Apollo Financial Group Meets with Former Mexico President Vicente Fox

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Apollo Financial Group meets with Former Mexico President Vicente Fox.

Dean Anastos Vincente Fox Ricky Brava

If the United States could better control the use of marijuana in the US, Mexico’s drug war would not be at the epic scale it presently is...

By Frank Jennings

Former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox recently met with Ricky Brava and Dean Anastos of Apollo Financial Group while in the United States. The three men discussed the former president’s views on the war on drugs, NAFTA and increasing cross-border investments.


The former president placed the blame for the anarchy on the joint border and the out-of-control drug lords squarely on the back of the American government.

“"This situation of being in between has brought in war here in Mexico, that we are, that I don't understand why did we assume this war. That war should be done only in the United States,” he said. "[The] President, [and the] U.S. government is way behind its public opinion. The legal public opinion, because of the referendum in California, 44 percent of Californians now accept, and are for legalizing for the use of marijuana. At national level, the last Gallup poll shows that 50 percent of public opinion, 50 percent of U.S. citizens agree to [marijuana being] legalized. So, the only one who sustains the prohibition, the criminalization, and the penalization of drug control is U.S. government, and it's totally incapable of enforcing the law.”

The president also called hypocrisy on US presidents Clinton and Obama because both admitted to using marijuana, but continue to support criminalization of it.

Mr. Anastos said President Fox does have a point. If the United States could better control the use of marijuana in the US, Mexico’s drug war would not be at the epic scale it presently is, he said.


Since leaving office, President Fox has also called for improving NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement - which was supposed to lower cross border trade barriers.

Since being signed in 1994, the treaty has mostly fallen by the wayside, the president said. This has resulted in a loss of business and business opportunities on both sides of the border, he said.

Mr. Brava agreed. He pointed to Apollo’s main business, buying distressed financials at bargain prices and turning a profit by reducing the payments on those debts so the debtor can make good.

“President Fox said investors in Mexico would jump at the opportunity to invest more money in the US market if NAFTA terms were better enforced,” Mr. Anastos said. “At the same time, we told him we have American investors who want to know more about investing in Mexico. NAFTA can be a bridge to create more wealth on both sides of the border.”

That led into a discussion of Apollo’s primary business, buying distressed financials, mostly mortgages where the homeowner is behind on payments.

“We explained out business model to him and he asked us to contact him to see how could we work with each other,” Mr. Brava said. “He told us this is the kind of investing that would benefit from NAFTA and would benefits investors and homeowners on in Mexico and the US.”

The three men agreed that if the United States will set realistic goals in several areas, the economy of both countries will benefit.

The former president also spoke briefly about the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum near his ranch in Guanajuato, Mexico. He said the center is open to the international community as place to hold conferences and meetings. He encouraged Apollo Financial to consider the center as a place to meet when expanding its operations south of the border.

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