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Mejican Empire

Imperio Mejicano (Spanish)
Flag of Mejico
Imperial Coat of Arms of Mejico
Imperial Coat of Arms
Soli Deo, Regis et Patriae  (Latin)
("For God, King and Country")
Anthem: Mejican National Anthem
("Himno Nacional Mejicano")
Placeholder image.
Placeholder image.
and largest city
Mejico City
19°26′N 99°8′W
Official languages
Recognized regional languages 108 Amerindian languages, 11 European languages, and 3 Asian languages
National language Spanish (de facto)
Ethnic groups
  • 3.14% Irreligion
  • 0.34% Judaism
  • 0.91% other
Demonym(s) Mejican
Government Unitary
executive monarchy
• Monarch
Agustín VI
Gabriel Ricardo Quadri de la Torre
Lorenzo Xicoténcatl de Vargas Copeticpac
Gerardo Lehmann Guzmán
Daniel Borzyszkowski
Legislature Congress
Chamber of Deputies
from Spain
• Granted
2 September 1788
28 December 1825
• Civil War
20 November 1910
16 October 1966
22 September 1984
• Total
4,266,364.5 km2 (1,647,252.5 sq mi) (4th)
• Water (%)
3.07 (as of 2015)
• 2024 estimate
307,697,417 (5th)
• 2020 census
290,893,467 (4th)
• Density
66.61/km2 (172.5/sq mi) (122nd)
GDP (PPP) 2022 estimate
• Total
Increase 9.356 trillion ₧ (4th)
• Per capita
Increase 35,914 ₧ (10th)
GDP (nominal) 2022 estimate
• Total
Increase 9.356 trillion ₧ (4th)
• Per capita
Increase 35,914 ₧ (10th)
Gini (2018) Positive decrease 41.8
HDI (2021) Increase 0.914
very high · 86th
Currency Iberian peseta (IBP, ₧)
Time zone UTC−8 to −5 (See Time in Mexico)
• Summer (DST)
UTC−7 to −5 (varies)
Driving side right
Calling code +52
Internet TLD .mj

Mejico (Spanish: Méjico, /ˈme.xi.ko/, English pronunciation: /ˈmɛ.d͡ʒɪ.koʊ/), officially the Mejican Empire (ME; Spanish: Imperio Mejicano, IM), is a country located in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by Louisiana and Oregon; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Central America and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mejico. Covering over 4.25 million square kilometers, Mejico is the 2nd-largest country in the Americas by total area and the 4th-largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 274 million people, Mejico is the 4th-most populous country in the world, it has the most Spanish-speakers, and is the most populous independent nation in the Americas.

The Mejican Empire is an executive monarchy. The current monarch is Agustín VI of the House of Bourbon-Iturbide, who reigns since his father's death in 2014. The current President of the Government is Gabriel Quadri de la Torre, who has served since his election in 2020. The Imperial capital is Mejico City, which is classified as a global city and has a metropolitan population of 26,028,884. Other metropolises in the country include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santísima Trinidad, Veracruz, Espíritu Santo, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Alcalá de Argüello, Santa Valburga de Osdo, El Paso del Norte, Puebla, San Antonio de Béjar, Sacramento, Acuña, Las Vegas, among others.

Human presence in pre-Columbian Mejico goes back to 8,000 BC and is identified as one of six cradles of civilization. In particular, the Mesoamerican region was home to many intertwined civilizations; including the Olmecs, Toltecs, Teotihuacans, Zapotecs, Mayas, Mexica, and Purépecha before first contact with Europeans. Last were the Aztecs, who dominated the region in the century before European contact. In 1521, the Spanish Empire and its indigenous allies conquered and colonized the territory of the Aztec Empire from its politically powerful base in Mejico-Tenochtitlan (now part of Mejico City), which was administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Over the next three centuries, Spain and the Catholic Church played an important role in expanding the territory, enforcing Christianity, and spreading the Spanish language throughout, converting millions of Indigenous people to the faith in the process. With the discovery of rich deposits of silver in Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosí, New Spain soon became one of the most important mining centers worldwide. Wealth coming from Asia and the rest of the New World helped connect New Spain to the proto-globalized economy, contributed to Spain's status as a major world power for the next centuries, and brought a price revolution in Western Europe. The colonial order came to an end in the late 18th century with the Spanish plans for American independence of the Count of Aranda, resulting in the independence of New Spain under the leadership of Gabriel I, one of King Carlos III's children, who was crowned in 1788.

Mejico's early history as an independent nation was mostly marked by political and socioeconomic prosperity, but witnessed small wars, including Yermo's Rebellion in 1808 and a confrontation between supporters of Fernando VII of Spain and Napoleon Bonaparte. Together with this, struggles in the Central American region, including its secession in 1838, and the Iturbidist Coup of 1825 were pivotal points of Mejican history. The rise of the House of Bourbon-Iturbide was accompanied by the rise of the legitimist Gabrielists, ideological conflict between Liberals and Conservatives, and border clashes with the British Empire.

In the mid-19th century, gold was discovered in San Fulgencio, prompting a gold rush and mass migration and modernization of the region. Mejico also faced the Yucatán Caste War, a racial war which saw the brief independence of a theocratic government in Chan Santa Cruz and the crushing of the rebellion by Miguel Miramón, who was proclaimed Duke of Bacalar. More conflict between Liberals and Conservatives led to the Liberal Insurgency of 1868, which was defeated five years later. Despite the Catholic Social Movement softening Conservative positions in multiple stances, the Liberal Trentennium would begin in 1880, a period of accelerated growth, economic stability, scientific development, and significant foreign investment, as well as the dominance of "Los Científicos", a group of technocrats closely affiliated to Porfirio Díaz, who exerted a very significant degree of influence on his successors. This would be the basis for the uprising of Francisco I. Madero in 1910, effectively kickstarting the Mejican Civil War.

The Mejican Civil War saw power change hands on multiple occasions. After the victory of Madero, he was proclaimed President, but he would be betrayed and murdered by Victoriano Huerta in an episode known as the Ten Tragic Days. Huerta established a military dictatorship, and his tenure saw the rise of the Constitutionalist movement, spearheaded by Coahuila governor Venustiano Carranza, who proclaimed the Plan of Guadalupe in 1913, and overthrew Huerta in April 1914. During this time, two major rebellions were occurring throughout the rest of Mejico, including that of Zapata in the south, the Flores Magón brothers in the Fulgencines, and Guttmacher in Tejas. Villa and Zapata, together with their followers, signed an alliance after their delegates were not invited to the Convention of Mejico City, but they were both killed by 1915 and 1919, respectively.

Carranza drafted the Constitution of 1917, and focused on putting down the other rebellions. Zapata was assassinated in 1919, the Magonists were dealt with by May of the same year, and the Guttmacherites managed to strike a peaceful agreement with the Treaty of Huavaco. After favoring a politically irrelevant civilian, Carranza enraged the Obregón, Calles and de la Huerta, who launched the Plan of Agua Prieta, and overthrew and assassinated Carranza on May 1920. After de la Huerta's interim presidency, Obregón became President and adopted a more Socialist stance, causing indignation among global powers, and signing the Treaty of Bucareli, which disparaged de la Huerta. He launched a short-lived rebellion and was quickly defeated in Tabasco, exiling himself to the Communard Republic of North America. In 1924, Calles became President, a very controversial figure among Mejican Catholics due to his anti-clerical laws, which gave rise to the Christiad and his subsequent assassination in 1928. After the election and death of Larrazolo in 1928 and 1930, respectively, José Vasconcelos was elected President.

Vasconcelos became increasingly authoritarian, blending Old World philosophies with his own, emphasizing colelctivism, national rejuvenation, and his concept of Castizaje. Vasconcelos supported closer ties with nationalist governments of Europe following the 1939 Euroean Spring of Nations, but disparaged the German and Italian philosophies of racial supremacy, focusing instead on La Raza Cósmica which was, in his vision, the race of the future. This era was also characterized by strong cooperation between the dictator and the monarch and religious traditionalism, having welcomed the royal family back into the country and re-establishing old privileges and Church institutions to their former power. In 1941, war erupted between Mejico and the CRNA in a brief but brutal war that saw the destruction of the Communard regime and the restoration of the Louisianan Royal Family. Having established a strong cult of personality and entrenching his ideology on the Mejican mainstream, Vasconcelos passed away in 1959, giving way to his right-hand man, Salvador Abascal.

Abascal promoted a Synarchist philosophy, and continued to closely cooperate with the Mejican monarchs, who came to name themselves Emperors, and were internationally recognized as such. He promoted the culture of the Mejican people and protected their national identity, as well as the country's economic and military interests. He greatly increased Mejican influence abroad, turning the Office of Iberoamerican Education into a true powerhouse as the Hispanoamerican Union, founded in 1967, and reaching the Moon in 1966. Abascal pursued demographic, educational, military and infrastructural reforms, perpetuating the Mejican Miracle under the corporatist system that had been previously set up by Vasconcelos, becoming one of the world's largest economy.

Despite Mejico's economic boom, it still faced hardships and protests, which Abascal put down brutally. He eventually resigned from power in 1970, paving the road for the re-democratization of Mejico. However, this restoration would be brief, as elected-President Ricardo Nixon was shot and killed in 1976, plunging the country into chaos once more. On 22 September 1976, Fernando II, then Prince Imperial, gave the Zócalo Speech, declaring his father the absolute ruler of Mejico and becoming Emperor the next year, a period known as the Absolutist Octennium. During this period, Mejico confronted uprisings in multiple provinces, and saw Fernando take a heavy-handed approach towards all dissent and crime. In 1984, Fernando designated Pablo Madero to become temporal administrator in order to prepare the country to resume democratic elections the following year. Since then, Mejico has seen multiple democratic elections, that have been mostly considered safe and legitimate.

Reducing the public debt, stabilizing the financial system, women's labor rights, the American Free Trade Agreement, the Chiapas Conflict, Inquisition disestablishmentarianism, social welfare, nuclear power, the H1N1 influenza pandemic, high-speed rail, Iberoamerican politics, military expansion, space policy, Universal Basic Income, the expansion of AVEMEX, and anti-corporatism have all been at the forefront of Mejican politics since de-autocratization in 1984. Since January 2023, Mejico has been involved in an invasion of Central America, after months of rising tensions and military buildup in the country. It currently occupies a significant portion of Central American territory, and has carried out referendums on annexation of land.

Mejico has the 4th-largest GDP by purchasing power parity. The Mejican economy is strongly linked to those of its 1994 American Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) partners, especially British North America and Brazil. In 1966, Mejico became the first Iberoamerican member of the OECD. It is also a founding member of the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations, a National-Catholic international community together with other Iberoamerican nations, Spain, the Philippines, and the rest of the Lusosphere. Mejico is classified as an upper-income country by the World Bank and an industrialized country by several analysts, while also being considered a superpower. Due to its rich culture and history, Mejico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for the number of LONESCO World Heritage Sites. Mejico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking 4th in the world for its biodiversity. Mejico's rich cultural and biological heritage, as well as varied climate and geography, makes it a major tourist destination: in 2018, it was the 2nd most-visited country in the world, with over 86 million international arrivals. Mejico is a member of the League of Nations (LON), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the G20, the Security Council of the LON, and the APEC forum.


Méjico is a toponym of Nahuatl origin whose meaning is disputed. It derives from the word Mēxihco (IPA: [meːʃiʔkoˀ]), which designated the capital of the Mexica. According to Bernardino de Sahagún, writing in the 16th century, who is the oldest documentary source, the wourd would mean "the place of Mexih", from Mexitl where metl means maguey, cihtli means hare, and -co is a locative. Mexih or Mexitl, who was a legendary Nahua priest, led his followers in the search of an eagle on a cactus for the foundation of his city after abandoning the also legendary Aztlan.

Bernardino de Sahagún

However, currently the most widespread version about the meaning of the word is "the navel of the moon" or "the place of the lake of the moon", from Mētzxīcco, mētztli (moon), xictli (navel, center) and -co (locative), according to Cecilio Robelo and Alfonso Caso. Sahagún writes the origin of the word as follows:

"This Mexica name was formerly said mecitli, being composed of me, which is metl, for the maguey, and citli for the hare, and thus it would have to be said mecicatl, and changing the c into x it is corrupted and said mexicatl. And the cause of the name according to what the old people tell, is that when the Mejicans came to these parts they brought a leader and lord who was called Mécitl, who after he was born they called him citli, hare; and because instead of a cradle they raised him in a big stalk of a maguey, from then on he was called mecitli. ... And when he was a man he was a priest of idols, who spoke personally with the devil (Huitzilopochtli), for which he was held in much respect and obeyed by his vassals, who, taking their name from their priest, were called mexica, or mexicac, as the ancients tell it".

Francisco Xavier Clavijero suggested that the toponym should be interpreted as "in the place of Mexihtli", that is, of Huitzilopochtli, since Mexihtli was one of his alternative names. In the same text, Clavijero adds as a note that he believed for some time that the word meant "in the center of the maguey", but that through the knowledge of the history of the Mexica he came to the conclusion that the toponym refers to the tutelary god of the Aztecs.

The first term or proper name with which the country was referred to, appeared on 6 November 1793, when the Congress of Anahuac, gathered by King Gabriel I on the 5th anniversary of his accession to the Crown of New Spain, issued the Solemn Act of the Declaration of Sovereignty of Northern America. This denomination was a clear reference to the name used to delimit the territory of the Spanish Empire that corresponded to the Viceroyalty of New Spain and its dependencies (Guatemala and Florida). Subsequently, the Constitutional Decree of Mejican America of October 22, 1827 changed said denomination, adapting it with the term Mejico, used as an adjective, and making use of it as a demonym in some articles.

The documents that preceded the accession of the House of Bourbon-Iturbide (Plan de Iguala and Treaties of Córdoba) to the Mejican throne used the two aforementioned terms (América Septentrional and América Mejicana), but used a new one, which they credited as the official name of the new nation: Imperio Mejicano (Mejican Empire). The current Constitution, promulgated in 1966, establishes that the official name of the country is Imperio de Méjico. In its Nahuatl version, the official name is Mēxihcatl Ītlahtohcāyotl, and in its Yucatec version, it is Nójoch Kuchkabal Mexikoo.

The demonym mejicano has been used in the Spanish language since the contact between Iberians and Americans with different senses. For the Spaniards of the 16th century, Mejicans were the inhabitants of Mejico-Tenochtitlan and their language. During the Colony, some Criollos and Peninsulares living in New Spain used the demonym to refer to themselves, although the terms mejicanense and mejiquense have also existed.


Indigenous civilizations before European contact (pre-1519)

View of the Pyramid of the Sun from Pyramid of the Moon in the ancient city-state of Teotihuacan, which was the 6th largest city in the world at its peak (1 AD to 500 AD)

The prehistory of Mejico dates back thousands of years, with the earliest human artifacts found in Mejico being radicarbon dated to around 10,000 years ago. Mejico is also known as the site of the domestication of crops such as maize, tomatoes and beans, among others. This agricultural surplus allowed for the transition from hunter-gatherer paleo-Indians to sedentary agricultural villages. Mejican cultures spread agricultural techniques, a vigesimal numeric system, and cultural traits throughout Mesoamerica. As villages became more densely populated, societies became more stratified, and developed into chiefdoms. Rulers held religious and political power, overseeing the construction of grand ceremonial centers adorned with sculptures depicting their mythology and important figures.

The Olmec culture emerged around 1500 BC as the earliest sophisticated civilization in Mejico, flourishing along the Gulf Coast. They were renowned for their remarkable artistry and architecture, notably the colossal stone heads and sculptures that depict human figures and animals. Their cultural influence extended across Mejico, impacting Formative Era cultures in regions like Chiapas, Oajaca, and the Valley of Mejico, spreading religious, symbolic, artistic, and architectural traditions. This era is recognized as one of the six cradles of civilization, alongside those in the the Nile Valley, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, the Yellow River Valley, and Peru. In the pre-Classical period, the Maya and Zapotec civilizations thrived, constructing impressive monumental centers like Calacmul and Monte Albán, characterized by grand structures such as pyramids, temples, and public buildings.

During this period, Mesoamerican writing systems emerged in cultures like the Epi-Olmec and Zapotec, using hieroglyphic scripts to document historical events, astronomy, and crucial information. The pinnacle of this tradition was the Classic Maya hieroglyphic script, a highly developed system that greatly enhances our understanding of Maya civilization. This era marked the beginning of written histories in Mejico, offering valuable insights into the societal structures of Mesoamerican cultures. After the Spanish conquest in 1521, indigenous scribes adapted by learning alphabetic writing for their languages while still creating pictorial texts. These scribes played a pivotal role in preserving and passing on indigenous knowledge and culture.

View of Mexihco-Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital and the largest city in the Americas at the time. The city was completely destroyed in the 1521 Siege of Tenochtitlan, and subsequently rebuilt as Mejico City

During the Classic period, Central Mejico was dominated by the powerful city of Teotihuacán, a massive urban center boasting over 150,000 inhabitants and unmatched influence across pre-Columbian Americas. Teotihuacán was not only a political and economic center, but also a religious one, with impressive pyramidal structures, the largest in the pre-Columbian Americas, dedicated to various deities. By 600 AD, Teotihuacán's decline and collapse created a void, sparking rivalries among centers like Xochicalco and Cholula. As Nahua peoples from the mythical Aztlán migrated south, displacing Oto-Manguean speakers, Central Mejico faced shifts in power dynamics. In the early post-Classic era (1000 to 1519 AD), the Toltecs commanded Central Mejico with their architectural prowess while the Mixtec culture thrived in Oajaca. Meanwhile, the Maya flourished at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán. The Mexica, or Aztecs, ascended later, establishing Tenochtitlán as the nucleus of their political and economic might, known as the Triple Alliance or Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān.

Temple of Cuculcán, also known as El Castillo, in the Maya city of Chichén Itzá

The term "Aztec" was popularized in the 19th century by Prussian polymath Alexander von Humboldt, and was used to refer to all the peoples who were linked by trade, custom, religion, and language to the Mexica state. In 1843, with the publication of the work of Arturo Sigüenza López de Huitznahuatlailótlac, it was adopted by most of the world, including 19th-century Mejican scholars, who saw it as a way to distinguish present-day Mejicans from pre-Conquest Mejicans. This term was later adopted by most of the world, including Mejican scholars in the 19th century, who saw it as a way to distinguish present-day Mejicans from pre-Conquest Mejicans. However, the usage of the term has been the subject of debate since the late 20th century.

The Aztec Empire evolved through alliances, expanding its influence via military conquest and tribute imposition on conquered lands. Renowned for its administrative prowess, their system allowed decentralized rule, demanding tribute from local rulers without direct control. Despite discontinuity in their territories, relying on indirect governance and alliances sustained their hold. Their tributary empire covered much of central Mejico, feared for its military might and notorious practices of human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism, deeply tied to their religious beliefs and cultural customs. While the Aztecs engaged in warfare, they avoided killing enemies in the battlefield, prioritizing their capture for use in religious sacrifices, or as slaves. The Spanish conquest in the 16th century marked the end of the Aztec Empire and its sacrificial practices. Spanish colonization brought significant changes to Mejico's indigenous cultures, yet the legacies of the Aztecs and other pre-Columbian societies endure. Their cultural, religious, and artistic influences persist, shaping modern Mejican society.

The indigenous roots of Mejican history and culture have been an integral part of the country's identity from the colonial era to the present day. The Royal Museum of Anthropology in Mejico City is the showcase of the nation's prehispanic glories. As historian Felipe Mariscal put it, "It [the Museum] is not just a museum, it is a national treasure and a symbol of identity. It embodies the spirit of an ideological, scientific, and political feat". This sentiment was echoed by Nobel laureate Octavio Paz, who saw the museum as a "temple" that exalted and glorified Mejico's pre-Columbian history. Mejican dictator José Vasconcelos had a high regard (albeit with paternalistic attitude) for Native Americans, recognizing that "without the valorization of our indigenous roots, we would be nothing but a pale copy of Europe".

Paquimé archaeological zone, Chihuahua

Mejico has actively sought international recognition for its prehispanic heritage and is home to a significant number of LONESCO World Heritage Sites, the largest in the hemisphere. This has also had an impact on European thought. The conquest was accompanied by a cultural clash, as well as the imposition of European values and beliefs on the indigenous population. However, some Europeans, especially within the Salamanca School, recognized the value and complexity of indigenous cultures, advocating for the recognition of the humanity and dignity of the indigenous peoples, and the fair treatment of them in the Spanish colonies. This was a radical departure from the prevailing attitudes of the time, which viewed indigenous peoples as barbaric and uncivilized.


Oasisamerica is a large cultural area in Mejico that encompasses the provinces of Chihuahua, Sonora, Arizona, New Mejico, Tizapá, and Timpanogos.  The area's territory is marked by the presence of the Rocailleuses and the Sierra Madre Occidental. To the east and west of these mountain ranges extend the great arid plains of the deserts of Sonora, Chihuahua and Arizona. Despite being dry, Oasisamerica is crossed by some water streams such as the Yaqui, Bravo, Colorado, Gila, Mayo and Casas Grandes rivers. The presence of these streams and some lagoons, as well as its undoubtedly milder climate than that of the eastern Aridoamerican region, allowed for the development of agricultural techniques imported from Mesoamerica.

The region is rich in turquoise deposits, one of the most prized sumptuary materials by Mesoamerican cultures. This allowed the establishment of exchange relations between these regions. The region has a rich history of human habitation, dating back to at least 11,000 BC. The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, lived in the region from about 2000 BC to 1300 AD. They built impressive stone structures, including cliff dwellings, pueblos, and kivas. Some of the most well-known archaeological zones in the region include the Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and Casas Grandes. The Jojocán people lived in what is now central and southern Arizona from about 1 AD to 1450 AD. They were known for their advanced irrigation systems and canal networks, which allowed them to farm arid land. Some of their irrigation canals are still in use today.


Aridoamerica denotes an ecological region spanning mostly the New North region of Mejico, defined by the presence of the culturally significant staple foodstuff Phaseolus acutifolius, a drought-resistant bean. Its dry, arid climate and geography stand in contrast to the verdant Mesoamerica to the south and east, and the higher, milder "island" of Oasisamerica to the north. Aridoamerica overlaps with both. Because of relatively harsh conditions, the pre-Columbian peoples of this region developed distinct cultures and subsistence farming patterns. The region has only 120 mm to 160 mm of annual precipitation. The sparse rainfall feeds seasonal creeks and waterholes. The region includes a variety of desert and semidesert environments, including the provinces of Low San Fulgencio, Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, and parts of the Tejan region, such as Béjar, Pecos, and Matagorda.

The Chihuahuan desert terrain mostly consists of basins broken by numerous small mountain ranges

The term was introduced by Mejican anthropologist Julio Pérez Gaitán in 1985, building on prior work by anthropologists Aldo Gutierre Kroeber and Pablo Kirchhoff to identify a "true cultural entity" for the region. Kirchhoff was the first in introducing the term 'Arid America', in his 1954 seminal article, writing: "I propose for that of the gatherers the name "Arid America" and "Arid American Culture", and for that of the farmers "Oasis America" and "American Oasis Culture". Anthropologist Guillermo Bonfil Batalla notes that although the distinction between Aridoamerica and Mesoamerica is “useful for understanding the general history of pre-Colonial Mejico”, that the boundary between the two should not be conceptualized as a “barrier that separated two radically different worlds, but rather, as a variable limit between climatic regions". The inhabitants of Aridoamerica lived on "an unstable and fluctuating frontier" and were in "constant relations with the civilizations to the south”.


Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area that begins in the southern part of North America and extends to most of Central America, comprising the lands of central Mejico, Central America, El Salvador, and northern Costa Rica. In the pre-Columbian era, many societies flourished in Mesoamerica for more than 3,000 years before the Spanish conquest. Mesoamerica was the site of two historical transformations: (i) primary urban generation, and (ii) the formation of New World cultures from the mixtures of the Mesoamerican peoples with the European, African, and Asian peoples who were introduced by the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, Eurasian diseases, which were endemic among the colonists but new to North America, caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the Indigenous population.

Mesoamerican cultural region

As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures. Beginning as early as 7000 BC, the domestication of cacao, maize, beans, tomato, avocado, vanilla, squash and chili, as well as the turkey and dog, resulted in a transition from hunter-gatherer tribal groupings to the organization of sedentary agricultural villages. In the Formative period, agriculture and traits such as a complex mythological and religious tradition, a vigesimal numeric system, a complex calendric system, a tradition of ball playing, and a distinct architectural style, were diffused through the area. In this period, villages became more socially stratified and developed into chiefdoms. Large ceremonial centers were built, interconnected by a network of trade routes for the exchange of luxury goods, such as obsidian, jade, cacao, cinnabar, Spondylus shells, hematite, and ceramics. While Mesoamerican civilization knew of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these became technologically relevant.

During this period, distinct religious and symbolic traditions spread, as well as the development of artistic and architectural complexes. In the Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of centers such as Aguada Fénix and Calacmul in Mejico; El Mirador and Tikal in Guatemala; and the Zapotec site of Monte Albán. During this period, the first true Mesoamerican writing systems were developed in the Epi-Olmec and Zapotec cultures. The Mesoamerican writing tradition reached its height in the Classic Maya logosyllabic script.

Mesoamerica is one of only six regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. In Central Mejico, Teotihuacan ascended at the height of the Classic period; it formed a military and commercial empire whose political influence stretched south into the Maya area and northward. Upon its collapse around 600 AD, competition between several important political centers, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. At this time during the Epi-Classic period, the Nahua peoples began moving south into Mesoamerica, and became politically and culturally dominant in central Mejico, displacing speakers of Oto-Manguean languages. The Mexicas built the important city of Tenochtitlán above Lake Texcoco, and became the prime power in the region.

Spanish conquest and Colonial era (1519-1783)

Storming of the Teocalli by Cortés and his troops; by Emanuel Leutze, c. 1848

In 1492, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain financed expeditions to the New World under the leadership of Christopher Columbus. He arrived on October 12 at Guanahani, which he renamed San Salvador, believing he had reached the Indies. Over the next decades, the Spanish continued exploring the New World, founding settlements and trading posts in the Caribbean, making of Cuba their main base of operations. There, governor Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar sent two expeditions in 1517 and 1518, under the command of Francisco Hernández de Córdoba and Juan de Grijalva, respectively. They explored the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf Coast, gathered information, found gold, and heard news of the Aztec Empire.

In 1519, a third expedition was organized under the command of Hernán Cortés. Despite originally selecting him as its leader, Velázquez retracted his decision, but Cortés set sail to the newly discovered territories anyway. He explored the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf Coast, where he met with Mayan cacique Tabscoob, and defeated him in the Battle of Centla. The Mayans sent gifts and 20 young girls, among them Malintzin, baptized as Doña Marina, who would become Cortés' main translator and a key player during the conquest. Cortés continued his journey and founded the Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz in Aztec territory, the first institutionalized European village in the New World.

Cortés headed to Totonac territory, where he convinced local rulers to join his expedition. There, he met emissaries from Tenochtitlan, who had become previously aware of the Spaniards during Grijalva's expedition. Moctezuma Xocoyotzin was the Huey Tlatoani of the Aztecs, and he attempted to dissuade the Spaniards from advancing, but failed every time. Continuing their march towards Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards obtained new allies among other tributary cities and subjugated peoples, who resented the Aztecs. The Tlaxcaltecs were first defeated in battle before signing a peace agreement and joining the expedition, while the Cholultecs, allies of the Aztecs and fierce enemies of the Tlaxcaltecs, suffered a massacre within their city before joining Cortés.

Hernán Cortés weeping during La Noche Triste

On November 8, 1519, Cortés arrived at Tenochtitlan, received by Moctexuma and a large host of dignataries. Exchanging gifts, the Spaniards were received into the Palace of Axayacatl. While this was happening, the Totonacs were attacked by Aztecs and defended by the garrison of Vera Cruz. Both parties sent reports back to Tenochtitlan, where Cortés had Moctezuma subdued and arrested. In Cuba, Velázquez had organized an expedition under the command of Pánfilo de Narváez to capture and kill Cortés. Before leaving Cuba, a smallpox epidemic had spread on the island, transporting the virus on the excursion.

The Mexica doubted their leader, scandalized by his subservient attitude. This public outcry was slightly reduced after Cortés had to leave the city, but he defeated Narváez on the coast, and returned with an enlarged army. During his absence, captain Pedro de Alvarado ordered the Massacre of Tóxcatl during one of the most important Aztec religious celebrations, exacerbating the locals even more. After facing his angered people, Moctezuma was killed, but sources disagree on the culprit. The Spaniards fled the city during an event known as La Noche Triste, losing hundreds of men, horses, gold, and weapons. On their way back to Tlaxcala, the conquistadors were attacked in the Battle of Otumba and, despite the immense numerical disadvantage, Cortés came out victorious.

Cortés believed that the alliance with Tlaxcala was over, but he was warmly received instead. While the Spanish forces reorganized to return to Tenochtitlan, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the city and, as collateral damage, there was a famine. During his journey, Cortés had achieved the alliances of more towns. Having gathered his forces, he began the march back to Tenochtitlan in January 1521. The Aztecs were now governed by Cuauhtémoc, since Cuitláhuac had died due to smallpox. In March, Cortés began the siege of the city, cutting off the water supply and the basic resources of sanitation, communication, and commerce. After a long siege, the city surrendered on August 13, marking the beginning of Spanish rule. Cuauhtémoc was arrested and subjected to torture, in order to make him confess the location of the Aztec treasure. He refused to reveal its location, and he was eventually released, but remained under Spanish control as a puppet ruler. He later became a Catholic convert, and became an important part of the local bureaucracy, retaining his noble status and wealth.

La Batalla de Otuma, Manuel Ramírez Ibáñez

The capture of Tenochtitlan and the founding of Mejico City on its ruins was the beginning of a 269-year-long colonial era during which Mejico was known as New Spain, which became a jewel of the Spanish Empire. This was due to the existence of large, hierarchically-organized Mesoamerican populations that rendered tribute and performed labor, and the discovery of large silver deposits. The Viceroyalty of New Spain was carved from the remnants of the Aztec Empire, and slowly expanded as the Spaniards conquered more territory in modern-day Mejico and what is now Central America. The two pillars of Spanish rule were the State and the Catholic Church, both under the authority of the Spanish Crown. In 1524, King Charles I created the Council of the Indies based in Spain to oversee State power in its territories; in New Spain, the Crown established a high court in Mejico City, the Real Audiencia, and in 1535 created the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The viceroy was highest official of the State. In the religious sphere, the diocese of Mejico was created in 1530 and elevated to an Archdiocese in 1546, with the archbishop as the head of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Spanish was the language of rulers, and increasingly so the language of the common folk. The Catholic faith was the only one permitted, with non-Catholics, including Jews and Protestants, and heterodox Catholics, excluding Amerindians, being subject to the Mejican Inquisition, established in 1571.

San Bartolomé de las Casas, by Félix Parra, c. 1875

In the first half-century of Spanish rule, a network of cities was created. Mejico City was and remains the premier city, but other cities founded in the 16th century remain important, including Veracruz, Guadalajara, and Puebla. Cities were hubs of civil officials, ecclesiastics, business, and the elite, and mixed and indigenous workers. When deposits of silver were discovered in the Old North, the Spanish secured the region against the Chichimecs, establishing presidios and developing a network of roads, linking the mining cities with the capital. The Viceroyalty at its greatest extent included the territories of modern Mejico, the Democratic Republic of Central America, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, and a small portion of the Kingdom of Louisiana. Mejico City also administrated the Spanish West Indies (the Caribbean), the Spanish East Indies (the Philippines), and Florida.

The Spanish established their political and economic institutions with Indian or Spanish elites as landholders and tax collectors, and Indians or Mestizos as labor. The Spanish set up a system of Repúblicas, with the República de Indios being established in areas densely populated by Indians, who received land and housing. Churches were built for their christianization. In the República de Indios, non-Indigenous people could not reside, and native customs were allowed, as long as they did not contravene Catholicism or the State. Among the power ceded to these Republics were the administration of communal property, the collection of taxes, citizen security, regulation of commercial activity, among others. On the other hand, the República de Españoles consisted of territories primarily inhabited and governed by the Spanish colonists and their descendants, where the institutions and societal norms closely mirrored those of Spain. In such regions, the Spanish established a more direct form of control, organizing the land into encomiendas, haciendas, and latifundios. These were large estates granted to Spanish elites who oversaw production and collected tribute from the indigenous labor force in return for supposed protection and Christian instruction.

To extract the maximum amount of labor from Amerindians, the Spanish instituted the encomienda system, granting certain Spaniards the right to tax and exploit Indians by making them laborers, granting them lands to cultivate and populate, and keeping them in garrisons to work these lands and Christianize them. The system gave rise to abuses and violence and was denounced by many, such as Fr. Antonio de Montesinos and Saint Bartolomé de las Casas, and lead to intense political debate, especially in the University of Salamanca. In 1512, the denunciation of Montesinos provoked the promulgation of the Laws of Burgos the same year, extended a year later, where the labor system in the encomiendas was developed and defined explicitly, granting some rights and guarantees to the Indians

Cortés entering Tenochtitlán

In 1518, this law was enriched by establishing that only those Indians who did not have sufficient resources to earn a living could be encomendados, and that when they were able to fend for themselves, their "contract" would cease. The laws went so far as to oblige encomenderos to teach the Indians to read and write. In 1527 a new law was passed that determined that the creation of any new encomienda must necessarily have the approval of the religious, who were responsible for judging whether an encomienda could help a specific group of Indians to develop, or whether it would be counterproductive. In 1542, Charles I considered that the Indians had acquired sufficient social development for all to be considered subjects of the Crown. For this reason, the New Laws were created in 1542, forbidding Amerindian slavery and that no new encomiendas were to be assigned. These laws were enforced by the new viceroys.

