MEXICO. Mexico – Background Information. The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century.
The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century.
A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The nation continues to make an impressive recovery.
Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states.
The elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party. He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe Calderon.
Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the US
Climate: Varies from tropical to desert
Environment - Current Issues: Scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border
Religions: Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1%
Government type: Federal Republic
Capital – Mexico City
Independence Day – September 16th
President - Felipe De Jesus Calderon
President Felipe Calderon's tough new war on drug trafficking, which has sent thousands of Mexican Army troops into the countryside and a record number of drug suspects to the United States for trial, failed to quell violence in the first half of the year. http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/article/20070923/NEWS/709230415/1033/NEWS01
Federal crimes such as gangland-style murders and kidnappings have reached record levels. Mexico's murder rate now tops all others in the Western Hemisphere. The report, said that major federal crimes, which include homicides, kidnappings and arms trafficking, rose 25 percent in the first half of 2007 over the same period last year. In 2006, the same crimes had risen 22 percent over the previous year.
Gangland style executions have risen 155 percent since 2001, according to the congressional report. Crime has been on the rise in Mexico throughout the last decade as drug cartels battle for control of lucrative smuggling routes.
When left-wing guerrillas in Mexico bombed several pipelines in simultaneous attacks this month, it sent a shudder through that country's large oil and gas industry.
"Mexico's oil production is in decline. There's probably no way to stop it," said Mike Rodgers, an expert at one of the top oil industry consulting firms, PFC Energy in Houston.
Mexico is the second largest supplier of oil to the United States (about 1.5-million barrels a day). But output from its major fields is dwindling fast.. The country's known oil reserves will run out in nine years, the government says, potentially undermining the nation's oil-dependent budget.
Mexico's decline only adds more pressure to prices in a tight global oil market, which hit $83 a barrel Thursday. Worse still, its emptying wells are only a reflection of a global decline in aging oil fields around the world.
The fact that Mexico may be running out of oil should not alarm U.S. consumers in the short term, analysts say. The United States will most likely buy more from Canada, which is the nation's number one supplier.
But that may not be enough to keep pace with demand from growing economies such as China and India. In the long term, Mexico's problems are likely to be everyone's.
Although Mexico has problems within the country, it is still one of the most visited countries because of its beautiful beaches and vacation locations.