Great investment opportunities
in the best place to live
M E X I C O
Strategic location for global business.
Located only 50 miles south of Mexico City, by far the largest market
• L d l il h f M i Ci
in Latin America
• Straight in the middle of the inter-oceanic highway; 260 miles from
the Seaport of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico
Highly qualified human capital
Highly kill d kf
• Hi hl skilled workforce
• Steady supply of engineering and science graduates
An outstanding innovation environment
• Host to 39 research centers ready to support innovative projects like no other
region in Mexico
• More than 1,500 scientists, many of whom are involved in highly relevant topics
such as biotechnology, applied physics, energy & fuels, materials, science, water
technology and others
Exceptional life quality
Famous worldwide for its ideal climate and natural beauty
• Known as the “city of eternal spring,” Cuernavaca — the state Capital —
and its surroundings have become a cosmopolitan metropolis
• A wide array of high quality entertainment, cultural and educational options
Economic Development Secretariat
+52 (777) 313 5680
Mexico’s Partner foXconn 13
Business Tips 16
trade – reflecting history
Mexico’s bilateral trade relations have
undergone major changes and have
witnessed to the country’s historical
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42 taller méxiCo
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Interview alejandro serratos
editor in chief
Mexico: orlando santamaria
World Sensation Marketing Manager
Pilar Jiménez Molgado
The lifestyle Contents
dalia Urzua orozco
Photo COURTESY OF Canana FilmS
56 Karla Juárez
Film Mauricio Zabalgoitia
the revolution staff Writers
is still going on translation
in Cinema alejandra díaz alvarado
Juan Manuel romero
46 Entertainment 60 The Lifestyle Report graeme stewart
CirCo atayde hermanos mexiCo:
a promising Contributors
antonio Vázquez, Ulises hernández,
48 Science & Technology destination María cristina rosas, María eugenia
mexiCan inventions sevilla, cristina Ávila-Zesatti, oldemar.
52 The Lifestyle Feature fundaCión pro mixteCa: ricardo luévanos
mexiCo: 200 years of history making dreams Come true
this is an editorial project for ProMéxico
ProMéxico is not responsible for inaccurate information or omissions that might exist in the information provided by the participant by taller méxico (www.tallermexico.com).
companies nor of their economic solvency. title certificate of lawfulness 14459. text certificate of lawfulness 12032. number of title
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6 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF GE EnERGY FinanCial SERviCES / aRChivE
AUTOMOTIVE RENEWABLE ENERGY
Number Helping Mexico Meet
One In The Its Environmental Goals
Americas Subsidiaries of Spain-based Aben-
goa and GE Energy Financial
german auto-making Services, a unit of GE, will invest
giant Volkswagen (VW) 180 million usd to develop the larg-
plans to invest 1 billion est cogeneration power plant in
usd in Mexico over the Mexico.
next three years. a por- The 300-megawatt gas-fired
tion of that investment facility with a total project cost
will go to constructing of 640 million usd will be located
a new production plant at the Nuevo Pemex gas process-
in Mexico for the Beetle ing complex, owned by Pemex
successor. Gas y Petroquimica Basica, a
according to a report subsidiary of Mexican state oil
from automotive news company Pemex. Located near
magazine, VW’s plant Villahermosa, Tabasco, the plant
in Puebla, Mexico, was will supply Nuevo Pemex with
the industrial complex power and steam under a 20-year
throughout the north services agreement. Powered by
american free trade cleaner burning natural gas, the
agreement (nafta) facility will help the Mexican gov-
region that manufac- ernment meet its commitment to the Engineering and Industrial mand; additional power output
tured the largest number reduce greenhouse gas emissions Construction Business Group of will be provided to other Pemex
of automobiles in July by 50% below 2002 levels by the Abengoa– and GE Energy Finan- operations throughout Mexico over
2010. the report lists the year 2050. cial Services will own the project, its national transmission system.
10 plants with the larg- The Abengoa subsidiaries which is expected to directly sup-
est production in north Abener Energia and Abengoa ply 55% of Nuevo Pemex’s steam www.abengoa.es
america and ranks VW’s Mexico –companies of Abeinsa, demand and all of its power de- www.geenergyfinancialservices.com
plant in Puebla as num-
ber one, with a produc-
tion volume of 42,400 RENEWABLE ENERGY
units in July 2010.
VW’s plant in Puebla
is followed by gM, toyo-
ta, hyundai, honda and
ford plants in the Us and
On Renewable Energies
nissan’s plant in aguas-
in accrued figures
from January to July
2010 Automotive News Current Mexican regulations regarding clean and renewable ener-
ranks VW Puebla sec- gies will be the main subject of an important forum, which will be
ond among industrial held in Mexico City, from October 5th-7th, 2010. During this event,
complexes with the larg- organized by the national Energy Regulatory Commission, several
est production volume project incentives, business opportunities and a general overview of
in north america, with key aspects related to renewable power generation in the country
236,000 units. will be presented.
A consortium led by Spanish electric infrastructure company
Elecnor has been awarded a 35.3 million usd contract to design,
Photo COURTESY OF ElECnOR
supply, build and start up five substations in the Mexican states of
Baja California and Sonora, as well as four transmission lines in
Baja California and Mexico’s Northwest region. The five substa-
tions will have a capacity of 305 megavolt amperes (MVA), with 19
feeders, while the four transmission lines will have a total length
of 59.74 kilometers.
8 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF SiGma alimEnTOS / GEnERal mOTORS / aRChivE
Sigma Goes For US Market
ALFA, parent company of Sigma Alimentos, the largest manufac-
turer of frozen and refrigerated foods in Mexico, has reached an
agreement to acquire Bar-S Foods Co., to expand its presence in the
US packaged meats market.
The merger of Bar-S and Sigma’s US operations is subject to
necessary regulatory approvals from US authorities. Phoenix-based
Bar-S is a privately owned company that produces and markets pro-
cessed meats. The company operates three production plants and
one distribution center in Oklahoma. In 2009, Bar-S reported sales
of 535 million usd and more than 1,600 employees.
Sigma, headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, operates 30 dairy,
meat, prepared meals and beverage plants and more than 100 distri-
bution centers throughout Mexico and sells food products through- AUTOMOTIVE
out Central and South America and the Caribbean. Its revenues in
GM Bets On Mexico
2009 exceeded 2 billion usd.
general Motors (gM) will invest the domestic and international
500 million usd to renovate its markets. the new investment
plant in ramos arizpe, in the would generate 390 jobs.
Mexican northern state of coa- gM has been present in
huila. of that amount, the com- Mexico since 1935, where it
pany is investing 284 million has some 11,000 workers, four
to manufacture eight-cylinder factories, an engineering cen-
engines with spark-ignition ter and a test circuit. over the
direct-injection technology, last four years, the company
known as sidi. another 215 has invested 4.1 billion usd in
million will go toward upgrad- Mexico.
ing the factory’s production
lines to build a new vehicle for www.gm.com.mx
The Emporium Expands
Grupo Bimbo has reached an agreement to acquire the core assets
of Mexican confectionary group Dulces Vero for an estimated 85-95
million usd. Vero was founded in 1952 and produces a wide range of
sweets and confections. It employs 1,500 associates and had a turnover
of 87 million usd and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and
Amortization (EBITDA) of about 17 million usd in 2009.
The acquisition of these assets strengthens Grupo Bimbo’s position
in the Mexican confectionary market through its Barcel subsidiary.
Furthermore, Vero’s products will complement Barcel’s portfolio in the
US Hispanic market and provide an opportunity to expand the com-
pany’s presence in the US.
INVESTMENT FUNDS ELECTRONICS
Strengthens New Investment
Its Presence The French digital media manu-
facturer Technicolor is invest-
Blackrock inc., the world’s ing 11.4 million usd in its plant
largest money-management in Guadalajara, in the state of
firm by assets, aims to double Jalisco, to boost its production
its 13 billion usd portfolio in capacity and start manufactur-
Mexico within the next three ing 3D Blu-ray discs for Warner
years on the back of demand Brothers, after both companies
by institutional and foreign in- entered into a long term contract
vestors for exchange-traded covering replication and distribu-
funds (etfs). tion services for DVD and Blu-ray
Blackrock’s main busi- discs, in early 2010.
ness in Mexico is the ishares
family of etfs. Blackrock www.technicolor.com
offers 133 etfs through the
Mexican stock exchange’s
international system of quota- AUTOMOTIVE
tions. it also has 12 etfs listed
Turning Mexico Into A Strategic Hub
directly on the exchange —six
Mexican government and
corporate-bond etfs and six
Mexican equities etfs, includ- Nissan Motor, the third largest au-
ing the ishares naftrac etf tomaker of Japan, will invest 600
that tracks the benchmark million usd to upgrade its plants in
iPc stock index and is a major Mexico and kickstart production
investment vehicle for local of three new low-cost cars. The
pension funds. company aims to turn Mexico as
its central hub for supplying its
www.blackrock.com cars to the Americas markets.
Under the plan, Nissan will
begin the assembly of its Micra
compact by early 2011. A sedan
and a multipurpose vehicle will
follow next and will be added to
the lineup by 2013. The new mod-
els will be assembled at Nissan’s
plant in Aguascalientes, where
Tiida compact and three other
models are currently being man-
Photo COURTESY OF niSSan mOTOR
Nissan plans to produce
300,000 units of the three new
models per year in Mexico and
expects 80% of its production to
be exported to other markets in
10 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF CEmEx / alFa / aRChivE
CEMEX signed a supply contract with Consorcio Grupo Unidos por
el Canal, the primary contractor for the construction of the third set
of locks of the Panama Canal expansion project. The supply contract
calls for approximately 500 thousand tons of cement.
The CEMEX contract represents an integral phase of the Canal ex-
pansion project, which includes two locks, the excavation of access
channels to the new locks and the widening and deepening of navi-
Investing To Grow
lyncott, a company special- construction is expected to
ized in dairy products, will start in early 2011. the compa-
build a second plant in Queré- ny’s goal is tripling its installed
taro, Mexico, in 2011, with an capacity by 2012. lyncott’s
estimated investment of 40 plant in Querétaro currently
million usd. the new 10,000 elaborates 3,500 tons of dairy
square meters facilities will be products per month.
located in a 20,000 square
meters plot of land in Bernar- www.lyncott.com.mx
do Quintana industrial Park.
Through its subsidiary New-
pek, ALFA has entered into a
joint venture agreement with
Pioneer Natural Resources
and Reliance Eagleford Up-
stream Holding, to step up the
development of its natural gas
business in Texas. According to
that agreement, Newpek will
sell 45% of its stake in the Eagle
Ford Shale, located in Southeast
Texas, to Reliance, for approxi-
mately 210 million usd.
Red tomatoes have become
the main Mexican agricul-
ture exports, not only for the
amount involved but also for
the technological develop-
ment that Mexican producers
have reached. From Janu-
ary to April 2010, exports of
the fruit totaled 834 million
usd, an annual growth rate
of 44.7%. Tomatoes exports
exceed the combined for-
eign sales of avocados, citrus,
mangoes and bananas, which
are also success stories of the
Spicy DHL Expands Its Operational
With an investment DHL Supply Chain Mexico
of more than 180,000 is expanding its logistics
usd get-Mex will start services for the Life Sci-
its development and ences and Healthcare in-
consolidation as one of dustries, totaling an invest-
the most important hy- ment of 15 million usd. The
droponic greenhouses expansion includes a 9
producing habanero million usd investment in
chili in yucatán. the a new warehouse unit that
Photo COURTESY OF dhl
company expects to was officially put into ser-
sell its entire produc- vice in June 2010, at DHL
tion in the Us, europe Supply Chain’s Macrocen-
and asia. ter facility in Mexico City.
12 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF GOvERnmEnT OF ThE STaTE OF mORElOS
In A Great Place To Live
The state of Morelos is an attractive place for investment projects,
a fact corroborated by the more than 774 million usd in Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI) captured from October 2006 to date.
More than 683 million of that amount represent investment in the
manufacturing sector, making Morelos the eighth state in terms of
FDI attraction in this sector and placing it among a select group of
states renowned for their industrial vocation.
any world-class companies es- solute and second largest per capita concentra- sites, are complemented by a huge variety
tablished contribute to main- tion of researchers registered in the National of high-end education, cultural, health and
taining investment flow in Researcher System (SNI), justifying why it is entertainment options. The atmosphere in
Morelos through reinvestment renowned as “the land of knowledge.” and around the state capital is now distinctly
projects in their existing facilities, reaffirming Morelos has an important reserve of high cosmopolitan. Cuernavaca is internationally re-
their confidence in the state, notably Nissan, skilled labor with vast experience in manufac- nowned as “the eternal spring city” and the Unit-
Bridgestone-Firestone, Saint Gobain, Conti- turing processes, particularly in sectors such ed Nations Development Programme (UNPD)
nental, Beru, Dr. Reddy’s, Unilever, Sintenovo, as the chemical-pharmaceutical, automotive- ranked it eleventh best place to live in Mexico,
Glaxo Smith Kline, Baxter, Burlington, Ge- auto parts, textile and food and beverage, that based on the Human Development Index. There
malto, Buckman Laboratories, Uquifa, Skesui have been an important part of the state’s econ- is no doubt, the exceptional quality of life in Mo-
S Lec, Ceva-Kemia, Farmasa Schwabe, Givau- omy for decades. relos and the large number of world-class com-
dan, Clariant, Freudenberg-Nok, Darier, Flo- But that is not all. The state offers an ex- panies established in the state make it one of the
tamex, Placosa, Air Design, Industrias Lavín, ceptional quality of life. An ideal weather, an best investment options in Mexico. n
Corporación Moctezuma and Lafarge, and the extraordinarily beautiful natural environment
list keeps on growing. and a wide range of Colonial and Pre-Hispanic www.negociosenmorelos.gob.mx
This performance has been achieved
thanks to Morelos’ investment advantages and
the steadfast support from the state govern-
ment to enhance them.
Whereas Morelos’ main production poles
are located in the heart of the Gulf-Pacific in-
ter-oceanic corridor and Cuernavaca, the state
capital, is less than an hour drive from Mexico
City, the state has direct access to both the huge
market that revolves around Mexico City and
export markets through the country’s primary
ports. That gives companies important logisti-
cal advantages and most of Morelos’ foreign
capital firms have considered them.