The rich deposits of silver of Zacatecas and Guanajuato resulted in silver extraction dominating the economy. Mejican silver pesos became the first globally used currency. Taxes on silver production became a major source of income. Other important industries were the agricultural and ranching haciendas, and the mercantile activities in the main cities. As a result of trade links with the rest of the world and the profound effect of New World silver, central Mejico was one of the first regions to be incorporated into the global economy. Trade within the Viceroyalty was conducted through the ports of Veracruz and Acapulco, serving the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, carrying products from Asia, incorporating this trade to the inland link of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

Over the decades, the Viceroys would sponsor expeditions towards the north in order to explore the continent, to better understand the geography of New Spain and, most of all, in search of riches, particularly the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. These legends would lead the Spaniards towards the Great Canyon, the Tizapá Sea, and the Great Plains of North America, coming across a wide variety of peoples and installing outposts in the Fulgencines by the late 16th century and in the region of Tejas and Tizapá in the 17th century.

Antonio de Mendoza, New Spain's first viceroy

The population was overwhelmingly Indigenous and rural during the colonial period. The Indigenous population stabilized around 1-1.5 million individuals in the 17th century and, during the colonial era, Mejico received between 700-950,000 Europeans, between 180-220,000 Africans, and between 50-140,000 Asians. Bartolomé de las Casas proposed the Peasant colonization scheme, signed into law by Philip II in 1573, through which thousands of Spanish peasants were continuously transported to the New World as part of a grand plan to reshape colonial society. The scheme aimed to reduce dependency on indigenous labor by introducing a sizeable European farming population that would establish self-sufficient communities. This approach, while initially met with skepticism from the encomenderos, found favor with the Crown, which saw it as a means to prevent further abuses and establish a more stable and prosperous colony. Under Viceroy Martín de Mayorga, the first comprehensive census was created in 1783, including racial classifications. Most of its original datasets have been lost, and most of what is known about it comes from essays and field investigations made by scholars such as Alexander von Humboldt. Europeans ranged from 25% to 30% of the population, Mestizos from 21% to 25%, Indians from to 45% to 54%, and Africans numbered between 6,000 to 10,000. The total population ranged from 4.7 to 7.3 million. It is concluded that the population growth trends of whites and mestizos were even, while the percentage of the indigenous population decreased at a rate of 13%-17% per century, mostly due to the latter having higher mortality rates from living in remote locations and being in constant war with the colonists.

Casta painting, depicting a Spaniard and his Amerindian wife, producing a Mestizo

Colonial law with Spanish roots was introduced and attached to native customs, creating a hierarchy between local cabildos and the Crown. Upper administrative offices were closed to the American-born, even those of pure Spanish blood (criollos). The administration was based on racial separation. Society was organized in a racial hierarchy, with European Whites on top, followed by American Whites, mixed-race persons, the Indigenous in the middle, and Africans at the bottom. There were formal designations of racial categories. The República de Españoles comprised European- and American-born Spaniards, mixed-race castas, and black Africans. The República de Indios comprised the Indigenous populations, which the Spanish lumped under the term indio. Spaniards were exempt from paying tribute, Spanish men had access to higher education, could hold civil and ecclesiastical offices, were subject to the Inquisition, and were liable for military service when the standing military was established in the late 18th century. The Indigenous paid tribute, but were exempt from the Inquisition and from military service. Although the racial system appears fixed and rigid, there was some fluidity, and the racial domination of Whites was not complete. Since the indigenous population was so large, there was less labor demand for expensive black slaves than in other parts of Spanish America. In the mid-18th-century, the Crown instituted reforms that raised Criollos and Castizos to the same privileges enjoyed by Peninsulares, opening doors to multiple positions in the government, the clergy, commerce and the army. Mestizos and Indigenous peoples also benefitted from these reforms, gaining many civil and political rights, with a few being able to attain grandee status.

The Marian apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, said to have appeared to the indigenous San Juan Diego in 1531, gave impetus to the evangelization of central Mejico. The Virgin of Guadalupe became a symbol for American-born Spaniards' (criollos) patriotism, seeking in her a Mejican source of pride, distinct from Spain. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared to be patroness of New Spain in 1754 by the papal bull Non est Equidem of Pope Benedict XIV.

Spanish military forces, sometimes accompanied by native allies, led expeditions to conquer territory or quell rebellions through the colonial era, including the conquest of the Philippines. Notable Amerindian revolts in sporadically populated northern New Spain include the Chichimeca War (1576–1606), Tepehuán Revolt (1616–1620), and the Pueblo Revolt (1680), the Tzeltal Rebellion of 1712 was a regional Maya revolt. Most rebellions were small-scale, posing no major threat. To protect Mejico from the attacks of English, French, and Dutch pirates and protect the Crown's monopoly of revenue, only two ports were open to foreign trade—Veracruz and Acapulco. Among the best-known pirate attacks are the 1663 Sack of Campeche and 1683 Attack on Veracruz. Of greater concern to the crown was foreign invasion. The Crown created a standing military, increased coastal fortifications, and expanded the northern presidios and missions into San Fulgencio and Tejas. The volatility of the urban poor in Mejico City was made evident in the 1692 riot in the Zócalo. The riot over the price of maize escalated to a full-scale attack on the seats of power, with the viceregal palace and the archbishop's residence attacked by a mob.

Spanish projects for American independence (1783-1788)

During the reign of Charles III, there were discussions and proposals for American independence presented to the monarch. However, it is unclear whether Charles III initially took a position in favor or against these proposals. Nevertheless, it is evident that this was a matter of serious consideration at the highest levels of the Spanish political environment. In 1781, Francisco de Saavedra was sent to New Spain as a royal commissioner to meet with Viceroy Martín de Mayorga and other high authorities. During his visit, Saavedra was struck by the wealth and potential of the viceroyalty but also witnessed the growing discontent among the social classes with the Imperial system of administration. He also noted the resentment of the Criollos towards the more favored Peninsulares, and the potential danger posed by French Louisiana. However, he made a distinction between Louisiana and New Spain, as he saw the first as nothing more than "factories or warehouses of transient traders, filled with troublesome Indians", while the Spanish overseas provinces "are an essential part of the nation separate from the other. There are therefore very sacred ties between these two portions of the Spanish Empire, which the government of the metropolis should seek to strengthen by every conceivable means".

Over the next decade, three different proposals were presented to the monarch: the colonialist proposal of Gálvez, the unionist proposal of Floridablanca, and the autonomist proposal of Aranda. All three proposals emphasized the need for reforms to ensure the survival of the Empire and prevent foreign powers from encroaching on Spanish territory. They were also alarmed by the events that had taken place in the British colonies. Ultimately, the proposal of Pedro de Abarca de Bolea, the Count of Aranda, was chosen over the other two. Aranda's proposal was based on the idea of giving more autonomy to the Spanish overseas provinces while still maintaining their loyalty to the Spanish Crown. He believed that this would address the concerns of the Criollos, and prevent the colonies from violently seeking independence. His proposal was successful in that it helped to ease tensions between the colonies and the metropolis, and contributed to a period of relative stability in the Spanish Empire.

The Count of Aranda proposed the independence of the American dominions from Spain, endowing them with their own structure, and turning them into states, as independent monarchies. He also relies on the reasons of José Ábalos, writing in 1781, and others, but points especially to the potential threat of Louisiana, noting the potential of becoming an "irresistible colossus".

Charles III of Spain, "the Grandfather of the Americas"

Under this premise, Aranda's proposal was:

Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, 10th Count of Aranda

"That Your Majesty should part with all the possessions of the continent of America, keeping only the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Jamaica in the northern part and some that are more convenient in the southern part, with the purpose that those serve as a stopover or deposit for Spanish commerce. In order to carry out this vast idea in a way convenient to Spain, three princes should be placed in America: one king of New Spain, the other of Peru, and the other of New Granada, with Your Majesty taking the title of Emperor, and reigning over the rest of the Tierra Firme".

Under some conditions "in which the three sovereigns and their successors will recognize Your Majesty and the princes who henceforth occupy the Spanish throne as supreme head of the family", in addition to "a contribution" from each kingdom, that "their children will always marry" "so that in this way an indissoluble reunion of the four crowns will always subsist", "that the four nations will be considered as one in terms of reciprocal trade, perpetually subsisting among them the closest offensive and defensive alliance".

"...established and closely united these three kingdoms, under the bases that I have indicated, there will be no forces in Europe that can counteract their power in those regions, nor that of Spain, which in addition, will be in a position to contain the aggrandizement of the American colonies, or of any new power that wants to establish itself in that part of the world, that with the islands that I have said we do not need more possessions".

In 1785, Charles III made the decision to appoint his tenth child and fourth son, the Infante Gabriel, as the King of New Spain. This was a significant decision, as New Spain was one of the most important colonies of the Spanish Empire, encompassing present-day Mejico and parts of Central America. The appointment of a royal prince as the King of New Spain was seen as a way to strengthen the ties between the colonies and the metropolis, and to ensure the loyalty of the Criollo elites, who were becoming increasingly restless under the rule of the Peninsulares.

Gabriel was born on 12 May 1752 and was only 33 years old at the time of his appointment. He was the youngest of the Spanish royal family to hold such an important position. Before his appointment, he had served as a military officer and had accompanied his father on various diplomatic missions. Gabriel was described as being intelligent, well-educated, and cultured, with a passion for the arts and sciences. Gabriel arrived on the Americas on 12 December 1788, which was a day of great significance for the people of New Spain, as it was the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mejico. His arrival was greeted with much fanfare and celebration, as the people of New Spain saw his appointment as a sign of the Spanish commitment to New Spain. Upon his arrival, Gabriel met with the outgoing viceroy and the Archbishop of Mejico City. He spent the next few weeks getting to know the people and the culture of the colony. On 29 December 1788, he was crowned as Gabriel I of New Spain at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mejico City in a lavish ceremony that was attended by all the high-ranking officials and nobles of the colony. The coronation was a symbol of the king's commitment to the colony and his desire to strengthen the ties between the metropolis and the colony.

Generalissimo Agustín de Iturbide

Early post-Independence period (1788-1825)

During King Gabriel's reign, he implemented extensive reforms focusing on infrastructure, especially in Mejico City. He spearheaded the installation of drainage, sewers, paved roads and public lighting. Gabriel also introduced services like waste management and house numbering, enhancing public spaces and addressing traffic issues with the introduction of a rental car service. His government took a tough stance on crime, earning a reputation for strict law enforcement. Mejico City became known as the "City of Palaces," and Gabriel's initiatives extended to other cities in the kingdom. Additionally, his administration prioritized improving Intendencias and promoting the cultivation of various crops, while commissioning a modern road network that facilitated communication and commerce, including a crucial link from Mejico City to Veracruz, employing engineering solutions for challenging terrains.

Gabriel's interest in indigenous cultures was evident through support for anthropological expeditions and backing Martín de Sessé's flora expedition. In 1790, the Aztec Calendar was discovered during Plaza de Armas excavations, showcasing historical significance. Diplomatic tensions emerged with Captain Alejandro Malaspina's coastal travels conflicting with British interests in Osolután and San Francisco de Yerbabuena, impacting Spanish possessions. Gabriel prioritized education by endowing the San Carlos Academy and inaugurating the Museum of Natural History in 1793. Departing from prior favoritism, he held audiences for all societal strata, signaling a move toward a more equitable society, notably advocating for Indigenous inclusion and equality, a radical shift from colonial perceptions. Gabriel's reign emphasized care for the populace, evidenced by initiatives like opening hospitals, expanding the market hall to support local economy, and promoting public hygiene with the construction of the first public temazcales. His focus on justice and public welfare earned him widespread popularity. Upon his succession by his son Pedro in 1808, Pedro inherited a legacy of commitment to the people's well-being.

King Gabriel I of Mejico, noted for his resemblance to his brother, Carlos IV of Spain

At the beginning of his reign, Pedro faced a coup led by Gabriel de Yermo targeting his Secretary of State, Juan José de Aldama, accused of trying to establish a republic during King Ferdinand VII's imprisonment. With Field Marshal Pedro de Garibay and Aldama, Pedro I tackled the crisis, arresting several involved individuals. Yermo received clemency and formed a loyalist group. Stability restored, Pedro banned revolutionary publications, established special police courts, and a Military Junta across New Spain. Following Ferdinand VII's capture by Napoleon and the Abdications of Bayonne, New Spain's response divided along ideological lines. Some were attracted to Napoleon's Constitutionalism, known as Afrancesados, advocating for reforms based on Enlightenment ideals, seeking to reduce Church and noble influence and push for individual rights and representative governance. This division led to a civil war lasting two years, suppressed eventually. Monarchy supporters, led by Fernandists like Iturbide and Miguel Hidalgo, fiercely opposed foreign interference and aimed to reinstate Fernando VII. Iturbide's marriage to Infanta María Carlota, Pedro's sister, solidified his ties with influential royalist families and provided resources for effective resistance against French influence.

King Pedro, by Francisco Tresguerras, c. 1823

During the two-year civil war in New Spain, Iturbide's military strategy and rallying of forces under Ferdinand VII's banner were crucial in the loyalists' bid to regain control. Battles were rife with ideological clashes, but Iturbide's leadership led to a turning point, notably winning the sieges of Veracruz and the Battle of Córdoba in 1810, effectively quelling the rebellion and establishing him as a hero. This victory prompted efforts to aid Spain against French occupation during the Peninsular War. With King Pedro's recognition of the opportunity to reinforce loyalist forces in Spain, significant support was sent. In 1809, a joint effort between Spain and American territories expelled the Napoleonic government, resulting in the French armies' decisive defeat. The Treaty of Valençay recognized Ferdinand VII as King of Spain, a move strongly endorsed in the Americas. This nullified the liberal-favored Constitution of Cadiz, restoring absolutism.

In contrast to Spain's adherence to traditional power structures, Pedro's reign was marked by a modernizing vision. He implemented reforms that shaped the nation's future across various fronts. Pedro prioritized protecting private property, boosting confidence and fostering economic growth. This assurance of property rights encouraged investment and entrepreneurship. Beyond economic prosperity, Pedro valued freedom of expression, enabling a free press and promoting an informed society, fostering an intellectually rich environment. The Petrine Reforms also embraced political pluralism, allowing political parties and introducing universal male suffrage, democratizing the political process to represent the will of the people. Tragically, Pedro's untimely death in 1823 prevented him from witnessing this historic transformation.

Upon Pedro's death, his 11-year-old son, Gabriel II, ascended to the throne, necessitating a Regency Council to oversee the kingdom's affairs. This council, led by María Teresa, his mother, and Carlos José, his uncle, included figures such as the Pedor José Fuente, Archbishop of Mejico and Francisco García Diego, the Inquisitor General, alongside political voices like José Mariano de Michelena and Pedro Celestino Negrete. During Gabriel II's reign, the regions of Guatemala and Nicaragua sparked an independentist uprising, challenging the monarchy's authority. Iturbide organized and led forces to suppress these rebellions. In 1824, key clashes showcased Iturbide's tactical prowess, securing a resounding victory for the loyalists against entrenched rebels. The Siege of Granada was another critical event, testing Iturbide's leadership and expertise, ultimately leading to the quelling of rebellion and restoration of order.

Allegory of the coronation of Agustín de Iturbide
Gabriel II, then the Crown Prince, in 1820

Establishment of the House of Bourbon-Iturbide (1825-1857)

The young Gabriel II's rule was replaced by the influential Agustín de Iturbide, linked to the Bourbon dynasty through his marriage to Infanta Carlota. A bloodless coup dethroned Gabriel II, establishing Carlota as Queen and Agustín as King, formalized as Agustín I of the newly named Mejico, and they were crowned on September 21, 1825. This dynasty, the House of Bourbon-Iturbide, persists to this day. The deposition of Gabriel gave rise to a line of legitimists known as Gabrielists, who advocated for the re-installment of Gabriel II and of his line. Economic growth clashed with social disorder and ideological conflicts between Conservatives and Liberals, particularly in Central America, more inclined towards republicanism. Catholicism remained the sole religion, backed by its privileged status. The army, a Conservative stronghold, retained its influence. Agustín and Carlota symbolized Conservatism, leveraging this image to stabilize their rule amid ideological divisions.

Agustín and Carlota consolidated loyalty through reforms like government reorganization, modernizing the Royal Army, and establishing educational institutions and supportive newspapers, and the creation of a centralized judicial system. These moves aimed to bolster monarchy power, sparking opposition from factions like the Republican, Federalist, and Liberal Parties, each with distinct visions for the nation. Despite opposition, the monarchy endured, though facing challenges between 1830 and 1843. Central America's secession in 1838 triggered regional instability. Nevertheless, Agustín and Carlota persisted with their vision for a centralized monarchy, investing in the military's expansion and modernization to foster independence from foreign influence and spur growth.

The monarchy confronted internal discord sparked by the Zacatecas Revolution in 1835, rooted in grievances over taxation and perceived neglect of regional interests. This conflict posed a significant threat to the nation's stability, swiftly subdued by Iturbide in the Battle of Zacatecas. Simultaneously, the monarchy faced mounting opposition from political factions like the Republican Party advocating for democracy and the abolition of the monarchy, while the Liberal Party sought to curb monarchy power, promote freedoms, and secularize the country. These factions gained momentum amidst the Central American secession, Zacatecan Rebellion, and ensuing instability, coalescing into a unified opposition. In response, the monarchy attempted political reforms and concessions to appease these factions, recognizing the need to address their concerns to avert further tensions and threats to stability.

The Kings made a historic move by convening a National Assembly in 1836, providing a platform for all political factions to address pressing issues. Initially met with skepticism, it symbolized a commitment to democratic engagement. Opposition demands in the assembly included individual rights, religious freedoms, and curbing monarchy power. To address Conservative concerns, Agustín created a council for their input in state matters. The assembly fostered intense debates among factions with contrasting visions for the nation's future. Achieving consensus proved challenging, requiring the Monarchs' careful navigation of political interests. To avert conflict, Agustín I stressed preserving the monarchy and Catholic Church as unifying symbols. An Imperial Decree maintained the monarchy while devolving some powers to legislative bodies and granting more autonomy to provinces.

A Catholic mission in Porciúncula
Miners in the sierras, c. 1851, by Carlos Cristián Nahl

During this period, a wave of Catholic missionaries surged into the regions of the Fulgencines and Tejas, playing a crucial role in the evangelization and pacification of the regions, converting the unruly Apaches and Navajos. The Royal Decree of Graces of 1830 played a pivotal role in facilitating the settlement of these regions, offering land grants and lucrative incentives to attract immigrants to the New North. Many responded to the call, and this influx of settlers, along with the missionaries, helped to solidify Mejican influence in the region. In 1843, gold was discovered, and by the next year, news of the Gold Rush had spread globally, drawing a massive influx of gold-seekers and merchants. The majority, including thousands of Mejicans, arrived through diverse routes like land crossings, sailing routes, and steamships. British North Americans, Louisianans, Filipinos, Antipodeans, and New Avalonites heard the news through Javayan newspapers and voyaged to the Fulgencines. Prospectors from Mejico's mining districts near Sonora, Chihuahua, and other regions swelled the numbers. Asians from China and Japan arrived in modest numbers, while Europeans, primarily from France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Britain, began arriving later in 1844. An estimated 90,000 people reached Fulgencines in 1844, half by land and half by sea, with 30-40,000 being Mejicans. By 1855, around 350,000 gold-seekers and immigrants had arrived from across the globe, predominantly Mejicans but also North Americans, Louisianans, Chinese, Spaniards, Britons, Antipodeans, French, and other groups like Filipinos, Africans, and Greeks. This influx rapidly expanded San Fulgencio's population from 200,000 to 1.4 million within a decade.

At the onset of the Gold Rush, the goldfields lacked law and order, situated primarily on Mejican government-owned land with limited law enforcement. Miners operated under informal adaptations of Mejican mining laws, staking claims that required active work to maintain validity. Abandoned or idle claims were subject to "claim-jumping," where others could work previously staked land. However, the Gold Rush's human and environmental toll was significant. Indigenous Mejicans, reliant on traditional livelihoods, suffered from starvation and disease due to disrupted habitats and polluted waterways from mining operations. The influx of miners led to the depletion of game and food sources, as settlements emerged in these areas. This expansion further encroached on Indigenous territories, sometimes leading to conflicts and attacks against Indigenous communities seen as obstacles to mining activities.

Overall, the Gold Rush stimulated mass migration, massive economic growth, the San Fulgencio Genocide, and the creation of new provinces in the New North. The release of land to settlers, nearly 10% of the total area of Mejico, and private railroad companies and universities as part of land grants, stimulated economic development. One of the most attractive aspects for the miners was the atmosphere of freedom. In spite of the news of easy riches, very few made a fortune. There were, however, gold and silver mines in Upper San Fulgencio and New Mejico, and the extraction of lead, zinc and copper was also important. The new transcontinental railroads facilitated the relocation of settlers, expanded internal trade and increased conflicts with the Indigenous. In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect the Indigenous from abuses, prevent further warfare, and secure their eventual citizenship. Nevertheless, large-scale conflicts continued throughout the New North into the 20th century.

Antonio López de Santa Anna, the most prominent Mejican Conservative politician of the 19th century

From 1849 to 1855, the Mejican Empire grappled with political upheaval and social turmoil amid various challenges. The Cholera epidemic of 1849 swept through the country, causing widespread death and chaos. Mariano Paredes, a staunch Conservative, assumed the presidency in 1849, focusing on bolstering the military and protecting traditional social and economic structures, facing resistance from Liberals like Benito Juárez, who succumbed to the epidemic. Paredes was ousted in 1851, and Liberal José Mariano García de Arista took charge, striving to modernize the nation, enhance education and industry, and expand citizens' rights. However, the administration encountered hurdles, including financial strains in the military, post-epidemic recovery, and threats from Central America, particularly rebellions in Chiapas and Tabasco. Arista prioritized consolidating liberal reforms, such as church-state separation and fostering a more democratic government. Anti-corruption measures and increased government transparency were also pursued. Despite these efforts, in 1855, Arista faced a coup led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

Conservative Era (1857-1880)

Soldiers of the Liberal Insurgency

In 1855, a political conflict erupted in Mejican politics as García de Arista was overthrown for attempting to extend the presidential term limit to unlimited five-year terms. The Liberal Reform introduced a new Constitution that separated Church and State, stripped Conservative institutions of privileges, and secularized education. Conservatives, led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, regained power and reversed liberal reforms. Liberals sought foreign intervention, approaching Queen Victoria of Britain but were declined. Santa Anna solidified his power, extended presidential term limits, and faced allegations of election fraud. Internal tensions grew as the Liberals mobilized for educational reform, economic modernization, and civil liberties. Santa Anna's government responded harshly, weakening the liberal movement through measures like the Ley de Sospechosos, allowing the detention of suspected subversives without due process.

The Yucatán Caste War, ongoing since 1847, was a unique conflict shaped by tensions between the Maya population and the Criollo elite of Spanish descent. It began with a Maya revolt marked by guerrilla insurgency tactics against government forces. Santa Anna's government aligned with the Church to suppress the revolt, while Liberals saw it as an opportunity to challenge Santa Anna's rule. As the rebellion gained momentum, the Maya rebels established the independent state of Chan Santa Cruz, led by the Cult of the Talking Cross. In 1859, the Criollo elite, supported by the government, launched a brutal effort to suppress the rebellion, resulting in atrocities against the Maya, who in turn brutalized Criollo civilians. Miguel Miramón played a crucial role in defeating the rebels, dismantling their theocracy, and reestablishing Mejican authority. This led to the establishment of the semi-autonomous Duchy of Bacalar, seen as a Conservative victory in consolidating power and maintaining their rule, with Duke Miramón later becoming President of the Government.

In 1863, Juan Morelos Almonte assumed the presidency, aligning himself with the conservative factions of the aristocracy and the Church, further estranging the Liberals. Almonte's policies favored the elite and the Church, entrenching large landholdings at the expense of the peasantry and reasserting the Church's influence in education and public life, reversing previous secularization efforts. A controversial law under Almonte's administration, the Ley de Restitución de la Propiedad Eclesiástica, not only restored Church lands but also compensated it for earnings lost during Liberal control. Additionally, Almonte revived the fueros, bolstering the military's autonomy from civilian courts, which liberals saw as a regression from the Constitution of 1855. These policies sparked civil unrest and rural uprisings, often brutally suppressed by the military. To appease dissent and present a facade of benevolence, Almonte initiated public works projects, improving infrastructure for military control and economic growth, hoping to pacify the masses.

Mural depicting Maya rebels during the Caste War

The growing political divide between the Conservative-led government and the Liberals culminated in the Liberal Insurgency of 1868, triggered by the controversial election of José Rómulo de la Vega as President in 1867, which the Liberals considered illegitimate due to alleged coercion and manipulation. De la Vega's governance involved suppressing the free press, dismantling opposition groups, and using the Ley de Sospechosos against perceived enemies, provoking the Liberals who championed civil liberties, constitutionalism, and reducing Church and military fueros. The Liberal Insurgency began in 1868, employing guerrilla tactics and local knowledge to avoid direct confrontations with the government's superior forces. It gained support from dissatisfied elements in the population and regional leaders disenchanted with centralized power. The conflict was marked by brutality and civilian casualties. Despite government advantages, the insurgents persisted, deepening the division between factions. The insurgency witnessed General Miguel Miramón's tactical brilliance and the government's effectiveness in key battles, earning Miramón the nickname "Young Maccabee" for his strategic prowess. Notable engagements included the Battle of Salamanca, where Miramón's forces defeated the Liberals. As the Liberals retreated to Jalisco, the Conservatives pursued and achieved further victories in Atenquique and San Joaquín. Miramón's leadership led to the capture of Guadalajara in December 1869. The Liberals sought refuge in Veracruz, and while the first siege there in 1870 proved unsuccessful for Miramón, Conservative forces managed to repel Liberal advances on Mejico City in battles like Tacubaya and Tlatempa. Despite Liberal wins at Loma Alta, Silao, and Querétaro, a ceasefire was declared in 1872, triggering contentious negotiations between the factions. Despite Miramón's military successes, the Liberals retained control over the strategically crucial port of Veracruz.

General Miguel Miramón, an icon of Mejican conservatism

The ceasefire offered a temporary break from the turmoil that had plagued Mejico for years but was fraught with tension and mistrust. Both sides used this time to regroup, anticipating renewed hostilities. Escalations and provocations ultimately led to the ceasefire's breakdown, with Liberals solidifying their position in Veracruz while Conservatives sought to reclaim it. In early 1873, Miramón launched a second campaign to seize Veracruz, better prepared and with more ammunition. After a siege marked by intense artillery barrages and naval blockades, Veracruz fell due to Miramón's strategic adjustments. This loss was a significant setback for the Liberals, depriving them of a vital supply route. With Veracruz secured, the Conservatives turned their focus to other strongholds, culminating in the decisive Battle of Calpulalpan in May 1873, where Miramón's well-equipped forces overwhelmed demoralized Liberals, still reeling from their recent defeat and loss of their coastal stronghold. In 1875, Miramón won the presidency in a landslide, securing over 70% of the popular vote, a historic margin in Mejican politics. His campaign leveraged his military prestige and promised stability after years of conflict, garnering support from a war-weary population eager to return to normalcy. His presidency aimed to centralize the government, restore order, and prevent the resurgence of the Insurgency. Miramón also departed from the traditional political elite by incorporating measures to strengthen Mejico's infrastructure and national identity, reflecting some Liberal ideals through a Conservative lens. He extended the presidential term from four to five years. Miramón's administration favored large landowners and the nobility, appointing them to key government positions and reinforcing the existing social hierarchy. While these policies boosted the agricultural sector and enriched the elite, they exacerbated land dispossession and rural peasant struggles, sowing the seeds of future social discontent.

Ernesto Valverde, one of the most prominent Mejican thinkers of the 19th century

In the early stages of Mejican industrialization, the nobility, including figures like the Duke of Susumacoa and Tomás Mejía, played a crucial role by investing their resources in textile manufacturing, mining, and railway construction. The government's significant investments in transportation infrastructure, particularly railways, facilitated the movement of goods, connected rural production centers to urban markets and ports, and symbolized progress while serving as a strategic asset for the state. Generous concessions were granted to aristocrats who invested in this sector, leading to the emergence of a railway network primarily controlled by the aristocracy, driving both economic growth and increased Indigenous participation in Mejican society.

The process of industrialization brought about urban growth and the development of new transportation and communication methods, such as railways and telegraph lines. However, these policies also had adverse effects, marginalizing Indigenous communities and small-scale farmers who often lost their lands to large-scale industrial projects. Concurrently, a group of Laborist Catholic intellectuals led by Ernesto Valverde emerged, offering an alternative vision for society and the economy. Supported in the Fulgencines, this group included thinkers like Filiberto Labrada, Fermín Santaolalla, Enrique Gurrola, and Jesús Díaz Galindo. Valverde's movement called for greater social and economic cooperation alongside centralized power, arguing that the State should regulate the economy to ensure more equitable benefits from industrialization and align with Catholic morality.

Valverde's philosophy, known as Integralism, laid the foundation for Mejico's socio-economic transformation, emphasizing the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good. In this framework, the State was envisioned as the primary driver of development, promoting interconnectedness and responsibility in society while working to reduce socio-economic disparities. Valverde advocated for cooperation between classes, small-scale enterprises, and decentralized decision-making, all aimed at enhancing economic equality and social cohesion. The Catholic Social Movement's influence led Miramón to implement reforms like regulating working conditions, establishing a minimum wage, and investing in public housing, education, and healthcare, as he sought to maintain social cohesion amidst rapid change in Mexico. The movement's emphasis on promoting economic equality resonated with a significant portion of the population, leading to increased support for cooperative ventures and socially-oriented economic policies. As a result, the government adopted measures that encouraged the development of cooperatives, labor unions, and social welfare initiatives to address the country's pressing social and economic issues. While the influence of the CSM was significant, it also faced opposition from the establishment and the business elite. The movement's economic model clashed with those who preferred the status quo, and individualism, and resisted any interference in their economic interests.

It was not until 1880 that the Conservative Era of Mejican politics would come to an end. The Liberal candidate, Vicente Riva-Palacio, won the Presidency, marking a significant shift in the country's political landscape. Despite Miramón's popularity and the significant developments achieved during his tenure, his administration's heavy emphasis on the traditional aristocracy and the military began to alienate the growing middle class and peasantry, who felt underserved by his policies. Vicente Riva-Palacio won the presidency, and he would go on to be inaugurated as the first five-year President of Mejican history. This marked a new era of Liberal dominance in Mejican politics, which would last for several decades and see significant reforms in areas such as education, labor rights, and land reform.

Vicente Riva-Palacio, the first president of the Liberal Period

Three Liberal Decades (1880-1910)

The Three Liberal Decades in Mejico, under the presidency of Vicente Riva-Palacio, brought about substantial modernization after a prolonged Conservative rule. This era of "order and progress" was characterized by economic stability, growth, foreign investment, and the expansion of transportation and telecommunications. The influx of European and Asian immigrants spurred investments in arts, architecture, and science. However, this period also witnessed political repression and economic inequality, despite the presence of a more progressive monarchy led by King Agustín III. Riva-Palacio's policies encouraged European immigration and colonization of northern provinces, leading to the growth of Lutheranism in Tejas. While his presidency fueled rapid expansion, it also sparked tensions between newcomers and the existing population, particularly regarding land ownership and control. Overall, Riva-Palacio's tenure marked a transformative period of change and growth in Mejico. Riva-Palacio sought to strengthen and expand education, and championed the establishment of schools, universities and technical institutes, laying the foundation for a skilled and educated workforce. Moreover, his administration initiated ambitious public works projects, expanding railroads, telegraph lines, and constructing modern roads and bridges.

General Porfirio Díaz's presidency in 1885 marked the start of the Porfiriate, a period of considerable influence over Mejico that continued within the Liberal Trentennium. During this time, Mejico aggressively expanded its economic reach in Central and South America, particularly through the ports of Veracruz and Acapulco, enhancing trade connections with Pacific and Atlantic nations. Díaz's government also focused on modernizing infrastructure, creating the world's first fully underground electric-traction rapid transit railway in Mejico City in 1888. The Porfiriate saw significant growth in mining, oil, and agriculture, with foreign investment from companies like Standard Oil and Royal Dutch Shell contributing to Mexico's economic development.

Porfirio Díaz, one of the most emblematic political figures in Mejican history

Despite impressive economic growth and industrialization during the Porfiriate, it was plagued by severe social and economic inequalities. The benefits of modernization primarily favored the wealthy elite, widening the gap between the rich and the poor. The working class and rural communities endured exploitation and labor abuses, resulting in social unrest. Díaz's authoritarian rule stifled dissent, manipulated elections, and silenced opponents. To mitigate the risk of army rebellions, Díaz reduced military expenditure and strengthened the rural police force under his control. He pursued a pragmatic approach with the Catholic Church to maintain stability, but this didn't prevent the spread of Protestantism, particularly in regions like Tejas.

In 1889, the violent Payute War erupted in Tizapá province, led by Indigenous leader Serafín Cuoitze Au, or Huovoca, who prophesied an apocalyptic vision of Payute resurrection and the removal of Whites from North America. Díaz responded with brutal tactics, mobilizing a well-trained army and deploying rurales to subdue the rebels, ultimately revoking the Payutes' citizenship and relocating them. After suppressing the rebellion, Díaz restored citizenship through forced re-education but prevented their large-scale return, resettling the homeland with loyal Indigenous groups like the Otomí and Nahuas. Leveraging his success, Díaz presented himself as "the savior of Mejico", centralizing power and instituting Porfirism, marked by authoritarian control, economic exploitation, and political suppression, all justified under the guise of modernization and civilization.

