April 26, 2012 in México
By Michelle Moraila
You don’t have to drive very far into Mexico to find the first Wal-Mart close to the border. Over 2,000 stores have invaded the country since the giant American corporation first opened a store in 1991. They include anything from Wal-Mart super centers, to “Superama” (a Wal-Mart owned grocery store cleverly disguised as being completely Mexican). It makes shopping easy for consumers with a high moral price to pay.
The scandal surrounding Wal-Mart and Mexico exploded once The New York Times published this 8,000-word article this past Sunday. Both the company and Mexican politicians are attempting to clean up the damage caused by more than ten year’s worth of bribes estimated to be in the millions.
Sadly, the news failed to surprise many. I’m surprised it took them this long to find such a case. Yes, corruption is on every corner of this earth but I know I am probably not be the first Mexican to admit that it thrives more than usual in Mexico. Not everyone has engaged in some sort of corruption, but it’s no lie that cops are easily bought off, fines miraculously disappear, and no one needs to take a real driver’s test if you pay enough money. When the PAN took over it did visibly decrease but was never fully eradicated.
The problem is that Mexicans know it and enjoy it. Without these so-called “mordidas” (Spanish slang for “bribes”) Mexico could potentially go on to have a shot at a full legitimate government. But the citizens will not allow it. God forbid they have to do something the long way. And the government would have to get rid of millions of people on the inside who regularly accept bribes who would just move on to be corrupt somewhere else.
But as the Wal-Mart case continues to unravel, more questions are raised. Mexican citizens want to know exactly who received these bribes and want serious action to be taken. The publication opened their eyes and fingers are being pointed. They want to know what other businesses have done the same thing considering American corporations have taken over major cities. At the same time, they argue that there’s not a big difference between what happens and American officials who accept contributions from corporations.
It is unclear what will happen with the scandal and who will be held accountable. Calderon expressed his indignation about the issue despite the the millions of jobs the company opened up. Mexican officials have stated this will go under further investigation.
This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.