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On Guard for Labor

Sep 1, 2004

Mario Gabriel Budebo's job at the head of Mexico's pension fund regulatory agency has him advocating for a single, but powerful, constituency: organized labor.

Mario Gabriel Budebo
The president of Consar, Mexico's pension fund regulatory agency, has adopted tunnel vision since his appointment last year. "The worker is our only client," says Mario Gabriel Budebo. "We don't have any interest in thinking about anything else."

The 1997 legislation that set up Mexico's pensions system, modeled on 401(k)s in the US, put labor union leaders on Consar's board. Although Gabriel Budebo is the target of heavy lobbying from any number of special interests, he must always put organized labor first. "We sit on this committee with members of the unions, and that disciplines us to think uniquely in terms of the interest of the worker," he says.

He gives the example of a decision that countered attempts to use Afores, the privately managed pension funds, to develop Mexico's capital markets....

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