The New York Times, which in April first broke allegations of bribery by Wal-Mart in Mexico, takes another look at the world's largest retailer's operations south of border, part of a series on Wal-Mart's international operations.
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.
In response, Wal-Mart notes that it is continuing its own internal investigation into its international operations, and notes the steps it has taken so far (including in India).
David W. Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, tells the Times that, "We are committed to having a strong and effective global anticorruption program everywhere we operate and taking appropriate action for any instance of noncompliance."
The full Times report, including documents, photos and video, is available here.
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