Had an interesting conversation the other day with a Mexican friend.
“Of the successful people in this country, can you name five who you respect?” I asked him.
1) Joaquin Guzman Loera, a.k.a. El Chapo. Mexico’s most wanted drug trafficker.
2) Jorge Castaneda. Academic and former foreign minister. Renowned for harping on about just about anything and changing positions as he sees fit, but always arguing well.
3) Jacobo Zabludovsky. Veteran journalist, I don’t know much about him, to be honest.
4) Alfredo Harp Helú. Businessman and head of a foundation in his name. Unfortunately, one of his claims to fame is having been kidnapped (but at least he survived the ordeal.)
So we’ve got a drug trafficker, an academic, a journalist and a businessman. My friend couldn’t name a fifth.
To me, that’s a pretty worrying sign of our times.