How serious is corruption in Mexico?

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May 122012
 

Recent allegations of bribery related to Wal-Mart de México beg two questions:

  • How serious is corruption in Mexico?
  • How does corruption in Mexico compare to that of other countries?

Fortunately for us, these questions have been comprehensively investigated by Transparency International (TI), a global civil society organization dedicated to reducing corruption. TI defines corruption as “abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.

Its recent study, “Corruption Perceptions Index 2011” focuses on “perceptions” because corruption is a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) draws on a wide array of surveys and polls of international experts, business opinion surveys and country residents. It is based on 17 data sources from 13 different institutions. The focus is on bribery, kickbacks and embezzlement involving politicians, public officials and civil servants. Anti-corruption efforts are also considered.

Given the difficulties associated with measuring and interpreting corruption, the CPI has received considerable criticism. (For example, see this Wikipedia entry on  Corruption Perceptions Index). Despite this criticism, the CPI provides a viable approach to comparing corruption in various countries.

According to this index, perceived corruption in Mexico has become considerably worse in the past few years. In terms of freedom from corruption, Mexico’s 2011 score of 3.0 ranks it below the middle, in rank #100 out of 182 countries, tied with 11 other countries including Argentina and Indonesia. It is interesting to note that some individual Asian, African, European and Latin American countries are considerably ahead of Mexico (see table), but others are considerably behind.

CountryRank CountryRank CountryRank
New Zealand1South Africa64Argentina100=
Canada10Italy69=Indonesia100=
UK16Ghana69=Egypt112
Chile22Brazil73Guatemala120
USA24China75Nigeria143=
South Korea43Colombia80Russia143=
Saudi Arabia57India95Venezuela172
Turkey61MEXICO100=Somalia182

Within Latin America, Mexico is far better than Venezuela, Haiti and Paraguay. However, it is way behind Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Brazil. As a regional leader, Mexico should do much better in terms of corruption.

Back in 2008, Mexico’s score of 3.6 placed it significantly above the middle. It was then ahead of Brazil, India, China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey; now it trails these five countries. Why Mexico’s score has dropped significantly since 2008 is not exactly clear, but is probably related to the escalation of the drug wars.

Mexico has signed several multilateral anti-corruption agreements, and recently passed a stiff anti-corruption law. However, legal instruments alone will not reduce corruption in Mexico, according to Emilio Godoy in his article Tangled Web of Corruption Debilitates Mexico (IPS, 10 May 2012). What is needed is aggressive government action as well as dramatic cultural changes among public and private sector officials. This will not be easy, given the existing long-established systems based on patronage, nepotism, cronyism and organized crime.

If Mexico is going to continue attracting foreign investment and experience economic and social growth in the years ahead, it will have to do much better with respect to its level of corruption.

Mexico’s political system at the state and municipal levels

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Apr 072012
 

In a previous post – Mexico’s political system: the basics – we looked at the country’s federal political system. In this post, we look at how the political system works at the two other levels of government: state and municipal.

According to the Constitution of 1917, powers not granted to the Federal Government are reserved for the states. State constitutions roughly mirror the federal constitution. Each state has a popularly elected governor who serves one six-year term and cannot be re-elected. The popularly elected members of the state chamber of deputies serve three-year terms. Non-sequential re-election is permitted. Governors generally have more power than the chamber of deputies. State governments depend on the Federal government for much of their revenue, some of which they funnel to municipal governments. Each state has a Supreme Court of Justice with judges appointed by the state governor.

States are divided into municipalities. There are currently 2458 municipalities (counting Mexico City’s delegaciones or boroughs as municipios) which vary greatly in size and population. For example, the average population of Oaxaca’s 570 municipalities is about 6000 while the average population of Baja California’s five municipalities is over 500,000. Each municipality elects a new president and local council every three years.

Municipal governments have taxing authority but rely very heavily on financial support from state and federal sources. Municipalities are responsible for a variety of public services, including water and sewerage; street lighting and maintenance, trash collection and disposal, public safety and traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses, and maintenance of parks, gardens and cemeteries. Municipalities are also free to assist state and federal governments in the provision of elementary education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and the maintenance of historical landmarks.