One of Morelos’ main strengths is its out-
standing environment for technological inno-
vation. The state’s human capital pool and its
infrastructure for scientific and technological
development is unparalleled in Mexico. With
40 research centers and institutes and 135
laboratories, Morelos has the third largest ab-
mexiCo’s partner foXconn
Photo COURTESY OF FOxCOnn
Foxconn, Like Spring
Water In The Desert
by antonio VÁZQUeZ
The world’s largest maker of hen Foxconn, the world’s producing thousands of electronic components
electronic components has largest maker of electronic every day to later be assembled in the plants of
components and employer brands such as Apple, Sony, Cisco, HP, Compaq,
invested over 230 million usd
of over 800,000 people IBM, Motorola, Nokia and Nintendo, some of
to set up an industrial mega- around the world, first came to Ciudad Juárez the company’s main clients.
complex in Ciudad Juárez, in the north of Mexico, it saw an oasis in the The Foxconn Complex –located in San
Chihuahua, where it expects to Mexican desert on the US border. Jerónimo, 16 kilometers to the West of Ciudad
employ a workforce comprising Foxconn decided then that it would set up Juárez– began operations in February 2009.
an industrial park there, even including a Nan- It has now 7,000 employees and plans to cre-
up to 20,000 employees.
otechnology Development Center. ate as many as 20,000 jobs over the coming
Today, two years after Mexican president years. In September 2009, the specialist maga-
Felipe Calderón’s visit to China, where he held zine Expansión reported that it was the only
a meeting with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, the manufacturing company in Mexico to have
company with subsidiary operations in Ameri- such a large workforce in a single location. The
ca, Europe and Asia, has invested over 230 mil- only other similarly sized operation on record,
lion usd over an area of 240 hectares in the bor- according to the magazine, was Volkswagen,
der city in the state of Chihuahua. At this loca- which employs 15,500 people at its plant in the
tion it has created an industrial mega-complex, city of Puebla in the center of Mexico.
14 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photo COURTESY OF FOxCOnn
the eXPansion of Vallina was owner of a broad swathe of
the Phases 2 and land that Foxconn had visualized for the proj-
ect. The land was procured under the Free
3 of foXconn’s
Trade Zone (RFE) program. In practice, this
coMPleX inVolVe means a space located to one side of the Mex-
the Potential ican Customs’ buildings at San Jerónimo’s (in
increase of UP to Chihuahua) border with Santa Teresa (in
540 Million Usd New Mexico, US).
and the creation The RFE program and the proximity with
the Mexican Customs means that Foxconn
of a total of
pays less tax and the procedures for import-
20,000 JoBs. ing products into Mexico are simplified.
“The RFE scheme has helped us greatly and
currently no other industrial park on the bor-
“All the stars aligned in March 2008,” says der has enjoyed that benefit. By using that pro-
Foxconn’s Director for Latin America, Francisco gram, we have been able to import and export
Uranga, with a note of satisfaction. According to products to the US much faster,” says Uranga.
Uranga, the plot on which this industrial develop- In CNN Expansión’s words, the company
ment was developed was provided by an individ- “chose the San Jerónimo border crossing
ual owner, Eloy Vallina. due to its strategic location. The railway pass-
mexiCo’s partner foXconn
es through it on its way to the Punta Colonet The government of the state of Chihuahua 2010, is making good progress. The expan-
port (planned for Ensenada in Baja Califor- would then commit to facilitating the elec- sion of the phases 2 and 3 of the manufactur-
nia) and it links to the north in El Paso with tricity supply connection (completed in June ing project –under development in 2010– in-
the railway lines operated by the two main 2009), providing water supply, paving the volve the potential increase of up to 540 mil-
US companies, Union Pacific Southern Pa- dirt road to the complex; and creating a di- lion usd and the creation of a total of 20,000
cific (UPSP) and Burlington Northern Santa rect road to the interior customs house. As jobs. The upcoming project is the construc-
Fe (BNSF). And, just ten minutes from the a final measure, the government authorities tion of the fourth industrial building (at a cost
border is the international airport of Santa resolved legal issues and Foxconn invested a of 35 million usd) and will create some 2,500
Teresa (New Mexico, in the US) and eleven further portion of resources until it had in- jobs.
kilometers to the east is Anapra, one of the vested a total of 230 million usd, according to Other projects to be built as part of the
most marginalized towns in the municipality Uranga. Foxconn Complex include a solar energy
of Ciudad Juárez and also the main provider “We worked closely with the three levels park and a Nanotechnology Research Cen-
of labor for the San Jerónimo plant.” of government in Mexico to create pack- ter –involving an investment of around 460
Therefore, in August 2008, the construc- ages of incentives and speed up the licensing million usd.
tion of the first phase of the industrial com- process and other requirements. One very
plex began. The project would be developed important incentive was the power supply. The Advantage of being foxconn
in three phases, four industrial buildings at a Given that one of the networks that intercon- According to Francisco Uranga, on an
time, describes Francisco Uranga. nects the US and Mexico is five kilometers to average day at the Foxconn complex, up to
The company’s initial investment, accord- the east, a substation was built to the right 50,000 units of one of their electronic com-
ing to Foxconn’s CEO, was for 185 million usd. along the border to supply our plant. This ponents are produced.
guarantees that if the electrical supply goes Computers, laptops, servers, and video-
down in Mexico, we automatically receive a games all bear the hallmark of Foxconn. A
supply from the US,” he says. laptop computer made by Foxconn is not the
The businessman, a graduate from the same as you would find in any department
University of Texas in El Paso, mentions that store.
the infrastructure meant that improvements The advantage, according to Uranga, is
could be made in an area in which the poor that clients can request a computer to suit
security situation was factor. The lighting their needs.
on the roads and dirt roads has given peo- “Our products go to markets in Canada,
ple more confidence to use this route that the US and Mexico. But they will never be
goes from Anapra (one of the most densely the same because we do not mass-produce
populated regions of Ciudad Juárez, with the same model. If you place an order, you
approximately 400,000 inhabitants) to San can be sure that there will only be another
Jerónimo. In fact it was one of the precondi- 8 similar units in the world,” explains the ex-
tions that Foxconn requested the Mexican ecutive of the electronic’s company.
government before setting up the plant. Even when the company works for oth-
“Security is one of the key issues for our er brands such as Dell, which usually sells
investors. We have a close working relation- mass-produced laptops, these are produced
ship and communication with the three lev- in plants such as the one in China, explained
els of government as well as with the armed Uranga last May to the local newspaper El
forces and we have developed special pro- Paso Inc.
grams with them,” confirmed Uranga. “With The fact that the Foxconn Complex in San
safe access routes we have contributed to Jerónimo takes utmost care of its produc-
guaranteeing the security of the entire area tion is due to the company’s interest in hiring
[...] as the complex is located near the border employees with a minimum education level,
between the US and Mexico, we can take equivalent to a secondary education in the
advantage of the additional security on both US.
sides. We have personnel from Asia and the The newspaper also reported that almost
US coming to work with us and we have not half of the employees at Foxconn’s offices in
had to implement measures to prevent for- San Jerónimo have a university-level degree
eigners coming to work at our plant since we and 5% of the workforce has a post-graduate
began operations.” qualification. n
This has meant that the first phase of the
industrial development, planned for March www.foxconn.com
16 Negocios illustration aRChivE
In The Bicentennial
by MarÍa cristina rosas *
throUghoUt its history, MeXico has Been an attractiVe destination for fdi,
Which has continUed to groW steadily. today, a Wide range of attractions
has Made of MeXico a Preferred destination for inVestors and coMPanies
seeKing to eXPand their BUsinesses and strengthen their Presence in the
Historically, the importance of Foreign Direct country of destination and that is what distin- is the identification by the foreign investor, and
Investment (FDI) has been in debate. Those guishes FDI from Indirect Foreign Investment, company, of its comparative advantages over
who believe it might be counterproductive which is usually of short duration, failing to existing firms in the country of destination.
for an economy argue that FDI encourages maintain a commitment but only when the Another point is that it should be more appeal-
capital flight, enables the creation of enclave conditions of the place or country where it op- ing for the investor to operate directly in the
economies divorced from the domestic mar- erates, are “attractive.” target market than to surrender its operations
ket and displaces national investment, inhib- Thus, FDI operates in the form of interna- to third parties. Finally, the country of destina-
iting domestic savings. It is also said that FDI tional capital flows by which an enterprise of tion must be attractive because of its location.
generates greater dependence of countries one country creates or expands a branch in Throughout its history, Mexico has been
on the global economy and place local firms another nation. In that regard, transnational an attractive destination for FDI, which has
against foreign corporations. corporations are the principal means for car- continued to grow steadily. But the increase in
On the other hand, those who stand up rying out FDI. The growth shown by the inter- FDI in the country in recent years is explained
for FDI argue that it promotes economic national economy in recent decades explains, largely by a series of economic reforms un-
growth by increasing productivity, favoring in large measure, the growth and importance dertaken since the 80s. During the past two
the creation of new jobs and fostering tech- of transnational corporations and FDI in the decades, Mexico has subscribed Free Trade
nology transfer between partners. It is also contemporary world. Agreements (FTAs) with major markets in the
noted that thanks to countries’ flexibility to There are several approaches to explain world and with almost all of the Latin Ameri-
attract FDI, capital flows and that helps a how FDI operates. One is that investors wish can nations, in which chapters regarding in-
nation to integrate into the global economy. to exploit the comparative advantages offered vestment have been included. The country has
It is alleged that the financing of investment by the host country. That could be made in also signed numerous bilateral agreements
through the establishment or expansion of other ways, such as the sale of licenses or the for the protection of investments, which, com-
foreign firms in a given territory promotes establishment of a partnership with a foreign bined with FTAs, offer legal certainty for inves-
competition and raises added value, which company. However, those means represent tors and have helped to consolidate Mexico
induces a higher skilled labor force and transaction costs and it will always be more as a trustworthy partner. Furthermore, inter-
stimulates job generation. beneficial for a corporation to directly access national agreements have helped Mexico to
Whether in favor or not, the fact is that the comparative advantages of the recipient improve its competitiveness, so that Mexican
FDI flows across borders facilitate business country, instead of disposing its operations to products sold in its partners’ markets meet in-
transactions. FDI reflects a company’s goal third parties. ternational quality standards.
of obtaining a lasting interest in another That is important to mention because it FDI in Mexico is aimed mainly at second-
economy. That implies a long term relation- helps to understand the requirements that ary and tertiary sectors of the economy and is
ship between the investor company and the must exist for FDI to occur. First and foremost closely linked to export.
In order to regulate FDI specifically, in 1993 least, has trained manpower in various sectors with plans to create new vehicles and as-
the Mexican government enacted the Foreign of the economy, at very competitive costs com- sembly plants with investments of 600 and
Investment Law, which established the regu- pared with other nations, like China, where the 550 million respectively, can be found. In
latory framework for the operation of foreign appreciation of the Yuan is making production the second case, companies like Best Buy
companies in the country. That law and the re- processes more expensive. and Lowe’s are examples of companies that
forms that have been made to it in subsequent That explains the behavior of FDI in Mex- are betting on the Mexican market and its
years have allowed greater foreign capital in- ico recently. It is estimated that in 2010 the growing market.
flows to Mexico. Since 1993, FDI in Mexico has country will receive between 18 billion and 22 The stability of the peso exchange rate
grown at an average annual rate of 12%. Con- billion usd of FDI. We must not lose sight that is also a factor to weigh. Despite the vaga-
sidering the participation of the different eco- this is a very lucky amount, considering the ries of the international economy in gen-
nomic activities in the National Gross Domes- recent global economic downturn, which had eral and the US economy in particular,
tic Product, foreign capital may be present in negative effects on international capital flows. Mexico’s macroeconomic stability has been
85% to 90% of Mexican productive activities. In 2010, Mexico was included again among the maintained. Whereas the US economy is
There is another fact that has benefited top 10 recipients of FDI worldwide, according overcoming the recession, FDI growth in
Mexico as a destination for FDI. The proximity to A. T. Kearney, which bases its score on a Mexico might be expected. With increasing
to the US, the fact that both countries share the research/survey of about 1,000 multinational investment by US companies in the coun-
same time zone and the ease of communica- companies of global importance. try, a renewed interest from investors from
tion and transportation between US and Mexi- There is currently a long list of foreign com- other countries seeking to take advantage of
can cities has resulted in lower business costs. panies already established in Mexico that are Mexico’s attractive platform for doing busi-
It has long been said that low labor cost making significant investments, in addition to ness, both in its domestic market and in the
countries are those that attract the bulk of new companies that have decided to start op- Americas, can be predicted. n
FDI. However, if true, Haiti and Central Afri- erations in the country.
can countries would be the largest recipients In the first case, examples like Walmart, *Professor and researcher in the Political and
of FDI worldwide. Also, cheap labor is associ- which announced the opening of 300 new Social Sciences Faculty, National Autonomous
ated with low value added products, which, stores in the country throughout this year, University of Mexico (UNAM).
although they still have large markets, are not with an estimated investment of 1 billion usd,
the only products of interest for con- and automakers like Nissan and Chrysler,
temporary consumers, particularly in
developed countries. In that sense,
a country’s location gives it an ad-
ditional attraction. Foreign inves-
tors will definitely seek a country
located close to a major consumer
market. Mexico meets that
condition and, last but not
throUghoUt its history,
MeXico has Been an
for fdi. it is estiMated
that in 2010 the
coUntry Will receiVe
BetWeen 18 Billion and
22 Billion Usd of fdi.
18 Negocios Photos aRChivE
by Ulises hernÁndeZ
From Mexico’s Independence won its independence from Spain, during
to the Reform, from which it has suffered from internal divisions,
foreign invasions and a Revolution– the coun-
the Porfiriato era to the
try has gradually progressed toward moder-
Revolution, from the oil nity and globalization.
boom to NAFTA, Mexico’s Mexico changed from being a Span-
bilateral trade relations have ish colony in the New World that basically
undergone major changes exported silver to the kingdom of Spain at
the start of the 19th century, to being an in-
and have witnessed to the dependent country with trade agreements
country’s historical evolution. with over 40 countries around the world and
various exports totaling 230 billion usd at the
ow much can a country change beginning of the 21st century (in 2009).
in 200 years? Two centuries can This transformation has taken place at
seem like a short time if one con- varying rates and speeds: periods of geo-
siders the various countries with graphical isolation and communications de-
millenary histories such as some Asian and velopment, of being a closed economy and
European civilizations. being open to trade and foreign investment.
