Raises Serious Questions about Efforts to Enter DC Market
WASHINGTON, DC, April 23 — After delaying construction on its six proposed DC stores, stunning revelations came to the fore this week about the extent of Walmart’s bribery scandal in Mexico. Its efforts to cover up reportedly illegal activity at the highest levels of the corporation show that the values of the company are not the values we want in DC, Respect DC charged today. Noting that Walmart clearly cannot be trusted, coalition members said that DC public officials must demand an enforceable community benefits agreement, as well as demand that Walmart’s
construction continues to be halted until a federal investigation in the matter has concluded.
An in-depth investigative report published in The New York Times documented that Walmart “orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance” in Mexico, paying bribes totaling more than $24 million. Though an investigator hired by Walmart told top executives, “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated,” the official who orchestrated the bribery campaign was later promoted to vice chairman of Walmart. In addition, Walmart’s current CEO, Michael Duke, was responsible for all foreign subsidiaries at the time, including Mexico, was kept fully informed, and did nothing to hold anyone accountable or bring the scandal to the attention of law enforcement authorities.
“This sordid episode demonstrates that Walmart tolerates lawbreaking in pursuit of market expansion and dominance,” said Dyana Forester of Respect DC. “Yet even that’s not the worst of it. Walmart’s clear efforts to sweep this bribery scandal under the rug, its failure to notify the U.S. and Mexican governments of apparent lawbreaking, and its subsequent promotions of the official who spearheaded the bribery and Mike Duke to CEO show that Walmart is still infected by a corrupt corporate culture.
“Walmart continues to show that it cannot be trusted,” Forester charged. “We call on Mayor Gray and the DC Council to put a halt on all permitting for Walmart’s proposed stores in DC, until a full investigation by the federal government is completed. Furthermore, we demand a local investigation of Walmart and its local developers’ political giving, as well as so-called ‘philanthropy’ to elected leaders, organizations, and public agencies here in DC.”
Please see http://theweek.com/article/index/227089/walmarts-explosive-mexican-bribery-scandal-a-concise-guide for a concise breakdown of the reported scandal and cover up.