In October 2002, Carlos Slim Helú, the richest man in Latin America and a Mexican citizen of Lebanese descent, embarked on a project to restore Mexico City, especially the Zócalo area. To do so, he enlisted former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As a self-appointed “guardian of the Mexican national capital,” Slim Helú states in a New York Times article that he wants to revive “one of the most important places in all the Americas,” one that is “the economic, political, cultural, academic and artistic heart of this country.”1 This effort to redevelop Mexico City has had social repercussions, such as displacing street vendors, and raises an important question: How does someone who is proud of his Lebanese background become a national spokesperson of Mexican cultural preservation? Although Slim Helú has exceptional wealth, his story shows a multicultural Mexico that has allowed foreigners and their descendants to become...

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