Margo D. Beller
April 23, 2012

The $24 million Wal-Mart Stores’ Mexican affiliate allegedly paid in 2005 to win market dominance may look like a bribe to U.S. regulators but it’s standard operating procedure in Mexico, according to a former government official in Mexico.

“I have no idea how Wal-Mart operates but I do know how Mexico operates,” former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street Monday.

Castaneda, now a New York University professor, said government on the federal level in Mexico has gotten cleaner and more transparent, but that hasn’t come to the local level. Wal-Mart is “a new company in Mexico,” only there 15 years, he said, and it might’ve made payoffs to overcome competition from local companies there 50 or 60 years.

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