Mar 312012
 

In a few months time, Mexicans go to the polls to elect a new President. Just how does the Mexican political system work? As a build-up to the important federal elections coming shortly, this post looks at the background to Mexico’s political system and provides a quick summary of the federal level of government. A future post will look at the state and municipal levels.

The current political system in Mexico derives from the Constitution of 1917 which emerged from the Mexican Revolution. The Constitution is a sweeping document that captures the ideals of the Revolution, but also reflects three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. The Constitution is “revolutionary” in that it aggressively protects the rights of workers, peasants and their organizations. It guarantees the right to organize, an eight-hour work day, the rights of female and child workers, and the payment of a minimum wage sufficient to satisfy the necessities of life. The colonial influences are evidenced by highly codified civil law, acceptance of heavy state involvement in civic affairs and business, and the relative strength of the executive over other branches of government. Another important influence is Mexico’s 19th century history which included foreign military occupations, loss of half the national territory and several virtual dictatorships.

The government of the United Mexican States has three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The executive branch is by far the most important and most powerful. The President serves a six-year term, may never be re-elected, and appoints the 18 cabinet secretaries who run their respective secretariats or ministries. The full cabinet meets only rarely. Legislation must be signed by the President to become law. Though the legislature may override a veto, the Constitution dictates that laws can only be enacted after being signed by the President. The President has the power to issue basic rules (reglamentos) independent of the legislature. In fact, most Presidents unilaterally issue more Mexican laws than are passed by the legislature.

The legislature consists of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. The 128 senators serve the same six-year term as the President and cannot be re-elected. Each state and the Federal District has two senators from the party getting the most votes in that state and one from the party getting the second most votes.

These 96 senators do not represent equal numbers of constituents. Smaller states have greater representation. For example, in the State of Mexico there are about 4.7 million people per senator whereas in Baja California Sur there are only about 170,000 people per senator. The remaining 32 senators are elected by proportional representation based on the percentage of the national vote obtained by each party. These senators do not have geographical constituents.

There are 500 deputies in the Chamber. Geographic districts directly elect 300 deputies; the remaining 200 are elected by proportional representation. A party must win at least 2% of the national vote to get a deputy in the Chamber. They serve three-year terms and cannot be re-elected.

The ban against re-election means that every three years there is an entirely new Chamber of Deputies. Every six years Mexico has a new President and all new legislators. The ban on re-election diminishes the continuity as well as the overall experience and expertise of Mexican government at all levels.

The judiciary is divided into federal courts and state courts. The federal courts have jurisdiction over constitutional issues, most civil cases (contracts, labor issues, banking and commerce) as well as major felonies (bank robberies, kidnapping), except murder. State courts handle murders, divorces and minor felonies. The Supreme Court consists of 26 judges, selected by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Legally, they serve for life but actually submit their resignation to the new President every six years. Below the Supreme Court are four chambers of judges dealing with criminal, civil, labor and administrative issues. There are 16 federal circuit courts and 68 district courts.

Four new municipalities change the map of Chiapas

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Jan 142012
 

The Chiapas state government has redrawn the map of its municipal boundaries to create four new municipalities (municipios), bringing the number in the state to 122. The four new municipalities are:

1. Belisario Domínguez (formerly part of the municipality of Cintalapa de Figueroa). The new municipio aims to resolve a long-standing agrarian conflict over land and forest rights with San Miguel Chimalapa and Santa María Chimalapa, both in neighboring Oaxaca. The municipal seat of the new municipality is Rodulfo Figueroa. The municipality also includes the settlements of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, La Hondonada, San Marcos, Montebello and Flor de Chiapas.

2. Emiliano Zapata is the new municipality responsible for the 20 de Noviembre ejido, formerly part of the Villa de Acala municipality.

3. El Parral, previously the largest settlement in Chiapas that was not a municipal seat, now becomes the municipal seat for the El Parral ejido, formerly part of the Villacorzo municipality.

4. Mezcalapa is a new municipality which serves the settlement of Raudales Malpaso, cut off decades ago from its former municipal seat of Tecpatán by the construction of a reservoir.