Between 1889 and 1890, Díaz implemented policies that allowed communal lands to be divided into parcels, leading to Indigenous people losing their land, often falling into the employment of nearby haciendas. Further demarcation laws allowed those with resources to acquire large land portions, resulting in extreme land concentration, with less than 5% of families owning about 85% of arable land by 1900. Villages, where 51% of the rural population resided, had limited land, mainly dependent on neighboring haciendas. The laws favored hacendados with access to credit and irrigation projects, while small towns and independent farmers faced high taxes, adversely affecting the agricultural economy. Mining and industrial manufacturing, particularly textiles and cotton, saw significant growth during the Porfiriate, with private enterprises gaining subsoil rights, encouraging more investment. The rise of industrial labor unions and anarchist movements contributed to labor unrest, ultimately leading to the collapse of the Porfiriate and the start of the Mejican Civil War.

José Romualdo Pacheco

The modernization and economic development promoted by Díaz also brought social and political changes. The emergence of a middle class, known as the literate class, challenged the traditional social structure. The literate class, which included lawyers, engineers, and other professionals, became involved in politics and called for more democratic and liberal reforms. The government responded with increased censorship and repression, leading to discontent among intellectuals and middle-class citizens. In addition, economic growth and modernization disproportionately benefitted the elite and urban areas, creating inequality and social tensions. Rural and Indigenous communities were largely left behind and often displaced by modernization projects such as the construction of railroads. This marginalization and displacement, coupled with the effects of land enclosure and economic inequalities, created a deep resentment towards the Porfirian government among rural and Indigenous populations.

Succeeding Díaz in 1895, José Romualdo Pacheco, the first President from the New North, continued Díaz's liberalization and pragmatic economic growth ideals. His presidency brought optimism, positivism, peace, and economic prosperity to Mejico, with significant advancements in technology, science, and culture, including the development of radio, airplanes, automobiles, electricity, telegraphy, and motion pictures. The collaborative construction of a transcontinental railroad connecting Louisiana, Alaska, British North America, and Mejico played a pivotal role in economic and infrastructural progress, shortening travel times, boosting trade, and strengthening regional ties. Pacheco encouraged investments, driving industrialization and urbanization, particularly in the New North, with cities like Mejico City, Pachuca, Monterrey, and others thriving. Technological innovations like the radio and automobiles transformed communication and mobility, while traditional folk art gained global recognition for its craftsmanship and creativity under Pacheco's forward-looking policies.

During Pacheco's presidency, Mejico expanded its colonial territories to secure valuable overseas resources, including the acquisition of the Javayan Islands in 1896 and joint administration of Pacific islands like the Isabelinas, Marianas, Carolinas, Mendaña, and Salomón. Pacheco viewed colonial expansion as crucial for national security, prosperity, and recognition, leading to increased international alliances and treaties. However, his presidency also saw the devastating Yaqui War, reminiscent of the Payute War under his predecessor, resulting in significant casualties and suffering for the Yaqui people. The conflict involved brutal repression, forced deportations, and displacement, leaving a tragic legacy of injustice and loss among the indigenous population, echoing for generations.

The Count of Limantour, José Yves Limantour y Márquez, served as Finance Minister and President of the Government of Mejico from 1901 to 1911, making significant contributions to the nation's development. Under his leadership, the railway network expanded to cover 55,000 kilometers, greatly enhancing economic development, connectivity, and trade. This railway system also spurred the growth of the telegraph, which played a crucial role in communication during the Great War and beyond, facilitating connections with allies and the Hispanosphere while improving border controls and military protection. Limantour's presidency was characterized by progressive social and political reforms, including the establishment of the Ministry of Public Works and regular census-taking. He prioritized education by building new schools and promoting literacy and technical education, laying the groundwork for the Neo-Calmécac institutes of the Vasconcelist era, which provided quality education for the Indigenous population.

The Count of Limantour

After the Yaqui War, President Limantour sought to rebuild Mejico's diplomatic reputation and public trust. He took on the ambitious task of completing the Panama Canal, a globally significant project, which was successfully finished in 1907 under his administration, showcasing Mejico's economic and diplomatic influence in the region and elevating its status on the international stage. This achievement solidified Mejico's position as a growing economic and diplomatic powerhouse in the Americas and was seen as one of Limantour's major foreign policy successes. Additionally, Limantour implemented progressive political reforms, including the separation of powers and the creation of the Imperial Executive Council, fostering collaboration among branches of government. He also initiated an election reform that granted women the right to vote in local elections, marking a significant step towards gender equality in Mejico. Limantour prioritized economic development alongside political reforms, aiming to strengthen Mejico's economy for the benefit of its citizens. He implemented policies to promote industrialization and modernization, with the Mejican National Bank being reformed, stabilizing the economy and funding industrial projects, leading to rapid growth in the industrial sector and improved living standards. He also advocated for immigration from Europe and the Americas, considering it crucial for Mejico's prosperity and global influence. Under his leadership, the government actively encouraged and supported immigration, resulting in a significant increase in the country's population and diversity. Skilled workers and entrepreneurs who arrived from various regions brought valuable skills, knowledge, and technology, which modernized and diversified Mejico's industries, boosting production, trade, economic stability, and the standard of living for its citizens.

Christ the Redeemer of the World statue on Isla Pájaros welcomed migrants to Mejico

Immigration also had a significant cultural impact. With the arrival of people from diverse backgrounds, the country experienced a rich fusion of different languages, traditions, and customs. The new immigrants brought with them their cultures, customs, and traditions to Mejico, which greatly influenced art, literature and music. Veracruz became one of the world's busiest ports, competing with New York City in British North America and Buenos Aires in Argentina, as Isla Pájaros, Mejico's largest immigrant inspection and processing station, processed more than 1.5 million arrivals during its peak years in the early 20th century. Limantour's policies also opened up opportunities for Mejicans to migrate to other parts of the world, creating a global Mejican diaspora. Many Mejicans, especially those from the upper classes and the nobility, traveled to Europe and even as far as Asia, where they established businesses, made cultural and political connections, and introduced Mejican products and cuisine. This increased Mejico's global influence and contributed to its growing reputation as a rising global power.

However, as immigration increased, it also brought challenges and tensions. Some citizens feared losing their jobs to immigrants, while others felt that their culture, religion, and way of life were being threatened by the influx of newcomers. This led to occasional protests and riots, particularly in major cities. In response, Limantour implemented policies to shift the migration patterns of both Catholics and Protestants. As the Tejas region had been the target for many Protestant immigrants in the past, Limantour encouraged immigrants from Protestant backgrounds to settle in the provinces of Gálvez, Matagorda, Béjar and Pecos.

Limantour's presidency was not without controversy, however. His policies towards the Catholic Church, which had long been a powerful force in Mejico, were seen by some as overly aggressive. He sought to restrict the power and influence of the Church in the political and social life of the country, leading to tensions between the government and the Church hierarchy, which culminated in the formation of Catholic associations, which often called for boycotts. Limantour softened his stance towards the Catholic Church in later years, hoping to reduce the tensions and maintain a stable relationship.

The role of Porfirio Díaz and the level of influence he exercised during the presidency of Limantour has been referred to as one of the main catalysts for the development of the Maderist Rebellion, and the subsequent Civil War. Díaz was a key ally and mentor to Limantour, and his support was crucial in securing Limantour's position as president. However, Díaz's increasingly authoritarian rule and his disregard for democratic principles deeply troubled many in Mejico. Critics saw Limantour and Pacheco as a puppets of Díaz, and the growing discontent towards the Porfirist regime was often directed towards Limantour as well.

Maderist Rebellion and the Mejican Civil War (1910-1920)

Díaz held significant power during the Liberal Trentennium. His administration faced a crisis due to his and his group's (Los Científicos) aging. Díaz hinted at a new system without his position of General Coordinator, sparking opposition groups, including one led by Francisco I. Madero. Despite Díaz nominating a successor, tensions escalated as anti-coordinationist clubs emerged. Madero's arrest during the elections led to a Porfirista victory, prompting him to escape and issue the Plan de San Luis, calling for armed resistance. The revolution began with Aquiles Serdán's efforts in Puebla, but he died in a police confrontation. Madero regrouped in New Orleans and returned in 1911, leading a widespread revolt involving figures like Villa, Zapata, and Orozco. Negotiations between Madero's representatives and the Porfiristas failed despite attempts to seek reforms and resignations. Díaz initially agreed to withdraw but resumed hostilities, signaling a breakdown of the armistice.

Francsico I. Madero, "the Democrat"

Amid the revolution, Orozco and Villa led an attack on El Paso's garrison, prompting Madero to declare himself provisional president as per the Plan of San Luis. Díaz resigned, was exiled, and León de la Barra became interim president. Political turmoil ensued due to diverse cabinet affiliations, aggravated by Madero's approach to the revolutionaries. Efforts to demobilize troops faced resistance from Zapata, who sought agrarian reforms first. Despite Madero's promise to resolve the issue, de la Barra ordered a military crackdown on Zapata, prompting Madero's flight and the emergence of the Liberating Army of the South. Madero formed the Partido Constitucional Progresista for the upcoming elections, based on anti-coordinationist ideals. He won and took office, modifying the Constitution to abolish the General Coordination and reforming electoral laws. After assuming power, Madero sought Zapata's troop discharge, but Zapata's demands were rejected, leading to conflict. Zapata disregarded Madero's government, issued the Plan of Ayala, and declared Orozco or himself as the leader if Orozco declined. After Orozco's defiance of Madero and his exclusion from the provisional government, their relationship soured. He lost both governmental elections in Chihuahua and Madero's favor. Orozco's Plan de la Empacadora rallied various classes against Madero, gaining momentum by defeating Madero's allies. Victoriano Huerta emerged as a national hero after quelling rebellions, including one led by Federico Guttmacher in Tejas, seeking regional independence and Church influence removal. Bernardo Reyes' Plan de la Soledad failed as his followers deserted, leading to his imprisonment. Félix Díaz, nephew of Porfirio Díaz, led a rebellion in Veracruz, but it was swiftly crushed, leading to his imprisonment with initially a death sentence, later commuted to life imprisonment due to Porfirista influence in the Supreme Court. The Gabrielista movement, supporting "Gabriel IV" as a pretender to the throne, rose in Monterrey but was quashed by Felipe Ángeles, leading to the pretender's exile to Oregon.

"Sublevado" soldiers during the Ten Tragic Days

In 1912, Díaz conspired for a coup known as the Ten Tragic Days, starting on February 9 and culminating in ten days of revolt. Students and troops sought to free Reyes and Díaz from prison, leading to Reyes' death and Díaz establishing his headquarters in the Plaza de la Ciudadela. Madero appointed Huerta to suppress the rebellion while meeting with Felipe Ángeles. Huerta delayed attacks and eventually arrested Madero after an agreement, which led to Madero's resignation and subsequent assassination, along with Pino Suárez. on February 22.

Huerta ascended to power, establishing a military dictatorship backed by the monarchy, landowners, clergy, and most governors, except for Maytorena and Carranza, governors of Sonora and Coahuila, respectively. Seeking domestic peace and international recognition, Huerta attempted to gain support from various factions but resorted to oppressive measures, including executing critics and dissolving both the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, assuming absolute power. After the Ten Tragic Days, nations like the United Kingdom, Spain, and Louisiana offered proposals for peace and free elections, rejected by Huerta, leading to their neutral stance and prevention of arms purchases. Huerta's rise sparked the Constitutionalist Revolution in March 1913, led by Carranza and other anti-Porfiristas. The Congress of Coahuila granted Carranza extraordinary powers to restore constitutional order, marking the start of the Plan de Guadalupe in March 1913.

During this phase, the Constitutionalists pursued a legalistic approach, aiming for a constitutional monarchy. Skilled military officers led the movement, with political leaders and bureaucrats in supportive roles. Key figures included Pablo González, Carlos Bee, Álvaro Obregón, Plutarco Elías Calles, Francisco Villa, Fortunato Maycotte, and Pánfilo Natera, among others. Simultaneously, there were independence rebellions in the Fulgencines and Tejas. The Flores Magón brothers led the Magonist Rebellion, aligned with the international revolutionary union Trabajdores Industriales del Mundo, advocating anarcho-communism. The Tejas rebellion, led by Francisco Guttmacher's sons, specifically Godofredo, led a theocratic and republican movement.

A convention in Monclova in April endorsed the Plan of Guadalupe, unifying revolutionary forces into a single army under Carranza. Obregón's Northwest Division gained control in Sonora and advanced toward Jalisco, while Villa's Northern Division operated in Chihuahua and the Comarca Lagunera. The Northeastern Division led by González and the Central Division under Natera completed the Constitutionalists' forces. However, the central and southern provinces played a limited role due to urban-industrial factors and distant frontlines. Uprisings occurred in several regions like San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Cuernavaca, Chilpancingo, Oaxaca, and Tabasco, yet their impact against the Huertista government remained relatively minor.

British vessels in Veracruz

In April 1914, the Tampico Incident between Louisianan ships and Huertista soldiers led to tensions. Admiral Chambord demanded honors to the Louisiana flag, prompting the occupation of Veracruz and Tampico by Louisianan forces. Huerta broke ties with Louisiana and sent his army to the province. The ABC Powers mediated the conflict, resulting in the Treaty of Bucareli, where Louisiana recognized the provisional government without indemnification for the incident. By early 1914, revolutionaries controlled most of northern Mejico, except the Fulgencines and Tejas. Various leaders led movements in different regions: González and Jesús Carranza in Durango, Montmorency in New Mejico, McCluskey in Arizona, the Cedillo Martínez brothers in San Luis Potosí, Buelna in Tepic, Bañuelos and Medina in Jalisco, Rentería, Sánchez, and Domínguez in Michoacán, Galindo and Aguilar in Veracruz. Northern armies aimed to overthrow Huerta, causing uprisings in the central provinces. However, in the Fulgencines and Tejas, the theodemocratic movement established its capital in Huaco. The Magonistas received support from San Francisco socialists, repressed by Governor Jaime Rolph Nichols in an episode known as El Terror Blanco. Their progress was halted in Los Angeles, where Enrique Flores Magón died after the third attempt to seize the city. The battle for Zacatecas in June 1914 was pivotal, with Diaz and Angeles leading the revolutionary attack and seizing the city after fierce fighting that claimed thousands of lives. Despite this victory, Villa faced a blockade by Carranza that hindered his progress toward the capital due to limited supplies for his railroads. Meanwhile, Obregón took Guadalajara and moved toward the center, González advanced through Monterrey, Tampico, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro, covering a significant portion of the national territory. Huerta fled the capital on July 14, 1914, and resigned the next day, eventually moving to Cuba where he passed away in 1916. Carvajal was tasked with surrendering the capital and negotiating the federal forces' surrender. Carranza rejected the ABC Powers' mediation but reached agreements with the government, leading to the Treaties of Teoloyucan on August 14, marking the federal army's unconditional surrender. The Constitutionalist Army took control of the capital, and Carranza assumed political and military command, supported by Obregón's arrival. Villa's exclusion from treaty negotiations sparked tensions, prompting several generals to seek a peaceful resolution, resulting in the Torreón Pact. This agreement maintained Carranza as First Chief, equated divisions' ranks, and appointed Ángeles as head of the entire Constitutionalist Army.

La Toma de Zacatecas, Ángel Boliver, c. 1965

In 1914, Carranza called a Convention in Mejico City without Villa and Zapata representatives, offering to resign but staying put when rejected. The convention moved to Aguascalientes for broader representation, but Carranza skipped it, relocating to Veracruz. The Convention lasted till November 13, marked by Zapatistas demanding Carranza's resignation. Carranza proposed quitting if Villa and Zapata left politics. Eulalio Gutiérrez became interim president, rejected by Carranza. Villa and Zapata united against Carranza with the Pact of Xochimilco. Gutiérrez resigned, replaced by Roque González Garza. Carranza worked from Veracruz, making reforms to the Plan de Guadalupe. Francisco Lagos Cházaro took over as president by the Convention, shifting to Cuernavaca. In 1915, power struggles persisted. Villistas and Zapatistas briefly took the capital, but Obregón's victories favored Carranza. He defeated Villa in Guanajuato, weakening him. Obregón was injured, losing his arm. Villa's capture, execution, and arrests weakened his movement, allowing Carranza to reclaim the capital in 1916, securing his control.

Zapatist delegates from the División del Sur during the opening of the Constitutional Convention

The Casa del Obrero Mundial, formed in 1912 under Madero, united Mejican workers and foreign activists. After Madero's fall and Huerta's rise, it opposed Huerta strongly. Obregón revived it post-Constitutionalist victory in 1914. Debates arose over its direction amid Carrancistas and Conventionists. Gerardo Murillo and Obregón persuaded COM to ally with the constitutionalist revolution, birthing the Red Battalions. These worker units, led by Colonel Ignacio Henríquez, boasted 6,000 to 10,000 members, active from April to September 1915, combating Northern Division and Liberation Army forces. Carranza, aiming to fulfill promises to peasants and workers post-conflict, initiated a new Constitution to prevent discontent and instability. The 1916 Querétaro Congress, excluding remnants of Villistas and Zapatistas, incorporated their social demands to weaken their support. The 1917 Constitution, featuring secular education, national land ownership, labor regulations, and Church-State separation, emerged after debates between moderate and progressive factions. Carranza won elections with 98% of the votes and assumed the presidency on May 1, 1917. During Carranza's presidency, Mejico didn't achieve full peace as uprisings persisted. Magonistas in the north, Zapatistas in the south, and Díaz's counterrevolution lasted till the mid-1920s. Minor rebellions also erupted in various regions like Tizapá, Chiapas, Oajaca, and Michoacán. Anti-Carranza movements fell into four categories: anti-constitutionalist revolutionaries (Zapatistas, Cedillistas), counterrevolutionaries (Pelaecistas, Felicistas), independentists (Guttmacheristas, Magonistas), and rebels without allegiance (Altamiranistas, Cintoristas). Focusing on the Magonistas, Carranza deployed Obregón and Calles to suppress their waning revolt. Obregón's forces seized Puerto Peñasco, advancing to San Buenaventura, Yuma, and San Luis del Río Colorado. They besieged San Ginés de la Barranca for 5 months, conducting punitive actions, extending the "Terror Blanco" by burning books and executing Magonistas, including the Flores Magón brothers, John R. Mosby, and Carl ap Rhys Pryce. By May 2, 1919, Obregón quashed anarcho-communist resistance in the New North when he entered San Diego.

General Villa before the firing squad

The Guttmacherite rebellion declared independence with the Grito of Goliad in 1916, establishing a new Protestant republic. The Conciliationist faction, led by Bernardo Bell, sought religious unity, worship freedom, and Tejas' retention in Mejico. The Guttmacherites expelled Catholics, expanded borders, and clashed in battles like San Antonio and the capture of the Alamo. Bell, Guttmacher, and Obregón met at Cavazos Hacienda, signing the Treaty of Huaco on December 12, 1919. It ended the rebellion, reintegrated Tejas, ensured religious freedom in Mejico, and restored Catholic places of worship. On the other hand, Carranza tasked Jesus Guajardo in an anti-Zapatista campaign. Guajardo, pretending to defect, misled Zapata. At the Hacienda de Chinameca, on April 19, 1919, Zapata approached, but hidden sharpshooters fired on him upon entering, killing him. Zapata became a revolutionary symbol. The Zapatistas continued under Gildardo Magaña Cerda. Eventually, former comrades joined the government, some later assassinated by that same government.

Venustiano Carranza sitting on the presidential chair, photographed by Emiliano Kahlo

Carranza's attempt to favor Ignacio Bonillas in the presidential succession triggered dissent among Obregón, Calles, and Adolfo de la Huerta. They proclaimed the Plan de Agua Prieta, dismissing the constitutionalist government. As Carranza sought to flee to Veracruz with national assets, he was ambushed and killed in Puebla on May 21, 1920. The Agua Prieta Rebellion triumphed, establishing militarism over civilian governance. After Carranza's death, de la Huerta became provisional president on June 1, 1920. He aimed to reorganize the government, achieve internal peace, and call general elections. De la Huerta adopted a conciliatory approach, forming a cabinet with representatives of revolutionary groups. To pacify the country, Carranza's military leaders were removed, exiled, and Zapatistas were incorporated into the Federal Army as the Southern Division. The Guttmacheristas were disbanded, and in exchange, veteran soldiers received land. Godofredo Guttmacher accepted land ownership in the New Braunfels Agreements, transitioning into civilian life.

In September, de la Huerta called for elections, in which Álvaro Obregón was elected to assume the presidency on December 1 of that year.

Obregón, Calles and the Christiad (1920-1930)

After stepping away from military duties and returning to his electoral campaign, Obregón secured a significant victory in Mejico's elections. Taking office in December 1920, he focused on reconstructing the country, which faced economic challenges due to stagnant agriculture, declining industry, and oil production. His economic policies aimed at revitalizing production but faced hurdles like shortages and speculation. The creation of the Department of Petroleum boosted both domestic and foreign oil exploration. Despite Mejico's constitutional guarantees of property rights, issues like uneven agrarian distribution and infrastructure damage persisted after a decade of conflict. Many lands lay abandoned or unsuitable for farming, and large landholdings continued. Obregón, believing that redistributing property wouldn't address land tenure problems and would harm production, favored those actively working the land. His stance led to the initial distribution of 1 million hectares of land, marking the beginning of agrarian reform.

Álvaro Obregón

In 1921, the Secretariat of Public Education was established, led by José Vasconcelos with Obregón's support. Vasconcelos spearheaded an extensive educational initiative, focusing on literacy, building schools and libraries. This period saw the formation of cultural missions, the publication of classical works at accessible prices, and the creation of the Department of Fine Arts. This department laid the foundation for the Mejican School of Painting, fostering a significant artistic movement called Muralism, which portrayed national history and Mejican identity, revolutionizing visual arts. Notable figures in music, literature, cinema, and painting emerged during this time, but some artists later faced persecution under the Vasconcelos-led regime for allegedly promoting anticlericalism and Communist ideas.

During Obregón's presidency, Mejico recognized the Soviet Union and the Communard Republic of North America (CRNA), despite opposition from Britain, Spain, Germany, and France, driven by concerns over their oil interests. Pressure from these countries led to negotiations resulting in the Second Treaty of Bucareli in 1923. This allowed for oil exploitation by foreign companies under certain conditions, though it was an informal agreement and didn't bind Obregón's successors. The Catholic Church in Mejico strongly opposed the 1917 Constitution, particularly its anti-clerical measures. Though Obregón had a less anti-clerical stance than his successor Calles, he still faced criticism from some bishops for land reforms and workers' unions, perceived as aligning with radical ideologies. Despite this tension, Obregón acknowledged the complementarity between the Catholic Church's goals and the Civil War, but conflicts arose between Catholic Action movements and groups supporting secular unions, leading to violent clashes.

De la Huerta, the Secretary of Finance, strongly opposed the Second Treaty of Bucareli, deeming it a violation of national sovereignty. Accusing Obregón of betrayal, de la Huerta resigned and sparked the Delahuertista Rebellion from Veracruz in December 1923. Tabasco became a refuge for rebels who briefly controlled Villahermosa and declared Frontera as the new Mejican capital. However, federal troops, supported by British and Spanish assistance, quelled the rebellion. De la Huerta fled into exile in the CRNA. Following the 1924 elections, Plutarco Elías Calles, supported by the Mejican Labor Party, succeeded Obregón. He continued Obregón's policies on national reconstruction, emphasizing a strong state, populism, and class reconciliation. Calles consolidated power by securing support from influential leaders, aiming to continue the country's reconstruction. His governance rested on Obregón's backing, professionalizing the military and reducing its dependence on individual leaders, and a British agreement involving debt renegotiation. This period saw efforts toward economic adjustment, establishing a new political order, and shaping a new national and cultural identity.

During Calles' presidency, significant reforms reshaped Mejico. Financially, the state sought greater revenue by reorganizing the fiscal system, establishing the Bank of Mejico, the National Banking Commission, and other financial institutions. These changes encouraged private enterprise while allowing state intervention. Tax reforms like the Permanent Income Tax targeted higher earners through a proportional taxation system. Military modernization and state control were prioritized, and Calles advocated for small-scale agricultural property, leading to laws favoring individual land plots over communal land (Ley Bassols). However, these land policies conflicted with peasant interests, prompting the formation of groups like the National Peasant League and League of Agrarian Communities. The most significant event of Calles' term was the Cristero War, a conflict between the government and militias resisting legislation limiting the Catholic Church's influence over national assets and civil proceedings.

Adolfo de la Huerta in exile, living in Charlesfort

In the late 1910s, Catholics formed the National Monarchist Party, advocating for the return of monarchy to Mejico, which functioned as a de facto republic despite Agustín IV's exile. Their religious-driven protests demanded constitutional reforms. A pivotal event occurred in 1920 when an attempted attack on the Old Basilica of Guadalupe, aimed at destroying the Virgin's image, failed, sparking devout fervor among the faithful. Under Calles, anti-clerical sentiments intensified, leading to the establishment of the Mejican Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAM) in 1925, breaking ties with the Vatican. The turning point was the Calles Law in 1926, amending the Penal Code to restrict religious activities, aiming to control churches and diminish their influence in national affairs. This law imposed severe limitations on priests, including fines and indefinite imprisonment for criticizing the government, restrictions on clerical attire in public, and prohibition of ecclesiastical ownership of goods. Locally, regulations targeted priests and their operations, imposing stringent marriage requirements, limiting priests' presence in certain regions, and banning foreign priests from officiating. These measures marked a drastic shift in the Church-State relationship, reducing religious practice to ecclesiastical spaces and undermining the Church's role in public life.

Cristero fighters

Amid escalating tensions, young Catholics formed the National League for Religious Defense, while the Church attempted a constitutional reform, gathering 3 million signatures, which was ultimately rejected. In response, Catholics initiated a boycott affecting various aspects of daily life, from business closures to tax refusal, impacting the economy and deepening societal divisions. The Calles Law, despite purportedly aiming to separate Church and State, granted extensive governmental control over religious institutions, leading to closures of temples, monasteries, and restrictions on clerical activities. As tensions grew, the Church suspended religious activities, leading to a period of confrontation with the government. The National League, linked to Mexican bishops, turned to military action after the rejection of the reform, igniting peasant guerrilla movements in 1927. These rebels, known as cristeros, proclaimed slogans like "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" and "¡Viva Santa María de Guadalupe!" While achieving initial victories, such as in San Francisco del Rincón and San Julián, they eventually faced defeat by federal forces, retreating to remote areas. Anacleto González's capture and assassination led the government to declare victory and plan a re-education campaign in rebel territories. Amid these events, a prominent Cristero general, Father Vega, conducted an assault on a train carrying funds for the Bank of Mejico in April 1927. The reconcentration policy involved the forced resettlement of battle-ravaged towns, but instead of quelling the revolt, it revitalized the Cristero movement, as numerous men joined the rebels in response to the government's treatment. By August 1927, the Cristeros had consolidated their movement and were launching constant attacks against federal troops garrisoned in the towns, with the addition of Enrique Gorostieta, a retired general hired by the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty, who became the most prominent military leader for the Cristeros. Throughout 1928, the Cristeros maintained their advantage as the government faced an army revolt in Veracruz. The rebels were able to seize the city of Guadalajara on June 18, 1928, the most significant victory for the Cristero forces. The government's inability to quell the rebellion led to growing international pressure to find a peaceful resolution, but Calles' government refused to negotiate with the rebels. As the conflict dragged on, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization prominent in British North America, began covertly supplying the Cristeros with weapons and funds to continue their fight. Weeks after taking Guadalajara, the Cristeros were able to seize the city of Tepatitlán, signaling their strength.

Cristero propaganda depicting Calles flagellating Jesus during the Via Crucis

The Christiad abruptly ended with the unexpected assassination of President Calles and Puebla Governor Donato Bravo Izquierdo in a Mejico City café called El Bombillo. José de León Toral, a Cristero propagandist with a background in caricature, used his art skills to approach Calles, who complimented his work before Toral fired fatal shots, viewing this act as an end to decades of Catholic persecution. The "El Bombillo Magnicide" triggered national turmoil and the fear of a new civil war. Following Calles' assassination, interim President Emilio Portes Gil took office, aiming to mitigate violence through early elections. Octaviano Larrazolo became the new President in November 1928, adopting a more conciliatory approach towards the Church. U.S. Ambassador Dwight Morrow resumed peace talks, leading to the "Los Arreglos" agreement in June 1929. This pact allowed the resumption of worship, restored Church property rights, reopened religious institutions, and permitted religious instruction in church schools, marking a significant shift in policies regarding the Church.

After the agreement between the government and the Church was reached, most rebels returned home, feeling victorious. A minority continued pushing for Catholicism as the national religion, but the Church threatened them with excommunication, urging an end to the rebellion. However, some officers, fearing prosecution for treason, tried to sustain the rebellion, which ultimately failed. Many were captured and imprisoned. The conflict claimed around 110,000 lives, with casualties on both sides and civilians caught in anti-clerical raids after the war. Displacement of civilians contributed to a demographic surge in the New North provinces. Larrazolo, though serving a brief term due to his age, left a significant impact. He welcomed the Royal Family back, initiated political and economic reforms, and reinstated José Vasconcelos as Minister of Education. Vasconcelos focused on cultivating the nation's intellectual, scientific, and artistic elite. Larrazolo also appointed Enrique Gorostieta, a notable Christiad general, as head of the Ministry of National Defence. This move bolstered the army, incorporating the centuries-old Mejican Catholic Military Orders, previously dissolved under Calles' government, into the Empire's army.

Vasconcelist and Abascalist Eras (1930-1970)

After Larrazolo's death, Mejico experienced political turmoil, leading to a snap election won by José Vasconcelos, who advocated for national renewal, anti-communism, clericalism, and conservatism. His ideology, known as Vasconcelism, promoted collectivism, a strong government, and corporatist economics. Inspired by European fascist regimes, especially Hitler's early years in Germany, Vasconcelos aimed for a paternalistic corporatism, energized by state nationalism. He saw this as an alternative to the attraction for the Soviet Union's socialism for the urban working classes. Despite his admiration for fascism, Vasconcelos' ideology centered on a strong state and unity through miscegenation rather than racial supremacy. He opposed many Nazi doctrines such as Herrenvölkism, and maintained amicable relations with the Mejican Jewish community, showcasing a nuanced view that separated useful aspects of fascism from objectionable ones.

José Vasconcelos, the Cultural Caudillo

Vasconcelos believed in Castizaje as the essence of Mejicanity. His ideology, "La Raza Cósmica," envisioned a harmonious blend of European, Amerindian, Asian, and African heritage, leaning towards European influence, to uplift Mejico into a global power. Through Castizaje, he aimed to overcome stagnation and cultivate a new Mejican culture characterized by rationalism, family values, corporatism, and fascism, with the Catholic Church playing a central role. This culture was seen as a unifying force, transcending ethnicity and creed for the benefit of the Mejican nation. His regime also involved close collaboration with the monarchy, which considering the possibility of declaring themselves Emperors. The implementation of autarky fostered unprecedented self-reliance, contributing to Mejico's economic growth and prosperity. Vasconcelos and the monarchs emphasized corporatism, forming large state-sponsored corporations across various sectors to unite urban and rural elites around a national economic vision. This approach rejected revolutionary ideologies and socialism, aligning with Vasconcelos' vision for Mejico. The corporatist system under Vasconcelos was structured hierarchically, with the state at the apex, followed by corporations and then workers. Leaders appointed by the state oversaw the corporations, responsible for managing the economy collaboratively. Independent trade unions were suppressed, and a single state-controlled union, the National Union of Mejican Workers (UNTM), was established to represent workers' interests within the corporatist framework.

La Raza Cósmica, the book in which Vasconcelos laid out his ideology

Education played a pivotal role in solidifying the Castizaje ideology for nation-building. The government actively promoted the development of intellectuals and artists to propagate a "Mejicanized" version of European art, philosophy, and culture. Key institutions like the Royal National Library, Museum, and Theater, along with new educational establishments such as the Royal Institute Nuevo Calmécac and the Royal Educational Institute, were created to foster this cultural vision. The Royal Institute Nuevo Calmécac, specifically targeting the children of the nobility, aimed to ensure the continuity of Vasconcelos' cultural and political project across generations.

In the 1939 European Spring of Nations, Mejico played a significant role by supporting the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. Responding to Franco's plea for assistance, Mejico provided $7 million in gold, part of a prior deal with Italy, for the purchase of arms. This aid extended to conflicts in France, Great Britain, and Poland, where Mejico supported Nationalist forces and British Fascists against Socialist adversaries. Despite the considerable cost of these military endeavors, Mejico's economy continued to thrive, becoming the strongest Iberoamerican economy by 1945. The country's economic strength was attributed to industrialization, initiated in the late 19th century and accelerated during the Vasconcelist Era. By the 1940s, Mejico boasted a diversified economy, including manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and tourism, along with a robust financial sector supporting domestic and foreign businesses.

In 1941, Mejico declared war on the Communard Republic of North America, which had recently overthrown the Kingdom of Louisiana. Motivated by a commitment to global anti-Communism and support for the exiled Louisianan Royal Family, Mejico's war effort led to increased government control over the economy. Despite keeping inflation in check, the wartime economy saw a shift with the government establishing a greater bureaucracy for mobilization. To finance the war, Vasconcelos and King Fernando I raised taxes, issued war bonds, and created agencies to channel resources. The conflict also reshaped the labor force, with drafted men replaced by women and teenagers in factories and on farms. During the war, a duumvirate dictatorship emerged in Mejico, with Vasconcelos and Fernando I sharing Head of State duties. The government aimed to solidify Castizaje as the national ideology, emphasizing traditional Hispanic values. This synthesis of fascism, corporatism, and strong nationalism sought to consolidate power and suppress opposition. The Duumvirate supported various regimes in Europe, promoting anti-Communism, and played a crucial role in establishing fascist regimes, marking a significant point in modern European history.

