Mexico: From Politics to Profit

At a time when Latin American countries complain of lagging foreign investment, one company—and a nationalized one at that—finds money pouring in from all sides. The company is Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the oldest of Latin America's state-owned oil monopolies and about the only one with any claim to success. In one recent deal, Britain's Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. joined in an $8,000,000 petrochemical project; in another, the French government lent Pemex a hefty $100 million for further expansion in petrochemicals.

For years after Mexico's leftist President Lazaro Cardenas stunned the world...

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