On Mexico Bribes, Wal-Mart Committee Must Judge Its Leaders

Wal-Mart Stores has been accused of bribing local officials to alter zoning maps in Teotihuacán, Mexico Photograph by Josh Haner/The New York Times via Redux

Few boards can match the prestige of Wal-Mart Stores, or the pressure of being on its audit committee. The five members on that committee are overseeing the investigation of alleged bribery payments in Mexico, as well as any subsequent cover-up. That task was made all the more complicated on Dec. 17 with a New York Times article that chronicles how executives in Mexico reportedly paid bribes to alter zoning maps in the historical city of Teotihuacán, among other things. This comes at a time when the world’s largest retailer faces questions about its labor practices, its stepped-up push to sell assault rifles, and possible corruption in Brazil, India, and China.

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