Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

Walmart's Mexican Bribe Machine


The New York Times expands its ground-breaking expose of Walmart’s Mexican bribery spree. In one shady deal, the retailer used bribes to literally wipe zoning obstacles off the map, in order to build a mega-store in the shadow of an sacred heritage site:

The plan was simple. The zoning map would not become law until it was published in a government newspaper. So Wal-Mart de Mexico arranged to bribe an official to change the map before it was sent to the newspaper, records and interviews show. Sure enough, when the map was published, the zoning for Mrs. Pineda’s field was redrawn to allow Wal-Mart’s store.

Problem solved. [NYT]

The article describes Walmart as an “an aggressive and creative corrupter.” The company didn’t just use bribes to expedite legal processes, it paid big bucks to flout the law completely.


[Photo credit: Crawfishpie, Creative Commons.]