In Mexico’s case, the past 200 years have The transformation has also been quali-
brought about major changes in almost every tative. Exports no longer consist purely
sphere: in politics, in the economy and in soci- of commodities and agricultural produce.
ety. But one of the most important transforma- Since the end of the 1980s, the country has
tions has been in its trade with other countries. been exporting manufactured products of
In this regard, there has been a 360-degree much higher value, such as electronic de-
turn. In 200 years –the period since Mexico vices and cars.
report MeXico’s international trade
the top 15
“Of the 141 billion usd of Mexican exports During the first five decades of indepen- mexican exports are increasingly
registered during the first quarter of 2010, dence from Spain (1820-1870), Mexico under- diversified. latin american
around 115 billion –or 81.5%– were created went one of the most violent and difficult pe- markets like Colombia and Brazil
through the sales of manufactured products,” riods in its history. Fierce struggles between have gained importance in the
says Fernando Ruiz Huarte, technical direc- liberals and conservatives plunged the coun- last years, surpassing even China
tor of the private sector’s Mexican Foreign try into a series of political conflicts. That led and Japan. in 2009 the main
Trade Council (COMCE). “That is largely due to the Wars of Secession (separation of Texas) markets for mexican exports
to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the civil wars (Reform War), and foreign were:
(NAFTA),” he adds. invasions were fought off (the Mexican-Amer-
The US is now Mexico’s largest trade part- ican War and the Franco-Mexican War). Country
ner, representing 84% of the value of Mexico’s As a result, during a large part of the 19th
exports, followed by its trade relationships with century, Mexico faced a break in its incipient 01 US
Canada and Germany. In terms of imports, trade relations with various European coun-
the relationship with the US is also the most tries. However, toward the end of the same
relevant, but in recent years the significance century, Mexico renewed trade with Europe, 03 Germany
of imports from China, Japan and Korea has such as with Great Britain after its Indus-
increased, ranking second, third and fourth trial Revolution, and, to a lesser extent, with 04 Colombia
respectively. France. In the 1870s, it began to trade with
The following is a brief account of the evolu- Germany, shortly after that European coun-
tion of Mexico’s most important bilateral rela- try was formed. 06 Spain
tionships over its history. Each of these three countries had a special
interest in maintaining a trade relationship 07 China
Links to Europe with Mexico. “Since the independence of the 08 Japan
For almost three centuries as a Spanish col- Ibero-American colonies, the vacuum left
ony (1521-1821), Mexico –known then as New by Spain had been fought over by the three 09 netherlands
Spain– had a preferential trade relationship major trading powers of the time, so that it is
with the kingdom of Spain. “As a dependent unsurprising that they would strive to acquire
colony of the crown, it was obliged to trade ex- a major stake in Mexico’s external trade,” in-
clusively with Spain,” explains Paolo Riguzzi, dicates Sandra Kuntz, economic historian
economic historian of Mexico and researcher and researcher at El Colegio de México, in her 12 Guatemala
at El Colegio Mexiquense (CMQ). book El comercio exterior de México en la era
New Spain’s trade was mainly based on del capitalismo liberal (1870-1929) (Mexico’s 13 argentina
the export of silver. This precious metal was foreign trade in the era of liberal capitalism
practically the only Mexican product to be ex- [1870-1929]).
ported in large quantities, initially in the form In those days sea transport was the back- 15 Peru
of coins and then in bars. bone of Mexican trade and silver represented
This mono-exporter trade system lasted two thirds of the value of Mexican exports. source: ministry of economy
for many years, even after Mexico achieved
independence from Spain in 1821. “For sev-
eral decades after Independence, Mexico was
a very weak exporter,” says Riguzzi.
During the colonial period, there was also
a major trade relationship with the Far East.
Mexican silver was exported to China, using
the ships and ports controlled by the Spanish
empire. That was the era of the famous Nao
de China, when Spanish galleons departed
Photo OmaR SanTamaRÍa
from the port of Acapulco and headed for the
China coasts via the Philippines.
For a number of years, New Spain import-
ed luxury products such as silk and spices
from China and India, in exchange for silver.
However that connection was lost some years
after Independence, adds the historian.
20 Negocios Photos aRChivE
However, that isolation ended from the 1880s
with the laying down of the trunk railways that
linked the center of Mexico with its northern re-
gion, under the rule of Porfirio Díaz.
In 1884, the railway line running between
Mexico City and Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua
was completed and four years later, in 1888, the
route between Mexico City and Nuevo Laredo
in Tamaulipas was finished too. Both were bor-
der cities and gave access to the trunk railway
lines in the US.
That marked the beginning of the US’ pre-
dominance as Mexico’s foreign trading partner.
“The US became the main market for Mexican
exports and that has not changed since then,”
Over the following six decades (1870-1930),
Mexican exports began to diversify. Silver was
no longer the only product to be exported in
great quantity. The mines in Sonora, Chihua-
hua and Coahuila, mainly licensed to US and
English firms, began to export industrial and
other types of metal, initially copper and lead
and then zinc and gold.
The country also exported agricultural
products such as hides and skins, natural dyes
such as cochineal, and natural fibers such as
henequen from the Yucatán peninsular and
cotton from Baja California, the Lagunera
county and Tamaulipas. That pattern of ex-
ports continued up until the first 30 or so years
of the 20th century.
Mexican sea trade faced some temporary
interruptions during the Revolution (1910-
1917). However, according to Kuntz, “none
had lasting consequences on Mexico’s inter-
oVer the Past The Railways: the Driving Force Replacing Imports
17 years, the Behind Trade with the US and Opening for Trade
Toward the last 30 years of the 19th century, The start of World War II at the end of the
total aMoUnt of
Mexico’s trade relationships had turned to- 1930s opened a window of opportunity for
MeXico’s eXPorts Mexico’s trade and industrialization.
ward Europe once again, but soon the US
has risen froM 52 would begin to enter on the scene and later be- During the seven years of the war (1939-
Billion to alMost come Mexico’s largest trade partner. 1945), European countries stopped exporting
230 Billion Usd, Despite being neighbors, Mexico had not and the US began focusing on producing mili-
While iMPorts had an intense trade relationship with the US tary goods. Mexico, meanwhile, took advantage
for most of the 19th century. An enormous des- of the situation to export manufactured prod-
ert separated both countries and there was no ucts such as textiles and uniforms, food and
froM 65 Billion to means of transport to close that gap. Further- drink and raw materials such as iron ore.
234 Billion Usd. more, most of the west of the US remained un- During the 1930s, with the inauguration
developed as it had yet to be colonized. of the Panamerican Highway, foreign trade
“Mexico and the US were geographic but was given the option of using road freight.
not economic neighbors,” states Riguzzi. Over time and with the development of other
report MeXico’s international trade
highway programs, that transport alternative has a major pharmaceutical and chemical in-
gained increasing relevance, until it overtook on the occasion dustry, among many other high value-added
the railways in terms of volume of freight at the of MeXico’s 200th industries.
end of the 20th century. Birthday, its “For the first time in history, Mexican ex-
Twenty years later, during the 1950s, Mex- foreign trade ports are no longer predominantly related to
ico entered a phase of industrialization based agriculture, livestock or minerals. For the first
is More Varied,
on the model of substituting imports. It raised time, it is exporting industrialized products
its customs duties, isolating the Mexican stronger and with a higher added-value,” concludes Riguzzi.
economy in relation to the rest of the world. More ProdUctiVe
Foreign trade decreased in importance in the than eVer Before. New Trade Partners
country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Currently, the US continues to be the larg-
That model lasted for 25 years until the est purchaser of Mexican products (185 bil-
mid-1970s when large oil reserves were found signed a series of bilateral and regional trade lion usd), followed by Canada (8.4 billion usd)
in the Gulf of Mexico. “The decision to substi- agreements, reaching a total of 49 trade part- and Germany (3.2 billion usd). Surprisingly,
tute imports was reversed due to the petro- ners. in fourth and fifth place are Colombia (2.5
lization of the economy,” indicates Riguzzi. Over the past 17 years (1993-2009), the total billion usd) and Brazil (2.45 billionusd), sur-
“That was the decade of the 20th century amount of Mexico’s exports have risen from 52 passing historic trade partners such as Spain
when Mexico became a major oil exporter.” billion to almost 230 billion usd (an increase of (2.39 billion usd) and the UK (1.25 billion usd).
By 1982, the model of substituting imports 343%), while imports have increased from 65 In terms of imports, Mexico mostly sourc-
had run its course and the exports of crude oil billion to 234 billion usd, according to figures es from the US but increasingly now from
dominated all others. As had occurred with released by the Ministry of Economy. Asia: China, Japan and the Asian Tiger econ-
silver many years before, during the 1980s Due to that trade liberalization and NAF- omies now provide a quarter of Mexico’s im-
crude oil accounted for around 80% of the TA, Mexico’s exports have completely revo- ports of supplies, products and goods.
value of Mexican exports. lutionized in the past 24 years. “Until the 70s While 51% of Mexico’s imports come
At that point, the Mexican government de- and 80s, Mexican foreign trade was consid- from the US, 13.8% come from China, 7.3%
cided it was time to diversify its exports and ered as a mono-exporter model due to oil,” from Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singa-
start out on a policy of becoming open to trade says Ruiz Huarte of COMCE, “but today the pore, and 4.8% from Japan. In total, 25.9% of
and liberalizing investment. relationship has inverted and manufacturing Mexico’s imports now come from the Asia-
In 1986, Mexico joined the General Agree- companies represent just over 80% of our Pacific region.
ment on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the mul- exports.” China has become Mexico’s second largest
tilateral treaty which evolved in what we Mexico now has the world’s tenth-largest provider, overtaking Japan. Korea is now in
know today as the World Trade Organization automotive industry, with a production of 1.5 fifth place, ahead of Germany, and Brazil is now
(WTO). Eight years later, in 1994, the North million vehicles in 2009, as well as a healthy in eighth position, ahead of Spain.
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) electronics industry in which the major Jap- The change has been staggering. On the oc-
entered into force between Mexico, the US anese and Korean firms are involved, and casion of Mexico’s 200th birthday, its foreign
and Canada. That caused a surge in exports huge contractors from China and Singapore trade is more varied, stronger and more pro-
and imports. Over the following years, Mexico such as Foxconn and Flextronics. Mexico also ductive than ever before. n
mexican total exports have grown more than 300% in the last 16 years.
seleCted exports in 1993 exports in 2009
Countries (million usd) (million usd) growth
US 42,850.90 193,253.70 351%
UK 201.70 1,254.20 522%
Spain 917.70 2,392.90 161%
France 456.20 500.80 10%
China 44.80 2,215.60 4,846%
total 51,832.00 229,620.20 343%
Source: ministry of Economy
For two centuries, Mexico has been home to leading
companies in different sectors. Some of them have
been part of the most interesting chapters of Mexico’s
economic history. Many of them do not exist anymore,
yet they contributed to the country’s development and
In September 2010, Mexico celebrates 200 years of
Independence and Negocios wants to make a tribute to
those companies that have protagonized and witnessed
the most important moments of the country’s modern
The following are just some of the dozens of companies
that have been operating in Mexico for the last 100
years or more.
Photos COURTESY OF ERiCSSOn
The Face Of Communications
In 1904, Ericsson won a concession to operate a telephone
network in Mexico City and outlying areas. Since then the
company has been present in the Mexican telecom industry.
Today, it is the leading provider of technology and services to
telecom operators in the country.
n today’s world, making a phone call With the government taking an active systems to Ecuador, Costa Rica, El Salvador
may seem one of the simplest tasks. But role in the industry, it was considered best and Panama.
behind the ease with which we com- to transfer Telmex to Mexican interests. This In 1989, the first AMPS (Advanced Mo-
municate today, there is a long history took place. Telmex was eventually taken over bile Phone System) was installed in Mexico
of work and technological advances. In Mexi- by the state. with Ericsson as the supplier. When the
co that story was written largely by Ericsson. Ericsson decided to invest in manufac- liberalization of both the fixed and wireless
Ericsson first came to the country in turing in Mexico. In 1958, Ericsson founded telecom market in Mexico in 1997, the num-
1904, when it won a concession to operate a manufacturing and industrial company in ber of subscribers increased rapidly.
a telephone network in Mexico City. Three Mexico and became an equipment provider.. In 2001, Ericcson supplied and developed
years later, the company put into operation In 1964, Ericsson installed Teleindustria the first GSM/GPRS network.
the first central battery telephone network Ericsson (TIM), the first industrial plant in By the turn of the century, Ericsson had
in the country. Since then, Ericsson has been Mexico producing telecommunication sys- a market share of 55% for local calls and
part of the history of telecommunications in tems. 90% for long distance calls. Its market share
Mexico. The launch of the AXE system (the mean- in mobile telephony was 64%. The number
In 1926, Ericsson added to its network ing of the designation AXE is not completely of Ericsson employees in the country was
the first automatic telephone central in the clear, but most sources agree that Automatic 1,200.
country and six years later all of the local experimental Electronic switch is the most Today, the company is the leading pro-
centrals in its network were automated. likely interpretation) was the start of a suc- vider of technology and services to telecom
In 1947, the company participated in the cessful period for TIM in the 1980s. The operators in Mexico and the market leader
creation of Teléfonos de Mexico (Telmex). Telmex network was digitalized at an early in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technology. n
By the late 1950s, Telmex’s national network stage, and Ericsson’s system was the market
had about 400,000 subscribers. leader. TIM also successfully exported AXE www.ericsson.com
24 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos COURTESY OF viTRO
Vitro: 100 Years
Glass was created by man from natural
substances. It is a delicate yet resistant material.
Vitro is a Mexican company that embodies these
features. Its production is vast: from invulnerable
reinforced glass to exquisite glasses, cups and
wine bottles. Glass was discovered by mere
chance centuries ago. Vitro however has more
than 100 years without leaving anything to chance.
vidriera monterrey was founded in 1909.
n January 19th 2009, one day be-
fore US President Barack Obama
took office, his wife Michelle of-
fered a cocktail party to celebrate
his arrival to the White House.
That evening, the guests of the man who
would become the 44th President of the US,
drank the most outstanding vintages of Coo-
per’s Hawk, one of the best wines produced in
Illinois, the state represented by Obama in the
Far away from that exclusive gathering, a
Mexican company was also celebrating and in
a way also enjoying that pre-presidential toast
taking place in the Hotel Renaissance in Wash-
ington D.C. Because for years now, the Vitro
company –headquartered in Monterrey, Nue-
vo León– is none other than the proud manu-
facturer of the elegant bottles that contain the
wines produced by Cooper’s Hawk.
Glasses become better as Time Goes by
If today it has landed on the US Presidential table Vitro has KePt itself visionary and brave. In 1931 the company be-
that has made history, it is because the Vitro gan exporting to countries in Central America,
BUsy By eXPloiting
company also has its own and relentless history: thus leaving behind its local development stage.
more than 100 years of experience back this com- to the fUllest Vidriera Monterrey became Vidriera México,
pany that under the name of Vidriera Monterrey the ProPerties of and in 1936, under the name of Fomento de
started producing bottles to hold the products of its Main ProdUct: Industria y Comercio (FIC, for its acronym in
Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma. froM delicately Spanish meaning Promotion of Industry and
When it was founded in 1909, the company elaBorated cUlt Trade), was officially born what we know today
was still a newcomer to the sector. Neverthe- as “Vitro,” a business group with various sub-
and art oBJects to
less, it already possessed two of the first and sidiary companies dedicated to the glass and
rarest automatic glass forming machines that Materials for VarioUs crystal industry.
existed in the world. indUstries.
Only a year later, the coming of the Mexican A Delicate, Malleable
Revolution forced it –like most of the country’s not only returned to the country’s economic and resistant Company
industries– to suspend operations during the and productive front stage, but also that year it Strong and fragile alike, glass is an inorganic,
course of the conflict. allowed itself to pay its shareholders a 6% divi- transparent and amorphous solid material that
But unlike other companies, for Vitro this dend on its share capital. is obtained through a fusion process merging
was but a parenthesis that preceded a series During the following years, the owners of quartz sand, sodium carbonate and limestone
of successes. By 1918, Vidriera Monterrey had the company continued to show that they were at temperatures of 1,500 degrees Celsius.
26 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF viTRO
Historians mention that the substance
was discovered by a sheer and fortunate coin-
cidence. Be that as it may, what is true is that
since its original discovery –near the year
5,000 BC– until now, life is practically unimagi-
nable without the existence of glass and crystal.
Of all the centuries in which mankind has
given hundreds of uses and purposes to glass
and crystal, Vitro now has one major asset.
