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How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | Educació de Qualitat i TICs | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

Via Seth Dixon
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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 1:17 PM

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

   Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

   Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:50 PM

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.

 

Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)

 

I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.  

 

* http://www.economist.com/node/21541753

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:32 PM

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened. 

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Martin Luther King Street

A teaser trailer for the MLK Streets Project, a documentary film examining the state of the many avenues, boulevards and thoroughfares named after the slain ...

 

This video echoes much of what the authors of the fantastic book "Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory" say (in fact one of the authors is shown in this video).  Throughout America, streets that are named after Martin Luther King Jr. frequently are in poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods.  This video highlights the irony between the historical memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and places of memorialization that bear his name.   

 

Questions to ponder: If Matin Luther King Jr. represents non-violence, then why are streets bearing his name often in 'violent' neighborhoods?  Where should Martin Luther King be memorialized in the United States?  Only in the South?  Only in predominantly African-American communities?  Do the geography of the spaces where he is memorialized say something about the United States?    

 

Tags: historical, culture, landscape, place, race, unit 3 culture, USA, urban, poverty, unit 7 cities, book review. 


Via Seth Dixon
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melissa stjean's comment, October 8, 2012 9:49 PM
These streets are the most popular in the country, but they are located mostly located in areas with profoundly poorer incomes. With poorer incomes, leads to increased crime rates, does naming a street after an iconic hero please the people who live here? It seems like the geography of these places is creating a line of segregation by using his name for a street.
Jeff F's comment, October 8, 2012 10:42 PM
Martin Luther King Streets are places into prominently African-American neighborhoods because that is where the dominant white culture says they belong. Martin Luther King jr was a powerful African-American man and a powerful African-American man has no place in white communities according to this philosophy. If a MLK street was to be placed into a white suburb it would likely cause controversy. Cries of myths such as "reverse racism" would likely run rampant. This would be accompanied with the idea that a MLK street should only belong in an area with a heavy African-American population.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 3:49 PM
I think Martin Luther King should be memorialized in all parts of the country, and why not with all cultures and races. He did stand for non-violence and non-discrimination, which happens among all types of people.