Earlier this month, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York spun a new twist in the long-standing legal battle over environmental contamination in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador. In a 485-page ruling, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that lawyers leading the Lago Agrio plaintiffs' prosecution of claims against Chevron (which acquired the alleged contaminator, Texaco) used corrupt means to secure an $18 billion judgment from an Ecuadorian court. See Chevron Corp. v. Donziger et al, S.D.N.Y. 11-00691.
According to recent reports, lawyers for Wal-Mart have identified China, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Mexico as potential hotbeds for corruption risk. The findings come in the wake of an April New York Times story alleging that Wal-Mart and its largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de México (or, Walmex), covered up a bribery investigation involving top company executives and millions of dollars in payments to Mexican government officials.