The total number of municipalities (municipios) in Mexico is currently 2,458. Note that this figure includes the 16 delegaciones (boroughs) of Mexico City which, while technically not municipalities, do have significant autonomy.

The diffusion of violence in Mexico since the early 1980s

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Nov 122011
 

Today, we take a quick look at Mexico, the Un-Failed State: A Geography Lesson, published on the InSight Crime website. InSight Crime’s stated objective is “to increase the level of research, analysis and investigation on organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

diffusion of violence in Mexico

Credit: InSightcrime.org

Gary Moore, the author of Mexico, the Un-Failed State: A Geography Lesson, considers some of the claims made recently about Mexico being a “failed state”, where parts of the country are effectively no longer under government control. As the title of article suggests, Moore does not find evidence to support these claims.

His position is set out early in the article when he writes that, “The statements are all serious assessments of an elusive reality. The violence in today’s Mexico forms a twilight zone. It is not an all-consuming apocalypse, but it is also not the relative peace of Mexico a generation ago.”

The article is illustrated by three maps, “snapshots” of the situation in the early 1980s, in 2006-2008 and in 2011. While these appear to show that there has been a significant expansion of violence across Mexico in recent years, some caution is needed since the evidence used for each map is entirely different.

Moore’s article is a useful overview of how and why violence has diffused across much of Mexico since President Felipe Calderón declared a “war on drugs” in December 2006. It is, though, only an overview. There are significant local differences even within those states (such as Tamaulipas and Chihuahua) which are considered to be among the worst for drug violence in the country.

Few analysts would disagree with the article’s concluding statements that:

“In the 1970s it was natural to assume that these throwback “bandido” areas were shrinking and would soon disappear, as the march of development brought education, opportunity and civilization.”

“The harsh news from the drug war is that the reverse has occurred. The landscape of no-go zones has swelled across Mexico, as at no time since the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920.”

The Mexican Revolution threw Mexico into convulsions for more than a decade, and the war on drugs looks set to last at least as long.

Related posts:

 

Aug 222011
 

The proposed implementation of a United Nations-supported carbon storage program (REDD) in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is provoking plenty of controversy. The debate is hotting up because a follow-up program called REDD+ is due to start in 2012. A good summary of the situation is provided by REDD rag to indigenous forest dwellers.

What is REDD?

  • REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
  • It is a carbon storage program, started in 2008 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • It aims to conserve biodiversity and boost carbon storage by preventing deforestation and by replanting forests
  • It is focused on developing countries, and provides them wih funds and technical support

At first glance, it would seem like a good fit for Chiapas, one of Mexico’s poorest states, where a high proportion of the population are reliant on subsistence farming. The Chiapas state government backs REDD, considering it as one way of helping mitigate the likely consequences of climate change in the state. Chiapas’ total emissions of carbon dioxide amount to 32 million metric tons/year, about 4.5% of the national figure. The Chiapas contribution comes mainly from deforestation and farming.

NGOs working in Chiapas warn that REDD poses a serious threat to indigenous people. About 20% of the 4.8 million people living in Chiapas belong to one or other of the state’s numerous indigenous groups. Land tenure in many parts of Chiapas is hotly disputed; this was one of the reasons for the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) uprising in 1994.

Protests in support of indigenous rights, Cancún climate summit

Protests in support of indigenous rights, Cancún climate summit, 2010

Miguel García, a spokesperson for an NGO founded in 1991 which supports indigenous groups and protects the environment, has been quoted as saying that REDD “will alter indigenous culture, will commodify it, giving commercial value to common assets like oxygen, water and biodiversity.” He is especially concerned that “resentment of and confrontation with the Zapatista grassroots supporters are being accentuated.”

As with so many geographic issues, there is no easy “right answer” here. The rights of indigenous groups need to be respected and their views taken into account, before any decision is made about the value of their forest home to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

This is one controversy we plan to follow as it plays out in coming months.

Want to read more?

