The best of modern progressive civilization—government, private firms, international organizations—teamed up to build homes for 20 million people in Mexico. Over $100 billion later and its a disaster.
Sixteen years ago, Mexico embarked on a monumental campaign to elevate living standards for its working-class masses.
The government teamed with private developers to launch the largest residential construction boom in Latin American history. Global investors — the World Bank, big foundations, Wall Street firms — poured billions of dollars into the effort.
Vast housing tracts sprang up across cow pastures, farms and old haciendas. From 2001 to 2012, an estimated 20 million people — one-sixth of Mexico’s population — left cities, shantytowns and rural ranchos for the promise of a better life.
It was a Levittown moment for Mexico — a test of the increasingly prosperous nation’s first-world ambitions. But Mexico fell disastrously short of creating that orderly suburbia.
The program has devolved into a slow-motion social and financial catastrophe, inflicting daily hardships and hazards on millions in troubled developments across the country, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.