The journalist and founder of El Economista, Luis Enrique Mercado, forerunner of economic and financial journalism in Mexico, died yesterday, December 28.
He directed the newspaper for 20 years, starting in 1988, when with a group of young journalists and several recent graduates from the Carlos Septién García School of Journalism, they undertook the project of the new print, at a time that anticipated an era of globalization.
Among the milestones of Luis Enrique Mercado’s management are the consolidation of a specialized information medium, as well as the training of a good number of journalists, columnists and editors, who enriched the union with their knowledge, many of them still active.
After leaving the general direction of El Economista, Luis Enrique Mercado ventured into politics, being a federal deputy for the PAN in the 2009-2012 legislature. Later he returned to his native Zacatecas, where he has led the Zacatecas Image project to this day.
The testimonies of people who worked with him, who knew him in his professional and personal facet, coincide in his capacity, his gift of people and his genuine leadership style.
Andrea Ornelas, who for many years was editor of the Values and Money section and a pillar in the daily work and training of journalists, remembers it. “He brought the newspaper to life and made it a school and a home for us. Going to work was a real pleasure. He transmitted his passion for figures and well-done journalism to us, and he taught us the magic of teamwork ”.
Perujo, also the founder of the newspaper, continues to publish daily in El Foro and recalls his beginnings with Mercado Sánchez:
“One month before the launch of El Economista, in November 1988, Luis Enrique Mercado hired me as editor of the Agricultural Economy, a position in which I only lasted 15 days. Luis Enrique, who saw some scribble in my notebook, asked me to make a cardboard for the launch edition and in issue one of El Economista my first editorial cardboard came out. Two weeks later, I was formally named Monero. “
Luis Enrique Mercado’s style defined him in his professional work. Everyone remembers him saucy, frank, direct and empathetic. With the reporters he had a personal taste for sharing experiences and knowledge, as Maribel Ramírez Coronel refers to.
“Nobody better to say ‘So not licensed …’ than Luis Enrique Mercado when he helped me address a difficult issue as I was a reporter for the banking source in the midst of a Fobaproa crisis or to better refocus the entry of a note. He always talked about you with his entire team. One day I asked him why he did it and he told me that that’s how they talked in his town, even the children were told about you. But Luis Enrique’s ‘you’ was like talking because it generated trust, regardless of whether he was the boss ”.
Another of his attributes was his style that commanded respect, because his rule was to do things well, work as a team and “not be afraid of numbers” but he also generated trust in the people with whom he worked. Ana María Rosas describes it like this:
“I always spoke to the lawyer Luis Enrique Mercado about you and he called me“ doña Ana María ”. Mr. Mercado trusted me from day one, although I did not train at El Economista like so many others; He always gave us a vote of confidence. “Luis Enrique Mercado started a family,” wrote Orquídea Soto, one of the many journalists who grew up in the newsroom at Avenida Coyoacán 515. On election days, Mr. Mercado helped prepare paella for everyone. I dare say that he knew the names of all his collaborators and perhaps their families. He always asked me how my father was doing ”.
El Economista’s project was the culmination of years of work and preparation by Luis Enrique Mercado in the field of finance and economics, since he had been in the business for years and was known and respected by everyone in journalism, in the private sector and in government.
“He was, first of all, a proud Zacatecan and also a great journalist. A graduate of the Carlos Septién García school, he was a pioneer of financial journalism in Mexico and since the 1970s he explored the incipient information on economics and finance in our country, and later, in December 1988, founding El Economista ”, says Alejandro Rodríguez, consultant , journalist and friend of El Economista for many years.
Remember that Mercado Sánchez was the author of the economic analysis column “Perspectivas” and the “Presidential Handicap” under the pseudonym Alejo Garmendia. “He was noted with his opinion and his points of view in the national public opinion. He entered politics in 2009 but he never stopped being a journalist, directing the newspaper Imagen de Zacatecas until his death.
The personality of the former director of El Economista for two decades cannot be understood without his insistence on giving young people opportunity and showing them the paths of opportunity, which was a constant in the newspaper’s writing.
“In 1988 I was in the last semester of the Communication Sciences and Journalism career at UNAM, and as part of my final grade in journalistic genres I had to deliver an interview, and Mr. Luis Enrique Mercado agreed to give me an interview. interview. He received me at his offices on Avenida Coyoacán. His assistant told me, “You have only 30 minutes,” which turned into almost a half hour. At the end I asked him why, being such a busy person, he had given me so much time to chat and do my school work, and he replied: “I like to support young people, and more if they are still studying.” This is how Gabriela Narváez Ovando, Head of Press and Media at the Universidad Panamericana describes it
Generations of graduates, first from the Septién, and later from other schools, went through the writing.
“I will always be grateful to Luis Enrique Mercado for taking by the hand the generation of journalists to which I belong,” said Cofece’s director of Social Communication, Gabriela Amador. “He always helped me, guided me, put me where there was a note, taught me to write without fear.”
And his colleagues also recognize him, such as Eduardo Ruiz-Healy, who shared his opinion about Luis Enrique Mercado.
“I have lost a very dear friend.
Luis Enrique Mercado was ahead of us. The Covid-19 took him 17 days after he also took his beloved sister Susi. That was the last time we talked.
For 25 years I had the privilege of having him in my programs at Grupo Fórmula. His comments on economic and political issues were always accurate, clear and often very funny because, in addition to extensive knowledge, Luis Enrique had a great sense of humor and a love of life that I have seen in very few ”.
For Luis Miguel González Márquez, editorial general director of El Economista, “more than the loss, the legacy of Luis Enrique Mercado as founder, mentor of generations of journalists, his vision and determination to influence public life, first since the pages of the newspaper and then in his role as legislator in the XLI federal legislature for the period 2009-2012 ”.