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The troubled rise of the Green Movement in Mexico

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Aug 012011
 

Two specific events helped stimulate the rapid growth of Mexico’s green movement in the 1980s:

These motivated many citizens to take direct action. Membership in Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) surged, as “green brigades” aided the victims. Two months after the earthquake, representatives from 300 regional groups met and formed a coalition of green groups focused on issues such as deforestation, pollution, and opposition to nuclear power. The 1992 Rio UN Environmental Summit and opposition to NAFTA (because it neglected environmental issues) provided additional stimulus to the movement.

The number of ENGOs increased from fewer than 30 in 1985 to about 500 by 1997 when about one in twenty Mexicans was a member of an ENGO.  The ENGOs had highly professional staffs and were well funded from Mexican and international sources. Through demonstrations and militant actions they successfully stopped the construction of a half billion dollar tourism complex south of Mexico City and the proposed world’s largest salt mine in Baja California. They also were significant in the passage of new laws for environmental protection, reducing deforestation, protecting wildlife, and establishing protected areas.

Vicente Fox, the PAN/Green Party candidate, won the Presidency in 2000.  His Minister of the Environment, Víctor Lichtinger, brought scores of highly qualified fellow key ENGO leaders into the administration. While this put the nation’s leading environmentalists on the inside, it also essentially “decapitated” and deflated the ENGO movement, especially its more militant members. Despite these key appointments, Fox’s administration gave relatively low priority to environmental issues. When Fox sided with tourism investors, and decided against issuing a detailed analytical report on beach pollution, Lichtinger and many of his senior staff resigned. They mostly moved to international or academic positions and consequently did not rejuvenate the leadership of the ENGOs they had left.

Green party logo

Green party logo

For the 2006 election, the Green Party formed an alliance with PRI and came in a weak third. The party, which has suffered from despotism, bribery and violation of election laws, managed to elect 22 diputados in the 2009 election. The Calderón Presidency has obtained good environmental marks for its leadership in global warming; however its comprehensive tree-planting program has received some criticism. Current ENGO activity is focused less on high profile mass mobilizations and protests, and more on specific issues such as legislative  lobbying, public awareness, climate change, energy issues, water, deforestation, biodiversity, recycling and local tree=planting and clean-up campaigns.

Main source: Jordi Díez, “The Rise and Fall of Mexico’s Green Movement”, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 85, October 2008, 81-99.

Mexico’s environmental issues are analyzed in many chapters of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico, including chapter 30. Explore the book using Amazon.com’s Look Inside feature and buy your copy today!

Resistance to government-sponsored change in Chiapas, Mexico

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Oct 292010
 

Kudos to the the New Mexico-based Grassroots Press, for the enticing title “Weaving Webs of Resistance in Chiapas” on an article by Crystal Massey and Rebecca Wiggins. The article reports on a visit to Chiapas earlier this year by a small group from the Las Cruces-Chiapas Connection (since renamed Weaving for Justice), which helps weaving cooperatives in Chiapas market their products through fair trade.

maya-weavers

One of the groups they visited was Tsobol Antzetik (Women United). They describe how these villagers have to carry fresh water (for cooking, washing, drinking) across the village from near the local school. Despite being in one of the wettest regions of the country, they have no easily accessible potable water source.

Some of the women of Tsobol Antzetik belong to Abejas, a Catholic social justice organization founded in 1992, while others are active supporters of the Zapatistas (EZLN). None of the women accepts handouts from the “corrupt” federal government. This means that they refuse any of the possible benefits from Oportunidades, Mexico’s flagship poverty-fighting program, which helps about 60% of all families in Chiapas. The women believe that Oportunidades “hand outs” are a way for the federal government to control the  rural population, and prefer to avoid being politically compromised.

The article quotes sociologist Molly Talcott, who describes Oportunidades as “…essentially sterilizing women and attempting to contain women’s resistances [sic] by enlisting them in a small cash assistance program, which in these times, is badly needed.” Critics of Oportunidades claim that its health care workers are asked to meet sterilization quotas.

The marketing of woven items from Chiapas is an alternative way for women such as those in Tsobol Antzetik and their families to boost household incomes. This is where the Las Cruces-Chiapas Connection comes in. They help market the items in the USA and hope their help will offer an alternative to migration in search of employment to rapidly-growing cities such as Cancún or even into the USA.

