Conglomerate Fights Crime Where Gov. Won’t

Monterrey, Mexico-based CEMEX is one of the biggest cement and building materials producers in the world. Of late, it has also become a major influence in fending off the drug gangs in its home base of Monterrey. The Wall Street Journal details this fascinating story of corporate influence:

Cemex itself is…involved to an unusual degree, either directly or indirectly, in efforts to turn things around in Monterrey, a battle that many security experts regard as critical for Mexico’s future stability. Several former top Cemex executives are now in federal and state government posts related to security matters.

Javier Treviño, the state’s deputy governor, is one. With Mr. Zambrano’s blessing, Mr. Treviño left his job as Cemex’s vice president of corporate affairs late last year to become the deputy to newly elected Gov. Rodrigo Medina, a young politician whom residents say has struggled to come to grips with the onslaught from organized crime. A Stanford University graduate like his former boss, the soft-spoken Mr. Treviño has become the de facto point man in figuring out a strategy to improve safety in the city.

Current Cemex employees are also getting involved. Mauricio Doehner, a young executive, now spends much of his time trying to revive a civic organization called Ccinlac, which brings together groups ranging from big business to local parent-teacher associations. In the mid-1970s, the organization was a powerful voice of civil society, but it has since faded into obscurity.

“We have no civil society to speak of here. We need to build one fast,” says Mr. Doehner.

Read the whole article here.

You hardly ever hear about the beneficial side of an oligarchical system, possibly because it doesn’t have that many in the first place. Impressive.