MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto sat before the nation’s titans of industry and allowed himself a smile.
Mexico’s business elite had invested record amounts of money in the country, giving life to the president’s promise of an economic renaissance and a welcome bright spot in an otherwise bleak landscape of scandals hovering over his administration.
But the president needed more from the nation’s top business leaders, perhaps his most important allies. He needed loyalty. According to five people who recounted the private gathering in May, the president turned to Claudio X. González Laporte, a corporate chairman revered in Mexico.
Your son, the president told him, needs to stop being so critical of the government. …