The article goes on to examine another much publicized development project aimed at improving the situation in Chiapas, the Mesoamerica Project (formerly known as Plan Puebla Panamá). A side effect of this project has been to force some indigenous people off their traditional land to clear the way for major high-budget, capitalist construction projects.

One of the many strategies bandied about as part of the Mesoamerica Project is the forced relocation of rural Chiapas Indians into what the government calls “sustainable rural cities”, a phrase which suggests a less-than-clear grasp of geography! These would enable easier provision of modern services such as education and health care. In turn, they would “free up” potentially productive land that could then be used for agro-industrial plantations (flowers, tropical fruits, specialist timber, coffee). The major downside of such a proposal would be the demise of an ancient subsistence lifestyle, and an end to the food security previously enjoyed by thousands of Maya families.

Opposition to the Mesoamerica Project has already led to unrest and violent reprisals. It is still far from clear what the eventual outcome of the Mesoamerica Project will be.

Related news: Up to now, Oportunidades has focused almost entirely on rural areas. However, the Interamerican Development Bank recently approved a loan of 800 million dollars to extend the program to marginalized families in urban areas.

To learn more about the evolution of PPP and the idea of “rural cities”, see the three-part article by Dr. Japhy Wilson, who lectures in international politics at the University of Manchester in the UK:

  • The New Phase of the Plan Puebla Panama in Chiapas, Part One
  • Part Two
  • Part Three

Mexico’s indigenous groups, social geography and development issues are analyzed in various chapters of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Buy your copy today, and learn more about Mexico’s fascinating geography. Additional knowledge will greatly enhance the pleasures you derive during your next trip to Mexico.

President Zedillo’s political reforms brought real democracy in Mexico

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Oct 272010
 

A previous post focused on the economic reforms of President Ernesto Zedillo, 1994-2000. This article discusses his very important political reforms.

1994 was a very important and difficult year for Mexico. It started with the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, which the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Insititucional) government brutally put down, infuriating many Mexicans and leading to giant protest demonstrations against the PRI. Liberation theology was gaining strength and blaming PRI for human rights abuses as well as the impoverishment of the Mexican people. Furthermore, the economy was slipping into a severe crisis.

Following tradition, President Salinas personally selected Donaldo Colosio to succeed him as the PRI President of Mexico. While other parties nominated candidates, PRI had held an iron grip on the Presidency and Mexican politics for over 60 years.

In March 1994 the PRI presidential candidate Colosio was assassinated in Tijuana. The PRI was held responsible for all the country’s problems and Salinas was in a very difficult spot. Old PRI hard-liners (“dinosaurs”) pressed Salinas to name one of them as the next president, but Salinas knew he had to select a “clean” candidate that would help the PRI regain some credibility. Salinas selected as the replacement, Colosio’s young campaign manager and technocrat Ernesto Zedillo. Zedillo, the “accidental president”, easily won the relatively fair 1994 election.

Zedillo was dedicated to political reform. He took dramatic steps to counter corruption. Apparently not trusting anyone within his own PRI party, he appointed as his Attorney General, Antonio Lozano Gracia from the opposition PAN party. Lozano aggressively prosecuted and indicted numerous senior PRI officials, including Salinas’ brother, on a variety of corruption charges. In 1995 Zedillo replaced the country’s entire Supreme Court, which then began to rule against PRI dominated government agencies on a regular basis. Zedillo implemented reforms which separated the ruling PRI party from the Government of Mexico, thus terminating the practice of using government agencies and revenues to support PRI political campaigns.

Zedillo initiated multiparty talks on political reform and began transferring some power away from his own office and toward Mexico’s Congress and 31 states. He made the Federal Elections Commission more transparent by increasing the oversight and participation by opposition parties. He reformed the law giving the President the power to appoint the Mayor of Mexico City, who henceforth would be popularly elected.

These reforms brought dramatic change to local, state, and national elections in July 1997. The opposition PDR party candidate for Mexico City mayor, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, garnered nearly 50% of the vote and was elected, defeating the PRI candidate by a wide margin. Opposition party candidates also swept several state governorships. Most significantly, the PRI lost control of the lower house of the Mexican Congress for the first time in history. Finally, after almost 70 years of PRI domination, Mexico was becoming a real democracy and the Mexican public rejoiced in their new democratic powers.

