Walmart Endangers Cultural Site? Gets Building Permit Through Bribery?

Walmart exterior cropped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
View of the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Sun, from Pyramid of the Moon (Pyramide de la Luna) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From the I’m-shocked-to-find-bribery-and-deceit-in-Walmart’s-plans department.

The New York Times is reporting through an expose a laundry list of wrongdoing on the behalf of Walmart that resulted in the building of a supercenter very, very near the grounds of a major cultural resource in Mexico. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: Teotihuacán ((The largest city in pre-Columbian America, 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Mexico City. Built c.300 bc, it reached its zenith c. ad 300–600, when it was the center of an influential culture that spread throughout Meso-America. It was sacked by the invading Toltecs c.900)).

The Times article is extensive and pretty damning, but the gist is that Walmart offered up bribes and “donations” to manipulate local and federal governments in Mexico City to look the other way as they built their store.

Wal-Mart could not build by the pyramids without a permit from the agency that protects Mexico’s cultural landmarks. Wal-Mart de Mexico offered a “donation” of up to $45,000 and a “personal gift” of up to $36,000 in exchange for the permit, records and interviews show.

And that’s the tip of the conspiratorial iceberg.

If you ever wanted a reason to avoid shopping at Walmart and accusations of near-slave-labor to get cheap prices wasn’t it (or the fact that a Walmart puts mom and pop businesses that are locally owned and operated out of business), then this is it. Walmart as a corporation cares not about the people they service and their cultures. It’s concerned instead with the money of those people.

About Carl Feagans 398 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

1 Comment

  1. Hi

    You have raised some very interesting points here. Do you think that walmart will be nailed to a wall? I doubt it. Big business wins. Cultural heritage loses. At least you can get a large jar of olives cheap now though….:(


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