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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 08:45 PM

The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs To Get Its Way in Mexico

Source: New York Times

The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs To Get Its Way in Mexico

Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

By DAVID BARSTOW and ALEJANDRA XANIC von BERTRAB
Published: December 17, 2012

-snip-

The Times’s examination reveals that Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business. Nor did it pay bribes merely to speed up routine approvals. Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used 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.

Through confidential Wal-Mart documents, The Times identified 19 store sites across Mexico that were the target of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s bribes. The Times then matched information about specific bribes against permit records for each site. Clear patterns emerged. Over and over, for example, the dates of bribe payments coincided with dates when critical permits were issued. Again and again, the strictly forbidden became miraculously attainable.

Thanks to eight bribe payments totaling $341,000, for example, Wal-Mart built a Sam’s Club in one of Mexico City’s most densely populated neighborhoods, near the Basílica de Guadalupe, without a construction license, or an environmental permit, or an urban impact assessment, or even a traffic permit. Thanks to nine bribe payments totaling $765,000, Wal-Mart built a vast refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile flood basin north of Mexico City, in an area where electricity was so scarce that many smaller developers were turned away.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/business/walmart-bribes-teotihuacan.html

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Reply The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs To Get Its Way in Mexico (Original post)
Eugene Dec 2012 OP
ROBROX Dec 2012 #1
davidpdx Dec 2012 #2

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:31 PM

1. WALMART AND BIG MONEY

 

The same old habits just do not go AWAY. Greed, big money and the GOP go hand in hand.

I did shop at a walmart in PORTA VARARTA in Mexico. The place was right across the street from where visiting tourist ships dock. The influx of money from visiting people and other since the parking lot was full and shaded.



This information should be public information

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:58 AM

2. Thank you for posting this

I had heard a small amount about this, but the article was very comprehensive.

The short end of the story is Wal-Mart officials both in Mexico and the US should be charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act including fines and jail sentences. Wal-Mart should be fined. If any of the people involved are Mexican citizens, they should be extradited to the US for trial. Also Wal-Mart should be heavily fined, as much as Siemens was (which was $450 million).

I'd support further changes to the FCPA that double any fine regarding corruption that destroys an area of national importance.

By the way, I am working on my doctoral degree and studying international business specifically the market entry of retail stores into foreign countries including the legal systems of different nations. I have to wonder whether Wal-Mart pulled off some scheme in China as well in terms of bribery. The company was here in Korea from 1998 until 2006 when they pulled out due to poor financial performance.

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