The company has kept itself busy by exploiting
to the fullest the properties and benefits of its
main product: from delicately elaborated cult
and art objects to materials for various indus-
Currently Vitro runs five specialized design
centers and, during its long development in the
market, it had to have its own machinery pro-
ducing plant. FAMA (Fabricación de Máquinas,
Machine Manufacturer) was created by the
group in 1943 due to machinery and equip-
vitro started producing glass bottles with an oven
ment supply shortages during World War II. and two Owens machines, the first ones introduced
to the country.
Nowadays, this Vitro subsidiary has its own his-
tory, running parallel to the economic growth
of the Monterrey company and of the country.
A Company With a friendly The moves in upper management un-
and Almost indestructible Nature dertaken in April 2010, made clear that the
The life expectancy of products made out of sensitive productive machine developed by
glass can be very long, provided that they are Vitro hadn’t broken down, as was suggested
handled with great care. The same fate of “deli- by some business rumors at the time. It’s no
cate fortitude” has followed the Vitro company coincidence that one of its most successful
throughout its over 100 years of existence. products is its reinforced glass.
In recent years, indirectly hit by the losses Blending strength and sensitivity, it seems
in the market of by-products, its shares in the that the company can expect more toasts to
stock market have suffered some losses. Never- come, many exquisite bottles and cups to be
theless, in 2010 the company received a blast of made, many products that will have to hard-
fresh air thanks to businessman Alfredo Harp en to the high temperatures of the current
Helú, who bought a larger stake in the compa- economy. But therein lays Vitro’s strength. n
ny, up to 15%, from the Sada family, the original
owners of Vitro. www.vitro.com
manufaCturing proCess in Urrea’s
mechanichal tool production plant.
Photo COURTESY OF GRUPO URREa
With an Iron Soul
There are two objects that will Alberto Aguilar, Mexican columnist spe- strated that, very much like its tools, its strategy
never go out of fashion: bathroom cializing in economy, tells how the first order to would resist the changes and demands called
furniture and tools. That fact, and William B. Carroll’s business was made out the for by the global economy.
day her daughter Concepción was born. Years In 1999 Surtek was born, the group’s divi-
the quality of its products have later, and with 17 employees under his com- sion in charge of manufacturing tools for the
helped Grupo Urrea mand, the heiress’ husband, Raúl Urrea Avilés, construction, agriculture, gardening and me-
–headquartered in Guadalajara, consolidated the company, which he renamed chanical segments.
Mexico– remain as market in 1942 Fábrica de Válvulas (Valve Factory). A In 2006, Urrea purchased the historical
leader for over a hundred years. visionary, Raúl Urrea started to establish stra- brand Lock, the first lock hardware factory
tegic partnerships like the one he set up with in Mexico.
hat at first was founded in the hydraulic industry’s Northern Indiana In the last couple of years, Grupo Urrea
1907 as a bathroom furni- Brass Company, which remained in effect until has established partnerships with Mayhew
ture and imported faucets the end of the 1980s. Tools, for striking tools; with Kirchoff, for
store, Válvulas Carroll (Car- Before that, in 1963 he started operating the screwdrivers, and with Stanza for designer
roll Valves), run by William B. Carroll, is today commercial division named “Solución total en bathroom furniture and accessories.
one of the most important companies in Latin herramientas” (Total Solutions for Tools) –as A hundred years fly by, but it takes deter-
America. Four manufacturing plants, 3,000 active today as 50 years ago– as well as “Dando mination to survive. Today, Grupo Urrea is
employees, an average annual production of vida al agua” (Giving life to water), while the run by the Urrea Carroll family. It is the largest
13,000 articles –anything from industrial me- third Urrea generation was taking charge of Latin American manufacturer of hand tools
chanical wrenches to bolts, along with bath- the company. In 1984 Urrea was born as a com- forged in microalloy steel, and distributes its
room furniture and faucets, all under six brand mercial brand for tools. products in 15 countries, even in the US. n
names– are some of the facts that show Grupo From the mid-1990s on, when the fourth
Urrea’s successs. Urrea generation took over, the group demon- www.urrea.com
28 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF GRUPO GRiSi
Grisi: The Ointment From
Which A Pharmaceutical
Company Was Born
In 1863 the medication t is not an overstatement to say that most Globalization of the economy began knock-
named Emplasto Monopolis Mexicans have had at home and on their ing on the doors of history and Grisi swung
skin a Grisi product at one time or another. them wide open. Since 1993 it has had a repre-
(Monopolis Poultice) left
The story of Grisi started out in a simple sentation agreement with the company Helene
Mexicans speechless, while manner, in a laboratory on Medina Street, in Curtis of Chicago. In 1998 it signed a licensing
their skins talked wonders Mexico City, where only the poultice was pro- agreement with Procter & Gamble, which in-
of this product. Nobody ever duced. Later, other products were developed cluded the brands Max Factor, Cover Girl and
imagined that an ointment –products that helped fight ailments and en- Oil of Olay. At the same time it began export-
hance beauty for the citizens of that epoch. ing its products to Spain and other countries in
created by Italian José Grisi
With them, in 1890 Blas Grisi, son of José, es- Europe. In 1999 Grisi and Combe International
–and that is still used to treat tablished the drugstore El Factor which in 1912 signed an agreement in order to sell beauty
skin infections– would give became the Droguería Grisi. In 1915 the pharma- products as well as personal hygiene products
birth to a company, Grisi, cy began exporting its products to the US, Cuba for women and men. Other partnerships in-
that 147 years later grows and Guatemala. clude Sara Lee, Dr. Scholl’s and More Pharma.
In 1950 Grisi Laboratories pioneered the pro- Today, the company exports to Germany,
younger every year. duction of Mexican shampoos, when it created Bolivia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Spain, the US,
its chamomile-based and Organogal shampoos Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama,
to keep bright and dark hair colors, respectively. Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico and the Dominican
In 1984 it began selling its jojoba and aloe-based Republic.
products. And to think that all that started with a
Relentlessly, the owners of the company poultice created by an Italian physician who
launched in 1988 a product line for babies, which came to Mexico in 1860 and decided that this
included the Ricitos de Oro shampoo (Goldie country would be the land of his children and
Locks), and other personal grooming and skin his children’s children. n
products. Moreover, they created veterinary
products with natural ingredients. www.grisi.com
el faCtor became Droguería Grisi in 1912. Since
1915, the company exported to the US, Guatemala
and Cuba. In 1950, Grisi Laboratories pioneered the
production of Mexican shampoos.
30 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF EdiTORial PORRúa
The Bazaar That
Made A Century
A good part of the history of literature during
the last century in Mexico has been written
in the bookshelves of Librería Porrúa (Porrúa
Bookstore), a centennial company and one that
has influenced what Mexicans read.
ince its first edition, La Bibliografía, –a bibliographical bulletin and printed in Spain, although under the imprints of the Librería Por-
which in 1904 categorized the collection of used and antique rúa Hermanos y Cía. In 1914 the publishing house published its first
books for sale by the brothers José, Indalecio and Francisco book entirely made in Mexico: Las cien mejores poesías líricas mexica-
Porrúa– up until now, Porrúa has remained one of the country’s nas (The hundred best Mexican lyrical poems). A year later, appeared
most important promoters of literature and reading in general. for the first time the symbol (company logo) that Porrúa uses up till
In addition, it has proven that reading is accessible to all. Nowa- now: the head of the Caballero Águila (Eagle Knight), designed by
days, some of its books barely cost four dollars. Saturnino Herrán “the most Mexican of all painters.”
The founders of the Porrúa Bookstore, José, Indalecio and Fran- Several of the house’s collections that were born more than 60
cisco, came from Asturias, Spain, to Mexico, at the turn of the 19th years ago are still current. In 1940 the Biblioteca Jurídica Porrúa (Por-
century, to try out their luck. Each on their own dedicated himself rúa Law Library) and the Colección de Escritores Mexicanos (Collec-
to trade. Indalecio established a bazaar in Mexico City and in that tion of Mexican Writers), which has compiled masterpieces of national
bazaar, a sign he placed in 1900 started to give life to what today is literature, from the Colony to that day, came out. In the 1950s the Bib-
a 100-year old company. “We buy libraries,” said the poster. At the lioteca Porrúa del Arte (Porrúa Art library), which shows the best of
same time Indalecio asked his brothers to work with him in buying art and architecture from Mexico and the world, was born. In 1959 Se-
and selling books, back then in a country with mostly analphabets. pan cuántos, a series of classical works from all times, under the motto:
Between the three, they managed to unite several quality libraries as “culture available to everyone,” was released. That collection had its
well as libraries that had belonged to illustrious persons from Mexi- prologues written by writers Sergio Pitol, Juan José Arreola, Salvador
co’s history. Novo, Miguel León Portilla and Carlos Monsiváis, among others.
The Bibliografía was printed in 1904 with the purpose of getting After more than 100 years promoting culture in Mexico, Librería
new clients. In 1908, Porrúa published a catalog of 154 pages with Porrúa has proven that literature can be a healthy business, from any
titles classified by subjects that included antique Mexican books. standpoint. n
The editorial side of the family business started in 1910 with the
publication of a guide to the City of Mexico, written by José Romero www.porrua.com
World’s Number One
In Silver Production
The world’s largest silver producer is Mexican. Its name is
Fresnillo plc and is heir to a long history of more than 500
years of mining activities in the state of Zacatecas.
he richest silver mine in the world operating performance, quality and verifiable
is in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, and is sustainable development in all our operations,
owned by Fresnillo plc, a mining “said Alberto Baillères, Non-Executive Chairman
company that, with more than 500 of the Board of Directors.
years of tradition and experience, is the global Fresnillo has a long and proud heritage, a
leader in the production of this mineral and proven record of mining developmet and reserve
the second largest gold producer in Mexico. replacement as well as low cost production, being
Fresnillo plc, is part of Grupo BAL private in the lowest quartile of the cost curve for both
consortium which owns companies such as El silver and gold.
Palacio de Hierro (a series of department stores The company intends to maintain its posi-
installed throughout Mexico), Grupo Nacional tion as a world’s leading producer, by doubling
Provincial (covering life and medical insur- its production on a silver equivalent ounce
ance) and Profuturo GNP (fund services for the basis as well as increasing its gold production
labor retirement savings), among others. by 2018. And all these with responsibility to-
The mining company is a subsidiary of Grupo wards the environment. n
Peñoles, a Mexican company founded in 1887. In
2008, Peñoles split its precious metals assets from www.fresnilloplc.com
its base metals business to maximise efficien-
cies and floated Fresnillo plc as a gold and silver
miner in London. Today, Fresnillo plc is the only
Mexican company listed on the London Stock
Exchange, fact that has given it the possibility to
strengthen its international visibility and have
access to resources in one of the most important
international mining financial markets.
With over 4,000 employees, Fresnillo plc op-
erates in four mining units: Fresnillo in Zacatecas,
La Herradura and Soledad-Dipoles in Sonora
and La Ciénega in Durango.
Photos COURTESY OF FRESnillO PlC
The company also has a development project
in Saucito , Zacatecas, and three exploration pros-
pects located in San Juan, Durango, San Julián
and Orisyvo, both in Chihuahua.
In its 2009 annual report, Fresnillo plc re-
ported a strong performance. “We’re thrilled to
report that Fresnillo plc delivered another year
of strong performance [...] The results of 2009 in-
dicate that we are moving at a steady pace, with
32 Negocios i The Lifestyle
32 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF CEmEx
Photo COURTESY OF aYUnTamiEnTO dE CiUdad JUáREz
The Mexican building materials early 100 years ago, in August According to a press release, Cemex will
company and one of the top 1914, one the 20th century’s supply 500,000 tons of cement to Grupo Uni-
most emblematic communica- dos por el Canal (Group United for the Canal),
three of the world’s leading
tion routes was inaugurated: the over an investment valued at 300 million usd.
companies in this sector, was Panama Canal, whose maritime turnpike prac-
born before the Panama Canal tically hit the waters of the Caribbean and the A Century of Concrete building
and will now play an active role Pacific Ocean, going through one of the nar- When the Panama Canal was nothing but a
in the expansion of its facilities rowest points of the Isthmus of Panama. project, Cementos Hidalgo –the name Cemex
It has been said about this construction, was born into– had been a reality since 1906.
and capacities. This company
through which more than 700,000 vessels In just three years, and just before the Mexi-
from Monterrey, which now runs have passed, that “[it] has had an influence can Revolution broke out, the company had
international operations in all five on the patterns of global trade, has enhanced already managed to double its production ca-
continents, has a solid past that growth in developed countries and has given pacity, which in those days (1909) was about
vouches for it, and above all, a to many a remote area the thrust it needs for 66,000 tons of cement each year.
economic expansion.” The escalation in the internal conflict
present in constant growth.
Such a description could also apply to Ce- did not stop the cement production of this
mex, the Mexican company which in July 2010 company from the North of the country un-
announced that it would provide raw material til 1912, when the supply of water, electric-
for the expansion of the Panama Canal. ity, communications, as well as human re-
is Positioned as
one of the three
in the gloBal
Cemex is actively operating struggled through, but it has also managed to
in over 50 countries on the 5 strengthen its position in the international
continents. cement markets, thanks to the strong foun-
dations of its past.
The company owns 64 cement Its present is solid and very consistent, like
plants, more than 2,200 ready- its own manufactured product. Currently,
mix concrete facilities and also the company is positioned as one of the three
has a minority participation in 15 leading companies in the global construction
other cement plants. sector, has active operations in 50 countries
on all the five continents, with more than
On a global scale, Cemex holds 50,000 employees worldwide.
493 aggregate quarries, 253 The exponential growth of Cemex in oth-
land distribution centers and 88 er nations has not kept it from maintaining its
marine terminals. gaze on the place where its cornerstone was
its annual production capacity When, in July 2010, hurricane Alex left
is close to 96 million metric in its destructive path damages in millions
tons of cement; it produces 77 in the States of Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and
million cubic meters of ready- Coahuila, Cemex announced its commitment
mix concrete and more than 240 to help rebuild the hundreds of homes and
million metric tons of aggregates. public highways that were left in ruins.
Almost immediately after the tragedy,
and as part of its integral program on corpo-
sources, made it truly impossible to continue pire State Building was been inaugurated in rate social responsibility, the company pro-
production in its kilns and distribution of the the US (at that time the world’s tallest build- vided 50 tons of cement and other materials,
resulting building material. ing), in Mexico, with the merging of Cemen- as well as machinery and training for the re-
Nevertheless, before the official end of the tos Portland Cementera Hidalgo, the Cemex pairing and rebuilding tasks in the affected
conflict, Cemex returned to the construction empire was officially born: a giant in the con- areas.
sector scene in Mexico. In 1919, Cementos struction sector, which would later eventu- Concrete is the most used man-manu-
Hidalgo resumed production and in 1920, ally become a global leader in its field. factured product in the world. That is what
a year in which Mexico was still fighting to Cemex bet and keeps betting on. But not only
return to normality, the building materials eyewitness to its building that. Because in order to be a global player
company kept on growing by using the most Concrete is one of the most durable materi- and become stronger as time goes by, other
modern technology of its time. als. It has a life cycle of over 100 years and is ingredients are required.
