KochAPGeography
Follow
1.2K views | +0 today
KochAPGeography
All AP Human Geography, all the time.
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by KochAPGeography from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

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

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | KochAPGeography | 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
more...
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. 

Rescooped by KochAPGeography from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Saudia Arabia To Build Women-Only City

Saudia Arabia To Build Women-Only City | KochAPGeography | Scoop.it
In a bid to reconcile strict gender-segregation laws with a desire to increase employment opportunities for women, Saudi Arabia is planning to construct a new industrial "city" exclusively for female workers, Russian news agency RT reports.

 

The idea is mind-blowing to say the least.  More women would be able to be a part of the workforce and move freely about women-only cities in Saudi Arabia than they could in 'regular' cities. 

Question to ponder: would the implementation of this idea represent a cultural step forward for Saudi Arabia towards gender equality or would it be a step that further isolated women and is repressive?  What do you think of the idea given the ingrained gender norms of Saudi Arabia? 


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 29, 2014 4:30 PM

UPDATE on 8/15/2012 at 3:20 pm ET: Al Arabiya English reported on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is not building a women-only industrial city.Contrary to reports by the Guardian, ABC News, and the Russian news agency RT, among others, Al Arabiya English writes that the new municipality will be open to both men and women.-Huffington Post

 

I am very happy to know that this city was not created. I do believe that it would have been nice to have women able to come and go as they please in Saudi Arabia (without the accompanying of a man) ,however I do not feel that this was the answer. I believe a city like this might only further the divide of genders. I understand different cultures have different beliefs however when the cost is the suppression of another living thing then there is an issue.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 2:32 AM

Like many the topic of this article can be taken two ways. First that this is a good thing as it will allow for a place for the oppressed women of Saudi Arabia to act as they wish without the gaze and guidance of men. Giving them a sense of freedom rarely found in their country. On the other hand what this does is by placing them within their own city it further marginalizes women by pushing them into their own receptive roles and accepted locations. This could very well further drive home the idea women don't quite belong in this "Man's" country.  

Kendra King's curator insight, February 27, 1:09 AM

I can see how this might sound appealing, but this isn't the right solution. On the one hand, the women would be able to enter the work force more so as to close the disparity between women who are unemployed. That gap is actually huge since the article mentioned the number of Saudi women who work is somewhere in the low teens despite the fact that "60%" of college graduates are women. At the same time, this environment might prove to be more freeing for women in regards to their movement as well. As the article mentioned women always have to be "accompanied by a male," which is just ridiculously restricting.

 

Yet all of these benefits come at the price of isolation. That whole "separate, but equal" thing played out in the US and it wasn't actually equality. Nor did it actually make for a harmonious environment. In order to actually change people's minds, the government can't just push the women workers out of site in a corner.Without men being around women workers, they will continue to treat them poorly as second class citizens. Furthermore,separating them almost makes it seem like they are second class thereby exacerbating the gender norms within the country even more.