Carlos Slim Praises Mexican Telecom Reform Despite Challenge To His Number One Billionaire Status

March 19, 2013

carlos slimForbes, 3/18/2013

Tycoon Carlos Slim, who is in danger of losing his title as the world’s richest man,  praised the new monopoly-busting telecom legislation proposed by the Mexican government despite the fact that it has significantly reduced his net worth.

“This telecommunications law addresses the importance of broadband and of having more penetration…   Therefore, without a doubt,  it coincides with everything this commission has sought: universal service, better prices, higher speeds and convergence,”  Slim said  following the  inauguration of the Seventh meeting of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development in Mexico City March 17.  It was the first time Slim personally addressed the bill since it was proposed on March 11.

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Weekly News Summary: March 8th

March 8, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

At its national assembly last Saturday, PRI members voted to end the party’s opposition to constitutional changes that would allow increased private participation in the oil sector, and reversed their previous position on the application of value added tax (IVA) to food and medicine. Leaders of the three main political parties continued to work on a “game-changing” telecommunications reform that is expected to shake up a highly monopolized sector of the Mexican economy. The Miami Herald’s Andres Oppenheimer addressed the recent optimism surrounding the Mexican economy, pointing out that many Mexicans remain skeptical. TIME’s Tim Padgett echoed the sentiment, drawing a parallel between current headlines labeling Mexico “the New China” or “the Aztec Tiger” and similar hype preceding Mexico’s 1994 peso crisis.

Following the excitement of last week’s arrest of Elba Esther Gordillo, journalists began focusing more closely on Peña Nieto’s education reform and the much-needed changes to the country’s lagging public education system. Carlos Slim topped the Forbes billionaire rankings for a fourth consecutive year, while drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was left out. The Christian Science Monitor reported Slim’s large share over the telecommunications sector has kept broadband connection costs high, and internet connectivity rates low, compared to the rest of Latin America. Also this week, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled two common anti-gay words constitute hate speech and are not protected under freedom of expression.

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Mexican Billionaires Have Strong Year, With 18.4% Increase In Wealth

March 8, 2013

Mexican pesoForbes, 3/7/2013

The combined net worth of Mexico’s billionaires reached $148.5 billion, an increase of 18.4% from the previous year’s total of  $125.1 billion.  Based on the new Forbes Billionaire ranking’s data,  these gains slightly outpaced the growth in the amount of wealth held by the entire 2013 billionaire list, which after adding 210 new billionaires,  grew by 17.4% from $4.6 to $5.4 trillion.

The largest contributing factor to the leap in total wealth held by the super-rich in Mexico  is the addition of five new-comers and two comebacks to the rankings. The new billionaires are Eva Gonda Rivera (Femsa) ,  Rufino Vigil Gonzalez (Industrias CH), Jose and Francisco Calderon Rojas (Coca-Cola Femsa), Max Michel Suberville (Coca-Cola Femsa) and Juan Gallardo Thurlow (Cultiba). After having fallen bellow the 1 billion benchmark a few years ago,  Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala (Grupo Modelo) and Alfredo Harp Helu (Banamex) are back in the rankings. The removal of drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo Guzman from this year’s list and the 2012 death of Roberto Gonzalez Barrera brings the total of Mexican billionaires to 15, up from 10 the previous year.

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Carlos Slim And Mexico’s Digital Divide

March 7, 2013

carlos slimFronteras, 3/6/2013

Around 17 percent of individuals can access the Internet in their homes. For an economy of its size, this digital divide is stark among its neighbors in the region. In Brazil, the region’s largest economy, 38 percent can access internet from their home. The name Carlos Slim might be fresh on American minds — he was just named by Forbes the richest person on the planet. And critics claim the main source of his exuberant $73 billion fortune is a large factor in the Mexico digital divide.

A headline to think about: If Billionaire Carlos Slim Were a Country, He’d Be the 8th Richest in Latin America. His fortune is based in telecommunication. He owns the monopoly América Móvil (Telmex), which in 2012, it still controlled 80 percent of Mexico’s landlines and 75 percent of its broadband connections.

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Forbes drops drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman from billionaires list

March 5, 2013
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

CNN, 3/4/2013

Fortunes forever rise and fall, but perhaps none so fast as those of drug lords. On Monday, Forbes magazine released its annual list of the world’s richest people, and for the first time since 2009, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman did not make the cut.

Guzman is the boss of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking operations. His nickname, which means “shorty,” matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame, though he has climbed to great heights in the drug business. Forbes had previously estimated his net worth at $1 billion.

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Forbes: Slim, the richest, his fortune grows by 4 billion (Spanish)

March 4, 2013
Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim

El Universal, 3/4/2013

For the fourth time, Carlos Slim leads the world’s multimillionaires list published in Forbes magazine. Note that Slim’s fortune  grew by 4 billion dollars this year.

Other influential Mexicans in the list include Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Eva Gonda Rivera, María Asunción Aramburuzabala, Jerónimo Arango, Emilio Azcárraga Jean y Rufino Vigil González, José y Francisco José Calderón Rojas, Carlos Hank Rhon, Roberto Hernández Ramírez, Alfredo Harp Helú, Max Michel Suberville y Juan Gallardo Thurlow, Alberto Bailleres González, and Germán Larrea Mota Velasco.

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Brazil, Mexico have most Latin American billionaires

December 30, 2012

Channel News Asia, 12/30/2012

Photo by Flikr user digitalmoneyworldBrazil and Mexico have the most billionaires in Latin America but earn the least from estate taxes, according to a new study from a regional economic group. Brazil tops the billionaires list with 30, followed by Mexico, with 11, said this month’s report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico’s Carlos Slim is the richest in the world according to the annual Forbes magazine ranking.

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Peña, Slim and ‘El Chapo’, among the most powerful: Forbes [in Spanish]

December 12, 2012

El Universal, 12/05/2012

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

In Forbes newest ‘World’s Most Powerful People’ list released this year the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman once again appeared in the list, which is headed by the U.S. President, Barack Obama. “El Chapo,” according to Forbes,  is the  63rd most powerful individual in the world.

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El Chapo on Forbes’ list of most powerful (in Spanish)

November 4, 2010

El Norte, 11/4/2010

Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been ranked in 60th place, out of 68, in Forbes’ 2010 “Most Powerful People” list.

One more Mexican made the list: businessman Carlos Slim Helú was ranked at 21st place.

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Outsmarted by Sinaloa

January 7, 2010

The Economist, 1/7/10

IT MIGHT seem incongruous to see Felipe Calderón, who has bet his presidency on fighting organised crime, accused of sheltering Mexico’s top drug lord. Yet across the country banners hanging from highway overpasses suggest he is in cahoots with Joaquín El Chapo (“Shorty”) Guzmán—the leader of the Sinaloa “cartel” and, according to Forbes magazine, the world’s 701st richest man. “Mr Narco-President,” began one seen in Veracruz state in 2008. “If you want to end crime, stop protecting drug traffickers like El Chapo.”

The banners are placed by rival drug mobs. But they hint at a paradox. The Sinaloa organisation (named after a north-western state) is responsible for around 45% of the drug trade in Mexico, reckons Edgardo Buscaglia, a lawyer and economist at ITAM, a Mexico City university. But using statistics from the security forces, he calculates that only 941 of the 53,174 people arrested for organised crime in the past six years were associated with Sinaloa. An official disputes those numbers, and notes that several close relatives of Ismael Zambada, the co-head of the Sinaloa mob, were arrested on drug charges last year.

Nevertheless the government crackdown seems to have fallen mainly on other mafias.

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