In a land haunted by frequent mass murders, a kidnapping may seem a small thing, but to Mauricio Martín it was a moment that altered his life’s trajectory. Cartel thugs snatched his brother from the streets of Mexico City five years ago and demanded bribes until granting his safe return six weeks later. “After that, everywhere I went I was a little scared. My children were not free to go anywhere,” Martín says now from his posh home in a suburb north of Houston.

But he’s been in Texas only six months. He stuck it out for years in Mexico City following his brother’s kidnapping. The last straw? Bad business. “In business and government there’s a lot of corruption, so everything you try to do there you have to pay bribes or do things that are not right, so there’s a lot of obstacles,” he says.

via The New — and Rich — Immigrants from Mexico: How Their Money is Changing Texas |