Zedillo decided not to personally select his successor in the traditional way. Instead, the PRI would hold a national primary enabling the voters to select the next PRI presidential candidate. He also loosened the PRI government’s grip on the media, opening the door to more objective political reporting. Under Zedillo’s watch, Mexico enjoyed a clean and fair election in the summer of 2000 which, for the first time in over 70 years, elected a non-PRI candidate as President in the person of Vicente Fox of PAN.

The reforms of the Zedillo Administration largely leap-frogged Mexico from an economically-unstable, single party state, to a relatively modern 21st century multiparty democracy. President Ernesto Zedillo is distinguished from his predecessors by his integrity, vision, and for doing what was best for Mexico, not for himself, his cronies, or his political party. Ernesto Zedillo was and is an inspiration to his country and the world. Everyone living in Mexico owes him a great debt of gratitude for modernizing Mexico’s economy and democracy as well as making Mexico a far better place.

Chapter 12 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico discusses the political map of Mexico. Buy your copy today to have a handy reference guide to all major aspects of Mexico’s geography!

President Zedillo’s reforms stabilized the Mexican economy

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Oct 202010
 

President Ernesto Zedillo (in office from 1994 to 2000) took unprecedented steps that set the stage for Mexico’s 21st century economy. Before discussing Zedillo’s economic reforms, it is useful to review the recent history of Mexico’s economy.

Following the fifty year “Mexican Miracle” of unprecedented economic growth and low inflation, the economy entered some very tough times in the early 1980s. Assuming high oil prices would continue, Mexico borrowed very heavily and could not pay its debts when oil prices plunged in 1981-82 and interest rates rose dramatically. The government suspended debt payments, devalued the peso by 500%, and nationalized the banks. The “lost decade” of the 1980s was an economic disaster, with inflation rates over 100% and economic growth hovering around 1%.

Economic growth improved a bit the early 1990s but President Salinas was forced to introduce strict price controls in an attempt to curb inflation. With a fixed exchange rate, the peso soon became severely overvalued. Then in January 1994, Zapatistas in Chiapas rebelled against the national government. Two month later, PRI Presidential candidate Donaldo Colosio was assassinated in Tijuana. Salinas selected as his replacement, Colosio’s campaign manager and technocrat Ernesto Zedillo, a Yale PhD Economist who had previously been a university professor, Minister of Planning and Budget as well as Minister of Education. Zedillo easily won the relatively fair 1994 election and was called the “accidental president” because he never sought the presidency and never previously held elected office.

Upon assuming office, Zedillo faced an impending severe economic crisis. As was customary, Salinas in his last year had spent very lavishly, severely aggravating the government deficit. The economic crisis of 1995 was characterized by a deep recession, hyperinflation, widespread bankruptcies, serious unemployment and soaring interest rates. He floated the peso which quickly moved from 4.0 to 7.2 to the US dollar.

President Clinton orchestrated a controversial $48 billion bail-out loan which eased the crisis. Conditions of the loan required very stiff and unpopular austerity measures including a 50% income tax hike, reduced public spending, privatizing some state-owned enterprises, and making the Central Bank of Mexico more independent from politics. Zedillo effectively implemented these reforms, knowing they were the best for Mexico’s future though they seriously hurt his public popularity.

The bailout reforms succeeded, the economy stabilized and began to grow, averaging over 5% between 1996 and 2000. Mexico repaid the bailout loan three years before its due date. During the crisis and throughout his term, Zedillo supported and expanded Mexico’s free trade (globalization) agenda.

The Mexican economy is now far more stable than is was in the years prior to the Zedillo reforms. Mexico appears to be completely beyond the self-inflicted economic crises it experienced in the late 20th century. The 2008-09 recession was serious but was completely beyond the control of Mexico. The Mexican economy appears to be recovering nicely in 2010.

Chapters 14 through 20 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico discuss the components and characteristics of Mexico’s economy. Buy your copy today to have a handy reference guide to all major aspects of Mexico’s geography!