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A Wave of Investment

The Other Mexico: A Wave of Investment
Who says it's a "failed state"? Ignoring the drug wars, multinationals are pumping in billions to set up factories.
By Pete Engardio and Geri Smith
Cover Story April 9, 2009, 5:00PM EST

K. Alan Russell has spent 23 years clearing bureaucratic and logistical hurdles for U.S. companies running low-cost plants in Ciudad Juárez. Never has he had to do as much hand-holding as now. Each time the Mexican city makes headlines—for kidnappings, murders, or police battles with drug cartels—Russell does damage control. He calls the headquarters of the 28 tenants at his company's industrial parks to tell executives their staff and property are safe. "They need to hear from Ground Zero that there [were] no disruptions and the violence is not affecting their people," he says.

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