New York Times reporter David Barstow uncovered a shocking story against retail giant, Wal-Mart. His investigation started after Wal-Mart shut down its internal investigation over the possible bribery of Mexican officials. Wal-Mart used these bribes to accelerate growth in their Mexican zoning areas. These allegations surfaced when a Hispanic lawyer contacted Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville Arkansas. This lawyer had inside information on Wal-Mart’s bribes, as he represented them in their acts. He was used as a middle man for Wal-Mart’s payoffs to these officials.
Wal-Mart took action in defending its image. In 2005 the company launched an internal investigation that dug into the operations of Wal-Mart de Mexico. The reports put together obvious signs that the company had, in fact been bribing the city officials to open up zoning areas and to swiftly create building permits. These bribes reported to total above $24 million. Wal-Mart’s lead investigator had this to say after the investigation was conducted, “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.” When Wal-Mart’s leaders were faced with the decision to continue the investigation, they gave it to Wal-Mart de Mexico to investigate; it was shut down. Wal-Mart didn’t notify Mexican or American law enforcement with the information and none of these wrong doings were brought to the public eye until the publication of Barstow’s article.
Wal-Mart would obviously face critical examination by the public if the allegations were true; reasoning behind closing the investigation. Wal-Mart told the justice department that the investigation was unnecessary and the cases were minor where they did occur. The Time’s had a view in their investigation as they found substantial evidence supporting the bribes taking place. It’s believed that these bribes were the jump start Wal-Mart needed to gain its huge standing in Mexican society. 1 in 5 Wal-Mart’s are located in Mexico....
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