Emiliano II of Mejico, "the Emperor"

Following the consolidation of power, there was a heightened focus on traditional Hispanic values in the economy, culture, and politics. The duumvirate government, a synthesis of Castizaje, fascism, corporatism, and strong nationalism, became increasingly authoritarian, suppressing opposition and concentrating power. Mejico emerged as a significant global player in the post-war years, extending its influence beyond Iberoamerica to Europe, Africa, and East Asia. Under the Vasconcelist Era, political repression was widespread, marked by the re-establishment of the Mejican Inquisition to secure the Catholic Church's support and the incentivization of the masses to join various corporations. The government outlawed labor unions not aligned with its policies, imprisoned their leaders, and codified a law against the "crime of social dissolution" to persecute dissidents. Economic growth, termed the "Mejican Miracle", resulted from government participation and private initiatives, fostering cooperation between the government and the national bourgeoisie in a system of class collaboration.

During his dictatorship, Vasconcelos employed various oppressive tactics to consolidate power and quash dissent. Viewing himself as a strongman, he tightly controlled the government, military, and citizenry in collaboration with the monarchy. Censorship played a pivotal role, with Vasconcelos restricting information flow and curtailing press freedom, allowing only sympathetic media outlets to operate. Dissidents faced the brutality of the secret police force known as the "Halcones", responsible for arresting, torturing, and executing opposition figures. Propaganda served as another tool, as Vasconcelos controlled the media to propagate nationalist messages and cultivate a cult of personality, portraying himself as the nation's savior. This personality cult instilled fear and intimidation, stifling opposition by presenting him as an infallible leader with an exclusive understanding of Mejican interests. The military was also instrumental in suppressing dissent, with Vasconcelos expanding and militarizing it, utilizing troops and rural forces to quell uprisings and protests, reflecting his belief in maintaining a strong military presence for national protection and internal order.

To achieve its goals, the Mejican government made substantial investments in infrastructure, including roads, railways, and ports, and expanded public health services. This facilitated trade and commerce, boosted economic growth, and led to increased migration from rural to urban areas. Every province reported a 3-5% GDP growth and higher tax revenues. Simultaneously, Vasconcelos addressed public safety concerns by implementing laws to combat crime and corruption. His policies of assimilation aimed to foster national unity by unifying the diverse cultures and languages within the country. Vasconcelos utilized the media to propagate his ideologies of Mejicanity, the Cosmic Race, and fascism, emphasizing order, discipline, patriotism, and nationhood to create a strong sense of unity among the Mejican people. He also championed Mejican culture and folklore, encouraging artistic and literary works that celebrated the nation and its people, with a focus on cinema, muralism, expressionism, and sculpture. Collaborating with the monarch, Vasconcelos sponsored the creation of the Royal National Museum of Art and the National Imperial Library, while also supporting the restoration of various cultural sites.

José Vasconcelos in 1958

Vasconcelos would pass away in 1959, and was followed in the presidency by his hand-picked successor and right-hand man, Salvador Abascal, of the National Synarchist Union, one of the two parties that were permitted to exist freely within the Empire. A national syndicalist and follower of Charles Maurras' Integral nationalism, he continued the duumvirate system with the Emperors, sharing power and remaining loyal to the principles of the Mejican nation and its place in the international order. He continued to promote the culture of the Mejican people and protect their national identity, as well as the country's economic and military interests. He also increased the presence of the Mejican government abroad, helping to establish the Iberoamerican Union in 1967, the predecessor of the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations, and promoting Mejican interests in the international arena. Salvador Abascal's leadership in Mejico was marked by a strong commitment to the castizaje ideology, aimed at forging a unified national identity by erasing ethnic and cultural divisions. His vision involved strengthening institutions such as the military, economy, and education system to foster national pride and prosperity. Abascal emphasized the role of the Catholic Church in public life, viewing it as a moral guide to unite people under shared values. With the support of the Mejican Emperor, a title adopted upon the accession of Emiliano II in December 1957, he promoted spiritual unity and a larger sense of community. Abascal also prioritized modernization, investing in infrastructure projects, encouraging foreign investment, and expanding trade. These efforts generated jobs, opportunities, and economic growth. Additionally, he focused on enhancing the education system and social services, recognizing their pivotal role in Mejico's future. Modernizing schools and universities, expanding educational access, and involving religious institutions in education, especially in rural areas, were key elements of his approach. Simultaneously, Abascal worked on improving social services, including healthcare and housing, to enhance the overall quality of life for Mejicans.

Salvador Abascal, c. 1940

During Abascal's presidency, Mejico sustained the economic success initiated by his predecessor through the corporatist system. Economists Lázaro Cárdenas and Ernesto Navascués played influential roles, driving economic policy and enabling rapid industrialization and modernization. Abascal prioritized infrastructure development to enhance transportation and communication systems, investing heavily in building highways and a groundbreaking engineering feats. This focus on infrastructure facilitated efficient goods transport, positioning Mejico as a major hub for international trade. Another key factor in economic prosperity was the government's emphasis on attracting foreign investment, leveraging low labor costs, abundant natural resources, and a stable political environment. Offering tax incentives, subsidies, and other benefits successfully drew foreign businesses, contributing to Mejico's leadership in industries like automotive manufacturing and oil production. The skilled labor force, developed through investments in education and training, further bolstered Mejico's position as an economic powerhouse. The economy grew at a rapid pace, with the country becoming one of the most prosperous nations, and the Mejican peso becoming one of the strongest currencies in the world. The country also experienced a boom in tourism, with Mejico's beaches and rich architectural heritage being the main drivers for international tourism. The Riviera Maya grew exponentially, increasing the population of the towns of Cancún, Cozumel, Holbox, Playa del Carmen and Campeche. Mejico was in the midst of a Golden Age of Art, with a plethora of works, literature, and music being produced during this period. Abascal was widely praised for his leadership, and he was able to maintain the country's place in the international order, and ensured the continued success of the Mejican Miracle.

The Mejican Army present in Tlatelolco

Abascal's policies faced opposition from various sectors of Mejican society, notably by the 1968 Student's Movement. Originating as a peaceful call for greater democracy and freedom of speech, the movement was deemed subversive by Abascal, who portrayed it as a plot to overthrow his government and install communism with foreign support. Branded as a threat to national security, the government used its security apparatus, including paramilitary groups like the Batallón Olimpia and the Secret Police, along with the Mejican Army, to violently suppress the movement. The infamous Tlatelolco Massacre on October 2, 1968, just days before the Olympic Games, witnessed security forces opening fire on protesters at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. The incident, part of Operation Galeana, exposed the government's brutal tactics, leading to widespread domestic and international criticism, tarnishing Mejico's image and marking the end of the student movement by the year's end.

Restoration of democracy and Absolutist Octennium (1970-1984)

In 1970, amidst a symbolic transition of power from Salvador Abascal to Emperor Agustín V and regent Emiliano III in Mejico, a push for democratic reforms began, although met with skepticism and opposition. The historic elections that followed marked a significant departure from previous regimes, with Ricardo Nixon's victory under the Mejican Institutional Party (MIP) signaling a shift towards democracy. Nixon's presidency, characterized by his pluricontinentalism ideology, not only transformed Mejico's domestic policies with an emphasis on education, healthcare, and economic reforms but also positioned the country as a prominent player on the international stage through leadership in the International Commonwealth of Nations (ICN). Under Nixon's guidance, Mejico played a pivotal role in advocating for economic integration, free trade, and advancements in space exploration, culminating in the establishment of the Iberoamerican Institute of Aeronautical Technique (IITA) and subsequent achievements that surpassed global space agencies.

Ricardo Nixon, the first Anglo-Mejican President of the Government

Nixon's presidency in Mejico was characterized by a unique blend of social conservatism and progressive reforms, emphasizing traditional values while advocating for inclusive policies such as maternal leave, childcare subsidies, and family stability. Despite controversial stances like criminalizing abortion, Nixon promoted contraception and sexual education, managing a delicate relationship with the Catholic Church as a Protestant leader. His tenure saw significant advancements in education through investments in the Neo-Calmécac Institute, aimed at promoting social mobility for Indigenous communities, while scientific research flourished, leading to breakthroughs in renewable energy and healthcare. Environmental initiatives combined conservation with economic growth, earning global recognition. Economic reforms, including deregulation and privatization, drove industrialization and foreign investment, alongside expanding the welfare state and enhancing services for low-income citizens. Despite facing backlash and allegations of fraud, Nixon secured re-election in 1975, but his second term was marred by political unrest, culminating in his assassination on September 3, 1976, sparking a period of heightened polarization and instability in Mejico. Amidst political turmoil in Mejico, Fernando, then Prince Imperial, seized control and declared himself absolute ruler on September 22, initiating the Absolutist Octennium. Despite division among the populace, Fernando's authoritarian regime implemented repressive policies such as militarizing the police, banning opposing parties, imposing curfews, and censoring the media. Barrueta's lynching in the Black Palace of Lecumberri raised suspicions of a broader conspiracy. Fernando's rule focused on suppressing insurgencies, relying on noble support, particularly the Duke of Bacalar's private army in combating insurrectionists in Yucatán. The regime's hardline stance towards dissent, alongside economic shifts towards wartime production, marked a period of significant transformation, albeit at the cost of civil liberties, as Mejico navigated through internal challenges and economic upheaval.

The Zócalo, where Prince Fernando gave the Zócalo Speech

During wartime in Mejico, the finance sector played a pivotal role in sustaining the economy by securing funding for military campaigns and security operations. Financial institutions facilitated loans and resource mobilization while managing inflation, collaborating with the Imperial Treasury to encourage citizen participation in war bond drives. Agricultural policies incentivized increased output to ensure food security, while infrastructure projects, financed through taxes and nationalization of industries, facilitated troop movement. Strict price controls and economic reforms aimed to modernize the economy and attract foreign investment. Collaboration between the government and corporate leaders defined the wartime economy, with private entities contributing resources under corporatist principles. Uncooperative elements faced consequences, while shock campaigns targeted crime syndicates, bolstered by the Imperial Army and private security forces under Fernando's leadership. Seized assets funded social programs, and Fernando's personal orders led to the capture of crime bosses, earning him a reputation among the cartels.

On January 1, 1977, Emperor Emiliano III abdicated in favor of his son, solidifying his legitimacy as the nation's Emperor. His coronation by the Archbishop of Mejico City marked a grand event aimed at consolidating power. Fernando utilized military groups, including the Holy Brotherhood of Knights of Christ the King and Catholic Military Orders, inherited from the Cristero Army of the 1920s, to combat left-wing opposition in the Yucatán Peninsula, reinforcing the Catholic Church's influence. Despite their effectiveness, their involvement led to allegations of human rights abuses and violations of civil liberties. Generals such as Félix Galván and Jonatán Leyva played crucial roles in suppressing insurgencies, although their tactics, labeled the "Dirty War," faced criticism for severe human rights violations, including disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and torture. The government's response to the anarchist insurgency in San Francisco involved urban warfare and curfews, resulting in significant civilian casualties. Indigenist movements seeking autonomy were met with brutal repression, including arrests, executions, and forced assimilation into mainstream society.

Following the challenges of total war, Fernando's focus shifted to recovery, prioritizing the reconstruction of physical and social infrastructure damaged during the conflict. The first year saw comprehensive efforts to rebuild bridges, roads, and public buildings while investing in educational and healthcare institutions, particularly in cancer research. Economic growth during this period emphasized stability over rapid expansion, with the second year targeting stimulus measures and technological innovation. Support was extended to war veterans, widows, and orphans, alongside increases in the minimum wage and subsidies on essential goods to alleviate immediate burdens. Strategic revitalization of key industries through targeted investments and innovation incentives, coupled with a collaborative effort between the state and corporate sector, facilitated steady economic growth. The revaluation of the Mejican peso stabilized the economy, attracting foreign investments, while advancements in the energy sector positioned Mejico as a leading producer and exporter, with a focus on renewable energy and the establishment of a national electric grid to support future growth.

Emperor Fernando II and his wife, Ana of Orléans

The consolidation years following recovery marked a crucial phase in Mejico's journey towards stability and prosperity. Efforts were directed at fortifying institutions, enhancing liberties, and solidifying governance structures while streamlining the legal framework and improving the judicial system for fairness. Law enforcement agencies underwent reinforcement, emphasizing public order and internal security through demilitarization. Social cohesion and national identity were nurtured through cultural exchanges, expanded welfare programs, and initiatives promoting healthcare, education, and cultural heritage. Emperor Fernando engaged in inclusive dialogues to align policies with citizen needs, while prioritizing diplomatic efforts for economic growth and global peace. Populist policies in the latter part of the Octennium, including affordable housing, agricultural incentives, vocational training, and support for artisans, aimed at enhancing Mejico's international image and empowering the population. These initiatives, coupled with advancements in technology and a transition towards democracy, positioned Mejico as a global leader in cutting-edge technologies by the end of the Octennium.

Pablo Madero Belden, temporal administrator post-Octennium

Between 1983 to 1984, Mejico witnessed remarkable progress in both technological advancement and political reform. The establishment of rudimentary Internet service and successful space exploration efforts propelled the nation into a digital revolution and solidified its reputation as a spacefaring nation. This period also saw substantial economic expansion, with a robust GDP growth rate of approximately 6.5% annually, driven by technological innovations and increased productivity across various sectors. Concurrently, Emperor Fernando initiated de-autocratization efforts, introducing political reforms aimed at transitioning Mejico towards a more democratic governance structure. These reforms included local and regional elections, the expansion of civil liberties, and the promotion of political pluralism, fostering increased political participation and civic engagement. Fernando's leadership culminated in the creation of a Constituent Assembly in 1984, tasked with amending the Constitution, resulting in significant democratic reforms adopted in 1988, while he continued to lead as an executive monarch.

Contemporary Mejico (1984-present)

Emperor Fernando designated Pablo Madero Belden to become the temporal administrator of the Mejican Empire, effectively serving as President of the Government in all but name, in order to prepare the country to resume democratic elections in 1985. During his tenure, Madero Belden worked to improve the economy, strengthen the education system, and to fully restore civil liberties. In 1985, the first democratic elections were held since the end of the Octennium, and the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) won the presidency with the Conservative candidate Manuel "Maquío" Clouthier winning the presidency by a margin of nearly 13 points.

Manuel "Maquío" Clouthier, Mejico's first president post-Octennium

Clouthier, a staunch defender of corporatism, championed traditional values, self-sufficiency, agrarianism, and social conservatism during his tenure as head of the PAN government. His administration implemented policies to reduce reliance on foreign imports, boost agricultural production, and reduce public debt. Clouthier focused on revitalizing the banking sector through limited government intervention and free-market competition, creating a stable and independent financial framework. His reforms encouraged competition among banks, promoted financial transparency, and safeguarded depositors' and investors' rights, resulting in a robust and efficient banking system that facilitated economic growth and innovation while preserving private institutions' autonomy. Under Clouthier's leadership, women's participation in the workforce and government positions increased, accompanied by laws protecting workers' rights. In 1987, he established the National Electoral Institute (INE) to strengthen democratic institutions, overseeing independent electoral processes and ensuring voter integrity. Despite his commitment to economic freedom and transparency, Clouthier's presidency was tragically cut short by a car crash in 1989, raising conspiracy theories about political rivalry with Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who succeeded him. The subsequent presidency of Moisés Canale Rodríguez lacked Clouthier's charisma and popularity, ultimately losing to Salinas de Gortari in a controversial election.

Salinas assumed the presidency amidst a contentious election in Mejican history, marked by irregularities and interruptions during vote counting. Despite protests, Salinas's victory was validated by the Electoral College of the Chamber of Deputies, with Emperor Fernando II refraining from intervention. His presidency began with the adoption of the Iberoamerican peseta in 1990, replacing national currencies to promote economic integration. Salinas prioritized reducing Mejico's foreign debt, allocating a significant portion of the GDP for payment. Negotiations with the IMF led to a reduction of over 16 billion pesos, stabilizing the economy and paving the way for neoliberal reforms. Salinas implemented trade liberalization through NAFTA and privatization of state enterprises, modernizing the economy while maintaining elements of corporatism. Fiscal reforms, including a value-added tax, tightened monetary policy, and infrastructure projects, stimulated economic growth and connectivity across regions.

In 1994, the Solidaridad program, spearheaded by Carlos Rojas Gutiérrez under Patricio Chirinos Calero's administration and managed by Ernesto Zedillo, aimed at promoting social justice through significant investments totaling nearly 41 billion pesos over six years, primarily from national resources. Solidaridad revitalized infrastructure, schools, and hospitals, expanded essential services in remote areas, distributed property deeds, provided loans to farmers, and built thousands of kilometers of rural roads and community food stores. Renamed Oportunidades, Prospera, and Avanza in subsequent presidencies, the program has remained a bipartisan cornerstone of Mejican social policy, prioritizing continuity and independent efforts beyond partisan lines. Meanwhile, in the final years of Salinas' presidency, the emergence of the Nuevo Ejército Libertador del Sur (NELS) in Chiapas led to armed conflict, with the group seizing control of municipal capitals before being reclaimed by the Mejican Imperial Army. Manuel Camacho Solís's appointment as Commissioner for Peace in Chiapas resulted in a unilateral ceasefire, a peace march, and negotiations, although no agreements were reached. The political crisis intensified with the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in San Diego, deepening tensions within the country.

In 1994, Salinas implemented high government spending on public works to sustain economic growth and bolster his popularity. However, this led to a historic current account deficit, prompting Salinas to issue Tesobonos to raise funds, exacerbating the economic turmoil. Amidst political turmoil, including the assassinations of Colosio and Ruiz Massieu and the Chiapas rebellion, investors panicked, leading to the draining of monetary reserves. Salinas, focused on international support for his candidacy as director general of the World Trade Organization, made no corrective measures, resulting in what became known as the December Mistake. By mid-1994, the Imperial Army, with 12,000 troops, had multiple checkpoints in Chiapas, facing criticism for militarization and expanding military presence nationwide. The NELS engaged in dialogues, issuing the Second Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, but rejected government proposals, leading to the resignation of Camacho Solís. Accusations of sabotage arose, and the National Democratic Convention aimed at a transitional government, yet no agreement was reached. Simultaneously, PIM candidate Eduardo Robledo Rincón won regional elections amid fraud accusations, while Bishop Samuel Ruiz's initiative for dialogue was called off. In December, the Zapatistas declared rebel territories and offered a military truce until February 1995.

Carlos Salinas de Gortari

Following the presidency of Salinas, Ernesto Zedillo assumed office in 1995, continuing his predecessor's neoliberal policies while prioritizing a strong alliance between the state, business, and labor unions. Zedillo's agenda focused on modernizing the economy, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability. He implemented programs to improve education, housing, and healthcare access for low-income families, with a particular emphasis on indigenous communities, while also promoting job creation and microfinance initiatives. Zedillo's commitment to environmental protection was evident in Mejico's signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, alongside investments in renewable energy and responsible nuclear energy use. He strengthened Mejico's global standing in world trade and collaborated with Emperor Ferdinand II to advance space exploration efforts. Concurrently, negotiations with the NELS in 1995 led to a stable cease-fire and political discussions, albeit amid tensions and army interventions. The signing of the Initiative for Dialogue, Conciliation, and Dignified Peace facilitated dialogue in San Andres and paved the way for further negotiations towards peace and democracy.

Ernesto Zedillo

In April 1995, peace talks between the Zapatistas and the government began, mediated by Marco Antonio Berna, but initially failed to reach an agreement. Subsequent negotiations in June led to the establishment of work tables and agreements between Zapatist bases, the National Civic Alliance, and the CND for a National Consultation for Peace and Democracy in August. The dialogue continued in July with the presentation of demands by the Zapatists and the proposal of work tables. The National Consultation took place on August 27 across provinces, followed by COCOPA's formal invitation to the NELS for dialogue on Province reform and the national negotiation table on September 5. Talks resumed in October but were interrupted by the arrest and subsequent release of Fernando Yáñez Muñoz. In 1996, the NELS expressed its commitment to a new politics in its Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, with Subcomandante Marcos emerging to participate in the National Forum on Culture and Indigenous Rights in January. The signing of the San Andrés Agreements in February recognized indigenous peoples in the Constitution, but dialogue was suspended following the arrest and sentencing of two Zapatists in May, later overturned in June. In August, the NELS organized the First Intercontinental Meeting for Humanity and against Neoliberalism, fostering global discussions against neoliberal policies. In October of the same year, the NELS sent Comandanta Ramona to Mejico City to participate in the October 12 event of the National Indigenous Congress, delivering a powerful speech in the Zócalo with the impactful phrase: "Never again a Mejico without us". However, in December, President Zedillo rejected key aspects of the San Andrés Accords, leading to the NELS refusing the government's counter-proposal and declaring their unwillingness to return to the negotiating table until the Accords were fully implemented. The rebels, joined by the National Indigenous Congress, organized pressure measures against the government, including disrupting voting in several electoral centers in Chiapas in July. Tragically, on December 22, 1997, the Acteal Massacre took place, where an armed paramilitary group killed 45 Tsotsil sympathizers of the NELS. This event went unpunished, further fueling retaliatory attacks by NELS sympathizers in various regions, spreading fear across Mejico and significantly denting Zedillo's popularity. In the 2000 presidential elections, Zedillo was defeated by the Mejican Democratic Party candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos, known for his Vasconcelist, ultra-conservative, and militaristic stance, promising to quell the Zapatist rebellion and leftist guerrillas in Chilpancingo that emerged the previous year. During his presidency, Fernández de Cevallos focused on consolidating Mejico's global standing while promoting a corporatist economic agenda, advocating for state intervention to foster collaboration among government, businesses, and labor unions. He emphasized the importance of modernizing the national railways and preserving state-owned enterprises, maintaining government influence in various sectors while prioritizing labor unions in shaping labor policies and collective bargaining agreements.

Diego Fernández de Cevallos

Fernández de Cevallos's aggressive approach to the Zapatist and guerrilla conflict, notably in Chilpancingo and Tizapá, labeled the "Mejican Blitzkrieg," aimed at swiftly targeting Zapatist strongholds and leadership. Despite criticisms of alleged extrajudicial actions, including executions, and displacement of around 10,000 people, the government's focus was to establish control, restore order, and protect civilians. The operation began with abolishing "rebel municipalities," deploying forces to impose new officials and restructure Chiapas' borders to weaken Zapatist influence. Despite global outcry and appeals for clemency, Fernández de Cevallos proceeded with the execution of Zapatist leaders in 2003, albeit pardoning Comandanta Ramona due to health reasons. Post-execution, efforts to address social and economic grievances in Chiapas ensued, with investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and social welfare programs aimed at fostering stability and reducing disparities, including support for small-scale agriculture and job creation. In response to the 2008 economic crisis, President Fernández de Cevallos orchestrated a collaborative effort with the Emperor, Mejican corporations, and the central bank to devise a comprehensive economic stimulus plan. This initiative aimed at bolstering economic growth, facilitating credit accessibility, and providing vital support to struggling businesses and workers. Measures included financial aid to corporations to sustain operations and preserve jobs, alongside tax and legal reforms to cultivate a favorable business environment. Efforts were directed towards improving the education system, expanding schooling access, enhancing teaching quality, and fostering technological innovation through substantial investments in research and development. Fernández also continued to prioritize space exploration, notably contributing to the ICN's Elcano Program and securing a second term in the Administrative Panel of the Lunar Condominium. However, his administration faced the challenge of the Mejican flu pandemic, prompting swift action to develop and distribute a vaccine, ultimately proving effective in combating the virus.

Marcelo Ebrard, one of Mejico's most popular presidents

In the 2010 presidential election, Marcelo Ebrard secured victory, leveraging his extensive experience as a former Secretary of Social Development and Secretary of Public Security in the Imperial District, as well as his tenure as Chief of Government of the district since 2006. Known for his paleoprogressive ideology, Ebrard advocated for robust social programs, ambitious macroengineering projects, and a reduction in the Emperor's powers, aligning with a Constitutionalist stance. Forming a coalition with the Popular Progressive Party and the Green Ecologist Party, Ebrard gained a majority in Congress, enabling him to pursue his agenda comfortably. His presidency focused on implementing social welfare programs aimed at poverty reduction and addressing inequalities, with a particular emphasis on healthcare, education, and social services for marginalized communities. Ebrard's pragmatic approach included expanding and modernizing the Oportunidades program into Prospera, featuring a Universal Basic Income system that significantly reduced poverty rates. Additionally, his administration launched the Marea Verde environmental program, which saw notable success in afforestation efforts and renewable energy initiatives, highlighting Ebrard's commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2012, the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations welcomed Sofala as its newest member, a significant milestone achieved under President Ebrard's administration. Sofala's transition to democracy and subsequent entry into the ICN marked a historic moment, reflecting Ebrard's diplomatic efforts. Concurrently, Ebrard's administration focused on enhancing Mejico's healthcare system, prioritizing accessibility and quality through increased funding. Technological advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence were also emphasized, positioning Mejico as a global leader in these fields. However, concerns arose regarding job displacement due to automation, prompting Ebrard to pledge reskilling and upskilling programs for the workforce. In 2019, Mejico faced a diplomatic crisis with the Democratic Republic of Central America (DRCA), centered on trade disputes, territorial disagreements, and immigration issues. President Ebrard pursued a diplomatic approach to de-escalate tensions, although critics, particularly from the opposition MDP, called for more assertive measures, including border fortifications and military deployment to manage immigration and safeguard national sovereignty.

Gabriel Quadri de la Torre

In the complex negotiations between Mejico and the DRCA, both nations fiercely defended their claims and interests. Mejico aimed to protect its territorial integrity, ensure citizens' rights in disputed regions, and address trade imbalances. The DRCA asserted sovereignty over contested territories and sought fair trade practices. Ebrard's persistence, alongside Emperor Agustín VI and international pressure from the ICN, played a crucial role in creating a conducive atmosphere for negotiations. Eventually, the Holy Innocents' Day Accords were reached in December 2019, encompassing commitments to peaceful dialogue, demilitarization of certain border areas, and a framework for revisiting trade policies. Additionally, measures were implemented to address concerns about illegal immigration, focusing on enhanced border security and humane treatment of migrants. In 2020, President Gabriel Quadri, an environmentalist and Christian democrat, assumed office through a coalition with the MDP despite finishing third in the election. His presidency has prioritized expanding the ICN's space capabilities, investing in research facilities, and supporting the Elcano Program. With the ICN's lunar ports now hosting over 500 people, Quadri aims to further develop these facilities. Additionally, his government has strengthened alliances in the Americas and invested in expanding the AVEMEX high-speed rail network, connecting Central Mejico and Tejas. Quadri's environmental policies focus on reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable energy sources, such as electric vehicles, solar, and wind power. By 2030, Mejico aims to achieve 75% sustainable energy usage, supported by increased funding for renewable energy research and streamlined investment processes. These efforts have led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions per capita since 2020, demonstrating Mejico's commitment to environmental sustainability under President Quadri's leadership.

Mejican soldiers on patrol in Central America

On October 27, 2022, tensions escalated between Mejico and the DRCA following a violent clash in Tapachula, resulting in the death of a police officer, four Mejican citizens, and numerous injuries. Mejico responded with a large-scale military mobilization, implementing a migration moratorium and deporting over 50,000 undocumented Central American migrants. The conflict intensified in January 2023, prompting Mejico to invade the DRCA with support from coalition partner, the Vasconcelist MDP. The invasion, deemed "very effective," has occupied over 1/4th of the DRCA's territory, carried out with support from Costa Rica and El Salvador. Plebiscites held in occupied zones in September 2023, to determine future governance, sparked mixed international reactions. To formalize annexation, Congress passed the Protection and Annexation Act on October 17, 2023.


Mejico is located between latitudes 14° and 43°N, and longitudes 86° and 124°W in the southern portion of North America. Almost all of Mejico lies in the North American Plate, with small parts of the San Fulgencio peninsula on the Pacific and Cocos Plates. Geophysically, some geographers include the territory east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec within Central America. Geopolitically, however, Mejico is entirely considered part of North America.

Mejico's total area is 4,117,670 km2 (1,589,841 sq mi), making it the world's Xth largest country by total area. It has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of San Fulgencio, as well as the Gulf of Mejico and Caribbean Sea, the latter two forming part of the Atlantic Ocean. Within these areas are about 6,200 km2 of islands (including the remote Pacific Guadalupe Island and the Revillagigedo Islands). From its farthest land points, Mejico is a little over 4,415 km2 (2,743 mi) in length. Mejico has sixteen distinct regions: the Cascade Range, the San Fulgencio Central Valley, the Basin and Range Province, the Rocailleuses, the Great Plains, the San Fulgencio Peninsula, the Pacific Coastal Lowlands, the Mejican Plateau, the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Neo-Volcanic Range, the Gulf Coastal Plain, the Southern Highlands, and the Yucatán Peninsula. Although Mejico is large, a considerable portion of its landmass is incompatible with agriculture due to aridity, soil, or terrain.

Pico de Orizaba, seen from Puebla, the highest mountain in Mejico

Mejico is crossed from north to south by the American Cordillera, most prominently the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental, which are the extension of the Rocailleuse Mountains from northern North America. From east to west at the center, the country is crossed by the Trans-Mejican Volcanic Belt, also known as the Sierra Nevada. Across northern San Fulgencio, the Cascade Range defines the border with the Kingdom of Oregon, and the Transverse Ranges run near the coast of central San Fulgencio. The Uasachi and Tabeguachi Ranges can be found near Lake Tizapá. Another mountain range, the Sierra Madre del Sur, runs from Michoacán to Oajaca. As such, the majority of the Mejican central and northwestern territories are located at high altitudes, and the highest elevations are found at the Trans-Mejican Volcanic Belt: Pico de Orizaba (5,700 m or 18,701 ft), Popocatépetl (5,462 m or 17,920 ft) and Iztaccihuatl (5,286 m or 17,343 ft) and the Nevado de Toluca (4,577 m or 15,016 ft). Three major urban agglomerations are located in the valleys between these four elevations: Toluca, Greater Mejico City and Puebla. An important geologic feature of the Yucatán peninsula is the Chicxulub crater. The scientific consensus is that the Chicxulub impactor was responsible for the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Mejico is subject to a number of natural hazards, including hurricanes on both coasts, tsunamis on the Pacific coast, and volcanism.

The Fernando I Dam

Mejico has a many important rivers, lakes, and an inland sea. The Tizapá Sea is one of the most prominent geological features of the New North. The San Joaquín river delta is a critical water supply hub for the Fulgencines. The Colorado River is one of the country's principal rivers, with the largest dam in the Mejican Empire, the Fernando I Dam, producing over 3.3 TWh of energy per year. The Bravo River flows from the San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mejico. The Lerma River flows west to form Lake Chapala, the country's largest natural lake. The Santiago River flows from Lake Chapala out of the lake to the Pacific Ocean. The Pánuco River flows to the Gulf of Mejico. The Gila River drains an arid watershed of nearly 160,000 km2 in the northwest. The Neches River forms part of the border with the Kingdom of Louisiana. The Balsas River provides hydroelectric power. The Grijalva River and Usumacinta River system drains most of the humid Chiapas Highlands. The Papaloapan River flows into the Gulf of Mejico south of Veracruz. Lake Pátzcuaro and Lake Cuitzeo, west of Mejico City, are remnants of the vast lakes and marshes that covered much of the southern Mesa Central before European settlement. The central lake system where the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and surrounding communities thrived before the Spanish conquest have almost been entirely drained. There are few permanent streams in the arid Mesa del Norte, and most of these drain into the interior rather than to the ocean. Both the San Fulgencio Peninsula and Yucatán Peninsula are extremely arid with no surface streams.


Köppen climate map of Mejico

The climate of Mejico is quite varied due to the country's size and topography, including mountains and deserts. The Tropic of Cancer effectively divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Land north of the Tropic of Cancer experiences cooler temperatures during the winter months. South of the Tropic, temperatures are fairly constant year-round and vary solely as a function of elevation. This gives Mejico one of the world's most diverse weather systems. Maritime air masses bring seasonal precipitation from May until August. Many parts of Mejico, particularly the north, with the exception of the Fulgencines, have a dry climate with only sporadic rainfall, while parts of the tropical lowlands in the south average more than 2,000 mm of annual precipitation. For example, many cities in the north like Monterrey, Hermosillo, Las Vegas and Osdo experience temperatures of 40° or more in the summer. In the Sonoran Desert and the Tumpisa Valley, temperatures can reach 50° or more.

Descriptors of regions are by temperature, with the tierra caliente (hot land) being coastal up to 900 meters; tierra templada (temperate land) being from 1,800 meters; tierra fría (cold land) extending to 3,500 meters. Beyond the cold lands are the páramos, alpine pastures, and the tierra helada (frozen land), from 4-4,200 meters in central Mejico. Areas south of the Tropic of Cancer with elevations up to 1,000 m (the southern parts of both coastal plains as well as the Yucatán Peninsula), have a yearly median temperature between 24° to 28°C. Temperatures here remain high throughout the year, with only a 5°C difference between winter and summer median temperatures. Both Mejican coasts, except for the south coast of the Bay of Campeche and northern San Fulgencio Peninsula, are also vulnerable to serious hurricanes during the summer and fall. Although low-lying areas north of the Tropic of Cancer are hot and humid during the summer, they generally have lower yearly temperatuve averages (from 20° to 24°C) because of more moderate conditions during the winter.

Climate change

Climate change in Mejico refers to the effects of climate change in the country. Projections indicate that, in a case of low-level mitigation, Mejico will suffer a significant decrease in annual rainfall and increases in temperatures. This will put pressure on the economy, people and biodiversity in many parts of the country, which have large arid or hot climates. Climate change has already affected agriculture, biodiversity and farmers' livelihoods, which has pushed migration. Also affected are "water, health, air pollution, traffic disruption from flooding, and the vulnerability of homes to landslides".