At the beginning of the 1920s, Cementos resistant to fire, wind, corrosion and plagues. As one of the international workers of the
Portland Monterrey –the company’s second And once again, the same could be said building materials company put it: “What
name- began operations with the first kiln about the company from Monterrey, found- makes CEMEX different from other compa-
using the long single-step dry process whose ed little more than a century ago. nies, is its vision and the actions the company
production was destined to satisfy customer Cemex has proven not only its resilience takes in order to achieve it.” n
demand in Northeastern Mexico. to the blows of fate, to global transforma-
Ten years later, and while in 1931 the Em- tion and to the financial crisis the world has www.cemex.com
34 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF FEmSa
The World Of Beverages
It is no exaggeration to claim that a company existed before Mexico’s
modern era. It began as a brewery in 1890, trading under the name of
Cervecería Cuauhtémoc. The company’s success has risen like froth
and it has since become the largest producer of beverages in Latin
America. For over 120 years, this giant company has been recognized
by yesterday’s royalty and more recently by investors. Considered
as one of the world’s most respected companies, today’s FEMSA is
consolidating its operations every year thanks to its business vocation
of staying one step ahead of the game.
lmost 100 years after Mexico edition of a beer whose history goes back to
gained its Independence from 1905 when the company had already been op-
Spain, a Mexican beverage com- erating for 15 years in Mexico.
pany was recognized by King Al-
fonso XIII himself as one his favorites. revolution? Let’s Get to Work!
In 1908, the Spanish king appointed Cer- To claim that FEMSA existed before Mexico’s
vecería Cuauhtémoc as “official supplier to the modern era is no exaggeration. In 1890, the
Spanish Royal House.” That allowed the com- company was founded in the city of Monterrey
pany to use the Spanish Royal Crown of Arms in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León,
on its labels and stationery. under the name Fábrica de Cerveza y Hielo
And today, over one century later, the same Cuauhtémoc. It started operations with 70
beverage company that was once the favorite employees, two administrators and 100,000 own distributor and began officially exporting
of Spanish royalty and which is now the larg- Mexican pesos in capital. Carta Blanca was its its products.
est diversified beverage producer in all Latin first ever product and remains an undisputed The company was eager not to waste any
America, has decided to drop the shield of the favorite for Mexicans right up until today. time at all. From its earliest days, one of its aims
Mother Country, and celebrate the Bicentena- Its visionary founders have proved that has been to be self-sufficient and sustainable.
ry Year boasting purely Mexican designs. nothing—not even a war—gets in the way of This company from Nuevo León has
With an annual turnover exceeding 300 their mission. In 1911, in the throes of the revo- opened its own channels to guarantee its mate-
billion usd, Fomento Económico Mexicano lution, Cervecería Cuauhtémoc founded a rials and supplies, as if eager to reduce its expo-
(FEMSA) —which began life as the mythical polytechnic college where its employees could sure to external vicissitudes as far as possible.
Cervecería Cuauhtémoc— recently announced learn all kinds of skills and professions in a Over the course of its history as a beverage
that its enormous stable of beverages would formal environment. That internal training producer, it has been shepherded by subsid-
join in the patriotic celebrations with special concept essentially laid the foundations for the iaries that have supplied its needs constantly:
commemorative editions. subsequent founding in 1943 of the Instituto the glass and cardboard manufacturers for
Coca-Cola soft drinks, for example, will Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Mon- its bottles and packaging, laminators, packag-
allude to the 32 states in Mexico, while “Bo- terrey (ITESM), now Latin America’s most ers, distribution chains, warehouses, savings
hemia,” one of the company’s most cherished prestigious private university. banks, schools and homes for its workers. And
beers and a favorite among Mexicans and During the revolution, Cervecería Cuauh- the list could go on.
foreigners alike, will be produced in a special témoc was seized for a period, at the end of It would appear that the spirit of “every-
deluxe design, paying tribute to Frida Kahlo, which the company’s first manager, Luis. G. thing’s fine, let’s get to work” is the leitmotiv
Mexico’s most iconic painter. Sada, said: “Everything’s fine, let’s get to work.” of this globalized company from the north of
“Passionate and bohemian, she was always That order was followed scrupulously and Mexico, which constantly seeks to rely on itself
her own subject” was the launch slogan used a few years later, in 1929, Cervecería Cuauh- and its internal strength. And, judging by its re-
by the company when launching this special témoc took a further step forward, opened its sults, it has succeeded.
100 Years are a Good start Start” was used in the 1990s, with the company creased its range of brands, this time to include
FEMSA has had the same director for the past celebrating its first century, as during that pe- non-carbonated beverages.
20 years. That is another feature of the company: riod its export of beers “with the taste of Mexico” Now with 120 years of history, FEMSA’s most
stability regardless of external events. Over its reached various countries across Europe. Its list- recent business venture has astonished many
history, ever since it was a local company and up ing on the New York Stock Exchange became investors. In early 2010, its directors announced
to its current global position, it has never faced a a reality almost at the same time as The Coca- that the Dutch company Heineken had acquired
strike. For over 100 years, FEMSA has not only Cola Company bought a 30% stake in Coca- 100% of FEMSA’s beer unit in exchange for giving
learnt lessons but given them too. Cola FEMSA, in an operation that confirmed the Mexican company a 20% share in Heineken,
Between 1978 and 1979, just 10 years after the Monterrey-based company could teach a few currently the world’s third largest brewery.
celebrating its one hundredth anniversary, the things, even to the biggest fish. In 2009, even before that master stroke,
largest beverage company in Latin America It was also in that period, in 1995, that it joined the Reputation Institute, an organization that
took two decisions that would make it the giant the family of the OXXO chain of convenience rates the reputation of the world’s largest
that it is today: it listed on the Mexican stock stores that has since become one of the compa- companies based on products and services, in-
market and bought its first stock in order to ny’s top performing areas, currently accounting novation, working conditions, leadership, gov-
trade the products of the Coca-Cola company. for over 50% of FEMSA’s revenue. ernance, citizenship and performance, ranked
Having cornered the beer market, that marked For FEMSA the turn of the new millennium FEMSA in the top 200 of the most reputable
the beginnings of true diversification. has simply confirmed its vocational role as a companies in the world.
And on the threshold of its first one hun- leading company. Its networks have expanded That is surely the current equivalent of be-
dred years in existence, it changed its name to to include Brazil and Panama incorporating new ing appointed the official royal supplier, as was
FEMSA—the name by which it is known today, brands and bottling companies into the group, the case with Cervecería Cuauhtémoc when it
a business empire grouping together the beer, and in 2007 it acquired 100% of Jugos del Valle started out, over a century ago. n
packaging, soft drinks and retail companies. together with its partner, Coca-Cola Co. The new
The slogan “One Hundred Years are a Good departure in diversification has therefore in- www.femsa.com
36 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos COURTESY OF BanamEx
It is one of the strongest financial
and banking institutions in
Mexico. Banamex has been
working in the country for more
than 125 years and it aims to
keep on writing history with
Mexico for many years more.
he history of Banamex (for its ac- marked by perseverance, dedication and In the second quarter of 2010, the bank re-
ronym in Spanish, National Bank pride. We have the experience and the knowl- ported profits of roughly 416 million usd that, ac-
of Mexico) began with the merging edge of every one of our products that have cording to the institution, “indicate an increase
of two financial institutions, Banco been adapted to modern times and based on in terms of loans and new customers, a qualita-
Nacional Mexicano and Banco Mercantil Mex- our clients’ needs. Based on that, we know tive improvement in the assets and discipline in
icano, on June 2nd, 1884. that our history will continue to be written expenditure.”
From there on, Banamex has grown and for many years to come,” the financial institu- By the end of June 2010, Banamex in-
become, in little more than 125 years, one tion declares on its website. creased its portfolio of up-to-date loans by 28%
of the main banks in the country. In August And so it has been. In 1929 the bank of- compared to the same quarter in 2009.
2002, after having complied with all legal re- fered its customers the service of a savings “In the year of Mexico’s Bicentennial of its
quirements from both the Mexican and the account; in 1968 it launched in the domestic Independence, the results obtained by Bana-
US authorities, Banamex became a part of market the first credit card and in 1987 it es- mex clearly show its sustained commitment
Citigroup, one of the world’s main financial tablished an internal telephone network con- to Mexico by way of very tangible actions and
institutions, currently active in more than 100 necting all its branches nationwide. In the 90s outcomes. We administer the highest levels of
countries. the institution became the first bank with a national savings; we continue to support with
The sale of Banamex to the financial em- financial portal where customers could carry loans families and companies, especially small
porium was completed for approximately out various banking movements. and medium businesses, thus also aiding in our
12.5 billion usd. Thus, in November 2002, the Today, Banamex offers services to individ- country’s economic recovery,” Manuel Medina
branches, products and services of Citibank uals, companies and governments. Accord- Mora, Chairman of the Executive Board of the
merged with Banamex’s services platform. ing to the 2009 Management Board Report, Banamex Financial Group stated in June. n
“Even when 125 years of efforts have Banamex obtained net profits of more than 1
not been an easy task, our growth has been billion usd. www.banamex.com
banamex was founded in 1884. Since then, it has
grown to become one of the major banking
corporations in Mexico.
38 Negocios Photos COURTESY OF SiEmEnS
Siemens has been active for
116 years in Mexico, where
it holds leading positions in
several sectors. The company
is the country’s largest supplier
of power generation and
distribution equipment, as
well as industrial systems and
Siemens’ activities in Mexico date back to 1894.
The company’s earliest prominent projects in-
cluded providing the first electric lighting for
the Paseo de la Reforma Boulevard in Mexico
City and constructing the Necaxa hydro power
plant, which is still in operation.
With more than 8,500 employees and 14
manufacturing plants, Siemens in Mexico not
only contributes to the development of the
country’s technological infrastructure but also
collaborates with private industry. In fiscal
2009 (October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009),
sales to customers in Mexico amounted to
more than 950,000 usd.
Siemens holds leading positions in its Indus-
try, Energy and Healthcare Sectors. Siemens IT
Solutions and Services operates across all three
sectors in the country. The solutions the com-
pany provides in Mexico and Central America
include energy generation, transmission and
distribution; transportation systems; medical
diagnostic solutions; information technology
services; lighting; automation and control; lo-
gistics and assembly systems; integrated solu-
tions for intelligent buildings and water treat-
ment and purification systems.
Early in 2010, Siemens was awarded the
prestigious ESR (Socially Responsible Com-
pany) designation for the fifth year in a row. n
siemens in mexiCo
Siemens sets up a Technical Bureau in The Siemens company in Mexico is
Mexico City. re-founded.
Siemens constructs the first power SITESA is founded for the production
station in Mexico City. A public of telecommunications technology.
corporation, Mexican Electric
Works Ltd. / Compañía Mexicana 1987
de Electricidad S.A., is founded by The first magnetic resonance
Siemens and the Dresdner Bank. tomograph in Latin America is
installed in the Hospital Central Militar
1905 in Mexico City.
Elektrizitätsgesellschaft mbH Berlin 1994
(SSW-Mexiko) is founded with a The Siemens activities are reorganized
regional office in Mexico City. into a holding.
SSW-Mexiko becomes the PEMEX awards Siemens the largest
representative of Protos Automobile order so far received to equip a refinery
GmbH Berlin. with process control technology.
Regional offices are opened in Siemens delivers two turnkey gas
Guadalajara and Monterrey. turbine power plants to the state-
owned power utility Federal Electricity
1912 Comision (CFE).
An automobile marketing company,
Protos Garage S.A., is founded in 2005
Mexico City. The Rio de la Alameda Contract for the extension of Metro
power station and the Quijano y Line 2 in Monterrey, Nuevo León.
Rivero hydroelectric power plant are After its deliveries for Line 1 (1988)
built. and 2 (1994), Siemens remains the
main supplier of electro-mechanical
The Siemens agency is transformed
into a public corporation and 2007
renamed Siemens Mexicana. Siemens delivers the equipment for
modernizing the iron and steel works
1929-1930 and heavy plate rolling mill for the
Generators and transformers Mexican steel producer Altos Hornos
are supplied for the Rio Lerma de Mexico (AHMSA) in Monclova,
hydroelectric power plant. Coahuila.
Mexican Chili Peppers
With A French Touch
More than 120 years During that period Clemente Jacques has dou- is one of the most complete on the market, ac-
since its foundation have bled its sales. In 2007 –one of the best years for cording to the company. That is thanks to the
the company in the forementioned five-year pe- variety it displays in terms of sizes that cover
given Clemente Jacques
riod– more than 80 million products from the the traditional, gourmet and light segments.
something that few have brand were devoured in Mexico. The company founded by Clemente
accomplished in Mexico: a Clemente Jacques has diversified in these Jacques is so Mexican, that the cockerel –the
foreigner that makes chili 120 years of existence. Today, it boasts eight logo that has accompanied the brand since
peppers with the same product lines offering various foods and flavors: 1887– is the classic rooster that appears on the
ketchup, chili peppers, vegetables, dressings, Mexican lottery game. n
touch as a Mexican.
jams, vinegar, fruits in syrup and sauces. The
dressing product line from Clemente Jacques www.clementejacques.com.mx
Nobody teaches Clemente Jacques how
to make chili peppers,” was the advertising
slogan that made the company immortal.
So much so, that it came to be used collo-
quially by Mexicans to emphasize that little can
be taught to an expert in his own field of exper-
History tells that it was in 1887 when French
entrepreneur Clemente Jacques, eager to im-
port to France an infinite amount of articles
such as the classic Mexican game of lottery,
grains, seeds and canned goods, decided to ven-
ture into uncharted territory: processing food.
Thus, he established the first food processing
plant in Mexico that would, in time, become
the pioneer of its kind in all Latin America.
And what was the product that put Clemente
Photo COURTESY OF ClEmEnTE JaQUES
Jacques at the forefront in those days? It was
precisely the jalapeño pepper, prepared with an
original recipe from the French entrepreneur.
In 2002 Clemente Jacques merged with
Mexican company Sabormex, one of the coun-
try’s 100 most outstanding companies in terms
of production and distribution of food and coffee.
Between 2002 and 2007, the packaged and
canned food market in Mexico grew 46% in
terms of volume, and 29% in terms of value.
Th e C o m p l et e Gu i d e of th e M ex i c a n Way of Life .
The Lifestyle Feature
photo courtesy of Willy sousa
Mexico: 200 Years
42 Negocios Photo COURTESY OF willY SOUSa
by MarÍa eUgenia seVilla
After achieving phenomenal e loves to adapt cameras to the world together with 700 photographs
success nationally, México capture unusual images, pho- taken all around the country with 18 different
tographed or filmed as never cameras and a team of 100 people.
en tus Sentidos, an exhibition
before. With a Fine Arts Master’s Degree in Cine-
by Mexican artist Willy Mexican filmmaker Willy matography from the University of New York
Sousa, is now being taken Sousa has developed cameras and daring and two diplomas in senior management,
around the world as part accessories to give full rein to his creativity, Sousa’s career has spanned 25 years in which
of the celebrations marking working with global brands such as Nikon and he has been a publicist, director and produc-
Vision Research. With the latter, he custom- er of major publicity and tourism promotion
the Bicentennial year of ized the Phantom camera –normally used for campaigns.
Mexico’s Independence and scientific purposes— to be used for filmmaking He founded Industria Film Studios 15 years
the Centennial of the Mexican and for capturing Mexico’s beauty in high defi- ago in Mexico City, where he spoke to Negocios.
