Eduardo Bours was born in Ciudad Obregon in Sonora, and is a part of the wealthiest family around, the Robinson Bours family.
“If you mention the name ‘Bours’ anywhere in Sonora, especially Obregon, anybody would know who they were,” Manuel Lopez-Loaiza, a UM student who was born and raised in Ciudad Obregon, said.
In his early career, Bours worked in the private sector, and even took part in negotiations representing the private sector in the NAFTA negotiations in 1994. Later on, Bours set his sights on government and was elected as a Senator for Sonora before withdrawing to run for governor with the PRI.
Bours was the governor of Sonora from 2003-2009 without the possibility of reelection, and has some mixed opinions about his efficiency while in office. Accusations of corruption and taking part in the narcotics trade rode rampant towards the end of his term as governor, and a fire at ABC Nursery that killed over 45 infants and toddlers, Bours did not pursue any other government position. Blamed with negligence, based on the lack of up to date fire safety equipment and questions regarding competence, Bours’ party lost the next election in Sonora and some believe the ABC incident was to blame.
During the six years Bours was in office, drug violence skyrocketed. He created a new police task force to deal with the violence, but the people he governed blamed Bours himself for the violence. Bours’ status as an economic powerhouse didn’t help his case against the accusations that he accepted money from cartels to transport drugs. Bours spent time with the social elite during his stint as governor, and purchased two Arabian horses at the end of his term, worth $500,000 each.
Bours was also blamed for driving away foreign business after he raised taxes in Sonora. Something that caused quite a ruckus in the state as well was Bours’ shutting down of strip clubs. Citing connections with drugs and prostitution, strip clubs were shut down in Sonora, although many have returned there are still none in Bours’ hometown of Obregon.
“The strippers protested outside his house, for like a week, because they didn’t want to have their paychecks taken away,” Loaiza said, mentioning that the strippers from the clubs protested the government-led shutdown of their workplaces.
“He did do some good things though,” Loaiza said. Bours invested in the education system, as well as updating highways and road systems in the state.
Bours worked for Bochoco, a poultry company in Mexico, for over fifteen years and was put on the board of directors until 1992. One of the allegations against Bours was that he used to smuggle drugs inside of frozen poultry, possibly using this company to do so while he was in office.