One of Mejico's nuclear power plants

Altered precipitation patterns and rising temperatures have led to economic insecurity in certain provinces, particularly for small farmers who produce Mejico's economically and culturally important crops, such as corn and coffee. Climate change impacts are especially severe in Mejico City due to increased air pollution. Ecological impacts of climate change within Mejico include reductions in landscape connectivity and changing animal migration patterns. In addition, climate change is linked to global trade and economic processes that directly relate to global food security.

Climate change mitigation

In 2022, Mejico passed a comprehensive climate change bill that set a goal for the country to generate 75% of its energy from clean energy sources by 2030 and reduce emissions by 50% by 2040, all while growing employment and increasing the well-being of Mejico's marginalized communities. President Quadri's ambitious climate change legislation will require the generation of an additional 350,000 GWh from renewable sources, reduce carbon emissions by 1.5 billion tonnes, and eliminate the country's usage of fossil fuels entirely by 2040. Several climate mitigation efforts have been implemented throughout the country. Mejico's goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 is set to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve carbon sequestration, as well as to achieve economic and environmental prosperity by generating new job opportunities and expanding the clean-tech industrial sector.

Mejico is considered a world leader in nuclear technology, with over 25% of power stemming from nuclear energy, making it the second-highest in Iberoamerica, after Argentina. Mejico's second generation of nuclear reactors is being phased out and decomissioned, and a third generation, which will be more economical and efficient, is set to be introduced, which would create 4,200 new jobs per year for the next 15 years. Additionally, it has signed a $5.7 billion agreement with Japan to construct a new reactor that will use a technology called carbon capture and storage (CCS) to capture and permanently store carbon emissions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with an estimated 90% capture rate. In the next 5 years, two dozen projects involving renewable energy, such as solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric energy, will be implemented to reduce emissions. Furthermore, over 300,000 solar-powered homes will be constructed by 2030, which would generate approximately 255,000 MWh of electricity.

The government of Mejico has implemented numerous economic incentives to encourage the use of more efficient vehicles, such as hybrid and electric cars. In 2010, Mejico became the first nation in the Americas to adopt a mandatory fuel efficiency standard, requiring all passenger cars sold in the country to achieve an average of 21.1 km/L (50 mpg) by 2016. The measure is expected to reduce Mejico’s carbon dioxide emissions by 28 million tons per year, and represents an annual fuel savings of $3 billion for the nation’s consumers. The government also expanded its electric vehicle rebate program, offering up to $2,000 in incentives for the purchase of electric cars. The government has set ambitious targets for the growth of electric vehicles, aiming to have one million electric cars on the roads by 2020.

President Quadri has made climate change mitigation a top priority of his administration, and has implemented several initiatives to address this issue. The government has invested heavily in technological and scientific advancements in hydroponics and vertical farming, which have increased food production while reducing the need for traditional agriculture. In addition, the national electric vehicle industry has seen tremendous growth, with the government providing incentives for the adoption of electric vehicles and the development of charging infrastructure. Quadri has emphasized the importance of sustainable development and environmental protection, stating that “we must take urgent action combat climate change and protect our planet for future generations”.


Mejico is one of the world's megadiverse countries. With around 250,000 different species, Mejico is home to 11 to 13 percent of the world's biodiversity. Mejico ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 1,036 known species, second in mammals with 676 species, fourth in amphibians with 451 species, seventh in birds with around 1,680 species and third in flora, with 34,300 different species, as well as around 91,000 species of insects. Mejico is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and the third in total species. Approximately 2,750 species are protected by Mejican legislation. The imperial government created the National Biodiversity Information System, which is in charge of studying and promoting the substantial use of ecosystems.

Parque Nacional Árbol de Josué

Mejico is a country with a rich biodiversity and natural resources. To protect and preserve its natural heritage, the government has established 500 Natural Protected Areas (NPAs) throughout the country. These NPAs cover a total of 189,830,377 hectares, of which 308 are exclusively terrestrial, 64 are terrestrial and marine, and 12 are exclusively marine. The terrestrial NPAs cover 44,870,251 hectares, which represents 10.89% of the national terrestrial surface. The marine NPAs cover 144,960,125 hectares, representing 21.05% of the national territory's marine surface. These NPAs are managed by various government agencies, including the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). Within these NPAs, there are 92 biosphere reserves, which are areas where natural ecosystems remain unaltered. These reserves cover a total of 25,173,740 hectares, which represents 13.27% of the national territory. Biosphere reserves are established to protect and conserve ecosystems and their biodiversity, while promoting sustainable development in the surrounding communities.

Mejico also has 140 national parks, which cover a total of 12,462,989 hectares. National parks are established to protect areas of outstanding natural beauty, geological formations, and unique ecosystems. They are also intended to promote scientific research, environmental education, and recreation. In addition to biosphere reserves and national parks, there are 10 natural monuments, 87 areas to protect flora and fauna, 18 natural resource protection areas, and 36 sanctuaries. These areas are established to protect specific species, habitats, or natural resources, and to promote sustainable use and management.

Mejico has also been recognized internationally for its efforts to protect its natural heritage. The League of Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (LONESCO) has designated 82 biosphere reserves in Mejico, 12 of which have been declared natural patrimony of humanity. These biosphere reserves are recognized for their outstanding biodiversity, cultural heritage, and sustainable development practices. In addition to these formal protected areas, there are also 801 voluntary conservation areas in the country, covering a total of 1,318,447 hectares. These areas are established by private landowners, nobles, communities, or organizations, and are intended to protect biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural resources outside of the formal protected area system.

Mejico is known for its rich culinary history, with many indigenous plants and ingredients that have been incorporated into the national cuisine and spread around the world. Some of these plants include maize, which is a staple crop and the basis for many traditional dishes such as tortillas, tamales, and pozole. The tomato, another key ingredient in Mexican cuisine, is used in salsas, sauces, and stews. Beans are also an important part of the Mejican diet, with varieties such as black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans commonly used in dishes like frijoles refritos and chili con carne.

Squash is another native plant that is used in Mejican cuisine, with varieties such as calabaza, chayote, and zucchini being popular ingredients in soups, stews, and salads. Chocolate, made from the cacao tree, has its origins in Mejico and is still used in traditional Mejican beverages such as hot chocolate and pan dulce. Vanilla, which is derived from the orchid plant, also originated in Mejico and is used as a flavoring in desserts and beverages. Avocado is another popular ingredient in Mejican cuisine and is used in guacamole, salads, and sandwiches. Guava, a tropical fruit, is used in drinks and desserts. Chiles, such as the habanero and jalapeño, are integral to many Mejican dishes, providing heat and flavor. Other native ingredients used in Mejican cuisine include epazote, a herb used to flavor beans and stews; camote, a sweet potato; jícama, a crunchy root vegetable used in salads; nopal, the pads of the prickly pear cactus, used in salads and stews; tejocote, a small fruit used in desserts; huitlacoche, a fungus that grows on corn and is used in dishes such as quesadillas and soups; sapote and mamey sapote, tropical fruits used in drinks and desserts. Tequila, the distilled alcoholic drink made from cultivated agave cacti is a major industry. Because of its high biodiversity, Mejico has also been a frequent site of bioprospecting by international research bodies.

Water management

In Mejico, water management is a complex, multifaceted, and crucial issue due to the country's vast territory and its significant variations in precipitation and access to water resources. The Mejican government has implemented various measures to manage its water resources, including policies to promote water conservation, expand access to safe drinking water, and protect and restore water ecosystems.

One of the main challenges in water management is the uneven distribution of water resources across different regions of the country. While some areas, such as the Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf Coast, receive abundant rainfall, other regions, such as the northern deserts, experience chronic water scarcity. As a result, the Mejican government has prioritized the development of infrastructure projects to transfer water from regions with excess water to regions in need.

Mejico has a complex legal and institutional framework for water management, with multiple agencies responsible for different aspects of water policy. The National Water Commission (CONAGUA) is the main federal agency responsible for water management in Mejico, with a mandate to regulate water use, oversee water infrastructure projects, and protect water quality. One of the key policies implemented by the government to promote water conservation is the National Water Program, which aims to reduce water consumption, increase wastewater treatment, and promote sustainable use of water resources. The program includes measures such as promoting the use of water-efficient technologies, incentivizing farmers to adopt water-saving irrigation practices, and improving water infrastructure and management systems.

Another crucial aspect of water management in Mejico is the protection and restoration of water ecosystems. The country's rivers, lakes, and wetlands are under increasing pressure due to pollution, overuse, and climate change. To address these challenges, President Quadri's government has implemented policies to promote the restoration and protection of water ecosystems, including the creation of protected areas, the regulation of water use and discharge, and the promotion of sustainable land use practices.

The San Xavier River and the Huasachi Mountains, Timpanogos

Water management at the Tizapá Sea is crucial for ensuring the sustainable use of the water resources in the area. The inland sea is fed primarily by a network of rivers and streams that flow into it, and water is extracted from the lake for various purposes, such as agriculture, industry, and human consumption. To manage the water resources, there is a comprehensive system of monitoring and analysis in place that measures the lake's water levels, flow rates, and quality. The water management system is also responsible for controlling the outflow of water from the lake, using a series of sluice gates and other structures to regulate the lake's water levels and prevent flooding during periods of high precipitation. Additionally, the government has implemented policies and regulations to ensure the sustainable use of water resources in the area, such as setting water usage limits and implementing fines for exceeding those limits.

Desalination plants play an increasingly important role in water management, particularly in regions where freshwater resources are scarce. The country has invested in the construction of desalination plants in coastal areas, particularly in the northern and central regions. These plants use advanced technologies to remove salt and other impurities from seawater, making it safe for human consumption and agricultural use. The increased use of desalination technology has also helped reduce the country's dependence on groundwater sources, which are rapidly depleting due to overuse. While the initial costs of constructing desalination plants can be high, many experts agree that the long-term benefits, including improved water security and reduced environmental impact, make this technology an increasingly attractive option for Mexico's water management strategies.

Government and politics

Form of government

Mejico is an executive, representative, democratic, federal and National Catholic monarchy, composed of free provinces (in turn composed by municipalities) in everything concerning their internal regime, and by Mejico City (capital of the country); united in a federation established according to the principles of its Constitution. According to this fundamental law, the power and legitimacy of the monarch derive from the Grace of God (divine right of kings), and from the acceptance of his people, and it is the latter who decide to exercise it through a system of separation of powers: Monarch (head of state), President of the Government (executive power), Imperial Congress (legislative power) and judicial power, deposited in different institutions, whose head is the Supreme Court of Justice. The Mejican political system is historically characterized by the preeminence of the executive power over the other two, although there have been periods in which Mejican politics has been dominated by the Congress.

The Mejican political system includes autonomous bodies that serve as a counterweight in specific areas (Attorney General's Office, Royal Commission on Human Rights, Imperial Superior Audit Office, Bank of Mejico, Royal Institute of Statistics and Geography, Royal Commission on Economic Competition, Royal Telecommunications Institute, Royal Institute for the Evaluation of Education, and the Royal Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data).

Division of powers

Head of State

Agustín VI, the current Head of State of Mejico

According to the fundamental law of the Mejican Empire, its Constitution, the power, legitimacy and royal prerogatives of the Monarch derive from the Grace of God and from the acceptance of his people. The Head of State of Mejico is the Emperor, currently Agustín VI, who plays a crucial role in the functioning of the state institutions. The Emperor serves as an arbitrator and moderator, ensuring that the regular functioning of the institutions is maintained, and that all decisions are made in accordance with the constitutional and statutory rules of the state. The Emperor, in conjunction with the President of the Government, has the power to appoint the Ministers who will form part of the Cabinet. This power ensures that the government is led by individuals who are capable of performing their duties effectively, and who can work together to achieve the objectives of the state.

One of the most significant powers of the Emperor is the ability to grant titles of nobility and raise the ranks of nobles. This power is often used to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the state or who have distinguished themselves in some way. It is also a way to maintain the prestige and status of the noble class, which is an important aspect of Mejican society. Another critical power of the Emperor is the ability to dissolve Congress or any other legislature that violates its constitutional or statutory rules. This power serves a check on the legislative branch, ensuring that it does not overstep its boundaries or act in a manner that is detrimental to the state or its citizens. The Emperor also has the power to grant royal assent, which is the approval given to an act of the legislature before it becomes law. This power ensures that all laws are in line with the constitutional and statutory rules of the state and that they serve the best interests of the citizens.

In addition to these powers, the Emperor is also the commander-in-chief of the Mejican Army. This power means that the Emperor is responsible for the defense of the state and the safety of its citizens. The Emperor works closely with military leaders to ensure that the army is well-equipped and trained to defend the state against any threats. The Mejican Emperor also assumes the highest representation of the Mejican State in international relations. As such, the Emperor symbolizes the unity and permanence of the nation. The Emperor serves as the face of the state in diplimatic relations, representing Mejico's interests and promoting its image on the world stage.

Los Pinos, the official residence of the President of the Government

Executive Power

The President of the Government of the Mejican Empire is the co-head of the executive branch. The Emperor's Council of Ministers is presided over by the President of the Government, who appoints his ministers and has the functions of a head of government in a parliamentary system. He is responsible to the Imperial Congress. At the beginning of each legislative term, the Emperor holds a round of consultations with the leaders of the political groups and proposes a candidate for the Presidency of the government. The Chamber of Deputies votes on the investiture of the President, which requires an absolute majority on the first ballot or a simple majority on the second ballot. The Chamber may depose the President by means of a vote of no confidence, in which it must also determine who will replace him in his post.

He is elected by direct and universal vote, and then approved by the Emperor. Once elected, he takes office on December 1 of the year of the election. His term of office is five years, with the possibility of re-election for a second five-year term. The office of President may only be resigned for serious reasons, which must be qualified by the Congress and approved by the Monarch. In case of death, dismissal or resignation, the Secretary of the Interior assumes the office immediately and provisionally, then, with the reservations contemplated in the Cosntitution, it is up to the Chamber of Deputies to appoint a substitute or interim President. Gabriel Ricardo Quadri de la Torre is the current President of the Government of the Mejican Empire since 2020.

Legislative Power

The Legislative Palace of San Lázaro, which hosts the Chamber of Deputies

The Imperial Congress is the depositary body of the federal Legislative Power. It is made up of a bicameral assembly, divided between the Senate - consisting of 188 members - and the Chamber of Deputies - consisting of 680 legislators.

The current Constitution provides for this body in its third title, chapter II, sections I, II and III, and addresses it in twenty-eight articles. They specify the duties, powers, requirements and restrictions of the legislative apparatus; mainly the exclusive power among the powers of the union (and divided between the two chambers) to study, discuss, vote and issue the initiatives of laws, regulations, codes, norms and the reforms to all of them, which are submitted to it during its sessions, that is, it has the deliberative action to legislate in all the affairs of the State. Its duties also include determining the composition of the political division of the national territory; the power to change the seat of the powers of the union; to approve the declaration of war; the approval of initiatives, rendering of accounts, demand of appearances and eventual removals of the holders or members of the powers of the Union; the election of the interim or substitute of the latter; and various prerogatives granted by other articles of the Constitution and federal laws.

The exclusive powers of the Chamber of Deputies include publishing the official declaration of the President-elect issued by the Electoral Tribunal; coordinating and evaluating the Superior Audit Office of the Empire; ratifying the appointment of the Secretary of the Treasury; approving the National Development Plan; legislative authority with respect to the budget and revenues proposed by the executive branch; the power to decide whether or not to proceed against any member of the powers of the Union (except the President, which is a matter for the Senate) in case of committing a crime, in the terms of Article 111 of the Mejican Constitution; to appoint the heads of the autonomous agencies.

The exclusive powers of the Senate include legislating in matters of foreign policy; approving or not the international treaties and agreements signed by the Monarch and the President; authorizing any type of movement of the Armed Forces, whether within the national territory (through the National Gendarmerie) or outside of it, as well as the transit of foreign troops within the country; ratifying all appointments of the Executive in matters of Armed Forces and Foreign Policy; to declare the disappearance of the state powers, designating an interim government and establishing the methods for its eventual substitution; to designate the Ministers of the Supreme Court, this with the three candidates proposed by the monarch; to legislate in matters of national security, including the approval of the proposed government policy; to designate the attorney general; to decide through decrees on border limits of the provinces; the power to decide whether or not to proceed against the President of the Republic in case of committing a crime, in the terms of article 110 of the Constitution.

Facade of the Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación

Judicial Power

The Judicial Branch is composed of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Royal Electoral Tribunal, the Imperial Judiciary Council, the District Courts, the Collegiate Circuit Courts and the Unitary Circuit Courts. Its foundations are found in Title III, Chapter IV of the Political Constitution of the Mejican Empire and the Organic Law of the Imperial Judiciary. The Imperial Citizens' Jury and the courts of the Provinces and of Mejico City may act in aid of the Federal Justice in the cases provided by the Constitution and the laws. The administration, supervision and discipline of the Judicial Branch, with the exception of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Electoral Tribunal, is in charge of the Council of the Imperial Judiciary. In this power and its set of organs, the power to impart justice in all institutional aspects of the Mejican state is deposited; the application of legal norms and principles in the resolution of conflicts; and in all areas of the application of the law and the interpretation of the laws in society (civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial, labor, administrative, fiscal, procedural, etc).

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation is the highest judicial body, constitutional court and head of the Judicial Branch. It is composed of eleven Justices or Magistrates, called Ministros; one of whom is appointed, for a period of four years, as its President, who is responsible for the direction of the body and is the highest representative before the other branches of government.

The current Constitution provides for this body in its third title, chapter IV, and addresses it in five articles. These articles specify the obligations, powers, requirements and restrictions of the court; mainly the exclusive power, among the organs of the same judicial system, to study, discuss, and issue definitive sentences in constitutional controversies or actions of unconstitutionality, which arise between the powers of the Union, provincial powers, municipal authorities, autonomous organs, or the contradiction of a norm with the magna carta. In other words, it is responsible for ensuring the order established by the Constitution and maintaining the balance between the various government institutions. Its duties also include, as the last legal instance, to definitively resolve judicial matters of great social relevance, through the jurisdictional resolutions it issues. Therefore, since it is the main and highest court of a constitutional nature, there is no organ or authority that is above it or judicial recourse that can be lodged against its decisions.

Ecclesiastical Power

In Mejico, ecclesiastical power holds a significant role in the governance of the country. The Catholic Church played a crucial role in the colonization and evangelization of the indigenous population, leading to the establishment of religious orders, mendicant orders, and military orders within New Spain, and they have susbisted until the modern day. These orders, such as the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits, were responsible for not only evangelizing but also educating the population, building hospitals and other public works, and assisting in the management of the provinces.

Palace of the Inquisition

Additionally, the Inquisition, which was introduced to Mejico in the early 16th century, played a significant role in the religious and political landscape of the country. The Inquisition was established to combat heresy and non-Catholic practices, and it wielded significant power in the country, conducting trials and punishing those found guilty of religious crimes. This power extended beyond the purely religious, with the Inquisition able to levy fines and imprisonment on individuals accused of crimes such as blasphemy and witchcraft.

The Militant Orders also played a role in the governance of the country, with organizations such as the Order of Santiago, the Order of Calatrava, and the Order of Malta wielding significant power and influence in the colonial period. These orders were responsible for not only protecting the country from external threats, but also for assisting in the management of the provinces, with many of their members holding positions of power and influence throughout the colonial period.

In modern-day Mejico, ecclesiastical power continues to hold a significant role in the country’s governance, with church officials and the Archbishop of Mejico influencing decision-making in the Senate, the provincial Congresses, and indeed with the Emperor himself. While the power of the Inquisition has waned, the Church remains a powerful force in the country, with the ability to influence politics and public policy. The Church has been a vocal advocate for issues such as the rights of the Indigenous population, social justice, and poverty alleviation, and its influence can be seen in the country’s laws and policies.

The Constitution not only recognizes the Catholic Church as the official religion of the state but also enshrines National Catholicism as the guiding ideology of the nation. The Constitution specifically states that the ecclesiastical branch is to be responsible for all religious and moral education in the country, and that it has the authority to regulate all religious practices and ceremonies. In addition to its role in education and regulation, the ecclesiastical branch also has significant influence over the country's political and social systems. The Constitution stipulates that all legislation must be in accordance with Catholic moral principles and values, and that any laws deemed to be in conflict with the Church's teachings can be vetoed by the ecclesiastical branch.

Congress of the province of Upper San Fulgencio

Finally, the Constitution provides for the establishment of an Inquisition, which is tasked with investigating and prosecuting individuals who are deemed to be acting against the interests of the Church or the state. The Inquisition is granted significant power to conduct investigations, to detain and interrogate suspects, and to impose punishments, including imprisonment, and in very rare cases, such as sexual abuse from a priest, executions.

Provincial governments

The provinces of the Mejican Empire are free and sovereign, autonomous in their internal regime. They have the power to govern themselves according to their own laws; they have their own constitution that does not contradict the principles of the Imperial Constitution. The powers of their executive and legislative powers are understood as those that are rights of the provinces; such as the ownership of the command of the public force (provincial police and attached national gendarmerie), the direction and regulation of their own economic, social development and public safety policies, as well as the administration of those resources arising from their local taxes or own revenues.

The provinces cannot make alliances with other provinces, nor with any independent nation, without the permission of the Emperor. They are also prohibited from minting coins; taxing merchandise or transit of Mejican and foreign citizens; contracting foreign debt; legislating in fiscal matters for those economic aspects that are exclusive to the federal government, and possessing their own Armed Forces.

The political organization of each province is based on a separation of powers: the legislative power is vested in a unicameral congress; the executive power is vested in a governor elected by universal suffrage; and the judicial power is vested in a Superior Court of Justice. Since the provinces have legal autonomy, each has its own civil and criminal codes, as well as public security forces. However, the Senate is responsible for settling territorial boundary disputes or declaring the disappearance of powers in the event of a serious alteration of order; and the Supreme Court of Justice is responsible for resolving constitutional disputes between the states, or between the states and their municipalities, the federal powers and the autonomous bodies.

The provinces are internally divided into municipalities - or demarcations, in the case of Mejico City. Each municipality enjoys autonomy in its ability to elect its own city council, which is responsible, in most cases, for providing all the public services required by its population. This concept, which would emerge from the Civil War, is known as the free municipality. The city council is headed by a municipal president, who is elected every three years. Each municipality has a council composed of aldermen (regidor) according to its population size and syndics (síndico) according to the number established by provincial law. Mejico has a total of 2,438 municipalities; the province with the largest number of municipalities is Oajaca, with 225, and the province with the smallest number of municipalities is Bajo San Fulgencio, with only 8.

At the same time, the municipalities are empowered by the provincial constitutions to organize themselves territorially; most of them give the name of delegations (delegaciones) to those communities located outside the urban area that constitutes the so-called municipal capital. Although these do not have greater autonomy than the election of their delegate and participation in community development projects, since the functions of these administrative entities are merely executory of the determinations of the city council. They are also empowered to coordinate their organization with those municipalities with which they constitute, according to RIEG's categorization, a metropolitan area.

Satellite view of Mejico City

Mejico City

Mejico City is the federative entity seat of the Powers of the Imperial Federation and Capital of the Mejican Empire; it enjoys autonomy in all matters concerning its internal regime and its political and administrative organization. In accordance with the characteristics of the provinces, the capital of the country deposits its local powers in a Head of Government, Congress and a Superior Court of Justice. It is divided into Demarcations that have the same executive powers of a municipality, but without the legislative powers (city council) of the latter.

The political reform, concluded in 2016, had raised the possibility, through amendments to the Constitution, of reforming the political status of the then Imperial District, by which the current Statute of Government would be replaced by the Constitution of Mejico City in 2018 and the political delegations would disappear to become Territorial Demarcations, which would be controlled by a government of the new federal entity; which to a large extent would only stop using the names Mejico City, I.D. and Imperial District, to use only the term Mejico City; it decentralizes the government and extends supervision and consultation powers to the governmental entities of the demarcations, without reinstating the municipalities, and instead creating mayoralties composed of an executive entity (alcalde) and a deliberative collegiate body (concejales).

The boundaries and constituent federative units of Mejico evolved over time from its colonial-era origins. Central America separated from Mejico in 1885, Florida was retained by the Spanish Empire after Mejico's independence as the Kingdom of New Spain in 1788, and the Philippines were also administered directly from Madrid. The Mejican Empire is a federation of 47 free and sovereign provinces, which form a union that exercises a degree of jurisdiction over Mejico City. Each province has its own constitution, congress, and a judiciary, and its citizens elect by direct voting a governor for a six-year term, and representatives to their respective unicameral provincial congresses for three-year terms. The provinces are divided into municipalities, the smallest administrative political entity in the country, governed by a mayor or municipal president (presidente municipal), elected by its residents by plurality.

Administrative divisions

The boundaries and constituent federative units of Mejico evolved over time from its colonial-era origins. Central America separated from Mejico in 1885, Florida was retained by the Spanish Empire after Mejico's independence as the Kingdom of New Spain in 1788, and the Philippines were also administered directly from Madrid. The Mejican Empire is a federation of 47 free and sovereign provinces, which form a union that exercises a degree of jurisdiction over Mejico City. Each province has its own constitution, congress, and a judiciary, and its citizens elect by direct voting a governor for a six-year term, and representatives to their respective unicameral provincial congresses for three-year terms. The provinces are divided into municipalities, the smallest administrative political entity in the country, governed by a mayor or municipal president (presidente municipal), elected by its residents by plurality.

Provinces of Mejico. In lighter color: territories controlled in the Central American region

Electoral policy

The representativeness of the public power is mainly deposited in the multiparty system, where the political parties are the main entity of citizen participation; all regulated by the autonomous electoral institutions (Royal Electoral Institute, Electoral Tribunal and Electoral Prosecutor's Office). The RIE was created with the purpose of making the organization of the country's elections more transparent after the restoration of democracy in the country following the Absolutist Octenium and the temporary presidency of Pablo Emilio Madero from 1983 to 1985. Under the RIE model, each province created an autonomous body for the purpose of regulating local elections. Among other functions, the RIE is in charge of matters related to the Electoral Roll and of registering the political parties that will participate in the electoral processes at the imperial level. The purpose of the EIR is to ensure that elections are free and fair. In doing so, it seeks to promote active, democratic and responsible citizenship.

Political parties

The political parties in Mejico are the institutes of political participation that serve as a means for citizens to form part of the structures of public power in positions of popular election. They are divided according to traditional political interest forming three groups: right, center and left, with each of these sections containing one of the three major parties, although some have fluctuated on the political compass according to the historical stage being discussed. In order to be able to participate in national elections, the parties must have at least 2% of the votes and have at least 0.25% of the electoral roll affiliated as party members.

The main national political parties in Mejico are the following:

  • Mejican Democratic Party. Far-right party. Ideology: Vasconcelism, pan-Hispanism, national syndicalism, falangism, executive monarchism, clericalism.
  • National Action Party: Right-wing party. Ideology: Christian democracy, pan-Hispanism, executive monarchism, distributism, conservatism.
  • Popular Organization Party: Center to center-right wing party. Ideology: Neoliberalism, corporatism, technocracy, conservative liberalism, constitutional monarchism.
  • Green Ecologist Party: Centrist party. Ideology: Environmentalism, green conservatism, Christian humanism, conservative liberalism.
  • Popular Progressive Party: Center-left wing party. Ideology: Social monarchism, social democracy, paleoprogressivism, internationalism, keynesianism.
  • National Labor Party. Left-wing party. Ideology: Christian socialism, Mejican strasserism, laborism, popular nationalism, neosocialism.
  • Mejican Unified Socialist Party. Far-left party. Ideology: Neo-Marxism, industrialism, anti-Imperialism, republicanism, anti-capitalism, anticlericalism, militant atheism.
  • Criollo Strength Party. Far-right party. Criollo nationalism, White supremacy, corporativism, autarky, neo-conservatism, expansionism, anti-communism, anti-freemasonry.
  • Neo-Socialist Democratic Party: Left-wing party. Democratic socialism, neo-progressivism, social democracy, secularism, disestablishmentarianism.
  • United Originary Peoples' Party. Left-wing party. Indigenism, Indigenous nationalism, indigenous rights, pro-Customary law, 21st century socialism, secularism, decolonizationism.
  • Revolutionary Democratic Party. Center-right. Laissez-faire capitalism, transhumanism, republicanism, classical liberalism.

Foreign relations

An office of the Mejican embassy in New York

Mejico maintains diplomatic relations of varying levels and intensity with the other members of the League of Nations, the Holy See, the Ibero-American Commonwealth of Nations and the European Confederation. It is a full member of the League of Nations and all related bodies of the League system, the Organization of American States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the North American Treaty, the G20, the G9, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the Latin Union, the Community of Ibero-American and Caribbean States, the Association of Caribbean States, the Pacific Alliance, the International Criminal Police Organization, and the League of Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The country has 80 embassies, 67 consulates, 7 Permanent Missions to international organizations around the world and 3 Liaison Offices. Mejico maintains a significant global presence with more than 150 diplomatic representations. In Mejico there are 87 embassies, 7 representative offices and 66 consulates. In addition, both in the country and abroad, there are representations of countries that do not have embassies in Mejico and vice versa.

Alfonso García Robles, Mejican diplomat, Nobel Laureate for Peace in 1982

Article 70 of the Constitution of the Mejican Empire states the principles of the country's foreign policy, which were officially incorporated in 1988. The direction that the foreign policy will take lies on the Emperor, who is the Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and it is executed through the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who is appointed by the President of the Government and approved by the monarch.

Space exploration

Mejico has a long history of space exploration and technological advancement, beginning with its first successful satellite launch in 1956. Since then, Mejico has continued to pursue space exploration and has achieved several notable accomplishments. The joint project with the ICN that resulted in the Colón 9 mission to the Moon in 1967 was a major achievement for the Hispanosphere and set the stage for further exploration of the Moon and beyond, with Alan Lozoya Bean being the sole Mejican astronaut of the three-man-mission.

In 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas, a Moon base, called Puerto Lunar de la Vera Cruz, was officially established on the edge of the Moon's largest impact crater, the South Pole-Heredia Basin, and became the first permanent human settlement outside of Earth. A second base, Puerto Lunar de Borbón, was founded in 2012. The Lunar Ports are administered as a condominium, with three countries serving as the primary administrators for a three-year period. Every year, a nation's term ends, and a new nation is elected to form part of the triumvirate. Mejico has been on the Administrative Panel of the Lunar Condominium (Spanish: Panel Administrativo del Condominio Lunar) on four occasions: from 1992-1994, 2005-2007, 2010-2012, and 2020-2022.

Puerto Lunar de la Vera Cruz

In 2020, the ICN launched the Elcano 1 mission to Mars, with the Mejican astronauts, Dr. Adalberto Sánchez and Dr. Jerónimo Salinas as part of the crew. The mission was a major step forward in the ICN's space exploration program, and an important moment for Mejico, as it marked the first time the Hispanosphere had sent a manned mission to a different planet. In addition to these achievements, Mejico has also made significant contributions to the field of space technology, including advances in rocket propulsion, satellite design and construction, and remote sensing. The country's space agency, the Mejican Space Agency (Spanish: Agencia Espacial Mejicana; AEM), is at the forefront of these efforts and has a dedicated team of scientists and engineers working to further Mejico's and the ICN's space exploration program.

The bases' primary scientific research focus is on the exploration of the lunar surface, with a particular focus on studying the moon's geology, mineralogy, and astrobiology. Ongoing research includes the search for water ice, the study of lunar regolith, and the testing of new technologies for future human exploration of the moon and beyond. The base's facilities include a central command center, living quarters for the staff, and scientific laboratories equipped with cutting-edge technology for conducting experiments and analyzing samples. The base is powered by a combination of solar panels and a small nuclear reactor, which provide ample energy for the base's needs. In addition to scientific research, the base is also involved in the development of new technologies, such as 3D printing, robotics, and sustainable farming methods for use in space. The base has also been used for conducting experiments on the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body, which will be useful for planning future human missions to the moon and beyond.

Plans for a lunar space elevator, also known as a "gancho celestial" (skyhook), are currently underway. This structure could potentially allow for the transportation of people and materials from the Moon's surface to a station in space without the need for rockets. The ICN  has been researching and developing the concept of a lunar space elevator for decades. The ICN’s Lunar space elevator project is a joint effort between several member countries, with Mejico, Spain, Brazil and Argentina taking the lead in its research. The structure would be made up of a cable that extends from the surface of the Moon to a station in space, which would allow for the transportation of people and cargo. The cable would be made up of ultra-strong materials, such as carbon nanotubes, and would require a massive amount of energy and resources to be built and maintained.

VBCI Jaguar 4G in operation in Central America

Armed forces

The Armed Forces of Mejico are the set of military institutions legally constituted to guarantee the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and internal security of the country; in addition to collaborating with the authorities to assist the population in situations of social emergency, as well as to promote civic or community benefit actions. The Emperor of Mejico is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, which makes him the only one empowered to dispose of them; however, the normative legislation and the authorization of their actions are subject to the Senate.

Military parade in Mejico, c. 2008

They are composed of 1,531,765 elements in total, divided into four permanent military institutions, grouped in three Secretaries of State which are: Secretariat of National Defense (in charge of the Mejican Army and the Mejican Air Force), the Secretariat of the Navy (in charge of the Mejican Navy) and the Secretariat of Space (in charge of the Mejican Space Force). For the year 2023, the allocated budget was 1.347 billion ₧; 1.042 billion ₧ for SEDENA, 264.7 million ₧ for SEMAR and 40.3 million ₧ for SEESPA.