Revolution. nition at over one thousand frames per second.
The results of his experimentation were —What is the background to Monumental
shown in the Monumental Museum México Museum México en tus sentidos?
en tus Sentidos, displayed in Mexico City’s Con- Nine years ago I began filming around the
stitution Square Plaza or Zócalo, in its Historic country because, together with the agency
Center, and which is now being taken around McCann Erickson, we won a contract with the
interview Willy soUsa
the monumental museum where
México en tus sentidos was exhibited, was
installed in Mexico City’s Constitution Square
Mexico Tourism Board. We traveled around the on a post measuring 65 centimeters across and the bicentennial of its independence. We set up
country on five different occasions, covering over its tradition translates into colors. In Tlacotalpan, in a 1,200 square meters pavilion. It went really
600,000 kilometers in the 32 Mexican federal the colors used to paint houses are selected well. Then we did a short tour to Los Angeles,
entities. I ended up with archives of 1.5 million depending on who is living there: if the person is Chicago, New York, Montreal and Toronto and
photographs. A group of investors approached generous or if he wants people to visit his home, now we’re off to Shanghai to take part in Mexi-
us and someone proposed staging this exhibi- the color of his house is different. For each per- co’s Pavilion in the Expo 2010 Shanghai, with the
tion in the Zócalo. The arrangements begun sonality, a color. 750 photographs and the video. The display in
in August 2009. The project was shown to the Shanghai is going to be inaugurated on Septem-
Federal Government in February 2010, three —Some say that your exhibition ber 15. In October, November and December we
weeks before the exhibition opened, and it was is optimistic and naïve. will also be in Tijuana, Michoacán, Cancún and
President Felipe Calderón’s idea that it should go Humans need inspiration. We have to stop other places that have got involved in states such
on tour around the world. beating ourselves up, we cannot let sensationalist as Veracruz, Estado de México, Puebla, Guana-
perspectives take over our lives. This project is juato, Sinaloa and Chihuahua. We are in discus-
—How does the architectural concept of a contribution. México en tus Sentidos is spon- sions about taking the actual museum structure
an ephemeral Monumental Museum sored by Amigos de México, a non-profit orga- to Los Angeles.
take shape? nization formed by businessmen from all across
My idea was to show the exhibition in an impos- Mexico. Profits are channeled to a non-profit —What is the appeal of a project like this
ing, grand, majestic place because inside we organization and to a fund to support artisans to to the business sector?
were going to show a country. The exhibition uphold Mexican traditions and customs. For example Carlos Slim, owner of Grupo Carso,
included 756 photos of medium and large invited us to present the museum at the flag
format and a 9.5 minute-long video, using new —México en tus Sentidos was a great ceremony of the Mexican national soccer team
techniques. Sordo Madaleno did the archi- success in Mexico. at the World Cup in South Africa. We went to
tecture, while I handled the interiors and the The museum received 7.26 million visitors Johannesburg and we gave the video to all those
curatorship. You saw videos on altars, because in 56 days. People have left comments on my present. We have gradually been adding more
what you were going to see was the image of a Facebook reporting how they left the exhibi- and more people to this project because rather
country, something venerable. tion in tears and how many others made peace than advertising, it is a question of spirit.
with their country after seeing it. Others have
—How do you perceive the colors on the even sent me images of saints, flowers and other —Do you think that your work will
Mexican palette? souvenirs. help other countries get to know
It’s all about identity and belonging, like the Mexico better?
textiles in Zinacantán, Chiapas, each of which tell —Tell us about the tour We are doing what we can, but we need more
a story. One of Papantla’s flyers was taught from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited us to rep- support. As Mexicans, we need to join the effort
a young age to “talk with the wind” and dance resent Mexico during Argentina’s celebrations of to show what is good in our communities. n
44 Negocios Photo COURTESY OF willY SOUSa
danCe of the ConCheros temple of
in the Constitution Square Plaza san antonio
(Zócalo) Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes
Mexico City (BANAMEX
interview Willy soUsa
a Cora boy danCe
Nayarit Chiapa de Corzo,
of the rarámuri
The Sierra Tarahumara
122 Years Developing
On August 26, 2010,
Circo Atayde Hermanos
celebrated its 122nd
more than a century of
shows that are engraved
in modern circus
he adventure began when Aurelio Atayde In 1927, second generation brothers Aurelio and An-
Guízar, the grandfather of today’s genera- drés Atayde Arteche, together with their sister Patricia,
tion of Circo Atayde Hermanos entrepre- performed successfully in several European cities, with
neurs and artists, left home to work in the a routine that was unprecedented in the Old Conti-
circus. Years later, Aurelio convinced his brothers to nent. The act involved flying from a trapeze, suspended
join him to establish their own company and in 1888, several meters over the ring, to another after turning
Circo Atayde Hermanos performed for the first time. twice in the air, with no support save the acrobats’ own
Despite its struggles during the Mexican Revolu- strength. This feat earned the three Atayde siblings
tion, the Atayde family took the show to many places an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records and
around the country for the first time before deciding they were named the best trapeze artists in the world
to embark on a new adventure: a tour around Central in their time.
and South America that would last 20 years. After 20 years of absence and traveling virtually all
During these two decades, Circo Atayde Hermanos around Central and South America, from Guatemala
went through countless experiences, some related to to Tierra del Fuego, Circo Atayde Hermanos returned
the inevitable itinerancy of circus life and others result- to perform again in Mexico City on February 15, 1946.
ing from accidents and coincidence. Such was their success that since then, they have played
The pages of their 20-year history are peppered an annual season for Mexican audiences in different
with box-office hits and critical triumphs, flops, tent cities around the country.
fires, a near shipwreck, earthquakes, deaths and births In 1998, when Circo Atayde Hermanos celebrated
in the tent. its 110th anniversary, they toured the United States
entertainment circo atayde herManos
05 06 07
08 09 10
for the first time. Kevin Baxter, journalist for the Los gregated in the Circo Atayde Hermanos’ ring for over a photos
01 - 03, 05 , 06 , 08 - 10
Angeles Times, wrote: “In Mexico, where the name century, entertaining generations of Mexicans. by Shawna Nelles
Atayde is a synonym of circus, Atayde Hermanos Today, the Atayde family’s interest lies not only in 04 by Ricardo Villar
07 by Anahí Parra
should be considered a national heritage, like Octavio entertaining but also in preserving the art of circus,
Paz’s poetry or Gabriel Figueroa’s films.” probably one of the oldest forms of entertainment. In
Awards are also part of Circo Atayde Hermanos’ 2005, the company signed an agreement with the Na-
history. In 2004 the company received the Gold Ring, tional Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA),
the world’s most important circus award, from the In- through the National Center for the Arts (CENART), to
ternational Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo. create the diploma course “Towards a Methodological
Great artists from countries such as Ukraine, Swe- Construction of Circus Arts,” aimed at preserving, re-
den, France, the United States, England, Hungary, establishing and developing circus arts in Mexico.
Peru, Cuba, Canada, China, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Ke- Circo Atayde Hermanos is Mexico’s oldest circus,
nya, Argentina and Mexico have trodden the sawdust but stays young through ever new and different pro-
with Circo Atayde and discovered in its tents a space posals.
to express themselves –which goes beyond languages For Circo Atayde Hermanos, driving the circus for-
and frontiers– to the delight and amazement of the ward in the 21st Century means not only competing
audience. against virtual entertainment media, but also nurtur-
Millions of spectators, hundreds of acts, artists and ing the culture of amazement and imagination and cre-
animals, thousands of yards of fabric and rope, tons of ating spaces where the rare and fanciful become real
sawdust, tension, laughter and amazement have con- adventures. n
48 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos aRChivE
by antonio VÁZQUeZ
From color television to indelible ink, the first oral
contraceptive pill and lounge music, Mexican
imagination, creativity and intellect are involved
in several inventions “made in Mexico” that today
are cogs that move the world in almost every
aspect of its daily existence. The following are
some examples of Mexican inventions that have
changed the world.
Books On Demand yes, you can even use your laptop—and begin
At any time, any place and in any language. It is as easy as printing a book to make books to order in just a few minutes.
in just 17 seconds using the Book on Demand or InstaBook technology, When the sheets appear from the printer, the
created by Mexican writer and unionist Víctor Celorio. Instabook Maker takes over. It sorts and pairs,
When he was just 10 years old, Celorio knew that the written word folds, cuts and binds to give you a book in just a
was his calling. At 14, he had already published his first story. Years later, matter of minutes. It can make one, ten or 100
literature would lead him in new directions, such as book publishing. books, all the same or all different.” That is how
That meant he created the Book On Demand technology with which, in Celorio’s technology works according to Insta-
just a few seconds, it is possible to print and bind books. Book’s official website.
Celorio’s technology evolved until it became the huge company The most important factor is the price: it 01 the instabook
known today as InstaBook, with its headquarters in Florida. costs less than a dollar to produce a book of maker Technology
allows to print a book in
“You just need to connect InstaBook Maker III to your computer— about 100 pages. just 17 seconds.
sCienCe & teChnology MeXican inVentions
02 the oral ContraCeptive
Was created by Mexican chemist Luis
Ernesto Miramontes, in 1951.
Oral Contraceptive Lounge
Mexican chemist Luis Ernesto Miramontes In 1960 the Federal Drug Administration Juan García Esquivel is remembered as the
Cárdenas is attributed with having created the (FDA) approved the use of the pill that would Mexican who –apart from providing the music
world’s first oral contraceptive, proving to have mark the beginning of a genuine revolution in in the seventies for television programs such as
one of the highest effective percentages at 99.9%. history. “In just six years, the sex and family the Flintstones, Charlie’s Angels, Kojak or The
In 1951, Miramontes, then just 26 years old, lives of a large and growing sector of the North Munsters— invented lounge music, a musical
managed to synthesize norethisterone, a ste- American population have been changed and genre that created a whole new lifestyle.
roid that would be used to make the pill. The liberalized,” wrote Time magazine in 1967. Esquivel, an engineering graduate from the
patent for the invention was granted to Mira- In 1999, The Economist rated the contracep- National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) incorporat-
montes, Carl Djerassi and George Rosenkranz, tive pill as the most important invention of the ed the xylophone, piano, bongos, acoustic and
who at that time worked for the Mexican com- 20th century, used by over 215 million women electric guitars into his musical arrangements,
pany Syntex. across the world. giving his music a unique feel that would later
be called “lounge” or “space age pop,” alluding
03 the roCket belt A system of individu-
al propulsion based on hydrogen peroxide. to the hallucinatory sounds that conjured up
the feeling of being in space.
According to Letras Libres magazine in its
February 2002 issue, lounge music was revived
Photo COURTESY OF TECnOlOGÍa aEROESPaCial mExiCana
in the 1990s with García Esquivel’s work reap-
pearing on CD format. The specialist magazine
Rolling Stone interviewed the Mexican in those
years and Microsoft used his music for Win-
dows 95. Personalities such as Matt Groening
(creator of The Simpsons), Bono of U2 and di-
rector Quentin Tarantino have all recognized
the influence of García Esquivel in their work.
Going “to infinity and beyond” are not just the propulsion systems. Lozano invented the pen-
words of Buzz Lightyear, the animated charac- tametallic catalyst used in rocket motors that
ter from Toy Story, it is a reality thanks to the work by using organic hydrogen peroxide.
Rocket Belt, a system of individual propulsion Over time, Lozano, who is the only person
based on hydrogen peroxide that gives its wear- in the world to have manufactured and flown
er the chance to rocket to the sky. a rocket belt—made by himself—outside the US,
Since 1975, Juan Manuel Lozano, the created TAM, a Mexican company with clients
04 juan garCía esquivel Inven-
Mexican inventor behind the technology, has including Boeing, Massachusetts Institute of tor of lounge music, a musical genre that
worked with rocket and hydrogen peroxide Technology and Walt Disney Pictures. created a whole new lifestyle.
50 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos aRChivE / COnCRETOS TRanSlúCidOS
05 the world trade Center in
Mexico City is one of the many buildings that
have been constructed using the Tridilosa
Tridilosa Translucent Concrete
In 1962, Mexican engineer and politician He- in the use of concrete and making a much Strong as concrete but 30% lighter, translucent
berto Castillo created a three-dimensional lighter structure. This makes it possible to concrete, a creation of Mexican engineers Joel
structural system made of steel and concrete use it for much longer spans,” according to Sosa Gutiérrez and Omar Galván Cáceres, has
which he called tridilosa. the Heberto Castillo Foundation’s website. a 50-year lifespan and can generate savings in
“Tridilosa was created in order to opti- Tridilosa has been used in buildings in electricity by allowing 70% of natural light to pass
mize and rationalize the design and con- Mexico City such as the 54-storey World through it.
struction of structures, using concrete and Trade Center, the 30-storey Torre Chapulte- Translucent concrete is also esthetic and en-
steel. Unlike traditional structures, this obvi- pec and in the Centro Médico Siglo XXI, and ables savings on finishing materials such as paint,
ated the need to use concrete as a filler in the in buildings in other countries, such as the plaster or varnish. This material is manufactured
tension zone, only on the upper part of the Biosphere 2 building in Arizona, to name just in a similar way to traditional concrete but using
compression, creating savings of around 66% a few. an additive made to a secret formula.
This component, given the name Ilum, makes
translucent concrete up to 15 times more resis-
06 guillermo gonzález Camarena
created in 1940 the Field-Sequential Trichromatic Color Television tant than traditional concrete, ensures zero wa-
System, which allowed the color television.
In 1940, Mexican engineer Guillermo González ter absorption and also lets light pass through it,
Camarena was just 23 years old when he cre- making it a significant development for projects
ated the Field-Sequential Trichromatic System, such as marine infrastructure constructions.
that would adapt to the television so that it The invention led its creators to set up their
could give a color image. “My invention is re- own company, Concretos Translúcidos, which
lated to the broadcast and reception of color received almost 700,000 usd from the National
06 both for films and images, by cable or wireless,” Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) in
said Camarena in his patent request number 2005 in order to begin operations.
2296019 in the US, awarded to him in 1941. The company now has operations in Mexico
Five years later, in August 1946, the scientist and the US, as well as interest from Europe, Asia,
sent the first color broadcast from his labora- South America and the Middle East.
tory in the offices of the Mexican League of Ra-
dio Experiments. The invention was so popular
that by around 1948, Columbia Broadcasting
System (CBS) used it for the broadcasts of its
Today, the precursor of color for televi-
sions created by Camarena has transformed
so much that it is now known as HD (High
07 transluCent ConCrete
alllows 70% of natural light to pass
sCienCe & teChnology MeXican inVentions
08 08 the metropolitan Cathedral
in Mexico City was restored using the “control
Mexico City’s deformed and varied soil mo-
tivated Mexican engineer Manuel González
Flores to create a technology called “control
piles” in the 1950s, for use as foundations,
refoundations, and to raise, lower, arrange,
Photo FRanCiSCO diEz
align and straighten over 600 buildings.
Mexico City’s soil—mainly consisting of
a clay composite—has caused buildings to
sink, rear up above sidewalks and gardens
and lean over during earthquakes or dam-
age adjacent buildings.
