A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

October 2010 -- The Tijuana Innovadora conference

Francis Fukuyama, speaking in Tijuana, says Latin America suffers from a lack of trust in society

A lack of trust in society is hampering Latin America's development. Scholar Francis Fukuyama said Mexico "has gotten way beyond" most of Latin America, although it still has many family businesses.

Francis Fukuyama in TijuanaFukuyama, who recently joined the faculty of Stanford University, said countries that have advanced have reached high levels of trust, Mexico's problem may be that its government is too weak to provide basic rule of law, and therefore trust. He said Mexico needs "a stronger investment in legal institutions and the rule of law."

He said Mexico also suffers a lack of trust because "society remains unequal in many respects."

He said it was remarkable to him how well educated the middle class is in Mexico, but that Mexico needs to solve the problem of getting "better and more equal access" to good education.

He said the high degree of informality in the Mexican economy also hinders the trust issue.

He theorized that Silicon Valley may have outdone the Boston area in high-tech development in part because there may be more trust among computer software and hardware developers. He said contracts involving the industry in the Northern California are shorter than in the Boston area.

Jan. 2011

Galicot thanks many for success of Tijuana InnovadoraGalicot letter

jose galicot mugIn a letter to Zeta thanking it for naming him a noted person of the year for his work organizing Tijuana Innovadora, José Galicot thanks a large number of people and organizations for their contributions making it possible. Among them was James Clark, the director general of the Mexico Business Center at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Investor bullish on Tijuana and Mexico

Despite Mexico's economic crisis and security problems, "We believe in Mexico for the long term," a top official with an industrial real estate company told the Tijuana Innovadora conference.

John Mankus, vice president of Corporate Properties of the Americas, which says it is the leading industrial real estate company in Mexico, said a pension fund investing with his company has investigated “every corner of the earth” and decided to invest in Mexico. John Markus at Tijuana Innovadora

Why? "There is really no place else you can go where the population is growing, close to a big consumer society like the United States, that has the level of training, that has the level of universities, just look around at the manufacturers that are here today in Mexico, Tijuana in particular, and look at the manufacturers who are coming to investigate Mexico, in Tijuana in particular, and it is not hard to undertand that this country has potential for the long term to continue to grow, to continue to rise up in quality.

"Crisis or no crisis … capital wants to be at a place where it can achieve scale and it can achieve quality investments. And we have proven that to our investors over the long term and the future looks the same."

Mankus added, “Short term crisis — big or small — at the end of the day, the fundamentals of Mexico are very strong, and that continues to bring capital into the country.”

He said Tijuana is one of his company's five core markets in Mexico. He said it had 3.2 million square feet and 22 buildings in the Tijuana market, and land for more.

The Corporate Properties of the Americas website says the company has more than 27 million square feet of industrial space in Mexico, serving more than 160 multinational and Mexican clients.

John Mankus speaks as Lorenzo Berho listens at Tijuana Innovadora
John Mankus speaks while Lorenzo Berho, president of the Vesta real estate investment group, listens at Tijuana Innovadora
. Berho, of Mexico City, said his company has always seen Tijuana as a place of opportunity.


Wikipedia co-founder talks up Tijuana

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, said at the Tijuana Innovadora conference that the online encyclopedia could help provide the world a fuller picture of Tijuana.

A member of the audience drew applause when he asked Wales, "How Jimmy Wales in Tijuanacan we use the power of Wikipedia to tell the world about the good things of Tijuana?"

Wales prefaced his remarks by saying, "Wikipedia always wants to be neutral," and said Wikipedians who edit the online encyclopedia get annoyed by marketing efforts and are likely to disallow them.

"It's my belief that it is very, very common for the media to tell a story. They love the arc of a story line. And what can happen is, once they start down a path of telling a story, it's very, very hard to break them from that. So right now the story about Mexico in general, about this area in particular is, 'It's a war zone. Everything's gone to hell, there's all this violence and problems and, you know, oh my God you can't be there, you won't be safe.' Well we know, of course, there's reasons that story has started. There have been some problems.... I used to live in the murder capital of the world -- Chicago.... People would say to me, 'Oh my God, aren't you afraid that you'll get killed?' " He said, to great applause, that his answer was, " 'No, I am not a drug dealer.' "

Wales said, "So a part of the answer Jimmy Wales receives key to Tijuana from Mayor Jorge Ramos is to make sure that all of the really great institutions, all the really great things about Tijuana are given fair coverage. If there is an article about a famous drug dealer or a famous problem or something like this, OK, we're not going to erase that, that has to be there; that is part of the reality. But if it has to do with a local university where amazing things are happening.... There is nothing wrong at all with coming in and making sure people are aware.... Giving people the fuller picture is something Wikipedia ought to be really good about. We're not here to run a scary headline to sell more newspapers."

Wales received the key to the city from Mayor Jorge Ramos, as did Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter who later spoke to a full house at the Tijuana Cultural Center. Also receiving a key to the city was Joel Cherkis of Microsoft: It was announced that Microsoft was donating a million dollars worth of software to Tijuana for use in educational institutions. Cherkin is the chief technology officer and general manager, WW technology office, public sector at Microsoft.

Twitter's Biz Stone speaks in TijuanaJoel Cherkis of Microsoft speaks in Tijuana





Twitter cofounder Biz Stone (left) spoke Wednesday night in Tijuana, while Microsoft's Joel Cherkin (above right) spoke Wednesday afternoon.



Astronaut José Hernández, who was born in Stockton, Calif. to parents from Mexico's Michoacan state, said at the conference that Mexico has great potential to develop technology that can have an impact on the aerospace industry. See story in Tijuana's Frontera newspaper.

Andoni Aramburu Iturbe of Compañía EiTB de Televisión Vasca said Saturday that the media have a responsibility to help transform the cities they serve.