In what is likely his last great urban intervention, the billionaire is constructing a massive new airport. The $13.4bn project is highly complex and controversial – can he pull it off?
It is sometimes hard to tell where Carlos Slim stops and Mexico City starts. He controls most of the mobile phone, landline and internet markets. His telecoms company, Telmex, installed the city’s surveillance cameras. Grupo Carso, his flagship infrastructure conglomerate, runs the city’s principle water treatment plant. His bank, Inbursa, is Mexico’s sixth largest. He even owns the city’s only aquarium.
In 2015 Slim’s companies accounted for 6% of the entire country’s GDP, according to the Mexican media outlet El Universal. These holdings run parallel to a vast network of strategically located retail properties. But more than anywhere or anyone else, the 77-year-old tycoon and sometime world’s richest man has grown with the capital. Like a ghost in a shell, Carlos Slim has become part of Mexico City’s urban fabric.