09 3d images on
3D Television and PCs 09 a television or a
Computer are possible
Seeing 3D images on a television or a computer is thanks to the work of Mexican
possible thanks to the work of Mexican engineer engineer Manuel R. Gutiérrez
Manuel R. Gutiérrez Novelo.
In 2003, the Mexican created a device called
TD Vision, with which it is possible to visualize
images in three dimensions. From the outset,
companies like Texas Instruments, Microsoft,
Motorola and even NASA showed an interest in
the invention, which has been used in a wide va-
riety of fields, from military industry to medicine,
as well as for architecture, civil engineering, space
industry and videogames.
Filiberto Vázquez Dávila is a Mexican chemist
whose invention could never be erased: indel-
ible ink, used in election processes in Mexico
since 1994 and in Honduras and Nicaragua
In 1993 the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE—
Photo COURTESY OF inSTiTUTO FEdERal ElECTORal
the organization in charge of coordinating elec-
tions in Mexico) launched a global bid for tender
for an ink to be applied to the thumbs in order to
improve control over elections and prevent voters
from casting votes more than once.
“This substance chemically combines with
the proteins of the skin and ensures that they
remain pigmented for as long as it takes the
skin’s external cells to regenerate and revert to
their normal color,” stated the inventor himself
on the portal of the alumni community of the
Tecnológico de Monterrey university, where
he studied a Masters in Chemistry and has
worked as a teacher. 10 the indelible ink
is used as a control method in
Since 1994, the ink has been produced Mexican elections.
in sufficient quantities to stain 600 million
thumbs all over the world. n
52 Negocios i i The Lifestyle
52 Negocios The Lifestyle Photo aRChivE
Mexico: 200 Years of History
1810 1821 1824 1825 1837 1847 1857
Miguel Hidalgo Mexico Enactment Creation of The port of Grants are Enactment of
proclaims Mexico's achieves its of the the National Veracruz is awarded to the Constitution
Independence in independence Constitution Museum enabled. introduce of 1857, which
Dolores, Guanajuato. from Spain. of 1824. (Museo public replaced the
Nacional) in telegraph one of 1824.
Mexico City. service to
The port of
Veracruz is 1892 1891 1890 1889 1887
modernized. In CIDOSA opens a textile mill Mexico enters a stage of The country The Foreign
Mexico City, in Río Blanco, Veracruz. industrial diversification has 9,544 market in investment
works for the 1,241 telephone lines with the creation of kilometers La Merced, in mining.
subterranean operating in the country. enterprises in sectors of railways. in Mexico
telephone The Puebla-Oaxaca railway such as food, beer, glass, City, is built.
network begin. is inaugurated. cement and steel.
1897 1898 1900 1901
lighting in Opening of Opening of the Fundidora de Mexican Petroleum is born. The
Mexico City the Mexico- Campeche- Fierro y Acero company drills 19 wells in Tamaulipas
starts working. Cuernavaca Yucatán railroad. de Monterrey and Veracruz. The electric streetcar
A movie railroad. Concessions for is established. between Mexico City and Coyoacán
projector arrives the electric Mexico has a starts operating. The construction of
to the country streetcar in Mexico population of the Legislative Palace in Mexico City
for the first time. City are granted. 13.6 million. begins.
interview andreas heinecKe
the lifestyle feature MeXico: 200 years of history
423 km long.
1859 1862 1864 1865 1868 1870 1872
Reform Battle of English The Foundation 4,000 The
Laws. Civil Puebla. businessmen telegraph of the schools telegraph
marriage is create the Bank network National are reaches
introduced of England, is growing, Preparatory installed 7,776 km.
into Mexican Mexico and it reaches School. across the
law. South America. 1,867 km. country. 1875
1886 1884 1883 1882 1881 1880 Introduction
Labor The 3,821 km Telephone Mexican government Foreign investment in of public
Day is National of railways lines begin awards railroad building infrastructure. telephone
held for Bank of in the to operate in contracts. The Mexican Inauguration of the service
first time Mexico is country. Monterrey. National Bank is created. railway lines between
in Mexico. created Works for electric street Mexico-Tehuacán and Mexico City
lighting in Mexico City begin. Hope River-S.Juan. and Tlalpan.
1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
Construction Begins the Inauguration Opening of the The Oil Vidriera
of the construction of of the Salina Palacio Postal in Company Monterrey is
Mexico-Puebla the Palacio de Cruz port and Mexico City. Start Eagle is established.
and Mexico- Bellas Artes in the Minatitlán of the Tehuantepec founded with
Toluca roads. Mexico City. Refinery. railway operations. British capital.
54 Negocios inFograPic OldEmaR
Mexico: 200 Years of History
home to the
Cup for the
1985 1989 1990 1994 1995 1996
An earthquake 58 airports Mexican writer North American The free trade 1 million
in Mexico City in the Octavio Paz Free Trade agreements between mobile
causes country receives the Nobel Agreement Mexico, Colombia and phone
material and carrying an Prize for Literature. (NAFTA) comes Venezuela and between users.
life loses. average of Concessions for the into force. Mexico and Costa Rica
Mexican 58 million construction of Satellites come into force. Mario
astronaut passengers highways are Solidaridad I Molina Henriquez
Rodolfo Neri a year. awarded. Cell and II are put receives the Nobel
Vela goes to the phone service into orbit. Metro Prize in Chemistry for
space in the begins, 64,000 in the city of his research on the
SpaceShuttle users are registered. Monterrey formation and
Atlantis. starts operating. decomposition of ozone
Morelos in Earth's atmosphere.
put into orbit.
telephone 1982 1978 1977 1970 1968 1967 1965 1963 1957
system Alfonso García 4 million The road Mexico XIX One Starts the Mexico An earthquake
starts. Robles receives telephone network hosts Olympic million automatic is chosen in Mexico City
the Nobel Peace lines and covers the FIFA Games. telephone long to host caused the
Prize for his 76 bus 120,173 miles. World lines in the distance the XIX Angel of
diplomatic efforts stations in There are 40 Cup. country. service Olympic Independence
on nuclear the country. bus stations (LADA). Games. and some
disarmament. across the buildings to fall.
1910 1911 1917 1918 1920 1921 1923
Mexican Revolution From 1884 to The Constitution Oil ranks Mexico First The first radio
starts. The population of 1911, foreign that currently first in produces landing broadcasters
the country is 15.1 investment governs the country Mexican 25% of the oil of an begin to operate.
million people. The rose from 110 is promulgated. Bus exports. consumed airplane.
National Autonomous million to 3.4 public service starts worldwide.
University of Mexico billion USD. in Mexico City.
(UNAM) is inaugurated.
the lifestyle feature MeXico: 200 years of history
1998 1999 2000 2001 2004 2005 2010
The Free The Free The free trade The free trade agreements The Free The Bicentenary
Trade Trade agreements between Mexico, El Salvador, Trade Economic of the
Agreement Agreement between Mexico Guatemala and Honduras Agreement Partnership Independence
between between and Israel and and Mexico and the European between Agreement of Mexico and
Mexico and Mexico and between Mexico Free Trade Association Mexico and between Centennial of
Nicaragua Chile comes and the European (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland Uruguay Mexico and the Mexican
comes into into force. Union come into and Liechtenstein) come into comes into Japan comes Revolution.
force force. 14.07 force. 13 million digital phone force. into force.
million mobile users and 21.7 million mobile
phone users. phone users.
set in the
1956 1953 1952 1948 1943 1938 1936
The Women Opening of Begins the The The Federal The
construction are given Ciudad construction of Mexican Electricity National
of the Torre the right Universitaria, the Torre Institute Comission Polytechnic
Latino- to vote. UNAM’s Latino- of Social (CFE) is Institute
americana main americana in Security created. (IPN) is
finalizes. campus. Mexico City. The (IMSS) is inaugurated.
first television founded. 1933
transmission The first
takes place. automatic
1924 1925 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932
The first The Banco The first Birth of the Regular Mexico's Official
automatic de Mexico inter- National civil road Opening
telephone network is founded, national Securities aviation network of the
of the Palacio
is established in modeled long Commission service. covers airport in
the Roma after the distance (Comisión 886 miles. Mexico
neighborhood of US Federal call is Nacional de City.
Mexico City. Reserve. made. Valores).
56 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos COURTESY OF Canana FilmS
The centennial celebration of the
Mexican Revolution is the ideal
excuse for ten Mexican directors to
capture their vision of the country in
en directors, ten stories, one movie: that is
how Latin American movie producer Canana
Films celebrates the first 100 years since the
Mexican Revolution and, practically at the
same time, the invention of cinema.
Revolución (Revolution), a 106 minute-long film
(www.revolucion100.com) is made up of ten short films,
each one independent from the others. Every one of the
short stories portrays what contemporary Mexico means
to each director. The leitmotiv of the ten stories is the
armed struggle that began officially on November 20th
1910, in the North of Mexico, then spread through the
whole country and is considered one of the most impor-
tant political and social events in the 20th century.
a 106 MinUte-long filM,
Made UP of then short
filMs, ProdUced By
canana filMs, iMcine
and teQUila tres
02 la 7th y alvarado
(7th and alvarado)
[pAsseNgers, Mother ANd
the ghosts of the MeXi-
can reVolUtionaries Visit
doWntoWn los angeles,
The uprising that demanded democracy and social 03 30/30
justice matches the invention of cinema, some years [el oJo eN lA NuCA, lA
earlier, at the end of the 19th century. Thus, the Mexi- zoNA, desierto AdeNtro
(the desert Within)]
can Revolution was the first armed movement to be noWadays the sig-
filmed. “The cameras recorded the cavalry charges, nificance of the
reVolUtion has Been
the 30/30 rifles, the troop movements on the railroads forgotten and its cel-
and the accomplice gaze of the camp followers [pros- eBration has BecoMe a
titutes mainly] who accompanied the revolutionaries
during the struggle,” reminisces Canana Films.
Taking shelter in the cameras that made them im-
mortal, Mexican revolutionaries from 1910 –and dur-
ing the following ten years that the armed struggle
lasted– gave interviews, faced the federal forces and
fired shots that even stopped the clocks decorating
04 la tienda de raya 05 éste es mi reino
(the estate store) (this is my kingdom)
By Mariana chenillo [MAr AdeNtro (deeP sea), CiNCo díAs siN NorA carlos reygadas [JApóN (JaPan),
(nora’s Will)] BAtAllA eN el Cielo (Battle in heaVen)
Before the MeXican reVolUtion, landlords and BUsinessMen Used luz sileNCiosA (silent light)]
to Pay their eMPloyees With VoUchers redeeMaBle only in their a groUP of good MeXican PeoPle and
oWn stores, KnoWn as “estate stores.” the director coMPares soMe friends froM other nations
What haPPened a centUry ago to the Wage Policies Used noWa- coMe together to celeBrate a feast
days By soMe Big corPorations and goVernMent. in the coUntryside.
58 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos COURTESY OF Canana FilmS
06 r-100 08 lindo y querido
gerardo naranjo (BeaUtifUl
[drAMAMex, Voy A and BeloVed)
explotAr (i’M going patriCia riggen [re-
to eXPlode)] trAto de fAMiliA (faMily
tWo WorKers, the Portrait), lA MisMA
tUrK and the rat, luNA (Under the saMe
rUn aWay froM Moon)]
their Violent Past. the story of elisa,
When they reach Whose father’s last
the highWay, they Wish is to Be BUried in
haVe to taKe a risK MeXico. elisa, an aMeri-
to continUe. can citiZen, doesn’t
Understand Why her
father Wants so. UPon
elisa’s arriVal to her
father’s Village, she
discoVers the ValUe
of the hoMeland and
Why it is Worth it to
07 luCio A hundred years later, the causes, challenges, illu- as a collective awareness, based on the formal and aes-
gael garCía bernal
sions and the disillusions of the 1910 uprising still prevail thetic universes of its directors.”
lUcio sPends the in Mexico. A hundred years later, those ideas inspired
ten Mexican directors to take up arms (in the form of Three Producers, One revolution
and his coUsins cameras): Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Eimbcke, Amat Revolución, as most recent movies produced by quality
PreParing his flag
salUte for school.
Escalante, Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo García, Diego Mexican cinema, is the shared effort of its creators, as
the Visit of his Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Plá, Carlos Reygadas y well as of Mexican public and private companies. The
oMar Will MaKe
Patricia Riggen. movie was produced by Canana Films, the Mexican In-
hiM reflect on the In the movie, the filmmakers again wind up the clocks stitute of Cinematography (Inmcine for its acronym in
trUe Meaning of
the bullets stopped and analyze the country’s present Spanish) and Tequila Tres Generaciones.
and syMBols. through ten stories that produce a contemporary vi- Canana Films is an international producer and dis-
sion on the social and personal revolutions that have not tributor of film and television, headquartered in Mex-
stopped among Mexicans. As put by Canana Films, every ico City. It was founded by Pablo Cruz and actors Gael
short in Revolución “puts the term back in the spotlight García and Diego Luna, with the goal of promoting cine-
and proposes a unique approach to the idea that lives on ma made in Latin America. The company develops the
[JC CháVez, ABel]
after haVing had
another heated fight
With the Mother of
his child, daniel goes
to his Beach-side
ProPerty in search
of his lost dreaMs
and MeMories. once
there, he realiZes the
dreaMs and MeMories
he originally thoUght
he Was chasing only
eXist at hoMe, With
his faMily. Being so
far aWay froM those
he loVes, daniel is
sUBMerged into deeP
Pain and angUish as he
faces the PossiBility
of losing theM.
10 10 la bienvenida
[teMporAdA de pAtos
(dUcK season), lAke
tells the story of a
Village Which is eX-
Pecting the arriVal
of a sPecial gUest.
11 el Cura niColás
los BAstArdos (the
a Boy and a girl on
a donKey rescUe
a Priest hanging
froM a tree. he Will
taKe theM to a neW
projects of a whole generation of filmmakers from the
continent that are interested in finding new ways to tell
stories that would eventually become a reference point
for the Latin American point of view and that would
probe the current limits of culture and entertainment.
For 25 years now, the task of Imcine has been to
create the best possible conditions to develop the film
industry in Mexico. With Marina Stavenhagen run-
ning it since 2007, the institute has managed to reac-
tivate the national cinematographic production. The
third producer of Revolución, Tequila Tres Generacio-
nes, contributed part of the money needed to cover
the film’s budget, thanks to article 226 of the Income
Tax Law that offers tax cuts to companies supporting
Mexican cinema. n
60 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photo aRChivE
Ever since its Independence, to Mexico,” according to the National Institute One of the articles in Los inmigrantes en el
Mexico has received flows of of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) in its study mundo de los negocios siglo XIX y XX refers to
called Los extranjeros en México (Foreigners in the barcelonnettes from Ubaye in France, one
immigrants and individual
Mexico). of the most important immigrant groups in the
foreigners whose work here Most foreigners who have come to Mexico, second half of the 19th century and in the early
has become world renowned. especially those from Anglo-Saxon countries, 20th century. Patrice Gouy, another foreigner
agree that Mexicans are hospitable. And they who has forged a career in Mexico, states that
or some a discovery, for others a des- are usually right. Although throughout its his- between 1870 and 1914 one out of every four
tination, paradise, refuge or home. tory Mexico has had leaders who have passed barcelonnettes –an astonishing 25%– emigrat-
Over the two centuries since its Inde- severe anti-immigrant laws, since Mexican ed to Mexico.
pendence, and even before, Mexico Independence in 1821 most of Mexico’s heads The case of the barcelonettes is essential if
has been all this for thousands of citizens from of state have encouraged foreign immigration we are to understand Mexico’s history today.
other countries around the world. Many fill through the enactment of various laws and Famous for their influence in banking and the
the history books. The rest have helped shape regulations, in order to promote economic in- textile and fashion industries, they founded
the multiple identities of one of the world’s vestment, write Rosa María Meyer and Delia department stores that have become business
most complex countries, referred to by many Salazar, in their book Los inmigrantes en el successes across the country, such as El Palacio
of these adopted Mexicans as the land of pure mundo de los negocios siglo XIX y XX (Immi- de Hierro, El Puerto de Liverpool and Fábricas
surrealism. grants in the business world in the nineteenth de Francia.
