Monday, September 19

Megastores endanger Mexico-City markets

Mexico City - for 30 years, Estela Moran has nearly every edible part of a cow was sold their meat in a neighborhood market. The sale of tripe, feet, tongue and good beef has brought three of their sons through school.

But all is not good at El Torito the small market in a lower class Mexico City neighborhood where Moran works. Multiple booths are free. Others are used only for storage. Morans sales, she said, gradually declined as U.S.-style supermarkets bloomed have.

Compared to her post, not other meat seller have in days on the market.

"I don't know where they are," said 60-year-old a-year Moran as leftover meat in plastic bags packed. "I will be here sell until I sick, or I can do it no longer." We earn much, but it is a life. "I have clients that depend on me."

Mexico City neighborhood markets, noisy, smelly living landmark of the concrete and corrugated cardboard, selling everything from cactus salads to Pinatas, fight, like more Mexicans in supermarkets relatively more orderly, cleaner, air conditioned and foreign migrate.

Shoppers say supermarkets have easy access have a wider variety of elements and are more secure.

"I know that from here we come to a foreign company make richer and the poorer, market vendors" 57-year-old Maria Teresa Hernandez said, as they leave their local Wal-Mart with pockets full of chocolate, fruit juices and underwear. "But they have everything here."

However, others say, is the rich offer of fresh fruits and products at low prices, what keeps them back to the local markets.

Most of the markets, such as El Torito, 50 years ago were and have aged gracefully not. Recently, a city government survey showed that 200 of 318 markets need urgent repairs on their installer and electrical wiring.

A steady decline in sales is the scarier over 70,000 suppliers.

Once a staple of daily life of this megacity, the markets in the 1950s and 1960s compared to 30 percent now, according to the City Office of economic development sold 80 percent of the city food.

A study of the 2002 by the National Autonomous University of Mexico estimated that revenues a decade almost 60 per cent had fallen.

Almost Professor Gerardo Torres says sales Salcido 10 years later, certainly still further decreased.

"There are markets that are actually dead," said Guadalupe Loaeza, columnist of the daily newspaper Reforma and writer, who was Mexican life has. "Many are in poor condition." There are rats and leaks. I remember many years ago, that no one went to the supermarket. "Now all go."

The debate on the future of the markets was sparked in April Mexico City Mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, successfully a regulation, which transferred the construction of supermarkets and convenience stores in the neighborhood, where the markets are to ban. The regulation, but has a three year service life and must be forced. Other government officials have proposed ideas such as the installation of debit card machines on the market only cash.

Still, some of the old-style markets thrive.

Also in off-peak hour was La Merced market in the historical centre of the city with activity on a recent afternoon to burst. The city is the largest retail market a seemingly endless maze of stands. It anchored a commercial area, who are on the road, leaks, where buyers find, everything from pirated porn Mexican flags made in China and grilled corn on the cob.

In addition to a contribution of spices sold belt. Children's toys hanging next to the chili-based Mole sauces. Are dinosaurs plastic a Taco fries to tripe.

The distances between the stands are similar to this city terrible car traffic, with the exception of human jams here by the carts caused product or mobile vendors of hawking soda.

Cumbia, salsa and 80s American music boom of stereos keep some manufacturers. TV shows and movies Donner at high volume. Wires in dust covered be interrupted on the stands. Flies hover close to the products.

"We come to markets, because it is part of our tradition," said shopped Pedro Ismael Marquez Hernandez, 37, as he was with his wife, mother and young daughter. "It would be sad when we lose." "It is a part of our heritage."

Marquez, Hernandez said he finds more affordable, but admitted that he would rather have some prices on the market products such as bathroom, to buy in the supermarket. Although they are more expensive, they are better quality, he said. He also said that at the local grocery stores sometimes is too good to pass up.

In this city of nearly 9 million, there are 7-Eleven or the like seemingly every other block. Walmart de Mexico is the largest private employer in the country, creation of jobs around 176,000 people, according to the discount giant has become site.

Walmart began its presence built here in 1991, one open Sam's Club. It has purchased it now 1,880 sites in Mexico, including its flagship stores, the Mexican chains and 364 restaurants.

In the year 2010, it recorded $26 billion ($ 334,5 billion pesos) from Mexico and Central American offices.

Edgar Alvarez, Director of the Association of public markets, throws decline in the markets partly on the Government, which he says, offers to international companies, while to discriminate against the markets.

If foreign companies opening a supermarket, he said "they fix sidewalks,". "they should do what they do for the multinationals for us."

At the same time, the Government of markets allows to accept food stamps, not she translated in million pesos in lost income, Alvarez said.

He said that to ban, supermarkets and shops for everything is a step that is too little, too late.

Morans market ate the remains of chicken a last afternoon, a mutt of a dog. Children ran aimlessly. Manufacturer peeled onions. The stalls were closed. It was quiet.

The market has a shrine to the Virgin Mary in a corner. The aroma of mangos and prickly pear fills the air.

Angelina Espejel, a dry cleaning booth at El Torito for eight years running has, says that markets will survive what whatever it is thrown. Still too many people from the working class serve, she said.

"You can think of unemployment when the markets gone?" Espejel asked.

Copyright 2011 of the associated press. All rights reserved. This material cannot be published, sent, rewritten or redistributed.

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