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Walmart Ducked Mexican Laws via Rampant Bribery
Newser ^ | Dec. 18, 2012 | Matt Cantor

Posted on 12/18/2012 5:34:22 PM PST by AuntB

Following the New York Times' April revelation that Walmart silenced a 2006 probe into the company's Mexican bribery scandal, the Times took things into its own hands. In a lengthy investigation, the paper finds that Walmart de Mexico, the country's largest private employer, wasn't a helpless player in a sleazy system: Instead, it was "an aggressive and creative corrupter" whose payoffs allowed it to work around laws and beat out the competition. In a look at 19 store sites tied to bribes, the paper found that "the strictly forbidden became miraculously attainable": In one case, amid $341,000 in bribes, the company set up a Sam's Club in busy Mexico City—without a building license, environmental permit, or traffic permit.

When the firm wanted to build on a private alfalfa field, new zoning regulations should have prevented it—but the regulations weren't official until a map was printed in a government paper. So execs paid an insider $52,000 to get the map changed before its printing. (More than $200,000 in bribes were tied to that location in total.) A former lawyer for the company told US execs about the persistent problem, and referenced the alfalfa field location. But those bosses didn't tell Mexican authorities about the lawyer's report, and Mexican investigators, "unaware of this new evidence," ultimately found no wrongdoing in the case. The company is currently conducting a wide-ranging investigation into all 27 of its non-US markets.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Mexico
KEYWORDS: mexico; walmart

1 posted on 12/18/2012 5:34:35 PM PST by AuntB
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To: AuntB

Can you do business in Mexico without bribes?


2 posted on 12/18/2012 5:39:41 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

Can you do business in the USA without bribes?


3 posted on 12/18/2012 5:40:57 PM PST by pnut22
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To: pnut22
Can you do business in the USA without bribes?

The polite term is "lobbying."

4 posted on 12/18/2012 5:42:08 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state." - Cornelius Tacitus, Roman Senator)
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To: driftdiver

It’s called “tipping.”


5 posted on 12/18/2012 5:43:17 PM PST by Dutch Boy
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To: pnut22

You can’t do business with the government without them.


6 posted on 12/18/2012 5:43:42 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: AuntB

I thought it was considered politically correct for Americans corporations to honor local traditions.


7 posted on 12/18/2012 5:50:52 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: AuntB
A little contraction for Walmart execs....FCPA

See ya in the slammer, guys...

8 posted on 12/18/2012 5:51:46 PM PST by Regulator
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To: AuntB
The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. — Proverbs 17:23, ESV
9 posted on 12/18/2012 5:52:29 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: driftdiver

So, what if when we get to the very bottom of this we find out that the sitting President of Mexico, then Governor of the State of Mexico took bribes to allow thee busines to start up. Let’s go finish the job.


10 posted on 12/18/2012 5:54:25 PM PST by rovenstinez
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To: AuntB
In one case, amid $341,000 in bribes, the company set up a Sam's Club in busy Mexico City—without a building license, environmental permit, or traffic permit.

$341 grand? Oh my that's cheap. Considering all the freezerfuls of cold cash that would be needed to get the same thing done in the USA.

11 posted on 12/18/2012 5:55:19 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: Olog-hai

in this case it looks like the bribe was needed in order to avoid being legally cheated


12 posted on 12/18/2012 5:56:35 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Countries that continue to allow that will fall.


13 posted on 12/18/2012 6:03:16 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: AuntB

La mordida, the bite is so pervasive that not paying would be the exception not the rule.


14 posted on 12/18/2012 6:08:12 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Olog-hai

“Countries that continue to allow that will fall.”

Its the way business is done throughout the world. They don’t fall but they don’t succeed either.


15 posted on 12/18/2012 6:17:49 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: AuntB; All

I am sure some of our last remaining supporters of Free Trade Globalism will have some positive spin on this...

I never understood all the cheer-leading for Wal Mart...it never was much of a pro-American company (especially after Sam Walton died)...and based most of its success on just being cheap...and not being really creative or ingenuitive. And it cost us millions of American jobs in the process.

Yes, they have cheap products...but we pay for it in other areas.

I can remember older people a few years ago telling me that “Woolworth’s would never go out of business”. Wal Mart is headed that same direction...especially with Target getting more aggressive outside the US


16 posted on 12/18/2012 6:27:27 PM PST by SeminoleCounty (Seems that the ones who understand little about the economy are economists)
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To: Olog-hai

they are going to be mightily hobbled


17 posted on 12/18/2012 6:32:51 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: AuntB

Oh please.

La Mordita is how everything is done in Mexico. Bribery is expected and accomodated, with government officials being the worst miscreants.

It’s where we’re headed. Official corruption in even the smallest of day to day interactions. Police, tax assessors, public utilities, you name it. If you want it or want out of it, you’ll have to grease a palm or two.


18 posted on 12/18/2012 6:33:38 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: SeminoleCounty

Wally World has a formidable infrastructure. Ever visit Bentonville, Arkansas and have a gawk around? Bunkers that could withstand a nuke. Their own private fleet of dedicated trucks. These are folks that play for keeps. They could, if they wanted, saw off their Mexican arm and not even miss it.


19 posted on 12/18/2012 6:35:42 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: RegulatorCountry

mordida (”bite”)


20 posted on 12/18/2012 6:37:04 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: AuntB
Does anyone know of any major company doing business south of the border that doesn't have to do the same thing?? If you want to do business down there be prepared to pay graft. It has been that way from the beginning.
21 posted on 12/18/2012 6:44:43 PM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: driftdiver

“Can you do business in Mexico without bribes?”

I don’t see how. Pretty soon we’ll be saying that about this once good nation.


22 posted on 12/18/2012 7:02:00 PM PST by AuntB (Illegal immigration is simply more "share the wealth" socialism and a CRIME not a race!)
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To: elpadre

Just ask the oil companies what they pay to drill in Nigeria or South America. It would literally amaze you. They do it in the form of outreach programs...but it is still cash in cash out at the end of the day.


23 posted on 12/18/2012 7:10:38 PM PST by willyd (Don't shoot, we're Republicans!)
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To: AuntB

Carlos Slim from Mexico, the richest man in the world, partially owns the NY Times. Did the Times article mention this? Is Wal Mart a competitor to monopolist Slim? What’s the rest of the story?


24 posted on 12/18/2012 7:12:46 PM PST by Ge0ffrey
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To: driftdiver

You can’t get a telephone installed without one.


25 posted on 12/18/2012 8:04:48 PM PST by PUGACHEV
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