QUERÉTARO, Mexico — They came looking for Andrés Cobos Marín, 22, with promises of financial security, a leg up over his peers, the life of his dreams.
Mexican President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto meets with President Barack Obama on Tuesday at the White House. [CNN]
But these were not the sort of recruiters who have made Mexico infamous, scouting hired guns and drug couriers for the criminal underworld. Quite the contrary, they were out hunting for talented young engineers with a knack for designing turbines and the like for this city’s growing aerospace industry.
“The companies are looking for us; we don’t have to go looking for them,” said Mr. Cobos, who starts work in January at a Spanish company even before he graduates next year.
It is the flip side of the Mexico that the world is familiar with: the one in which drug barons hang bodies from bridges, evade the law in elaborate hideaways and funnel billions of dollars in narcotics across the border and around the world.
In this other Mexico, taking hold in several pockets of the country like this one, high-skilled jobs are plentiful, industrial plants churn out increasingly sophisticated products and families adopt shades of middle-class life, with flat-screen televisions, new cars and homes a cut or more above those of their parents.
This more prosperous, parallel universe is what Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, highlighted when he met with President Obama on Tuesday as he seeks to shift relations with the United States toward improving the economy and loosening up trade.