Petition blasts newsstands at historic sites

Libertad de Expresión Yucatán
macay merida
Libertad de Expresión Yucatán

With yet another newsstand popping up in front of another historic building, someone has started a campaign against kiosks facing the Plaza Grande.

Mérida journalist José Manuel Repetto has started an online petition to remove them.

A black, bulky newsstand has marred the view of the Cathedral since September. A second kiosk, also facing the Plaza Grande, was recently placed about 60 meters away, attached to the Macay Museum’s grand Ateneo Peninsular, which like the Cathedral, dates from the 1500s. Both stands are emblazoned with Diario de Yucatán’s logo, and sell periodicals, candy and souvenirs.

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Photographers aiming a lens at these landmarks will be challenged to crop out these kiosks, which also serve as billboards advertising the media companies that sponsored them.

cathedral merida
Libertad de Expresión Yucatán

Harsh words

The change.org petition was posted early this morning, and doesn’t mince words.

Aside from leaving a bad impression with visitors, the stands invade pedestrian space, writes Repetto.

“Allowing them to completely take over our streets with the arrogance they have shown, at the expense of our historic monuments, gives them a privilege that no ordinary citizen and absolutely no other local company enjoys,” the petition asserts.

The petition is addressed to both the Ayuntamiento de Mérida and the Yucatán delegation of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, better known as INAH.

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Earlier this month, Repetto listed the situation as one of five that disfigure the White City, backing up his complaints with a telling photo gallery. Also on the list: the proliferation of pay phones, shoddy sidewalks, homes that remain in ruins, and restored homes that are blocked by parked cars.

But the petition focuses on the issue of newsstands.

“Excluding the central parks, it is easier to find newspaper and magazine stands than trees in the first frame of the city,” he writes.

Anyone who agrees with Repetto can sign the petition here.

(Previous story here.)

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