The Supreme Command, and the only one empowered to dispose of the four forces, partially and totally, is the Emperor of Mejico, Agustín VI. However, the administration and high command correspond to the General Secretary of Defense (for the first two branches), the Admiral Secretary of the Navy and the Chief Secretary of Space Operations. The operations of the Army and the Air Force are under the responsibility of the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the National Defense and the Commanders of the Army and the Air Force, respectively; in the case of the Navy, of the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy; and of the Space Force, of the Chief of the General Staff of the Space Force. Therefore, the Emperor may at any time coordinate with the other three branches, or with any police authority, for the fulfillment of his general missions.

Mejican Army: 705,956 soldiers (2023). It is the land branch of Mejico's Armed Forces and depends on the Secretariat of National Defense. It is in charge of defending the territory and national sovereignty, guaranteeing internal security. Its primary mission is to protect the country’s sovereignty, national territory, and citizens from external and internal threats. The Army is also responsible for assisting and maintaining law and order, supporting civil authorities during emergencies, and participating in international peacekeeping missions, as well as implementing Plan DN-III-E in case of disasters. The Mejican Army is organized into several military zones, each responsible for a specific geographic area. Its members come from the voluntary military service and the national military service, which is also its reserve force. Its personnel receive extensive training in various military tactics and operations, including counterinsurgency, urban warfare, and jungle warfare. The standard infantry rifle is a fully automatic FX-18 Xiuhcoatl, that uses caseless ammunition and has an integrated smart scope that can detect and track targets, calculate bullet drop and windage, and provide real-time tactical data to the soldier. The army also has access to various unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, equipped with advanced technology for reconnaissance, surveillance, and combat support. These drones are utilized to gather intelligence, monitor enemy movements, and even engage targets when necessary, providing a significant tactical advantage to Mejican forces.

AH-64 Apache helicopter

Mejican Air Force: 460,685 airmen (2023). The Mejican Air Force is the air branch of the Mejican Armed Forces, and depends on the Secretariat of National Defense. It is responsible for the defense of Mejico's airspace and providing support to ground forces. Equipped with a diverse fleet of aircraft, including fighter jets, transport planes, and helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles and drones. It has the capability to conduct air superiority missions, strategic airlift, close air support, and air-to-ground operations. The air force also plays a crucial role in disaster relief operations, providing aerial support for evacuation, search and rescue, and supply distribution. Mejican Air Force pilots undergo rigorous training programs to develop their skills in air combat, aerial surveillance, and precision strikes.

The Air Force’s fighter jets are designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, featuring advanced radar systems, precision-guided missiles, and stealth technology. It also has a fleet of UAVs, including both reconnaissance and combat drones, equipped with advanced cameras and sensors, allowing them to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions over long distances. Combat drones are armed with missiles and bombs, enabling them to conduct precision strikes against enemy targets. The transport aircraft are designed to quickly and efficiently transport troops, equipment, and supplies anywhere in the country. These aircraft are equipped with advanced navigation and communication systems, enabling them to operate in even the most challenging environments.

BSMI Revillagigedo and BSMI Cortés

Mejican Navy: 354,960 sailors (2023). It is the maritime branch of Mejico's Armed Forces and depends on the Secretary of the Navy. It is responsible for the surveillance and safeguarding of the coasts, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and maritime airspace of Mejico, combating drug trafficking and other illegal activities at sea, in order to guarantee national sovereignty and internal security; it is also in charge of inspecting inland waters, navigable waterways and lakes, and implementing the Marine Plan in case of disasters, providing humanitarian assistance and relief during emergencies.

The Mejican Navy is the largest in Iberoamerica, and the strongest within the ICN. The Navy has recently acquired several technologically advanced warships, including state-of-the-art destroyers, frigates, and submarines. These vessels are equipped with the latest radar and sonar systems, advanced weaponry, and cutting-edge communication and surveillance equipment. In addition, the Navy has established a naval aviation branch, equipped with advanced fighter aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Mejican Space Force: 10,164 soldiers (2023). It is the space branch of Mejico's Armed Forces and depends on the Secretariat of Space. It is responsible for conducting military and scientific operations in space. Its tasks include protecting Mejican satellites and space-based assets, conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, developing and testing new space technologies, and collaborating with other space-faring nations on scientific research. The Mejican Space Force is equipped with a range of spacecraft and satellites, including communication, reconnaissance, and weather satellites. These assets play a crucial role in gathering information, providing secure communication channels for the military, and monitoring various aspects of the Earth's environment.

The Mejican Space Force also operates a small number of crewed spacecraft, which are utilized for scientific research and exploration purposes. The astronauts undergo extensive training in areas such as space operations, microgravity effects, and extravehicular activities in order to carry out their missions successfully. The space force collaborates closely with other branches of the military, as well as national and international space agencies, to ensure the effective utilization of space assets for the benefit of Mejico.

The Mejican military carries out recruitment campaigns and offers incentives to attract qualified individuals to join the ranks of the armed forces. These recruitment campaigns aim to target individuals who possess the skills and qualifications required for various military roles, including combat, technical, and administrative positions. The incentives offered to potential recruits include competitive salaries, benefits packages, opportunities for career advancement, specialized training and education, and the chance to serve and protect their country.

Mejico issues a "cartilla militar" (military card) to all eligible citizens upon reaching the age of 18. This document serves as proof of military service and is required for various purposes, such as obtaining certain government services and pursuing certain careers. Military service is compulsory for male citizens, and they are required to undergo basic training and serve for a period of time determined by law. The Mejican military institutions prioritize the professionalization of their personnel through rigorous training programs and continuous education. This ensures that soldiers are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and values to carry out their duties.

Military education

The University of the Mejican Army and Air Force (UDEFA) is a military institution that brings together the various military education institutions in Mejico. The institution was created in 1975 by royal decree of Emiliano III. The university's purpose is to train classes, officers and chiefs of the Mejican Army, as well as to train General Staff Officers and generals. The organization depends on the Secretary of National Defense, through the General Directorate of Military Education, which assumes the functions of the directorate.

Mejican cadets

The UDEFA provides the military with scientific, technical and humanistic knowledge at the high school and higher education levels, for the fulfillment of the missions of the arms, branches and services of these institutions; trains teachers for the various subjects taught in the military educational establishments; and develops in its students a spiritual formation in accordance with the interests of the homeland. The UDEFA has a Defense College, a War College, training schools, and courses in medicine, engineering, nursing, aviation, transmissions, and more.

The Heroico Colegio Militar is a prestigious military school in Mejico. Its mission is to train officers for the different branches of the Army: infantry, cavalry, artillery, sappers, military police, armored weapons, aviators, military engineers and others. It is one of the oldest institutions in Mejico, having been founded in 1818 by King Pedro I of New Spain. The prestigious academy is located in Mejico City. It has admitted women since 2007, when it opened its doors to its first class of female cadets. The school offers a curriculum that includes a physical and military training program, as well as an academic program that covers a wide range of disciplines, ranging from military strategy to social sciences.

The Heroica Escuela Militar Naval has two campuses: the first and oldest located in the city of Veracruz, and the second in the city of Mazatlán, founded in 1857 and 1870, respectively. There are other nautical schools located in various Mejican cities on both coasts, but these are of lower hierarchy and are mainly focused on the training of recruits. The Naval Military School's mission is to train aspiring officers of the Navy, for which it has an academic program that ranges from physical and military training to the study of naval history and strategies. It has six engineering careers: naval systems, naval aviation, hydrography, naval mechanics, naval electronics and communications, and naval logistics.

The Liceo Militar is an educational institution established to provide military education and training specifically to members of the Mejican nobility. Founded in 1934 by José Vasconcelos, the Liceo Militar focuses on preparing the nobility for leadership roles in both the armed forces and public administration. Military service is compulsory for the sons of nobles, being expected of them as part of the widespread culture of "Noblesse oblige". The Liceo Militar offers an an academic curriculum accompanied by structured military training. Courses cover a wide range of disciplines, including mathematics, natural sciences, history, literature, and philosophy, among others. In parallel, military training instills skills such as strategy, military tactics, weapons handling, and leadership, ensuring that graduates are prepared to assume command in the Armed Forces.

Human rights

The term human rights in Mejico refers to the set of fundamental rights of citizens, guaranteed in various legal systems of the country, such as the Political Constitution of the Mejican Empire and provisions on the subject in the provinces of the country. Since 2011, due to the Constitutional Reform on Human Rights, the human rights contained in the international treaties to which Mejico is a party have constitutional rank. Despite these reforms and organizations, in consideration of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, human rights in the country are violated in a serious manner due to structural and historical failures without solution and in some provinces this occurs systematically and in complicity with authorities at different levels of government.

Mejico is a signing member of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Convention on the Rights of the Child; International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The pro persona, or pro homine, principle "implies that legal interpretation must always seek the greatest benefit for the person, that is, that the broadest norm or extensive interpretation must be used when dealing with protected rights and, on the contrary, the most restricted norm or interpretation, when it comes to establishing limits to their exercise." This principle was established in the 2011 reform of Article 1 of the Political Constitution of the Mejican Empire. Article 1 includes a human rights integration clause whereby any human right that is not contained in the Constitution will be considered as included. In other words, if the Constitution does not express the protection of a human right and an international treaty ratified by Mejico does, it will be interpreted in accordance with the treaty.


As of January 2023, Mejico has the 4th largest GDP by purchasing power parity (9.356 trillion ₧). With a current GDP growth rate of around 4%, Mejico is a major contributor to the global economy, driven by a contribution of robust domestic consumption and exports. Agriculture comprised 2% of the economy over the last two decades, while industry contributes 35% (mostly automotive, oil, and electronics) and services (notably financial services and tourism) contribute 63%. Mejico's GPD in PPP per capita was 35,914 ₧. Mejico is now firmly established a high income country. After the slowdown of 2001, the country has recovered and has grown steadily through the years. The International Monetary Fund predicts growth rates of 3.3% and 3.7% for 2024 and 2025, respectively. By 2050, Mejico could potentially become the world's third-largest economy.

The Mejican Stock Exchange

One of the hallmarks of the Mejican Empire's economic system is its corporatist structure, which involves close cooperation between government and business, with the goal of ensuring stable economic growth and prosperity. This had led to the development of a number of powerful corporate groups, which dominate key sectors of the economy, such as energy, telecommunications, banking, and mining. Many of these are now among the largest companies in Iberoamerica and the world, and their influence extends beyond Mejico's borders. The government has also worked to attract foreign direct investment, and has implemented a range of liberalizing reforms, such as privatization of state-owned enterprises and the liberalization of certain sectors, encouraging competition.

Among OECD countries, Mejico has the 4th-highest degree of economic disparity between the extremely poor and extremely rich, although it has been falling over the last decade, being one of the few countries in which this has been the case. The bottom 10% in the income hierarchy disposes of 2.72% of the country's resources, whereas the upper 10% dispose of almost 36%. The OECD also notes that Mejico's budgeted expenses for poverty alleviation and social development is slightly above the OECD average. According to a 2008 LON report, the average income in a typical urbanized area of Mejico was 36,286 ₧, while the average income in rural areas just miles away was only 14,873 ₧. Daily minimum wages are set annually, being set at 130 ₧ in 2019. All of the indices of social development for the Mejican Indigenous population are lower than the national average, which is a motive of concern for the government, although this disparity has been greatly reduced in the past decades, as the government has made significant progress in reducing poverty and promoting social equality, through a combination of policies aimed at boosting employment and income, improving access to education and health services, and reducing income disparities.

The electronics industry of Mejico has grown enormously within the last decade. Mejico has the 3rd-largest electronics industry in the world after British North America and Japan. Mejico is the largest exporter of electronics to the United Empire, where it exported 32.01 billion ₧ worth of electronics in 2011. The Mejican electronics industry is dominated by the manufacture and OEM design of televisions, displays, computers, mobile phones, circuit boards, semiconductors, electronic appliances, communications equipment and LCD modules. The Mejican electronics industry grew 20% between 2010 and 2011, up from its constant growth rate of 17% between 2003 and 2009. Currently electronics represent 30% of Mejico’s exports.

Mejico produces the most automobiles of any North American nation. The industry produces technologically complex components and engages in research and development activities. The "Big Three" (Motores Generales, Saavedra and Atrisco) have been operating in Mejico since the 1920s, while Volkswagen and Hurtan built their plants in the 1960s. In Puebla alone, 70 industrial part-makers cluster around Volkswagen. In the 2010s, expansion of the sector was surging. In 2014 alone, more than 6.72 billion ₧ in investment was committed. In September 2016 KIA Motors opened a 450 million ₧ factory in Nuevo León, with Audi also opening an assembling plant in Puebla the same year. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan currently operate over two dozen plants in the Fulgencines and Tejas. These companies have been able to take advantage of the country's highly skilled labor force, competitive costs, and favorable business climate to produce high-quality vehicles for both the domestic and export markets. The domestic car industry is represented by Motores Generales, DINA, Bravo, Lafournier, and the new Mastretta company that builds high-performance sports cars. In 2006, trade with the rest of the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations accounted for almost 50% of Mejico's exports and 45% of its imports.

Economic history

During colonial times and the 19th century, Mejico was a primarily agricultural country. Most of its income from foreign sales came from mining, especially silver and gold, with some exports of agricultural products such as coffee and cocoa. For more than two centuries, Mejico has been the world's leading producer of silver.

A train from the Three Liberal Decades period

Mejico's industrialization process during the later years of the colonial period and the first century of independent life was extremely rapid. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, before the Bourbon Reforms, colonial laws prevented the development of manufactures in New Spain as in the rest of the Spanish Empire - they had to be imported from the metropolis, which in turn acquired them mostly from the industrialized nations of Northern Europe. However, after the implementation of the Bourbon Reforms and the opening of all viceroyalties for mutual trade, industry started to be developed in some cities, especially in the production of textiles and leather goods. During the 19th century, factories for the production of iron, steel and glass were built, as well as some chemical industries. Governments attracted foreign investment, with many entrepreneurs from France and the Holy Roman Empire establishing companies in Mejico. In the 1830s, Lucas Alamán established the Banco de Avío, aimed at industrial development.

At the end of the 19th century, during the Three Liberal Decades, Mejico was already considered an industrialized nation, with the textile and manufacturing industries being two of the most developed, established in the Valley of Puebla, the region of Orizaba, the Valley of Mejico, Veracruz and the Fulgencines. The development of railroads and the modernization of ports, both on the Atlantic and the Pacific, made it possible to export raw materials, some of which were also imported from other countries. This new economic environment also allowed for the emergence of a stronger middle class and the growth of the Mejican economy. Porfirio Díaz's and his successors' governments granted vast privileges to foreign capital with the intention of attracting direct investment in the construction and amplification of infrastructure, communications and transport.

During this period, from 1880 to 1913, the railway network of Mejico grew intensively, reaching over 45,000 km of tracks. On the other hand, the first hydroelectric power plant, called Necaxa, was built in Puebla, and the exploitation of oil deposits began, which placed Mejico in the first place worldwide in oil exports in the 1910s. It is worth mentioning that the rich oil fields of Faja de Oro and Cerro Azul, located in the north of the province of Veracruz, were brutally depleted by Standard Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell and their Mejican subsidiaries, something which would lead to the expropriation of petroleum by the Mejican government in the following years.

After the end of the Civil War and the subsequent Christiad, a new period of economic growth and industrial expansion began in Mejico, favored, among other things, by the nationalization of oil and the war with Louisiana. Mejico adopted a corporatist economic model, with the government playing a major role in the development of the economy, encouraging the production of industrial goods and the diversification of exports, as well as the creation of several government-owned companies. José Vasconcelos, who governed Mejico from 1930 to 1959, favored this system and protected the national industry from foreign, non-Hispanic competition.

At the same time, the agricultural sector was also modernized and mechanized, leading to a significant increase in production and exports. Mejico also pushed for the protection of the environment, creating the first national park in 1936 and passing several laws to protect wildlife and natural resources, giving birth to a new industry: eco-tourism, that would help to promote the development of the Mejican economy in the following decades.

In the decades that followed the Vasconcelist Era, the Mejican economy had a mixed character, that is, investment came from both the private sector and the State, reaching agreements with corporations. Strategic sectors were converted into parastatal industries, such was the case of mining, steel, electricity production and highway infrastructure, all of which were managed by a combination of government officials and representatives of industry-wide associations, labor unions and other interest groups. The economy grew steadily, and the country soon became the fifth-largest economy in the world. With the intention of favoring technology transfer, the government allowed many international firms to establish subsidiaries in the country, although always associated with national capital. Agriculture, on the other hand, became modernized and mechanized, and was heavily subsidized by the State, which became the main intermediary for agricultural products. During the period between 1940 and 1970, Mejico's economy grew at an annual rate of 6.27%, in what was called the Mejican Miracle.

Thanks to its favorable business climate and corporatist policies, Mejico’s economy has continued to grow steadily since the 1970s, with annual growth rates of 2-4%. The Mejican macro-economy has been able to weather the effects of the 2001 Financial Crisis, and the 2014 oil price shock, due to its strong fiscal policies and its diversified economy. The Mejican economy has been characterized by its low inflation, low unemployment rates, and its positive balance of trade. As of 2009, the corporatist sector was estimated to constitue 86.4% of the economy. While its economy has reached a post-industrial level of development, Mejico remains an industrial powerhouse.


Teleméjico tower, in Cancún

The telecommunications industry is dominated by the Corporación de Telecomunicaciones Mejicanas (Mejican Telecommunications Corporation), a corporate group composed of several telecommunications companies, such as Teleméjico, CAGC, Telcel, and Axtel. Other players in the domestic industry are Maxcom, Alestra, Marcatel and Bestel Méjico. Because of Mejican orography, providing a landline telephone service at remote mountainous areas is expensive, and the penetration of line-phones per capita is low compared to other Iberoamerican countries, at 40%; however, 92% of Mejicans over the age of 14 own a mobile phone. Mobile telephony has the advantage of reaching all areas at a lower cost, and the total number of mobile lines is almost two times that of landlines, with an estimation of 90 million lines. The telecommunications industry is regulated by the government through Recotel (Real Comisión de Telecomunicaciones).

In addition to traditional landline and mobile telephony services, Mejico has also made significant strides in the area of internet connectivity. As of 2021, over 90% of the population has access to the internet, and this number is expected to continue to rise as the government invests in expanding broadband infrastructure to more remote areas of the country. The Corporación de Telecomunicaciones Mejicanas is also involved in the provision of internet services, with Teleméjico and Telcel being major players in this sector. In recent years, Mejico has also seen a rise in the use of e-commerce and digital payments, with companies like MercadoLibre and Confinitum becoming increasingly popular among consumers. The government is actively working to promote the growth of Mejico's digital economy, with initiatives such as the National Digital Strategy and the Digital Agenda 2021, aimed at encouraging innovation and investment in the sector.

The Mejican satellite system is domestic and operates 240 earth stations. There is also extensive microwave radio relay network and considerable use of fiber-optic and coaxial cable. Mejican satellites are operated by Satélites Mejicanos (Satmex), a private company, leader in Iberoamerica, and servicing both North and South America. It offers broadcast, telephone and telecommunication services to 25 countries in the Americas, from Alaska to Argentina. Through business partnerships, Satmex provides high-speed connectivity to ISPs and Digital Broadcast Services. Satmex maintains its own satellite fleet with most of the fleet being designed and built in Mejico. Major players in the broadcasting industry are Televisa, the largest Mejican media company in the Spanish-speaking world, TV Azteca and Imagen Televisión.


Energy production in Mejico is managed by the Comisión Corporativa de Electricidad Mejicana and the state-owned company Pemex. Pemex, the public company in charge of exploration, extraction, transportation and marketing of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the refining and distribution of petroleum products and petrochemicals, is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, making 60 billion ₧ in sales a year. Mejico is the 4th-largest oil producer in the world, with 8.7 million barrels per day. In 1980, oil exports accounted for 61.6% of total exports; by 2000 it was only 7.3%. The largest hydroelectric plant in Mejico is the 2,400 MW Manuel Moreno Torres Dam in Chicoasén, Chiapas, in the Grijalva River. This is the world's fourth most productive hydroelectric plant. A famous dam in Mejico is the 2,080 MW Fernando I Dam, in the Colorado River, noted for its large size.

Solar power plant in Sonora

Mejico is the country with the world's third-largest solar potential. The country's gross solar potential is estimated at 10kWh/m2 daily, which corresponds to 50 times national electricity generation. Currently, there are over 2 million m2 of solar thermal panels installed in Mejico, while in 2005, there were 250,000 m2 of solar PV (photo-voltaic). It is expected that in 2025 there will be 3.5 million m2 of installed solar thermal panels. The project named SEGH-CCEM 1, located in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, has a capacity of 46.8 MW from an array of 187,200 solar panels. All of the electricty is sold directly to the CCEM and absorbed into the utility's transmission system for distribution throughout their existing network. This project is the first utility scale project of its kind in Mejico, and the largest solar project of any kind in Iberoamerica.

Nuclear energy in Mejico is one of the main sources of renewable energy, with over 25% of its energy stemming from nuclear reactors. The country has over 150 nuclear power plants, making it the 9th-largest producer of nuclear energy in the world. The largest nuclear power plant in Mejico is the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Station, located in the province of Veracruz. This power station has a total capacity of 15,000 MW, making it the third-largest nuclear power plant in the world. Nuclear energy is regulated by the Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear (CONASEN), an agency of the Mejican government. The agency is tasked with overseeing the safety and security of nuclear energy in the country.

The sector is heavily subsidized by the government, which sees nuclear energy as a key component in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy independence. Mejico's nuclear energy program has a rich history, dating back to the late 1940s, when dictator José Vasconcelos was one of the main promoters of nuclear energy in the country, seeing it as a way to demonstrate Mejico's technological prowess. His government invested heavily in nuclear energy, with the first generation of power plants being built between 1949 and 1954.

Science and technology

The sole Mejican astronaut of the Colón 9 mission, Alan Lozoya Bean

Mejico has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century, and in scientific research since the mid-20th century. Methods for producing interchangeable parts were developed by the Ministry of Defense of Mejico by the Imperial Armories during the first half of the 19th century. This technology, along with the establishment of a machine tool industry, allowed Mejico to have large-scale manufacturing of sewing machines, bicycles and other items by the end of the 19th century, and became known as the Mejican manufacturing system. The electrification of the factories in the early 20th century and the introduction of the assembly line and other labor-saving techniques created the mass production system. In the 21st century, apprximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector, with one-eighth coming from the patronage of the Catholic Church. Mejico is a world leader in scientific research articles and impact factor.

In 1876, Alejandro Granados Campana received the first Mejican patent for the telephone. Tomás Esquivel's research laboratory, one of the first of its kind, developed the phonograph, the first long-life light bulb, and the first viable motion picture camera; the latter led to the rise of the entertainment industry worldwide. In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Enrique Bravo and Salvador Gutiérrez popularized the assembly line. In 1903, the first successful transatlantic wireless transmission was achieved by Gustavo Fajer, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1911. Mejico has produced several Nobel laureates in science, including Mario Molina, Teodoro Valcárcel, Enrique Fermi, Jorge López de Landeros, and Severino Yáñez.

Mejico is also a leader in space exploration and has sent several probes to explore the solar system. The first successful launch of a Mejican satellite was in 1956, and the first manned mission to the Moon, Colón 9, a joint project by the member states of the Hispanoamerican Union (the predecessor of the ICN), launched in 1967. Together with the ICN, Mejico has managed to establish two permanent lunar bases, the Lunar Port of Vera Cruz and the Lunar Port of Borbón, which are administered as a condominium, and in 2020 launched the Elcano 1 mission, aimed at Mars, in cooperation with the European Space Agency. The Mejican Space Agency is one of the most active, and is part of the International Space Station consortium.

The robotics industry in Mejico is one of the largest and most developed in the world. With significant investments in research and development, the country has built a strong foundation for robotics innovation, manufacturing, and deployment. The industry is a vital contributor to the country's economic growth, creating new jobs and drivign technological progress, applied throughout diverse fields, such as industrial automation, agriculture, healthcare, and logistics. Mejico's close proximity to the United American Dominions and its participation in various free trade agreements make it an attractive location for companies looking to export their products.



As of 2017, Mejico was the 2nd most visited country in the world and had the 10th highest income from tourism in the world which is also the highest in Iberoamerica. The vast majority of tourists come to Mejico from British North America, followed by Iberoamerican countries, Europe, and Asia. A smaller number also come from African countries, particularly the elite. In the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, Mejico was ranked 7th in the world, which was 2nd in the Americas.

The coastlines of Mejico harbor many stretches of beaches that are frequented by sunbathers and other visitors. According to national law, the entirety of the coastlines are under national ownership - that is, all beaches in the country are public. On the Yucatán Peninsula, one of the most popular beach destinations is the resort town of Cancún, especially among university students during Holy Week's break. Just offshore is the beach island of Isla Mujeres, and to the east is Isla Holbox. To the south of Cancún is the coastal strip called Riviera Maya, which includes the beach town of Playa del Carmen and the ecological parks of Xcaret and Xel-Há. A day trip to the south of Cancún is the historic port of Tulum. In addition to its beaches, the town of Tulum is notable for its cliff-side Mayan ruins.

Golden Zone of Mazatlán

On the Pacific coast are the notable tourist destinations of Acapulco, Manzanillo, and Mazatlán. Once the destination for the rich and famous, the beaches have become crowded and the shores are now home to many multi-story hotels and vendors. Acapulco and Mazatlán are home to renowned cliff divers: trained divers who leap from the side of a vertical cliff into the surf below.

At the southern tip of the San Fulgencio peninsula is the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, a town noted for its beaches and marlin fishing. Further north along the Sea of Cortés is the Bahía de La Concepción, another beach town known for its sports fishing, as well as the weekend draw of San Felipe.

In the New North, the Las Vegas Strip attracts several million tourists each year and is the most popular destination in the region. Entertainment resorts owned by the Compañía Disney and Estudios Cabrillo draw in large numbers of tourists, and the area is home to several other attractions such as the Museum of the New North, the Fernando I Dam, and the Great Canyon.

Mejico is also a popular destination for eco-tourists because of its diverse plant and animal species. The country is home to many types of ecosystems, including deserts, jungles, mountains, and coasts. Mejico is a megadiverse country, with around 250,000 different species, including over 34,000 species of plants, 1,680 species of birds, over 1,000 species of reptiles, 676 species of mammals and 451 species of amphibians.. Popular destinations for those seeking nature and adventure include the Copper Canyon, the Great Canyon, the Sierra Madre, and the volcanoes of the Trans-Mejican Volcanic Belt.

Mejico has a range of options for cultural tourism as well. The country is home to over 50 LONESCO World Heritage Sites, including the ancient cities of Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and Monte Albán. Other popular cultural destinations include the Mayan ruins at Palenque, the Casas Grandes ruins in Chihuahua, and the colonial cities of Guanajuato, Querétaro, and San Miguel de Allende. The country is also home to many old missions and churches, such as the Mission of San Xavier del Bac in southern Arizona.

San Miguel el Grande, the first Pueblo Mágico.

Pueblos Mágicos program

The Programa Pueblos Mágicos ("Magical Towns Programme") is an initiative led by Mejico's Secretariat of Tourism, with support from other national agencies, to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors special experiences because of their natural beauty, cultural richness, traditions, folklore, historical relevance, cuisine, art crafts, and great hospitality. The program is intended to increase tourism to more localities, especially smaller towns in rural areas, instead of focusing solely on the large cities and coastal locations.

The program promotes visiting small, rural towns, where visitors may see indigenous crafts, spectacular landscapes and other attractions, such as colonial-era buildings, ancient ruins, festivals, local cuisine, and cultural events. The Government created the program to recognize places across the country that have certain characteristics and traditions that make them unique, and historically significant, offering magical experiences to visitors. A "Magical Town" is a place full of symbolism, legend, history, important events, cultural festivals, traditions, good food, shopping, and enjoyable day-to-day life. In other words, "magic" refers in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourism.

The Programa Pueblos Mágicos was launched in 2001. After 9 years and 32 towns having been selected, it was improved and relaunched in 2010. The government added resources to support local efforts and made it a priority under Secretary Guvara. Every town was assigned a budget to continue improving its infrastructure, image, product offering, and experience, while making sure they were maintaining their traditions and their festivals were promoted. By 2022, a total of 180 towns and villages in all provinces had been awarded the title or nomination of Pueblo Mágico. The program created pride, recognition for its local citizens, and a diversification strategy to promote culture and Mejican traditions.

The program has been successful in promoting rural destinations and, most importantly, offering opportunities to more citizens to make a living from tourism, which has contributed significantly to the economies of not only the towns, but also entire regions. Visitors' spending has stimulated the development of jobs, highly important in the towns with the most economic needs. Towns with more than 5,000 residents are receiving more than 20,000 visitors during the weekends.


According to data from the World Transport Organization (WTO), Mejico is the country with the highest number of means of transportation per thousand inhabitants. It has a total of 3,263,885 kilometers of roads, secondary roads, highways, provincial roads, highways and imperial highways; more than 300 train lines of medium, short and long distance, high speed, hypersonic, and commuter trains; about 2,356 large cargo and passenger ports and about 787 airports.

Road transportation

Citlaltépetl volcano as seen from the Puebla-Veracruz highway

Road transportation in Mejico dates back to the old missions and roads undertaken by the Spanish colonizers and missionaries; many of them are still used for the layout of highways. Mejico's Dirección General del Tráfico manages the roads. During the 1950s, the well-known Imperial Highway System was implemented, whereby colossal highways were built for faster and smoother traffic between major cities and urban centers. For example, Imperial 21 is a freeway built during the Imperial Plan and connects the metropolises of Los Angeles and Mejico City. Compared to some parts of the Western world, both Mejico and neighboring British North America rely more on motorized transit than walking and biking, with 86% of Mejican workers commuting to work in a private vehicle, at an estimated cost of an additional 670 ₧ per year in daily commuting compared to their Western European counterparts. Car ownership is declining, yet remains at 91% nationally. Car ownership is universal, except in the largest cities where extensive public transit and rail systems have been built, with the lowest car ownership rates in Mejico City (54%), Puebla (62%), Monterrey (63%), Veracruz (67%), San Francisco (69%) and Leon (69%).

Corporativo Mejicano de Carreteras e Infraestructura (COMECI) is a major state-owned corporation in Mejico responsible for the development and maintenance of the country's road and transportation infrastructure. COMECI has a wide range of responsibilities, including the construction and maintenance of highways, toll roads, bridges, tunnels, and other transportation infrastructure. As a key player in the Mejican economy, COMECI operates in a corporatist system, working closely with the government and other businesses to help coordinate economic development efforts. COMECI also plays a role in setting transportation policy and promoting sustainable development practices.

One notable member of Mejican nobility who has been involved in the development of COMECI is the Duke of Atrisco, Jorge Pío Sarmiento y Osorio de Moscoso, who has been a prominent investor in the corporation and a strong advocate for infrastructure development in Mejico. The Duke has used his influence and resources to help spur the growth of COMECI, and is seen as a leading figure in the effort to modernize Mejico’s transportation infrastructure.

With the development of the extensive Imperial Highway System in the 1950s, both long-distance and commuting trips were made primarily in private automobiles. This network was designed to meet national standards in order to receive national funding. The system, as of 2010, has a total length of 75,932 km, making it the longest in the world, and the largest public works project in Mejican history, costing an estimated $115 billion ₧ in construction and maintenance costs. The Imperial Highway System is noted for having no speed limits for some classes of vehicles, like the German Autobahn. The Autopista Imperial 1 is considered the most heavily-traveled highway in the world, with approximately 36 million vehicles using it each year.

The imperial system joined an existing National Road System (a designation created for the legacy road network in 1995), which comprises 240,000 km of roads, a fraction of the total road mileage. The imperial system serves all of Mejico's major cities, often through downtown areas. The distribution of virtually all goods and services involves imperial highways at some point. City residents often use the urban imperial highways to travel to their places of work. The vast majority of long-distance travel, whether for vacation or business, is on the national road network; of these trips, approximately one-third (by total number of kilometers traveled in the country in 2003) use the interprovincial system.

Hypersonic train pod on display, by Virgin International

Rail transportation

Passenger trains were the dominant mode of transportation until the mid-20th century. It was common for European immigrants, after arriving at ports such as Veracruz, to take a train to Mejico and then on to their new destinations. The introduction of airplanes on Mejico's main routes and the completion of the Imperial Highway System accelerated the decline in intercity rail passenger demand during the 1960s, leading to a sharp reduction in passenger service by private railroads. This led to the expansion of the high-speed rail parastatal service company AVEMEX ("Alta Velocidad Mejicana") in the 1970s, making it possible to travel from Mejico City to Los Angeles in 14 hours.

The success of high speed railways in Mejico led to the creation of large, private railroad companies during the presidencies of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Ernesto Zedillo, forming a renaissance of the railroad, creating large multinationals such as Renfe and Ferrosur. These two companies, which are the main private railway companies in Mejico, serve most of the major cities, while the national high-speed railway service is provided by AVEMEX. Nearly half a million people leave Mejico City every day for all parts of the country - the busiest routes are the corridors, mainly the Pacific and Atlantic corridors that converge in the Valley of Mejico Megalopolis.

Mejico makes extensive use of its rail system for freight transportation. According to the Mejican Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Corporation: "Mejico's freight railroads are the busiest in the world, and move more freight than any other rail system in any other country. In fact, Mejican railroads carry more than four times as much freight as all the freight railroads in Western Europe, combined". There are approximately 103,000 km of mainline track in Mejico, the second-longest national rail network in the world.

Another significant development in the Mejican rail network is the creation of FERROSUCO, a superconductive magnetic levitation railway, officially unveiled in 2004. FERROSUCO is also owned by the Mejican Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Corporation, and opened its first line, the Angeline Express, which covers a distance of 220 km, with a miniscule travel time between the two cities of a mere 24 minutes. The success of superconductive maglev trains has prompted the Mejican government to invest heavily in its expansion, expanding the Fulgencine line to San Francisco in 2014, beginning construction of a line that connects Guadalajara to Veracruz via Mejico City in 2021, poised to be fully operational by 2026, and with plans to build a line that connects Monterrey to the Tejan region. FERROSUCO trains are capable of reaching speeds of up to 550 km/h.

