going to make them demolish what they have already built, and return things to the way they were," she says.

She will need all the extra cosmic energy she can get.

#91630 - 09/07/04 10:22 AM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,258
Laguna Punta Offline
Laguna Punta  Offline
As a matter of fact, my sense of equilibrium has been suffering as of late. I smell "class action"!! eek

Gone fishing!!
#91631 - 09/07/04 04:26 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 153
Phyllis&Ray Offline
Phyllis&Ray  Offline
Wal-Mart will one day rule the world. Very sad. I hope Belize does not bend over to what some call "progress" anytime soon.

#91632 - 09/07/04 05:13 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
Wal-Mart "IS" the largest company in the world. Do you know that they employ over 1,000,000 people, that they award schlorships each year in the millions, they employ the handicaped and other people that wouldn't have a job if not for them. They contribute multi-millions of dollars to the comunity in which they serve. They have one of the best retirement plans in the world. Even their truck drivers can make $100,000 per year. The old hat story that they put small business out of business is a crock. The small business man puts himself out of business because he will try to compete or just say W-M is coming, I'm dead ! The smart business man will trade off of them by changing his operation/merchandising plan to benefit from their traffic and advertising. If you look around any W-M location, make note of the succesful small business' all around them. No, I do not and have never worked for W-M. I did, however, do very well as a supplier to them for over 35 years.

( I wish this thing had a spell check, Pedro )

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
#91633 - 09/07/04 10:33 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,001
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
so, bigger is better...hmmmmmmmmmmm

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
#91634 - 09/08/04 08:58 AM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,675
dbdoberman Offline
dbdoberman  Offline
I admire those folks and communities that take on the giant, and win. Since the permits are in place, and building has already began, I doubt that Ms. Ortega has a chance in.....I don't think she will win. Could you imagine climbing to the top of any of the pyamids in Tikal or Lamanaii, looking out over the jungle canopy, and seeing......a Walmart? It just doesn't work for me.

#91635 - 09/08/04 02:29 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 820
Islenutt Offline
Islenutt  Offline
Someone needs to get a reality check about what Wal-Mart is really all about.
Do you ever wonder why they hire consultants to teach their employees how to fill out welfare forms?
Could it be because they pay employees such a poor wage? Retirement program! Give me a break... they don't even offer medical insurance to regular emplyoes. They set schedules that are under 40 hours a week intentionally to prevent having to offer benefits.
Yes the prices are low. But look at the cost in taxes you pay to support the people they won't pay a living wage!
I guess the media hype Wal-Mart pays billions of dollars for is working after all...

#91636 - 09/08/04 04:53 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
I will attempt to give someone a "Reality" check. W-M does not hire consultants to teach their employees to fill out any forms. They do have instore H.R. people to assist the potential employees and current employees in completing paper work. Why, because some of them do not have the educational back ground to read and comprehend the very basic forms. These are the same people I mentioned that would not be employed anywhere except perhaps as itenerate farmers,ditch diggers etc,etc. W-M, like most service oriented companies do have work schedules calling for less than 40 hour weeks. Some other business' that have a like policy are, banks,grocery stores,resturants etc,etc. Just about every service industry follows the same policy. W-M indeed, does have one of the best retirement plans in the world for it's full time permanant employees. After 25/30 years service a warehouse supervisor has accumulated enough stock, bonuses and profit sharing to retire a very whealthy person. In fact, W-M has produced more millionares inside the company as well as outside the company than anyother any other in the world.

Many people are envious of their friends and others who have "Made it" while they have been not as succesful themselves. W-M has achieved success because they take care of their associates/partners by treating them with respect, and as Mr. Sam often said "share the profits, reap the benifits"

I sure hope I have not offended anyone with my rambling.

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
#91637 - 09/08/04 04:54 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,001
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
"contribute millions of dollars" hahahahaha - they MIGHT but they also kicked out the Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmas time!

Oh wait, it's OK, because they let all those retired Wal-Mart shopping RV'ers park those gas guzzling ugly monstrosities in their parking lots - FREE!

I could support the dropping of one of our "building killing" bombs on every one of those ugly boxes.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
#91638 - 09/08/04 06:01 PM Re: Wal-Mart Upsets Cosmic Balance of Ruins  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
Hey, KLC. Is there a point to your comments ? Bell Ringers, RVs in the parking lot? Go get another drink.

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
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