Activists in Mexico have written a letter to the United Nations Secretary General asking that body to “guarantee that no more damage is done to World Cultural Heritage” by companies like Wal-Mart and Costco. Here is the text of the letter sent to the UN:
Mr. Kofi Annan Secretary General United Nations,
After several months of struggle against the construction of a Wal Mart outlet within the Archeological Zone of Teotihuacan, we have faced the opening of this store with great concern. This is the second time that destruction of important Mexican monuments and zones have been performed with the approval of government officials in Mexico and without due intervention of UNESCO’s authorities. Those signing this document believe that ancient sacred sites and cultural icons are to be respected in full as a Human Right of the third generation. For this, we are promoting a boycott against the companies, Costco for having built on the 3200 year old Olmec site of Gualupita and for having been involved in the destruction of the Casino de la Selva cultural complex; and against Wal-Mart for having built within zone C of the ancient city of Teotihuacan, destroying remnants found in an area of nearly 4 acres. However, as mentioned above, the companies are not the only responsible parties. Mexican officials, in particular President Vicente Fox, Minister Reyes Tamez, and Sarah Bermudez of Conaculta, as well as UNESCO’s authorities represented in the country, are not fulfilling their duties to safeguard and protect the world’s Humankind Cultural Heritage found in this country. As you know, and as has been recognized by the Office of the High Commissioner of the
United Nations, the above-mentioned destruction is a violation of human rights. We fear this could happen again in Mexico if the International Community does not take care of this Legacy. We urge you to intervene as the Secretary General of theUnited Nations to ask for the reparation of the damages to the World’s Heritage by these barbaric acts in Mexico. Acting in this way, would certainly also help to stop the destruction. Indeed, we need the United Nations to exert a correct and stern supervision to guarantee that no more damage is done to World Cultural Heritage by these or any other companies. A complaint against Mexican government officials to the UN’s Corrupt Practices Committee must be submitted. Hoping this information will generate an effective action on the part of the
United Nations, we take, this opportunity to reiterate to you our highest consideration.
Jaime Lagunez Otero, Cuernavaca, Mexico
For earlier stories on this subject, search Newsflash by “Mexico.”