Air transportation

3D-render of the Méjico-Cortés International Airport

Mejico has an advanced air transportation infrastructure utilizing approximately 4,500 paved runways. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world's thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in Mejico, including Méjico-Cortés International Airport, the world's busiest. In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports were in Mejico, including Los Angeles International Airport, the world's busiest. Private aircraft are also used for medical emergencies, government agencies, large corporations and individuals. The Mejican Corporation of Aviation (Spanish: Corporación Mejicana de Aviación) is responsible for the regulation and operation of the air transportation system in Mejico. It is a government-owned corporation that works closely with private airlines, but ultimately makes all major decisions regarding air transportation in the country. The Mejican government provides subsidies to airlines, maintains and upgrades the infrastructure, and sets regulations to ensure safe and fair operations. The national flag carrier, AEROMEX, is also owned by the government and operates as a major player in the aviation industry. There are more than 200 private domestic passenger and cargo airlines and a number of international operators. Mejico's main international airlines are Delta Airlines, AeroAmerica and Aerolíneas Unidas. The low-cost airline Aerolíneas del Noreste operates few international routes but has grown its domestic operations to a size comparable to that of the major international carriers. The Corporation of Aviation regulates ticket prices, routes and airline competition in order to prevent monopolies and ensure fair pricing for consumers. The national government also retains jurisdiction over aircraft safety, pilot training, and accident investigations (through the National Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board). The Transportation Security Administration provides airport security.

As the busiest airport in the world, the Méjico-Cortés International Airport is a massive transportation hub located near Mejico City. This airport has state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure to accommodate millions of travelers every year. The airport features multiple runways, numerous terminals, and a wide range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and hotels. It also has an extensive network of transportation options to help passengers get to and from the airport, such as high-speed rail lines, bus and taxi services, and private shuttles. As a key component of Mejico’s transportation infrastructure, the airport plays a vital role in facilitating global trade and commerce, as well as the movement of people and goods across the country and around the world.

Cruise ship in Acapulco

Water transportation

Water transportation is used primarily for the transport of goods. Fishing and pleasure boats are numerous, and passenger service connects many of the country's islands and remote coastal areas, crosses lakes, rivers, and harbors. Several of Mejico's major seaports include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Topolobampo, Mazatlan, San Blas, Manzanillo, Acapulco, and Salina Cruz on the Pacific coast, and Galvez, Espiritu Santo, Tampico, Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos, Campeche, and Cancun on the Atlantic coast.

Many Mejican ports are served by cruise ships. Popular destinations include the Caribbean, Riviera Maya, Mazatlan, Bajo San Fulgencio, and Veracruz. Car ferries operate in many places where bridges are impractical and in congested metropolitan areas, including the city of Veracruz and San Francisco Bay.

The Mejican shipping industry is regulated by the National Transport Commission (NTC), which oversees the country's waterways, ports, inland waterways, and coastal shipping infrastructure. The NTC also regulates commercial fisheries, cargo shipping, and other maritime activities. Mejico's economy relies heavily on its shipping industry, with the majority of goods and services being transported by sea. Mejican ships are highly sought after for their reliable and cost-effective shipping services.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1900 36,940,070—    
1910 44,129,327+1.79%
1920 42,661,500−0.34%
1930 51,838,057+1.97%
1940 61,628,509+1.75%
1950 81,135,823+2.79%
1960 97,691,257+1.87%
1970 124,019,943+2.42%
1980 147,109,314+1.72%
1990 184,975,258+2.32%
2000 203,166,024+0.94%
2010 245,091,108+1.89%
2020 278,386,307+1.28%
Source: RIGE

Throughout the 19th century, the population of Mejico had grown considerably, growing from 10 million to 30 million by the turn of the century. This trend continued during the first two decades of the 20th century, although the 1921 census recorded a loss of about 1.5 million inhabitants. The phenomenon can be explained because during the period between 1910 and 1917 the Mejican Civil War took place. The growth rate increased dramatically between the 1930s and 1990s, when the country constantly exhibited growth rates of 1.5-2.7% per annum. The Mejican population doubled between 1940 and 1970, and at that rate it was expected that by 2000, there would be 200 million Mejicans. The grew by 163% between 1970 and 2000, given the largely prosperous former decades, coupled with the values espoused by the Mejican state and the monarchy, and high immigration numbers, surpassing by a 3 million margin the previous expectations.

Life expectancy has increased dramatically, going from 45 years, in 1895, to 77, in 2000. According to estimates made by the Royal Geography and Statistics Institute (known by its Spanish acronym, RIGE), in 2024, there are approximately 286 million Mejicans.

Indias de Oajaca, Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez; c. 1877

Ethnicity and race

Casta painting showing 16 racial groupings, 18th century, Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotlán

Despite being highly diverse, research on Mejican ethnicity has felt the impact of nationalist discourses on identity, which saw their peak between the decades of the 1930s and 1950s, when the government of José Vasconcelos pursued a policy of castizaje, in which Mejicans were encouraged to develop their unique cultural heritage and embrace a new concept of national belonging, based on the primacy of European cultural and racial features, coupled with a present, albeit lessened, Amerindian heritage. This discourse had a great influence on academic studies that had appeared around that time and on those to come after. While some scholars, including Vasconcelos himself, claimed that the so-called Mejican race had been exclusively formed in Mejico, this did not prevent others, such as Antonio Rueda and Carlos Serrano, from arguing that the majority of Mejicans were in fact Castizos: three-quarters European, one-quarter Amerindian, which Vasconcelos considered the epitome of Mejicanity, calling it a "the most sublime mixture of the Amerindian and European races".

Such a discourse saw the increase of Mejicans identifying as Castizos, with almost half of the country currently identifying as such (46%) according to the 2020 Census. The Castizo population has increased significantly since the beginning of the 20th century, and one of the reasons for such growth was that, since around 1870, many Mestizos from the coast had moved to the Old North, where they encountered large numbers of White Mejicans, who were settled in cities such as Culiacán, Hermosillo, Saltillo, Monterrey and Torreón. With the increase in these migration waves came the assimilation of former coastites and rural dwellers into the mainstream urban population. Furthermore, as the economy became more industrialized, especially during the Liberal Era, more people had the opportunity to work in industrial centers, and therefore, many Mejican immigrants from rural areas entered the industrial cities.

Across the years, the government has used different criteria to count Indigenous peoples, with each of them returning considerably different numbers, ranging from 3.1% to 12.4% of the population, depending on the criteria used: being culturally indigenous, living in an indigenous community and/or speaking an indigenous language. The population speaking Indigenous languages (the only criterion contemplated by the Royal Institute of Statistics and Geography) fell from 15% in 1895 to barely 8% in 2000. However, in absolute numbers there was an increase from just over one million to 23.6 million in the 2020 census, representing 8.5% of the population.

White Mejican women wearing mantillas, by Carlos Nebel; c. 1836

Similarly to Mestizo and Indigenous peoples, estimates of the percentage of European-descended Mejicans vary considerably depending on the criteria used: recent nationwide field surveys that account for different phenotypical traits (such as hair and skin color) report a percentage between 25% and 34% if the criterion is the presence of blond hair, or 70% if the criterion is skin color, and of 17.7% if the criterion is racial self-identification, with the later surveys having been conducted by the Mejican government itself. While during the colonial era most of European migration into Mejico was Spanish, in the 19th and 20th centuries, a substantial number of non-Spanish Europeans immigrated to the country, with Whites often being the most numerous ethnic group in colonial cities. Nowadays, Mejico's northern and western regions have the highest percentages of European populations, with the majority of the people not having native admixture or being of predominantly European ancestry. European-descended Mejicans, also known as Criollos or White Mejicans, have made significant contributions to Mejican culture. Many of Mejico's most famous artists, writers, and intellectuals have come from this group. In the arts, sciences, literature, poetry, philosophy, music, and politics, Criollos have left a lasting impact, with Nobel laureates, world-renowned figures, and some of Mejico's most influential citizens being of European descent. They have also been active in the business world, with some of Mejico's most successful and wealthy individuals coming from this group.

El Costeño, by José Agustín Arrieta; c. 1843

Criollos have also played an important role in shaping Mejican politics and society. Many of Mejico's presidents and political leaders have come from this group, including Nicolás Bravo, Agustín de Iturbide, and José Yves de Limantour. In addition, many of Mejico's most important institutions, such as the Royal and Pontifical University of Mejico and the Royal National Museum of Anthropology, were founded by Criollos.

The Afro-Mejican population (1,960,610 individuals as of 2020) is an ethnic group made up of descendants of Colonial-era slaves and recent immigrants of sub-Saharan African descent. Mejico had an active slave trade during the colonial period, and some 150,000 Africans were taken there, primarily in the 17th century. The creation of a national Mejican identity, especially after the Civil War, emphasized Mejico's European and Indigenous past; it passively eliminated the African ancestors and contributions. Most of the Afrodescendant population was absorbed into the surrounding Mestizo and Indigenous populations through unions among the groups. Evidence of this long history of intermarriage with Mestizo and Indigenous Mejicans is also expressed in the fact that, in the 2015 inter-census, 64.9% of Afro-Mejicans also identified as indigenous. It was also reported that 7.4% of Afro-Mejicans speak an indigenous language.

Depiction of the Parián market in Mejico City's Zócalo, c. 1770.

During the early 20th century, a substantial number of Arabs (mostly Chaldean Catholics and Maronites) arrived in Mejico from the crumbling Ottoman Empire. The largest group were the Arameans, and an estimated 500,000 Mejicans have some degree of Aramean ancestry. Smaller ethnic groups in Mejico include South and East Asians, present since the colonial era. During the colonial era, Asians were termed Chino (regardless of ethnicity), and arrived as merchants, artisans and slaves. Chinese, Filipino and Japanese Mejicans are the three largest Asian groups in the country.


Mejican nobility refers to the traditional social class consisting of persons who hold hereditary titles and who have certain privileges, responsibilities, and rights based on their rank. The Mejican nobility has a rich history dating back to the pre-Columbian period, where it was entirely composed of Amerindian nobles, and then into the Colonial Era, where it was a small but powerful class of Spaniards, Creoles, and the occasional Amerindian Hidalgo. The title of nobility was granted by the Spanish Crown to those who were deemed worthy and deserving of it. After Mejico gained independence, the Mejican nobility went through various stages of change, but it has remained a significant part of the country's cultural heritage.

Miguel Alejandro Fernando Gregorio de la Luz Juan Diego Ignacio José María Guadalupe Tomás Saturnino Joaquín Pedro Pablo Diego Francisco de Paula Raimundo Jordán César Augusto Constantino Valentín Octavio del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús de Miramón y la Peña, IX Duke of Bacalar de la Victoria, Mejico's most powerful duke and holder of one of the country’s longest names

There are several ranks of Mejican nobility, including dukes, marquises, counts, viscounts, and barons. The highest rank of nobility in Mejico is that of Grandee, which is a title that can only be granted by the Monarch. In addition to these titles, there are also lesser nobles, who are granted titles such as knight, lord, or gentilhombre. These ranks are divided into two categories: landed and unlanded nobility. Landed nobility refers to those who hold significant land holdings and are entitled to receive an income for them. Unlanded nobility refers to those who do not have significant land holdings, but have been granted a title in recognition to their contributions to society. In addition to these ranks, there is also ecclesiastical nobility, which includes individuals who hold high-ranking positions in the Catholic Church in Mejico. Some of the most recognized Mejican noble families are those of the Dukes of the Valley of Oajaca, the Dukes of Moctezuma de Tultengo, the Dukes of Bacalar de la Victoria, the Counts of Miravalle, the Dukes of Atrisco, the Counts of Acapulco, the Counts of Consuegra, the Counts of Siquisiva, and the Dukes of Gálvez.

Diego Emiliano de Susumacoa y Salazar de Atenco, II Duke of Casa de Susumacoa, one of the 20th century’s richest Indigenous hidalgos

The Mejican nobility has certain responsibilities and privileges that are unique to their rank. These include the right to bear a coat of arms, the right to attend certain ceremonies, and the right to be addressed with certain titles. Mejican nobles are also expected to demonstrate Noblesse oblige, which is the idea that those who have privilege, power, and influence should use it to serve the common good of society. Philanthropy, public service, cultural preservation and patronage, environmental protection, and moral leadership are among the things that are expected of Mejican nobility.

Indigenous Mejican nobility also existed in pre-Columbian times, although the Mesoamerican concept of nobility was vastly different from that found in Europe. Indigenous nobles held their titles based on their lineage and had specific responsibilities to their community. Their titles were often linked to their deities or the natural world, and their roles included leading ceremonies and protecting their people. During the Colonial period, the Spanish Crown granted the rank of hidalgo to many Indigenous nobles who converted to Christianity and demonstrated loyalty to the Crown, particularly among the Tlaxcaltecs. Over time, many Indigenous noble families climbed the ranks of the nobility, intermarrying with Spanish and other European nobles. Notable noble families include the Matlaccohuatzin, the Susumacoa, the Cuauhquechola, the Ixtlilxóchitl, the Namuxchel, the Ajaubot, the Cacupacal, the Ensucani, and the Entay.


Spanish is the de facto national language spoken by the vast majority of the population, making Mejico the world's most populous Hispanophone country. Mejican Spanish refers to the varieties of the language spoken in the country, which differ from one region to another in sound, structure, and vocabulary. In general, Mejican Spanish does not make any phonetic distinction among the letters s and z, as well as c when preceding the vowels e and i, as opposed to Peninsular Spanish. The letters b and v have the same pronunciation as well. Furthermore, the usage of vos, the second person singular pronoun, found in several Iberoamerican varieties, is replaced by tú; whereas vosotros, the second person plural pronoun, fell out of use and was effectively replaced by ustedes, save for the province of Tabasco. In written form, the Royal Spanish Academy serves as the primary guideline for spelling, except for words of Amerindian origin that retain their original phonology such as cenzontle instead of sinzontle and Xochimilco, not Sochimilco. The letter x is distinctly used in Mejican Spanish, where it may be pronounced as [ks] (as in oxígeno or taxi); or as [ʃ], particularly in Amerindian words (e.g. mixiote, Xola and uxmal).

The government officially recognizes 108 Amerindian languages. It is estimated that around 16 million citizens speak these languages, with Nahuatl being the most widely spoken, with more than 3.8 million speakers, followeed by Yucatec Maya, used daily by nearly 1.9 million people. Zapotec and Mixtec, both spoken by slightly over a million people each, are two other prominent language groups. Otomí is spoken by almost 950,000 people on a daily basis. Tzeltal Maya is spoken by over 750,000 people, primarily in the southern province of Chiapas. Totonac, Navajo and Purépecha are spoken by nearly 800,000; 600,000 and 500,000 each. Since its creation in March 2003, the National Indigenous Languages Institute has been in charge of promoting and protecting the use of the country's indigenous languages, through the General Law of Indigenous Peoples' Linguistic Rights, which recognizes them de jure as "national languages" with status equal to that of Spanish.

Aside from Indigenous language, there are several minority languages spoken in Mejico due to international migration such as Low German, by the 200,000-strong Mennonite population, primarily settled in the northern provinces, fueled by the tolerance of the Imperial government towards this community by allowing them to set their own educational system compatible with their customs and traditions. English is spoken by approximately 15 million Anglo-Mejicans living mostly in the New North, and it is also the most commonly taught foreign language in Mejico. Chipileño, a Venetian dialect, is spoken in the central province of Puebla, by around 50,000 people, mainly descendants of Venetians that migrated to the area in the late 19th century. Greek is widely spoken by immigrant communities in the province of Sinaloa. Czech and High German dialects are spoken in the region of Tejas, with German also having a presence in the provinces of Coahuila, Chihuahua, and Lower San Fulgencio . Cornish is spoken in the province of Pachuca. French is widely spoken in the provinces surrounding the Gulf of Mejico, especially Veracruz and Matagorda. Portuguese speakers can also be found in Veracruz, due to the historic connections between Mejico and Portugal through trade and colonization. In the Yucatán Peninsula and Tabasco, there are small communities of Dutch speakers, many of whom are descendants of Dutch pirates and privateers who operated in the Caribbean in  the 17th century.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Mejico City


Although the Constitution of 1917 put limits on the role of the Catholic Church in Mejico, Catholicism remained the country's dominant religious affiliation, and recovered many of its privileges in the 1966 Constitution. The 2020 census by the Royal Institute of Statistics and Geography gives Christianity as the main religion, with over 95% of the country (273,966,445) belonging to one of the multiple Christian denominations present in Mejico. Catholicism is the dominant affilation, with 80.82% (231,642,001) of the population identifying as Catholic; while 12.2% (34,988,955) belong to Protestant or Evangelical denominations, including Anglicans/Episcopalians (7,340,986), Lutherans (8,149,706), Pentecostals (4,066,542), Mormons (4,003,528), Baptists (3,490,205), Evangelicals (2,392,828), Calvinists (1,499,739), Jehova's Witnesses (1,011,082), Seventh-day Adventists (1,169,922), Presbyterians (792,011), and other Christians (1,072,406); and 2.56% (7,335,489) belong to an Orthodox or Nestorian tradition. Meanwhile, 3.14% (9,010,217) declared having no religion.

Allegory of the pontifical declaration of Benedict XIV of the Guadalupan patronage over New Spain, by novohispano artist Gonzalo de Torrevieja; c. 18th century.

The 231.6 million Catholics of Mejico constitute, in absolute terms, the largest Catholic community in the world, followed by Brazil and the Philippines. 75% of them declare attending church services every week, 25% declare attending several times per week, and 10% declare attending on a daily basis. The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mejico, is celebrated on 12 December, and is regarded by many Mejicans as the most important religious holiday of the country, and one of the most glaring symbols of Mejicanity. The Anglican and Lutheran denominations also have an important presence among Anglo-Mejicans and German-Mejicans, while Pentecostals, Baptists and Calvinists predominate in border cities and in indigenous communities. As of 2020, Pentecostal churches together have more than 4 million adherents, which place them as the primary Protestant creed among the Indigenous and Mestizos. Migratory phenomena have led to the spread of different aspects of Christianity, including branches of Protestants, Eastern Catholic Churches, and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

In certain regions, the profession of a creed other than the Catholic is seen as a threat to communal unity. It is argued that Catholicism is part of the Mejican identity, and that the Protestants are not willing to participate in the traditional customs and practices (the tequio or community work, participation in the festivities and similar issues). The refusal of Protestants is because their religious interpretation does not allow them to participate in what they describe as a "culf ot images". In extreme cases, tension between Catholics and Protestants has led to the expulsion or even lynching of Protestants in several villages. The best known cases are those of San Juan de Chamula, Chiapas, and San Nicolás de Ixmiquilpan, Cuernavaca. A similar argument was presented by a committee of anthropologists to request the government to expel the Summer Linguistic Institute (SIL) in 1979, which was accused of promoting the division of indigenous peoples by translating the Bible into vernacular languages and evangelizing in a Protestant creed that threatened the integrity of popular cultures. The Mejican government paid attention to the call of the anthropologists and canceled the agreement that had held with the SIL.

Mejico's religious landscape is incredibly diverse, and is characterized by a fusion of different traditions and beliefs. This is due to the country's complex history, which has seen the blending of Indigenous, European, African, and other cultural influences. As Jacobo Grinberg notes in texts edited by the RPUM, the survival of indigenous magical and religious practices is remarkable in Mejico, not only among the current Indigenous populace, but also in the Mestizo and Criollo population that make up the Mejican rural and urban society. These practices are often syncretized with Catholicism, which was brought to Mexico by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century.

The Offering for the Dead; by Saturnino Herrán, c. 1913.

A popular syncretic religion in Mejico is Santería, which originated in Cuba but has since spread throughout Iberoamerica. Santería is a fusion of Yoruba and Catholic beliefs and practices, and is particularly popular among Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin communities. Santería practitioners believe in a pantheon of orishas, or deities, who are syncretized with Catholic saints. Despite the prevalence of syncretic religious practices, institutionalized religions such as Catholicism often view popular religiosity with suspicion or disdain. One example of this is the cult of Santa Muerte, or Holy Death, which has gained a large following in Mejico in recent years. Santa Muerte is depicted as a skeletal figure, and her followers believe that she can offer protection, healing, and prosperity. However, the Catholic Church has labeled the cult as satanic and has attempted to suppress it, with many Santa Muerte followers and publications being censored by the Inquisition. Nonetheless, many Santa Muerte devotees consider themselves to be Catholic and do not see a conflict between their veneration of Santa Muerte and their Catholic faith.

In addition to the previously mentioned syncretic religions, the Maya cult of the Talking Cross, whose followers are known as Cruzo'ob, has also survived through the centuries. The cult combines Catholicism with some elements of traditional Maya beliefs, and centers around a large wooden cross that is believed to have miraculous powers. The Cruzo'ob believe that the Talking Cross can protect them from evil spirits, illnesses, and natural disasters, and that it is destined to expel all non-Mayans from the Yucatán Peninsula. Due to this, the Cruzo'ob have been violently suppressed since the end of the Yucatán Caste War in the late 19th century, as they were deeply associated with the indigenous rebels and the theocratic state of Chan Santa Cruz. Despite this, the cult has continued to exist among Maya separatists and their communities in the Peninsula, with some even claiming that the Talking Cross will help them achieve victory in the case of another armed insurrection against the government.

Juan de Zumárraga, the first bishop of Mejico


The Mejican Catholic Church, or Catholic Church in Mejico, is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, his Curia in Rome and the national Mejican Episcopal Conference. According to the Mejican census, Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Mejico, practiced by 80.8% of the population in 2020. The history of the Church in Mejico dates from the period of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire (1519-1521), and it has continued as an institution in Mejico into the 21st century. In the late 20th century, Eastern Catholic jurisdictions were also established in Mejico.

Cardinal Aguiar Retes, Primate of Mejico

The early 16th century was marked by the era of military conquest, during which the Spanish Empire expanded into new territories. In this context, the Catholic Church saw an opportunity to evangelize the indigenous population of Mejico and launched a massive effort known as "the spiritual conquest". The goal of this campaign was to convert the native people to Christianity and thereby facilitate their incorporation into Spanish society. The Church's presence in Mejico grew rapidly as the Spanish and mixed-race urban population increased. To manage this expansion, the crown established the episcopal hierarchy, which was under royal patronage, and created dioceses throughout the country. This move ensured that the Church's authority was firmly established and that it played a significant role in the lives of the population.

The Catholic Church in Mejico was heavily influenced by the arrival of religious orders, such as the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Jesuits. These orders were mendicant and relied on the generosity of others to support themselves and carry out their mission. They were responsible for the religious education and evangelization of the Indigenous population. The Church also saw the establishment of military orders, such as the Knights of Calatrava, which had the dual mission of defending the faith and settle castles and forts in the Old North.

Following independence from Spain in the late 18th century, Mejico established a legal framework that maintained the privileged status of the Catholic Church as the official and unique religion. This framework continued on for decades, despite the prolonged conflict between the Conservative supporters of the old order and the Liberals who sought to diminish the power of the Catholic Church. During this period, the Church remained a powerful force in Mejican society and continued to exert significant influence over politics, education, and social norms.

The beginning of the Liberal Era in the late 19th century marked a turning point in the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Mejican government. The successive liberal and technocrat presidents were able to reach a modus vivendi with the Church, and the Church's role in Mejican society was gradually diminished. However, this period of relative calm would come to an end after the triumph of the largely anticlerical Constitutionalists in the Mejican Civil War.

Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Las Vegas

The Constitutionalists, who were committed to a secular and modern state, sought to restrict the influence of the Catholic Church in Mejico. They saw the Church as a relic of the old order and a hindrance to the country's progress and development. The most significant legislative measure taken by the Constitutionalists against the Church was the Calles Law, passed by President Plutarco Elías Calles. The law mandated the strict separation of Church and State, and prohibited the Church from engagng in several activities, including public worship and religious education. The Calles Law provoked a strong reaction from the Catholic population, which saw it as an attack on its rights. Despite the Church's insistence on a peaceful resolution to the conflict, seeking legislative action and obtaining millions of signatures for the overriding of the law, they were ignored, and the bloody Christiad broke out. During the war, the Church faced intense persecution in multiple provinces, with some seeing the expulsion of all priests from the province. The war resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and marked a low point in the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Mejican government.

The war would end with the assassination of President Calles in 1928 by José de León Toral. The moderate Octaviano Larrazolo was sympathetic to the Church, and sought to restore peace and stability to the country, working to improve the relationship between the government and the Church. However, his presidency was short-lived, as he died just two years after taking office. Larrazolo was succeeded by the Conservative José Vasconcelos, who was also sympathetic to the Church. Vasconcelos sought to expand Catholic participation in the establishment of religious educational institutions and reached agreements with the Church on a range of issues.

Expansion of Catholic participation in the establishment of religious educational institutions, and the agreements reached with the Vasconcelos and Abascal regimes, in which Opus Dei members were prominent, was solidified by the 1966 Constitution, in which Mejico was declared a confessional state, with Catholicism being the official religion of the state. The Constitution, however, provided for religious freedom for Protestants, Jews, and other non-Christians. Today, the Church remains an important institution in Mejico and continues to exert significant influence over the country's social norms and values.

A typical Tejan German Lutheran church


Protestantism (which includes both non-evangelical and evangelical denominations) is one of the most common religious minorities in Mejico, although it makes up very small percentage of religion in Mejico when compared to the large Roman Catholic majority. There are many denominations in the Empire from virtually all doctrinal backgrounds, the largest of which are: Episcopalian/Anglican, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Baptist, Evangelical, Mormon, Adventist, and Presbyterian, and a group of unaffiliated non-denominational charismatic congregations. In the census, some of these congregations and their followers are grouped as "Neo-Charismatic", others are grouped as "Evangelicals".

The charismatic movement in Mejico has been growing in the last several decades, particularly in the southern province of Chiapas, among poorer urbanites, and younger generations of Mejicans. This growth has been largely due to the influence of charismatic preachers from British North America, as well as the increasing appeal of Pentecostalism, which has become an important part of Protestantism in Mejico. Protestantism has made some inroads among the indigenous population in the highlands, but remains a minority religion. Protestantism has also made inroads among the poor in the cities, and among the educated middle classes.

The large numbers of Anglicans, Lutherans, and Calvinists in the country are mainly due to the presence of Anglo-Mejicans, German-Mejicans, and Louisianan-Mejicans, respectively. These populations are particularly prominent in the New North. Anglicanism arrived with British immigrants, who mostly came to the country through British North America. The German-Mejican community is largely responsible for the growth of Lutheranism in the Empire, as many German immigrants brought their faith and customs with them. And Louisianan Huguenots have contributed to the growth of Calvinism in Mejico, especially in the late 20th century.

Other Protestant denominations in Mejico include Pentecostals, Baptists, Evangelicals, and Mormons, among others. These other denominations have a combined population of over 17 million. The growth of these denominations can be attributed to various factors, including missionary activity among Indigenous Mejicans, high birth rates among Protestant groups, and the conversion of Catholics to Protestantism.

Protestant churches in Mejico are often characterized by a lively, charismatic style of worship, with an emphasis on personal spiritual experience and conversion. Many Protestant congregations have active youth groups and community outreach programs, and there is a strong tradition of Protestant missionary work in Mejico, both by foreign and domestic churches.

There has also been some tension between Protestants and Catholics in Mejico, particularly in areas where Protestantism is seen as a foreign influence or a threat to traditional Catholic culture. there have been incidents of statues being stolen or vandalized in Catholic parishes, which has caused outrage among Catholics. Some of these incidents have been attributed to Protestant groups, while others have been attributed to criminal gangs taking advantage of the religious tensions to carry out their criminal activities. The Mejican government has condemned these acts of vandalism and theft and has pledged to investigate and prosecute those responsible. Nevertheless, these incidents have contributed to the overall atmosphere of mistrust and animosity between Catholics and Protestants in the country.

Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George in Torreón, Coahuila


Orthodox Christians began to arrive in Mejico during the Porfiriate, the Great Global War, and the European Spring of Nations, mostly due to the Communist threat in Europe. Most Orthodox Christians were communities of Greeks, Russians, Serbians, Wallachians, Latvians, and Georgians, among others. A large number of Polish Orthodox Christians migrated to Mejico in the 1920s and 1930s due to the political instability and religious persecutions in their homeland. These communities found in Mejico a sanctuary where they could freely practice their religion and maintain their cultural traditions.

The Orthodox Church in Mejico is followed mostly by Greco-Mejicans and Russo-Mejicans, the overwhelming majority of whom are concentrated in large urban areas, especially in Mejico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Los Ángeles and San Francisco, with the exception of the provinces of Upper San Fulgencio and Sinaloa, where Russians (members of the Molokan community) and Greeks, respectively, established agricultural communities and Orthodox churches can be found in rural areas as well. There are six Orthodox Churches established in Mejico, the largest of which is the Orthodox Church of Mejico. Other Orthodox churches include the Russian Orthodox Church, the Belarusian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the Georgian Orthodox Church, which serve smaller communities, primarily fed by immigrants. Although the Orthodox make a small minority in Mejico, their numbers have been growing steadily in recent years.

Recent developments among Indigenous peoples in Chiapas have led to a growing number of Tzotzil Maya community members adopting Orthodoxy. The reasons for this shift vary, but it is often attributed to a desire for cultural preservation and a search for an alternative religious framework that aligns with their traditional beliefs and practices. The denial to adopt a Mayan Rite in Catholicism by the Mejican Episcopal Conference in 2021 created a sense of disappointment and alienation among some Mayans in Chiapas, particularly within the Tzotzil community. This decision was seen as a missed opportunity to recognize and incorporate their unique cultural and spiritual traditions into the Catholic faith. As a result, some Tzotzil sought alternative avenues to express their religious beliefs and preserve their cultural heritage, leading them to embrace Orthodoxy.

In 2022, the Orthodox Church of Mejico obtained autocephaly from Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, granting it independence and self-governance. This development has further bolstered the presence and influence of Orthodoxy in Mejico. The majority of the Greek Orthodox community adhered to the newly autocephalous Orthodox Church of Mejico, strengthening its establishment and providing a sense of unity among the Greco-Mejican population. This has allowed for a greater degree of autonomy for the Church, and has been welcomed as a positive development by Orthodox believers in Mejico.


There is a relatively small population of irreligious people in Mejico, numbering less than 8 million people. The overwhelming majority of the population identifies as Christian, with the Catholic Church being the largest denomination. However, there are still some individuals who identify as atheist or agnostic, as well as those who simply do not identify with any religious tradition.

File:Arnoldo Martínez Verdugo.jpg
Arnoldo Martínez, a prominent member of the Mejican Communist Party. Note the dissident spelling of Mejico with an X.

The Holy Office of the Inquisition in Mejico has been known to discriminate against those who do not adhere to the dominant Catholic faith. Atheists and agnostics have been subject to censorship, with their views often suppressed in public discourse, including books and internet publications. As for discrimination and censorship, irreligious individuals may face persecution if they openly express their beliefs and go against the Catholic Church. The Inquisition has the legal authority to investigate and punish individuals suspected of heresy or blasphemy, which could include those who reject religious beliefs altogether. Atheists and agnostics may also face discrimination in areas of society where Catholicism and Protestantism holds significant influence, such as politics, education, the media, and intellectual discourse.

Atheism had its strongest phase in Mejico during the early 20th century, as Mejico experienced a wave of militant atheism led by President Plutarco Elías Calles, who served from 1924 until his assassination in 1928. Calles' government enforced strict anti-clerical laws, closed monasteries and convents, confiscated Church property, and suppressed religious services, which led to a violent conflict with the Catholic Church known as the Cristero War. This period saw the rise of militant atheist organizations such as the Organización para el Librepensamiento y la Laicidad (Organization for Free-Thinking and Laicity), which fought alongside government forces against Catholic militias.

The dictatorships of José Vasconcelos and his successor Salvador Abascal saw the government espouse Fascism and National Catholicism, leading to a crackdown of the Communist Party of Mejico and many other left-wing groups. This religious conservatism has been continued ever since, with the post-Octennium presidencies strengthening the relationship between the Catholic Church and the State. However, in 2001, the ban on political communism was lifted, and the United Communist Party of Mejico was founded that same year. The party had been known from 2001 to 2018 for their pragmatic approach to religion, seeking a secular state rather than the implementation of state atheism, but it has become increasingly militant in the past years.

Great Synagogue of Mejico City


The Jewish community in Mejico has a rich and complex history. After the arrival of Hernán Cortés and the Spanish conquistadors in 1521, many Conversos, Jews who had converted to Catholicism to avoid persecution, accompanied them. These Conversos, also known as Crypto-Jews, continued to secretly practice their Jewish faith while publicly appearing to be Catholic. The Inquisition arrived in Mejico in 1571, and Crypto-Jews were targeted for persecution and forced to publicly renounce their Jewish practices. Despite this, some Crypto-Jews persisted in practicing their faith in secret, passing it down through generations.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a wave of Jewish immigrants arrived in Mejico, mostly from Eastern Europe and Iberia. They were primarily Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, and they established their own communities and synagogues in cities like Mejico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Los Ángeles. In the 1920s and 30s, many Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Europe found sanctuary in Mejico, and the community continued to grow. In the 20th century, Jews and the Vasconcelist regime reached an amicable modus vivendi, although they were subjected to quinquennial oaths of loyalty to the State, and Sephardi Jews were given preference over Ashkenazi Jews.

Today, the Jewish community in Mejico is diverse, with Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews representing the majority of the population. There are synagogues and Jewish schools in cities throughout the country, and Jewish culture has had an impact on Mejican society. Mejican Jews have achieved success in fields such as politics, business, sports, and entertainment, and have made important contributions to Mejican culture and society.

