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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ecuador's president rails against Halloween for encouraging 'consumerism'

IHT, 31 October, 2007

QUITO, Ecuador: President Rafael Correa called on Ecuadoreans to reject Halloween on Wednesday, railing against the holiday for encouraging consumerism.

Halloween "has been deformed by consumerism, including in the United States and other English-speaking countries," said Correa, who calls himself a Christian leftist.

"These promoters of insane and senseless consumption lead human beings to supposedly need things they don't require," Correa said at a ceremony for National Shield Day, commemorating the country's coat of arms — which he urged Ecuadoreans to celebrate instead.

"We will not fall for these attempts to make us foreign," said Correa, a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. "Let's love what's ours and reject ridiculousness like Halloween."

In Mexico, Catholic Church officials earlier this week criticized the holiday as part of a pagan "culture of death," urging parents to keep children from wearing Halloween costumes and dress them as Biblical characters instead.

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