Wal-Mart once again lives up to its reputation as an evil giant corporation that rides rough-shod over workers rights and environmental concerns in several areas in Mexico. A recent New York Times investigation revealed that Wal-Mart has bribed and cheated its way to being Mexico’s premier retail outlet with 2, 275 stores. The expose shows how Wal-Mart de Mexico bribed officials to get stores build in pristine areas with no regard to the environmental and social impact.
In fact, Wal-Mart de Mexico went so far as to “subvert democratic governance” in its effort to construct stores in areas of high traffic, the most horrific of which was their conquest of Mrs. Pineda’s alfalfa field. This field just happened to be a mile from ancient Teotihuacán pyramids that are a popular tourist destination. Now as tourists scale the pyramid walls, they are met with a less-than-pristine view of the boxy Wal-Mart building. When Wal-Mart applied for a permit to build in Mrs. Pineda’s field, the local authorities said no, so they paid a guy $52,000 to redraw the zoning map. It didn’t stop there; in all they paid $200,000 to four different officials to push through the construction of a store in an area that held social and environmental significance for the local people who would otherwise not have allowed such a denigration of their sacred lands.
More from the New York Times article: ” 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.”
Take action: You can contact Wal-Mart stores directly to voice your opinions on these shenanigans here or simply stop shopping at their stores.