Democracy Now: DOJ Probing Wal-Mart for Reported Bribes in Mexico
The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly launched a criminal probe of Wal-Mart for allegations of systematic bribery in Mexico. An investigation by the New York Times found that Wal-Mart paid more than $24 million in bribes to win construction permits in Mexico. The company failed to report any of the information to law enforcement at the time. On Monday, David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, responded to the report.
David Tovar: “Many of the alleged activities in the New York Times article are more than six years old. If these allegations are true, it is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for. We are deeply concerned by these allegations and are working aggressively to determine what happened.”
On Monday, the value of Wal-Mart’s stock fell 5 percent. In Mexico, legal analyst John Ackerman said the Wal-Mart scandal should encourage the nation’s presidential candidates to strengthen anti-corruption laws.
John Ackerman: “It’s hard for a candidate to take on a particular corporation, but I think the candidates can and should take this example as a reason to, in a broad-based manner, defend Mexican institutions and regulate not only international, but also national corporations. International corporations are not the only ones who pay bribes in Mexico; also national corporations do so, as well. And it’s important to separate the public and the private and really strengthen the regulatory strength of the state.”