Mexico City:  Walmart de Mexico said it "has had priorities to cooperate in the investigation and safeguard the independence of the investigation" into bribery allegations in Mexico.

The company released a statement in response to a story published Monday in The New York Times and picked up by the Mexican press about alleged bribes paid by the giant retailer.

"The process to open the Bodega Aurrera San Juan Teotihuacan which took place from 2003-2004, mentioned in The New York Times, is part of a Walmart Stores Inc. investigation conducted by independent lawyers and specialists since the end of 2011," the company said.

"Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica has had priorities to cooperate in the investigation and safeguard the independence of the investigation.

With that purpose in mind, while the investigation runs its course, the Company shall refrain from making any comments on specific allegations or claims," the retailer said.

The company said it "reiterates its willingness to fully cooperate with the competent authorities in whatever investigation regarding the permits or licenses issued to the Company".

The New York Times published a story on Monday that said Walmart de Mexico bribed officials to speed construction of a supermarket near the Teotihuacan archaeological zone, paying USD 52,000 to modify a map of an area where construction could not take place legally.

(Agencies)

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