Bloomberg on Jaime Bermúdez

Here’s a story from Bloomberg News on the Godfather of Maquilas, juarense Jaime Bermúdez.

In Ciudad Juárez, along the U.S.-Mexico border at the foot of the Sierra Madre, a dark blue Range Rover winds through the empire built by Jaime Bermúdez Cuarón. The vehicle is carrying two of the 94-year-old real estate magnate’s sons and two of his adult grandchildren; bodyguards follow in two cars. Juárez isn’t besieged by drug cartel violence quite like it was a decade ago, but the elite are still targets. And the Bermúdezes, who’ve amassed a fortune establishing Mexico’s central role in the rise of globalization, are most definitely elite.

. . .

This is just one of about 50 maquiladoras operating inside the Antonio J. Bermúdez Industrial Park, which is named after Jaime’s politically powerful late uncle and sits on Antonio J. Bermúdez Avenue on the northeast side of town, just over a mile from the Rio Grande River. An additional three dozen industrial parks and industrial zones in Juárez contain some 400 factories of various sorts and sizes; all told, the maquiladoras employ almost 300,000 people. Dozens of other such manufacturing clusters have sprung up in Mexico, here along the border as well as deeper in the interior. But Bermúdez’s was first, in the late 1960s, and his collection of seven parks remains among the largest. “Don Jaime is the quote unquote godfather of the maquiladora sector,” says Roberto Coronado, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and an expert on the border economy. “He was really the visionary.”

After a stint as mayor of Juarez, Jaime’s uncle Antonio J. Bermudez ran Pemex for twelve years. That’s a pretty good gig. Nice work if you can get it.

This article is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the political dynamics and international business of the El Paso – Ciudad Juarez region.

It’s a crying shame about those polo fields.

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