Ever since the arrival of the first European and twentieth centuries). In the article “Mexicanos que nos dio el
Conquistadors to America toward the end of the The typical gastronomy in states such as mundo” (Mexicans from the World) published
15th century, Mexico has been host to flows of Puebla, Yucatán and Tampico would not be in the magazine Mexicanísimo on July 2008,
immigrants and individual foreigners who have the same without the presence of the French, Jorge Arnau Ávila also recounts the cultural
helped shape the country’s mestizo culture. Lebanese and Chinese. The Son Veracruzano relevance of immigrants who came to work
Sometimes these immigrants only passed would not exist if it were not for the Arabs and in Mexico after its independence, such as the
through Mexico. At other times, they stayed Africans who came to Veracruz, which port Italians who came to Chipilo, Puebla, in 1882:
for ever and either they or their children form has always been a gateway to the world. “The Germans in the Chiapanecan coffee plan-
part of the country’s cultural and economic One of the most important Mexican histori- tations during the 19th century, the European
heritage. It would be impossible to imagine, for ans of our age, Jean Meyer (who incidentally has Mennonites in Chihuahua and Durango; the
example, Frida Kahlo’s paintings (daughter of French roots) wrote in his book Los franceses en Russians (and Italians) in the vineyards of
a German photographer), or the work of the México durante el siglo XIX (The French in Mexi- Baja California in the early 20th century, and
photographer and model Tina Modotti and of co during the 19th Century) that diversity is what the Japanese who arrived at Puerto Madero
filmmaker Luis Buñuel existing in any other created life, buildings and culture in this area: in Chiapas after an agreement was signed by
country. “Soldiers, doctors, hairdressers, printers, gold and Porfirio Díaz,” who also promoted the arrival
“Italians, English, French, Chinese, Korean, silversmiths, sculptors […] were at the forefront of of French in Mexico due to his personal tastes.
Japanese, Spanish, Lebanese, Argentineans, a wave of specialist immigration which continued Before Porfirio Díaz, even the wars of in-
Americans and others have all made their way throughout the 19th century.” tervention by France and the US, both during
the lifestyle report MeXico: a ProMising destination
the 19th century, led to an influx of immigrants One of the immigrant groups in Mexico Commission (COMAR, 1980), with the support
due to cheaper communication and more ac- that have been especially skillful as business- of the office of the United Nations High Com-
cessible transport between Mexico and other men have been the Jews and the Lebanese, missioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
countries. most of whom came to Mexico alone and Migratory flows are not just events that
Of course, the battles that spread citizens without speaking a word of Spanish. “These happened in the past and Mexico has not been
from all over the world throughout Mexico migrants and their children proved a great the only destination. Across the entire planet,
were not just avoided here. ability to develop business opportunities and immigrants have influenced culture, evolved
The military service requirement for quickly accumulate capital during the 20th language and inspired the arts. The United Na-
young Lebanese men in the late 19th century century,” says the researcher at the Autono- tions calculated that in 2005, there could be be-
and in the early 20th century caused a large mous University of Yucatán, Luis Alfonso tween 185 million and 192 million immigrants
number of Arabs to emigrate to Mexico. The Ramírez, in his article Estratificación, clase y across the world.
Nazi regime in Germany brought hundreds parentesco: empresarios libaneses en el sur- In 2000, the census carried out in Mexico
of Jews to join those who had already estab- este de México (Stratification, class and par- by the Inegi counted almost half a million for-
lished themselves in Mexico during the first entage: Lebanese businessmen in the South- eigners who have not naturalized, although
half of the 20th century. The horror of the east of Mexico). the Institute itself admits that figure may be an
Spanish Civil War and the political perse- Indeed, one of the most successful business- underestimate. Three of every ten (30%) came
cution during the dictatorship of Francisco men in Mexico and the world, Carlos Slim, be- from the US; 4.8% from Guatemala; 4.2% from
Franco caused waves of Spanish intellectu- longs to that community. Owner of the most Spain; 1.3% from Argentina and a similar fig-
als to come after 1937. Jorge Arnau indicates important telecommunication companies in ure from Colombia and Cuba; 1.2% came from
that “El Flandre” docked in Mexico in April Mexico, Telmex and Telcel, as well as the San- Canada and a similar number from France.
1939 carrying 300 Spanish immigrants. That borns restaurant chain and dozens of other The remainder came from countries as far
month, 3,000 additional Spanish arrived in businesses, Carlos Slim is son of Julián Slim away as China, Korea and Japan.
two more ships. and Linda Helú. The former was a Lebanese Inegi’s figures show that, of the foreigner in
The Cuban Revolution in the mid 20th cen- emigrant who came to Mexico in 1902 at 14 Mexico, 65.7% contributed their experience in
tury also led to a mass emigration from the is- years old, without speaking the language, and the tertiary sector of the economy (commerce,
land to other countries around the world, and the latter a member of a Lebanese family that transport, government); 20.1% in the second-
Mexico received dozens of Cubans, especially arrived in Mexico at the end of the 19th century. ary sector (mining, oil and gas extraction,
industrialists and entertainers. One of Mexico’s Throughout the 20th century, Mexico con- manufacturing, generation and distribution of
leading businessmen of recent times, Adolfo tinued to receive citizens from all around the electricity, water and construction) and 4.7% in
Horn, came from Cuba. Here, he promoted the world. During the 1970s and 1980s, its south- the primary sector (agriculture, livestock farm-
development of Mexico’s Silicon Valley, a vast ern border gave refuge to dozens of Central ing, hunting, fishing.)
industrial complex in the state of Jalisco, where Americans fleeing the social and military vio- Since almost half the foreigners in Mexico
multinational and Mexican assembly plants lence that had broken out in their region. Be- are heads of their family, it is likely that most
are in operation. Horn is also the creator in the fore that, Chilean, Argentinean and Uruguayan of them will put down roots in the country
1960s of one of the most popular sweet snacks exiles had found their home in Mexico fol- and help continue to fill the universal history
in the region, the Bing and Dolphy ice creams. lowing the creation of the Refugee Assistance books. n
62 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photos COURTESY OF FUndaCiÓn PRO mixTECa
“The Year, 2015. We are in the Oaxaca Mixteca
region, a place which only a decade ago was
one of the most devastated places in indigenous
pro mixteCa: Mexico. Today, a large team of leaders, men and
women, are working with passion to make all
their dreams true: productive projects, busi-
MaKing dreaMs ness ownership and community developments
that have emerged from the family orchard,
the restaurants and community factories. The
landscape of the place known as ‘the Mixteca
knot’ has changed and best of all is that this so-
cial and economic breakthrough is expanding
by cristina ÁVila-Zesatti to other regions in Oaxaca thanks to the drive of
these leaders who are sharing their experience
In a place known as Ñuu Savi, or the “People of the Rain,” located in with others in the state and the country… it is,
the “knot” of the Oaxaca mixteca region, an organization has decided undoubtedly, an unprecedented multiplying ef-
fect for this region.”
to change the face of hopelessness. With a methodology focused
Yes, that is now a reality. At least the real-
on the dreams of every single person, Fundación Pro Mixteca now ity that Fundación Pro Mixteca is aming to
assists some 25,000 people living in one of the most remote places in achieve, with a clear and specific vision: “over
Mexico. Its actions are already visible in 30 communities of the area, the next five years our goal is to transform
where 18 productive projects are today a reality. the communities of the Mixteca, prompting a
change from within.”
feedbaCk fUndación Pro MiXteca
It is not an easy challenge. The Mixteca is “What makes Fundación Pro Mixteca dif-
one of the most complex regions of Mexico in ferent, is not only its willingness to reach out to
terms of social, economic and especially geo- these remote sites, but also, and above all, the
graphical features, since this site in southeast- methodology they have implemented to do so.
ern Mexico is mired in an almost impossible We focus all our attention on ‘the person,’ the
mountain area. individual, to ensure that each one becomes a
“The Foundation was born from what was promoter of community change. This model
first a religious calling. There were hundreds is about making people want to change their
of volunteers who 20 years ago began climbing reality, which is the first step to truly do this.
to this place in the sierra to set their missions. Fundación Pro Mixteca does not force the peo-
These visits allowed some people to realize ple of these communities to embrace change.
that there was much more to do, like chang- They themselves are the proponents and own-
ing the fate of the people who live there. The ers. What we do is to accompany them during
religious purpose became a social project in- their transformation process and get them
volving all the inhabitants of the communities near to what is needed to make change pos-
where we work, regardless of their faith,” says sible,” says the organization’s director.
Guillermo Zorilla López de Lara, director of Fundación Pro Mixteca has named their
Fundacion Pro Mixteca, in an interview with action model as a “Model of Human Develop-
Negocios. ment.” Following this particular method, all
the initiatives of the organization prompt the
Untying the Knot of Isolation people with whom they work in the Mixteca to
The so-called “knot of the Mixteca,” where the wish, know how and be able to generate their
Sierra Madre Oriental, the neovolcanic axis own development, without any imposition or
and the Sierra Madre del Sur meet, is a suc- handouts.
cession of valleys and mountains known as “Our foundation does not give any kind of
the Ñuu Savi (which means the “People of the direct financial support but rather ‘accompa- tools and contacts to make their dreams come
Rain”). Due to its complex geography, it is one nies’ the communities in their transformation true,” says Zorrilla López de Lara.
of the least explored areas of Mexico. process. We do not hand out resources, nor To achieve its goals, the organization is cur-
This is where six year old Fundación offer any gift; what the organization seeks rently staffed with two promoters who live
Pro Mixteca is determined to go, in order to and does is lead citizens to question, to reflect permanently in the Mixteca region. Every
achieve a positive change in the group of com- among themselves, so that they propose and week they keep track of each of the 30 com-
munities dwelling in this region; villages that, own up to the productive projects that are nec- munities where they work and permanently
due to the geographical complexity surround- essary and possible in their communities. Only assess both the projects already underway and
ing them, have had little or no access to even after that, Fundación Pro Mixteca acts, sup- the new ideas or suggestions that emerge from
the most basic services. porting and providing them with the required the inhabitants of the region.
64 Negocios i The Lifestyle Photo COURTESY OF FUndaCiÓn PRO mixTECa
ects and tanks capturing rain water. They are
all different, but they all respond to the needs
of the different places and they are all in com-
plete harmony with nature,” says the director
of Fundación Pro Mixteca.
There Is no Harm in Dreaming,
But Making Dreams Come True Is Better
“Our model states that the action of the Foun-
dation should encourage people to wish and
to know how to act in order to generate their
own development. If the person is responsible
for carrying out his or her dream, we are talk-
ing about a big breakthrough, because his or
her mind has changed. However, it is then our
turn to act to facilitate that change, to make the
dream come true, so we are exceeding in at-
tracting more resources, more people involved
with what we do. We want to be consistent
with what we teach and not leave projects half
done in the places where we work,” says Zor-
rilla López de Lara.
So far, this organization has benefited from
the assistance of other civil society organiza-
“We are talking about processes that are project belongs to an individual or family. tions, NGOs and companies that are contribut-
very long, not only because of the very nature There is also a subsidy spirit: we are facilita- ing financially, such as the Fundación Alfredo
of the projects, but also because our goal is to tors, so we expect that everyone involved do Harp Helu, Grupo Bimbo, Lala or Bachoco, as
encourage a cultural change. It is only in this his or her part. And, finally, we work with proj- well as aid from people who make small dona-
way that the transformations and changes will ects that have a deep respect for nature, eco- tions. These funds are aimed entirely at main-
last. Only in this way will the projects under- efficient projects that do not harm the living taining the actions of Fundación pro Mixteca
taken not be abandoned or left undone,” adds space inhabited by our beneficiaries,” explains in those regions and to pay the salaries of the
Guillermo Zorrilla. Guillermo Zorrilla. four-member staff.
With an annual budget of nearly 155,000 Fundación Pro Mixteca also has its own
Changes With Respect usd, Fundación Pro Mixteca works in three mi- dreams: to increase the staff appointed in Oax-
for Mother Nature cro-regions of the Oaxaca Mixteca and some aca in order to increase its outreach to other
The Mixteca region remains today a strong in- even more remote communities. Overall, its communities and support further more pro-
fluence of syncretism in traditions and typical scope of work now extends to 40 community ductive projects in the Sierra.
“lifestyle.” leaders and another 75 in training. The orga- “We have our internal goals to improve our
According to current maps, the Oaxaca nization conducts workshops and seminars response given to those who trust us. First we
Mixteca is spread throughout 189 municipali- for community action and the two promoters want to increase our donor base, positioning
ties in Oaxaca, where the strong influence of who live in the area constantly monitor the our influence throughout different audiences
traditions and lifestyles of indigenous com- transformational process. and design as soon as possible a model of in-
munities still prevails. Although rich in natural With patience and a lot of presence, over teractive communication with our patrons and
resources, the Ñuu Savi region is not as lucky the years some projects have already seen the sponsors,” explains Guillermo Zorrilla.
in terms of abundance. Those who live there light of day, while others are in the process of Fundación Pro Mixteca faces no easy chal-
are mainly working in farming and to a minor creation, with different stages of progress. lenge, though it is not impossible. In the short
extent in crafting or trading. “Today we have 10 ongoing projects of all term, the idea is to have four additional pro-
Fundación Pro Mixteca knows that caring kinds in 18 communities. The important thing moters in the region to design productive proj-
for nature is key to the livelihood of communi- here is that each one has been an initiative of ects for 30 communities.
ties in the region. the citizens: we have people building their own For now, its influence can already be seen.
“We work first with the individual, with the dreams and the best part is that each in turn Its action is evident among some 25,000 peo-
person and his or her dreams and goals they benefits all the people of this place. We have ple living in the “knot of the Mixteca” and its
want to achieve. Secondly, through Solidar- very simple as well as complex projects, from vision for 2015 is expected to be accomplished
ity, which in turn implies Common Good, we production of organic honey, jams, garlic and in Ñuu Savi, among those who call themselves
expect the projects we carry out to become of coffee to the formation of family orchards or the “People of the Rain,” becoming a gradual
benefit for others, facilitating teamwork, since garden beds made of recycled materials, to but lasting change in the vision and mind of its
there are common interests, even though the the crafting of rural stoves, reforestation proj- dwellers. n