Amazon's new parcel center in Tijuana looks like a new castle that rules the outskirts of a slum. The images are bleak on their own and went viral around the world, where they were called dystopian.
However, the images taken by Omar Martinez, from the Cuartoscuro photographic agency, are more medieval than dystopian. Jeff Bezos's department store, which cost 21 million pesos, seems to become embedded as the protector and feudal lord of the neighborhood that lies at its skirts. The huge, polished, and rectangular architecture emphasizes the uneven composition of the houses made of wood, sheets, and cardboard, causing a strong impression of inequality that has been pointed out internationally.
However, Marisa Vano, the spokesperson for Amazon in Mexico, pointed out that Amazon's presence in Mexico means a well-paid job opportunity:
Since our arrival in Mexico, Amazon has created more than 15,000 jobs nationwide, generating job opportunities with competitive salaries and benefits for all of our employees. Our salaries and benefits strengthen local communities, and these investments help these areas grow and build a better future.
But the true goals of this 32,000-square-meter complex seem to be different: outsourcing and cheap labor. This is pointed out by Charmaine Chua, assistant professor in the Department of Global Studies at the University of California (USA), who also notes that the new winery will be very close to the company's largest warehouse in the United States.
According to Chua, the strategic location between the Tijuana warehouse and Otay Mesa FC, in San Diego County, seeks to create a strong duo to evade the legislation and the high costs of the tariffs that slow down trade with China and that have caused that US trade is greatly disadvantaged.
Meanwhile, for the municipal president of Tijuana, Karla Patricia Ruiz Macfarland, the Amazon warehouse represents another step in the fight against unemployment in the city. The Tijuana government assures that 250 new jobs will be offered.
For its part, Amazon released a statement expressing that they want to continue contributing to the well-being of Mexican families and that since their arrival in Mexico, they have created more than 15 thousand jobs.
The contrasting images are still impressive, and the aerial view is the one that best shows us the new Amazon winery as a kind of plastic medieval castle or cathedral that reigns over the population while offering work, protection, asylum, and food.