UPDATE 1-Mexico's Walmex reports higher quarterly profit


MEXICO CITY Oct 18 (Reuters) - Mexico’s top retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico , reported a higher third-quarter profit on Tuesday, helped by a jump in sales.The retailer, known locally as Walmex, said third-quarter profit was 4.875 billion pesos ($351 million), compared with 4.250 billion pesos a year ago.That was slightly above expectations for a profit of 4.824 billion pesos, according to a Reuters survey of six analysts.Walmex said revenue rose 10.6 percent to 91.04 billion pesos from 82.29 billion pesos in the third quarter of 2010.Shares in the company, which is controlled by U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc , closed up 0.18 percent, or 6 centavos, at 32.98 pesos in local trading.


Following Mexico scandal, lawsuits take a bite at Wal-Mart’s board

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Lawsuits keep lining up against Wal-Mart executives

By ALEJANDRA LASCURAIN

Shareholders are taking a tough stance against Wal-Mart’s board of directors in an attempt to increase accountability of the company, which was forced in April to disclose its involvement in a multimillion dollar bribery scandal in Mexico.

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What’s worse is that Western companies, and unwitting consumers, are complicit.

“They kept me chained up, they didn’t care about me or give me any food…They sold us like animals, but we are not animals - we are human beings.” 

This heart-wrenching quote is from a man sold from ship to ship in Thailand, caught in the trap of slavery and forced to work on a boat that supplies feed to the prawns we buy at the grocery store. 

The three largest grocers in the world — Walmart, Carrefour, and Costco — were named specifically in a new investigation by the Guardian for selling prawns and shrimp whose production relies upon slave labor. One week later, those companies are still refusing to take two simple steps to rout out slavery from their supply chains — and that’s where we come in. 

Human rights activists are demanding Walmart, Carrefour and Costco join Project Issara, a Thai-based initiative to end modern slavery, as well as institute a zero tolerance policy on slavery based on conditions on the ground. Before the spotlight of the Guardian expose fades, let’s raise our voices to speak out against slavery in the prawn industry.

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