On Sunday, [The New York Times made international headlines](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/business/at-wal-mart-in-mexico-a-bribe...) when it published an investigation that found executives from Wal-Mart's Mexican subsidiary reportedly used systematic bribery to receive expedited building permits across the country. Now community leaders in Los Angeles say they're suspicious of how Wal-Mart received building permits just hours before the city council voted unanimously to block the retail giant from building in Chinatown. "Walmart fueled its rapid expansion in Mexico with millions in bribes paid to get building permits and land use approvals through quickly. Last month, Wal-Mart suspiciously received building permits only about 12 hours before the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to temporarily block those permits," James Elmendorf, Deputy Director, of [LAANE](www.laane.org) told Colorlines.com.
Community Leaders in LA's Chinatown Question if Wal-Mart Bribed City Officials
LA group questions how an 11th hour building permit for Wal-Mart made it through the building department just hours before the City Council voted to ban the retail giant from the city's historic Chinatown.
Image: Los Angeles' Chinatown. (Photo by Neil Kremer)