A protest against a planned Wal-Mart is seen Teotihuacan, Mexico State, in October, 2004. (AFP/Getty Images)
The global retail giant Wal-Mart ran neither a casual nor introverted bribery scheme when it came to getting what it wanted in Mexico.
As a new exposé by The New York Times reveals, efforts by Wal-mart to get what they wanted, regardless of local concerns and opposition, were extremely effective and "Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited."
Building near sacred lands? There's was a bribe for that. Want a store in an overpopulated neighborhood? No problem. A zoning restriction hiccup or building without an environmental impact plan? Wal-mart had a answer for it all: a little money in the right hand. Or hands.
According to the Times, Wal-mart offered
bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.