"I support the store, it will save me time and money," said
Camilo Olivas, a father of four who works for the federal
electricity commission in Teotihuacan.
He drives 10 minutes every two weeks to shop at a Wal-Mart
store in another town to find low prices.
But a handful of opponents say Wal-Mart will kill local
family-owned enterprises and erode a lifestyle dating back
centuries, while sucking income from locals.
They have filed a criminal complaint, charging authorities
with acting illegally in approving the project. They filed a
civil complaint on the same grounds and asked the nation's
rights ombudsman to step in.
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
"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
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