Mexico's Paradox

Moneyed Monterrey can't mask an economy that needs a million new jobs a year

Back when Mexico was still a colony of Madrid, Monterrey was frontier--much like America's Wild West, more than 200 years later--settled by a rugged cast of characters, including unmoored Jews and some in trouble with the Spanish crown, whose present-day descendants are fiercely proud of their heritage and the modern metropolis they developed. Monterrey is the most important business center in the country after Mexico City. It's as if San Antonio, Texas, went on to become Pittsburgh, Pa., skipping the Rust Belt phase. This city of nearly 4 million, often confused by Americans with its California namesake, is, after all, still...

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