Internal and external migration

Internal migration in Mejico is a complex and dynamic phenomenon influenced by a multitude of factors. Economic opportunities play a significant role in driving internal migration patterns. People from rural areas often migrate to urban centers in search of better job prospects and higher wages. The urban areas, with their concentration of industries, services, and infrastructure, offer a wide range of employment options and the potential for upward mobility. Mejico's strong economic growth and development in certain regions created attractive opportunities for internal migrants - provinces such as Nuevo León, San Fulgencio, Veracruz, Jalisco, and Mejico City have emerged as popular destinations for individuals seeking improved livelihoods. These regions have robust economies characterized by thriving industries, advanced infrastructure, and a diverse range of employment sectors. The allure of these areas lies in their ability to offer higher-paying jobs, access to quality education and healthcare, and a relatively higher standard of living.

Illegal immigrants in Mejico mostly arrive by train

It is estimated that 6 million people moved from rural areas to urban areas between 2010 and 2020, contributing to the rapid urbanization of Mejico. The influx of migrants has placed significant pressure on urban infrastructure, including housing, transportation, and public services. The government has responded by implementing urban development plans and investing in the expansion of essential amenities to accommodate the growing urban population. Apart from economic factors, social and cultural factors also influence internal migration patterns. For example, individuals may choose to migrate to be closer to family members or to join existing social networks in urban areas. Education is another significant driver of internal migration, as individuals may move to pursue higher education or access better educational opportunities for themselves or their children.

In the early 1960s, an estimated 450,000 Mejicans chose to live abroad, seeking new opportunities and experiences beyond their homeland. However, over the following decades, the number of Mejican expatriates surged dramatically. By the 1990s, the expatriate population had grown sevenfold, reaching approximately 3.1 million people. This continued to accelerate, and by the turn of the 21st century, the number of Mejicans living abroad had more than doubled to reach 6.7 million. As of 2023, the diaspora has expanded even further, with an estimated 9.5 million people residing in various countries around the world. The majority of these have chosen to live in countries nearby, especially in Louisiana, British North America, and other countriesof the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations.

Within Europe, Spain has emerged as a preferred destination for Mejican immigrants, with an estimated 181,000 individuals choosing to settle in the country. The historical, linguistic, and cultural connections between Spain and Mejico have made it an attractive choice for those seeking a new life. Portugal has approximately 53,000 Mejicans residing there, while in Asia, the Philippines, Hindustan and Taiping China are the main destination for Mejican immigrants. Germany, Russia, France, Jerusalem and Aramea are other popular destinations.

As of 2024, it is estimated that 17.9 million Mejicans are of first and second generation immigrant background, making up 6.27% of the population, up from nearly 5 million in 1990. Migrants from the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations make up the majority of immigrants in Mejico (5.1 million), followed by British North Americans (2.6 million), and Louisianans (1 million). Other large groups come from Taiping China (819 thousand), Central America (507 thousand), Great Britain (473 thousand), Germany (429 thousand), Xing China (426 thousand), Hindustan (409 thousand), and Iran (394 thousand).

Overall, 4.3 million of these migrants are of European origin, representing 24% of the first and second generation immigrant population. Asians number 4.5 million, or 25.39%. Due to Mejico's strict immigration laws, Africans only number 948 thousand of these migrants, 5.27%. North and South Americans number 45.34% of all migrants within Mejico.

However, there is a small but noticeable illegal immigrant population. Since 2007, visa overstays have accounted for a greater proportion of the growth in the illegal immigrant population than illegal border crossings. According to the latest estimates, of the 3.1 million illegal immigrants currently in the country, 26% are from Central America, 21% from Africa, 16% from Southeast Asia, 12% from East Asia, 7% from Hindustan, 7% from member states of the ICN, 6% from North America, and 5% from Europe. By 2018, approximately two-thirds of illegal immigrants had resided in Mejico for more than a decade, showing relative stability in the illegal population. Despite the government's efforts to address irregular immigration, challenges and debates remain on how to effectively manage this situation.

Metropolitan areas

The metropolitan areas of Mejico have been traditionally defined as the group of municipalities that heavily interact with each other, usually around a core city. The phenomenon of metropolization in Mejico is relatively recent, starting in the 1940s, and due to the accelerated level of urbanization in the country, the definition of a metropolitan area is reviewed periodically by the Mejican population and census authorities. Metropolization in Mejico has been rapid and intense, leading to the emergence of several cities as economic political and cultural centers, and their hinterlands have become integrated into their metropolitan areas.

Mejico City, Los Ángeles, Arquicosa, San Francisco, Veracruz, Espíritu Santo, Guadalajara, Monterrey, San Diego, and Santa Valburga are the ten most populous metropolitan areas in Mejico, with an aggregated population of over 107 million between them. Mejico has 49 metropolitan areas with populations exceeding 1 million inhabitants, and 166 exceeding 100,000 people. Mejico has six megalopolitan areas: Greater Valley of Mejico (33.8 million), Bay of Angels (26.5 million), the Tejan Triangle (22.1 million), the Bajío (18.7 million), San Francsico Bay (14.6 million), and Greater Veracruz (10.1 million).

The concept of a metropolitan area in Mejico is not static and is subject to revision over time. The population and economic growth of a core city and its surroundings are the main factors that determine the inclusion or exclusion of a municipality in a metropolitan area. The inclusion of municipalities in a metropolitan area provides them with access to greater economic opportunities, better infrastructure, and public services. On the other hand, it also presents challenges such as congestion, pollution, and inequality.

Hospicio Cabañas, one of the oldest medical centers in the Americas


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CCPE) reported that Mejico had an average life expectancy at birth of 78.8 years in 2019 (76.3 years for men and 81.4 years for women), up 0.1 per year from 2018. This was the second year that overall life expectancy in Mejico increased slightly after three years of overall declines that followed decades of steady improvement. The recent decline, primarily among the 25-64 age group, was largely due to record levels of drug overdose and suicide rates; the country still has one of the highest suicide rates among wealthy countries. From 1999 to 2019, more than 770,000 Mejicans died from drug overdoses. Life expectancy was highest among Criollos and Asians, and lowest among Africans and Amerindians.

Obesity is also a major health issue in Mejico. The Mejican diet is high in carbohydrates and fried foods, and many Mejicans consume large amounts of sugary drinks. As a result, approximately 15% of the adult population is obese, and 30% is overweight. This has led to an increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. The rise of obesity, and improvements in health and longevity outside of Mejico, have contributed to lowering the country's ranking in life expectancy from 11th in the world to 42nd in 2007. Obesity rates have doubled in the last 30 years, and are the third highest in the industrialized world. Health professionals consider obesity-related type 2 diabetes to be an epidemic.

Under Salvador Abascal, Mejico implemented a series of policies aimed at combating obesity. These measures included strict regulations on food production and distribution, promoting physical fitness programs, and implementing educational campaigns emphasizing healthy lifestyles. However, as the political landscape shifted, some of these initiatives were gradually abandoned. In 2022, under President Quadri, a resurgence of these policies occurred, driven by a renewed commitment to public health. The administration reintroduced regulations on food labeling, incentivized the production and consumption of nutritious foods, and invested in community-based wellness programs. President Quadri negotiated with corporate groups to phase out seed oils and to seek an alternative to high fructose corn syrup, in an effort to improve the quality of the national diet. These policies were designed to address the high prevalence of obesity and related health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which had become a major burden on the healthcare system.

Sculpture of the SNSM's logo

In 2020, the most common causes of death in Mejico were non-communicable diseases, including coronary artery disease, diabetes, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer. These diseases are linked to factors such as diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. Low back pain, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety caused the most years lost to disability. The most harmful risks were poor diet, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, hypergylcemia, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption. Alzheimer's disease, drug abuse, kidney disease, cancer, and falls caused the most additional years of life lost compared with 1990 age-adjusted per capita rates. Adolescent pregnancy rates in Mejico are substantially higher than in other Western nations, especially among Indigenous populations. The Mejican government has implemented several initiatives to address these issues, including public education campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles and programs to increase access to healthcare.

The National Health System of Mejico (Sistema Nacional de Salud Mejicano; abbr.; SNSM) was created in 1910, inspired by the peninsular Spanish Social Security, and gradually extended its coverage, subject to payment for healthcare services, to the entire population of Mejico. In 1989, this process was completed under the presidency of Manuel Clouthier; since then, healthcare in Mejico has been universal and supported through different types of taxes and co-payments. According to the OECD, total healthcare spending represented 9.8% of the GDP in Mejico in 2015, a figure much higher than the average in the organization. Healthcare centers provide medical care to the uninsured, with a range of physicians from general practitioners to general surgeons. Public hospitals serve to a large degree as providers of surgical care. During the 1980s, a process of privatization of healthcare began, giving way to the construction of new private hospitals paid for with public funds and the privatization of healthcare management. Since then, the SNSM, in addition to managing its own medical centers, has agreements with other healthcare companies.

Mejico has made significant strides in the field of cancer treatment. With the advancement of technology, the country has been able to establish state-of-the-art cancer treatment centers and research facilities, which have contributed to the development of new treatment options and therapies. Among the most promising advancements in cancer treatment are gene therapy, immunotherapy, and personalized medicine. The development of Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized the field of cancer diagnostics, aiding in early detection and improving treatment outcomes. Advanced imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have become standard tools in tumor detection and staging, leading to more accurate diagnoses and tailored treatment plans. Mejico is widely considered to be the leading global hub for cancer research and innovation, attracting renowned scientists, medical professionals, and pharmaceutical companies from around the world. The country has invested heavily in medical research and development, resulting in groundbreaking discoveries and breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Collaborative efforts between academia, government institutions, and private enterprises have facilitated the translation of cutting-edge research into practical applications for patient care.


Biblioteca Palafoxiana

The Constitution of Mejican Empire establishes the framework for the education system in Mejico. The third article of the 1917 Constitution mandated that the State is to provide preschool, primary, secondary, and high school education in a free and compulsory manner, while the 1966 Constitution permitted the re-establishment of parochial schools. The 1917 Constitution was a significant step towards ensuring that all citizens had access to education, and it set the stage for the development of a comprehensive education system in the country. In order to implement this provision, the Secretariat of Public Education was created on 3 October 1921. The Secretariat is responsible for developing and implementing policies related to education in Mejico. It works closely with imperial, provincial, and local governments to ensure that all citizens have access to high-quality education, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Southwestern view of the Central Library of the Royal and Pontifical University of Mejico, painted by muralist Juan O’Gorman Ballagh

Under the Secretariat, the education system has undergone significant reforms over the years. In the early 20th century, the focus was on expanding access to education, with a particular emphasis on primary education. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a push to expand secondary education, and in the 1970s and 1980s, the focus shifted to higher education. Today, the education system in Mejico is comprised of three levels: basic education (preschool, primary and secondary), prevocational education (high school), and higher education. Basic education is compulsory for all children between the ages of six and fifteen, and is provided free of charge in public schools. Prevocational education is not compulsory, but is provided free of charge in public schools for those who choose to pursue it. Higher education is available at universities and other institutions of higher learning throughout the country, many of which are public.

Mejico has a diverse educational system, with a combination of public, private, and parochial schools. While the majority of children attend public schools, 24% of children are enrolled in private or parochial schools. Private schools often offer smaller class sizes, more resources, and a more personalized approach to education. Parochial schools are typically affiliated with a particular religious denomination, while non-sectarian schools do not have a religious affiliation. These schools can range from pre-schools to universities, and can be found all over the country. Just over 2% of children are home-schooled, which is a growing trend in Mejico.

The education for the Mejican nobility is traditionally divided into two main categories: formal education and specialized training. Formal education for noble children follows a curriculum similar to that of the general population, with a strong emphasis on academic subjects such as mathematics, science, languages, and humanities. They often receive specialized training in areas such as courtly etiquette, diplomacy, horsemanship, and leadership. These skills are considered essential for their future roles as members of the nobility, where they may be expected to assume positions of authority and responsibility within the government or other sectors of society.

The Empire has one of the highest education budgets in the world, spending more on education per student than any other country. In 2014, the country spent 8.2% of its GDP on all levels of education. This investment has paid off, as the Economist Intelligence Unit rated Mejican education as the 8th best in the world in 2014. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment by the OECD, Mejican students perform well in reading, mathematics, and science, ranking 15th in the world in overall knowledge and skills among 15-year-olds. The average Mejican student scores 515, which is higher than the OECD average of 486. However, there are still concerns about educational quality, as some schools lack resources and qualified teachers.

Of Mejicans aged 25 and older, 84.6% have graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college or university, 27.2% earned a bachelor's degree and 9.6% earned a graduate degree. Approximately 80% of Mejican university students attend public universities. The basic literacy rate is approximately 99.97%. The League of Nations assings Mejico an education index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world.

Mejico has many public and private institutions of higher education. Several of the world's top universities, listed by various ranking organisations, are located in Mejico. There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programmes and lower tuition. Among Mejico's best universities are Real y Pontificia Universidad de Méjico, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Universidad Imperial Metropolitana, Real Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, Real Colegio Tridentino de Monterrey, Universidad Panamericana, Universidad Anáhuac, Universidad del Valle de Méjico, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Nuevo Pandidacterio Mejicano, Universidad Fulgencina de Los Ángeles, Universidad de San Diego, Universidad Francisco Fagoaga, Real Colegio de Pomona, Universidad Rice y la Universidad Católica de Baylor. Each province also has its own autonomous university, which offer a wide range of academic programs and are more easily accessible to the populace.


The culture of Mejico reflects the complexity of the country's history through the blending of indigenous cultures and the culture of Spain during Spain's 267-year-long colonial rule of Mejico. The Liberal Trentennium was marked by economic progress, peace, and social and technological development. The period also left a lasting legacy with the development of a unique national identity and the promotion of the arts and sciences. After 18 years of civil unrest, civil war, and religious war, Mejico saw the development of a philosophy of Castizaje, spearheaded by the Minister of Education-turned-President José Vasconcelos. Castizaje was a cultural and political movement that sought to blend the various ethnicities and cultures of Mejico into one national culture.

Patriotic symbols

The Mejican National Anthem, the Mejican flag and the Mejican National Coat of Arms are the patriotic symbols of Mejico that represent the identity of the homeland and reinforce a sense of belonging that seeks the union of those who inhabit the country. In this category are grouped the symbols that the Mejican Constitution recognizes as belonging to the Mejican Nation, which have been changing throughout history.

National Anthem

Since September 2017, Mejico has two national anthems: the traditional "Mejicanos, al grito de guerra", the most popular and recognizable, written by Francisco González Bocanegra and set to music by Jaime Nunó in the mid-19th century, and "La Santa Bandera", the second and most recent anthem, written by Mejican poet Joel Galindo Benítez in 2017, using the same musical composition as the original anthem. While "Mejicanos, al grito de guerra" is characterized by its martial spirit and its call to arms, "La Santa Bandera" is an ode to the nation's peaceful aspirations, its symbols and values.

The anthems are rotated in peacetime and wartime. For example, since January 2023, due to the ongoing invasion of Central America, "Mejicanos, al grito de guerra" has become the primary national anthem, while "La Santa Bandera" is reserved for peacetime.

Flag of Mejico


The Naitonal Flag of the Mejican Empire, colloquially known as La Trigarante ("The Three Guarantees"), is a highly significant national symbol of Mejico. It is made up of three diagonal bands of equal size, with each band featuring a golden eight-pointed star in the center. The stripes are arranged diagonally, but the stars are positioned in the opposite direction of the bands. The top stripe is white, symbolizing the purity of the Catholic religion, which is the active principle of national unity. The second stripe is green, representing the ideal of political independence of Mejico. Finally, the third stripe is red, which signifies the ideal of unity among the different races and cultures that make up the Mejican population.

The current design of the flag was adopted on September 16, 1968, after a long history of small iterations and modifications to previous designs. Since February 1984, the use of the flag has been regulated by the Secretaría de Gobernación based on the Ley sobre el Escudo, la Bandera y el Himno Nacionales (Law on the National Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem) in chapter two. The flag is one of the three patriotic symbols established by law in the country, along with the coat of arms and the national anthem.

The Flag of Mejico has deep cultural and historical significance and is a source of national pride for Mejicans. It is celebrated on February 24, which is known as Dia de la Bandera or Flag Day, and is a national holiday in the Mejican Empire. The flag is widely displayed in public places, such as government buildings, schools, and public squares, and is an important symbol of Mejican identity and patriotism.

Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Mejico is the third and last patriotic symbol. It depicts a Mejican golden eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus devouring a rattlesnake. The design is rooted in the legend of the founding of Tenochtitlan, according to which Huitzilopochtli told the Mexica to establish their city where they found an eagle perched on a cactus; the city was located in the valley of Mejico, where Mejico City is located today. The image has been an important symbol of Mejican politics and culture for centuries.

The original meanings of the symbols were different in numerous ways. The eagle was a representation of Huitzilopochtli, who was very important to the Mexicas, as they referred to themselves as the "People of the Sun". The cactus, full of its fruits, called nōchtli, represents the island of Tenochtitlan. To the Mexicas, the snake represented wisdom, and it had strong connotations with Quetzalcoatl. The story of the snake was derived from an incorrect translation of the Crónica Mexicáyotl by Fernando de Alvarado Tezozómoc. In the story, the Nahuatl text "ihuan cohuatl izomocayan", "the snake hisses" was mistranslated as "the snake is torn". Based on this, Fr. Diego Durán reinterpreted the legend so that the eagle represents all that is good and right, while the snake represents evil and sin. Despite its inaccuracy, the new legend was adopted because it conformed with European heraldic tradition. To Europeans, it would represent the struggle between good and evil. Although this interpretation does not conform to pre-Columbian traditions, it was an element that could be used by the first missionaries for the purposes of evangelism and the conversion of the native peoples.

José Vasconcelos, the main architect of Mejicanity
Our Lady of Guadalupe is typically associated with Mejicanity


Mejicanity corresponds to everything that is referred to as Mejican culture. Mejican nationalism is often considered one of the strongest nationalisms in the world. Despite the great ideological, racial, linguistic, economic and political differences in Mejico today, the Empire has remained united in its concept of national identity, tinged by Hispanic language, culture, and Christianity. Other identity elements are not mentioned in the Constitution, but are shared by the population, such as the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mejico; a strong sense of community and family values; a passion for traditional arts, music, and dance and the nation's culinary traditions. Furthermore, Mejicanity encompasses a pride in historical achievements, whether in war and exploration or science and culture.

In the Vasconcelist view, Mejicanity is that which characterizes the Mejican being and its people; however, it is an ethnic concept that only defines the Castizo identity that had been related for a long time, and that is limited concerning the country's ethnic diversity. It is an intellectual construction, a product of the approaches of specialists to the cultural reality of the country. By trying to capture in a single figure the multicultural reality of Mejico, the result of the intellectual analysis has produced a series of stereotypes about what it is to be Mejican. The construction of the Castizo is in dialogue with the triumph of Vasconcelism, which ruled Mejico from 1930 to 1959. Vasconcelos sought to unify the Mejican people and culture under a single identity: that of the Castizo. This identity is based on the "essence" of the Mejican, which includes the Spanish language, culture, and its attachment to the Catholic faith, tied together with Amerindian blood and cultural aspects. This "essence" of the Mejican being is seen as a kind of universal identity that all Mejicans share and that should be used to unify the nation.

Vasconcelos' vision of Mejicanity was heavily influenced by his idea of La Raza Cósmica and Castizaje, which played a central role in shaping Mejican society and demographics. According to this perspective, the blending of Spanish and Indigenous peoples created a unique cultural synthesis that defined the Mejican identity.


The music of Mejico is very diverse, and features a wide range of genres and performance styles. Very little is known about pre-Hispanic music, although there are many groups in the country that have attempted to vindicate this tradition. Mejican music has been influenced by a variety of cultures, most notably deriving from Europeans, Amerindians, Africans, and other Iberoamericans. It sometimes rarely contains influences from Asians, Indians, and Arabs.

Juventino Rosas, Mejico's most important composer

Classical music thrived in Mejico for most of its colonial era. Musical compositions were mostly dedicated to religious worship, with the same splendor and color as contemporary European baroque music. It was subject to the same influences as the rest of the western world and, during the Liberal Trentennium, pieces were mostly oriented towards the needs of the wealthy, reflected in a taste for dance music, especially waltzes and pokas. Juventino Rosas reached great prominence in Mejico, creating beloved compositions that brought him immense global fame, being invited to Europe to conduct his pieces. Later, nationalist composers continued with a romantic style, as the Mejican government disregarded the experimental avant-garde movements that had emerged in Europe. Mejican composers incorporated folk melodies and rhythms into their compositions. Manuel M. Ponce, Carlos Chávez, Silvestre Revueltas, Candelario Huízar, and the Grupo de los Cuatro are the most representative composers of 20th century Mejican classical music.

Pedro Infante, known as "El Ídolo de Méjico", is arguably the country's most important artist

The popular musical scene of Mejico is highly varied, ranging from folkloric and traditional music to contemporary, more globalized genres, influenced by international trends. Northern Mejico is characteristic for its heavy contribution to Mejican music, with many genres being highly popular. Corridos, huapango, chotís, polka, redova, and tejano are important norteño genres. Ranchera, mariachi and boleros were the most popular genres of the 20th century, with singers such as Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, José Alfredo Jiménez, Javier Solís, and Vicente Fernández becoming iconic figures.

Banda and norteño music, collectivelly known as "regional mejicano", have gained significant popularity in Mejico, and have also achieved international recognitions. Banda sinaloense, in particular, has been one of the most popular genres, with ensembles such as El Recodo and La Arrolladora being particularly famous. Singers such as Chalino Sánchez, Valentín Elizalde, Jenni Rivera, and Ariel Camacho are among the best known. Tejano and novomejicano music form part of regional music, blending elements from Mejican music with elements of American popular music and Eastern European instruments, while Novomejicano music features the use of Spanish guitars, violins, and harmonicas. Artists include Selena, Emilio Navaira, El Huracán, and Roberto Griego.

Central Mejico has a strong Spanish influence, seen in the instruments used in folk music such as guitars, violins, and vihuelas. Meanwhile, southern Mejico is characterized by a strong mixture of different cultures, with son jarocho, chilena, and jaranas being the most known. Boleros entered Mejico through Yucatán in the early 20th century and quickly became a fan favorite, popularized by "tríos románticos" such as Los Panchos, Los Tres Caballeros, and Tercia de Ases. These groups introduced new elements and instruments as time went on, and boleros fusioned with musical styles such as jazz and bossa nova. Today, they remain an important part of Mejican music, with artists such as Luis Miguel, José José and Juan Gabriel being among the most notable.

Photo of the Avándaro festival, c. 1971

Tropical music is listened in many regions of the country, derived mainly from the arrival of rhythms from Cuba since the 1920s, popularized in the films of the Golden Age of Mejican Cinema. The Cha-cha-cha and the Mambo invaded the radio of the 1940s and 1950s. Dámaso Pérez Prado, Sonora Matancera, and Tony Camargo are the main exponents of tropical music to this day. However, other sounds like Guaguancó, Bugalú and Bossa Nova began to be recorded by Mejican artists. Sonora Santanera imitated the style of Cuban orchestras with tropical boleros among other rhythms, but from the 1960s coming from other Caribbean countries and New Granada, Salsa arrived in Mejico. All these rhythms together were assimilated by Mejican musical groups forming the "tropical genre". Its popularity has led to the formation of tropical variants that have been mixed with Mejican folk music, such as Mejican cumbia. The sonidero phenomenon and its street dances are also derived from this fondness for tropical music in the country.

Modern music appears in the 1950s with the advent of the rock and roll movement in Mejico. Although they were initially met with skepticism by the government, their popularity continued to grow. Countercultural movements emerged, and they experimented with psychedelic rock and blues. Bands like El Ritual, El Pato and Three Souls in my Mind (later El Tri) became influential figures. Bands began to explore new sounds, including punk rock, alternative rock, and ska. Café Tacvba, Caifanes, Santa Sabina, Toroide and Maldita Vecindad are among these bands. Musical festivals like that of Avándaro in 1971 played a significant role in the development of Mejican rock music, attracting an estimated 300,000 attendees, but it also brought controversy and backlash. During the Absolutist Octennium, rock music faced censorship and restrictions, with several bands being banned from performing. Despite this, rock bands persevered, and new alternative and indie rock bands emerged in the 1990s and 2000s, such as Sifón Drago, Panda, Skordatura, Enjambre, and Dinamita PG. Together with this, a Mejican skinhead subculture was formed, known as "rapados". They are known for their nationalistic and anti-Communist lyrics, their self-identification as "counter-counter-cultural", their criticism of punks and jipitecas, as well as their distinctive style, including shaved heads, mustaches, sideburns, and black clothing. Bands include La Trastienda, Maiceros, Piquín y Morrón, Los Rabiosos, and Transordo, known for their blend of punk and traditional Mejican instruments.

A modern Mejican concert by the band Molotov, c. 2018

Mejicans also listen to different genres, such as heavy metal, electronic music, EDM, pop, punk, reggae, eurobeat, and alternative music. Hip-hop, trap and reggaetón are some of the most popular among Mejican youths, with exponents such as Cártel de los Sapos, Temátik, and Yung Mexa. Flyting, or "batalla de gallos", is an important phenomenon that greatly increased the popularity of hip-hop and rap, with lyricists and MCs showcasing their improvisational skills in freestyle rap battles. Meanwhile, reggaetón and trap are mostly driven by international artists from New Granada, Puerto Rico, and Argentina.

The genre of corridos has undergone significant transformation during its history. Narrative ballads and storytelling songs, they date back to the 19th century, and were prominent during the Civil War and the Christiad. Many corridos were composed about military figures, outlaws, rebels, and Cristeros. In the 1960s and early 1970s, they explored themes of drug trafficking and criminal activities, known as "narcocorridos", romanticizing the Robin Hood-esque nature of drug lords and kingpins. This, however, was banned during the Octennium, as Fernando II promoted "corridos policiacos", glorifying instead the Military and patriotic heroes. Today, policiacos wrestle with "corridos tumbados" for popularity, a new genre that combines traditional corridos with trap, hip-hop, and contemporary sounds. Natanael Cano is credited with pioneering the genre, popularizing it on the world stage, together with artists such as Junior H and Peso Pluma.

The jota fulgencina has its origins in the Spanish jota, a lively dance and musical style traditionally associated with Aragón, Navarra, and La Rioja. However, it has evolved into a distinct style in San Fulgencio. The jota fulgencina features the use of castanets and mandolins, together with the zapateado dance. It is characterized by its fast tempo and lively rhythms, often accompanied by vocal performances. Lyrics songs typically revolve around love, nature, and the traditions of the region. In recent years, the jota fulgencina has experienced a renaissance as younger generations have sought to revive and modernize the style. New artists and groups have emerged, blending the traditional jota fulgencina with modern styles and influences. One such group is La Bravura, who have gained popularity for their energetic performances and innovative fusion of jota with elements of rock and pop. Another notable artist is Elena Garay, who has been praised for her powerful vocals and ability to bring a contemporary edge to traditional jota. Finally, the group La Nueva Jotera has gained a following for their experimental approach, incorporating electronic and hip-hop beats into their music.


The dance of Native Mejicans is purported to have "a sacred knowledge towards natural phenomena, deities, living beings and everyday life”. The music or the sound of an object accompanies the body movement of the human being to express his feelings. The Dance of the Deer is a ritual dance celebrated by the Yaqui and Yoreme of the provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora. This dance is a dramatization of the hunting of the deer, cultural hero of these peoples, by the paskolas (hunters).

During the colonial era, the Spanish and Criollo landowners held magnificent parties for Carnival, to which the mestizos and indigenous people were denied access. During the festivities, the rich flaunted their wealth by wearing clothes overloaded with ornaments and fabrics. As a form of satire, the segregated castes began to make costumes and celebrations to parody the elites; for this, they used pink masks with a very prominent chin, costumes imitating the ones used by the elites with an exaggerated ornamentation of mirrors and beads, as well as conical hats. Among the most outstanding dances are the chinelos in Cuernavaca, the parachicos in Chiapas and the carnivals of Tlaxcala.

Folkloric dancers in Puerto Vallarta

During the colonial period, the jarabe spread throughout most of western, central and southeastern Mejico. The reason why this name was given to both the music and the dance that accompanies it is uncertain. It has been suggested that the name comes from the fact that it is a mixture of several musical styles in a single piece. The carnivals are another European cultural heritage with a very marked syncretism of Hispanic and indigenous cultures, since the carnivals were the popular expression of comparsas and music to express the feelings of the people before the beginning of Holy Week. Thus, pre-Hispanic roots are shown in the Carnivals of Tenosique, in the colonial dances and carnival troupes of chinelos in Cuernavaca, the huehues in Tlaxcala and parachicos in Chiapas. Since 1849, the Chimalhuacán Carnival has been celebrated as one of the oldest in the country.

The Guelaguetza is a festival that symbolizes the spirit of communal cooperation and sharing that is deeply rooted in the cultures of the indigenous people of Oajaca. In the indigenous languages of the region, the term "Guelaguetza" comes from Zapotec and means "reciprocal exchange of gifts and services". The event is a fusion of pre-Hispanic traditions and Christian celebrations, notably the cult of the Virgin of Carmen. Held annually in July, it celebrates the cultural expressions of the many communities that make up the province, including music, dance, food, handicrafts, and other activities. The festival is known for its colorful parades, regional folk dances, and representation of local customs by different ethnic groups dressed in traditional attire.

Of all the Mejican jarabes, the most internationally known is perhaps the jarabe tapatío, originally from Jalisco, and performed by mariachis. There are other jarabes such as the jarabe michoacano, the jarabe chilpancingueño, the jarabe mixteco or the jarabe mazahua. During the Liberal Trentennium, rhythms arrived from Europe, such as polkas and mazurkas danced in Poland and Bohemia, which were adapted to the popular dance of the northern people of Mejico; in the Fulgencines, the chaveranes from Louisiana were danced. The waltz came from Austria and spread among the Mejican society of the time, acquiring its own identity in the country. The danzón, the Cuban son and the paso doble were quickly incorporated to the popular dance of Mejico, the orchestras and wind bands accompany the step of these dances.

Banda sinaloense is often danced in an up-close and personal style, and is typically associated with palenques and the festive nature of the people of Sinaloa. Zapateado is also often associated with Banda sinaloense, characterized by a lively, foot-tapping rhythm. The dance involves percussive footwork that echoes the beat of the music, and it has roots in Spanish flamenco but has evolved with Mejican influences.

Bellas Artes, in Mejico City

Opera and theater

In 1711, the opera La Parténope was premiered in Mejico City, with music by Manuel de Sumaya, master of the cathedral chapel together with Francisco López Capillas and Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, one of the greatest Mejican baroque composers. The special importance of this opera is that it is the first one composed in North America. This opera begins the fertile and still little studied history of Mejican operatic creation, uninterrupted since then for three hundred years.

The opera Guatemotzín, by Aniceto Ortega, is the first conscious attempt to incorporate indigenous elements into the formal characteristics of opera. In the 19th century, the opera Agorante, rey de la Nubia by Miguel Meneses, premiered during the commemorative festivities for the birthday of Agustín I, the operas Pirro de Aragón by Leonardo Canales, Keofar by Felipe Villanueva and above all the opera production of Melesio Morales, the most important Mejican opera composer of the 19th century, whose works had great success among the public of Mejico City and were even premiered in Europe. The majestic Iztaccíhuatl, Dama de Blanco by Gregorio de Susumacoa stands as one of the greatest Mejican operatic compositions of the 20th century. Among other 20th century playwrights, Julián Carrillo, Sofía Cancino de Cuevas, José F. Vásquez, among others, stand out.

Teatro Real Minerva, San Francisco

In Mejico, theater has had a strong presence since the colonial era, with works like La Parte de los Tlaxcaltecas by Francisco de Santillán and San Juan el Apocaleta by Juan de la Cueva being the two most famous examples of Mejican theater. During the 19th century, especially in the Liberal Trentennium, the Mejican theater industry flourished, producing works such as La muerte de Manrique by Manuel Payno, El maizal by Trinidad Mendoza and El águila negra by Ignacio Manuel Altamirano. During the 20th century, theater in Mejico continued to develop and was enriched by the contributions of authors such as Emilio Carballido, José Emilio Pacheco and Alberto Blanco, among others.

Multiple theater operators coalesced into a single, grand Teatro Cabrillo in Los Ángeles, supported by the nationalist government of José Vasconcelos, and engaged in promoting the Mejican cultural renaissance and appreciation for the pre-Columbian heritage alongside European influences. Teatro Cabrillo became a symbol of this cultural synthesis, showcasing plays that reflected Mejican history, society, and traditions. The theater scene in Mejico was further energized by the government's encouragement of cultural expression as a means to foster a sense of national identity. This led to the establishment of "carpas", or tent shows, which traveled across the country presenting theatrical performances, comedies, and satires that resonated with the common people and often addressed social and political issues. Playwrights such as Rodolfo Usigli, are credited with laying the foundations for modern Mejican theater. Usigli's seminal work, "El gesticulador", exemplifies the period's introspective approach to national identity, politics, and the essence of truth.

Teatro Apolo, León

Currently, Mejico has a vibrant and active opera and theater scene. Many cities throughout the country have theaters that host productions year-round, ranging from classic works to contemporary productions. The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mejico City is one of the most important cultural venues in the country and is renowned for its impressive architecture and for hosting a variety of events, including opera and theater productions. In recent years, there has been a trend toward incorporating modern technology and multimedia elements into productions. This has resulted in more visually stunning and dynamic performances that appeal to a broader audience. Additionally, there has been a growing interest in promoting new works by Mejican composers and playwrights, as well as in staging productions that deal with social issues relevant to contemporary Mejico.

The Teatro Apolo in León and the Gran Teatro Real de Minerva in San Francisco are important theaters that have hosted productions by some of the world's most celebrated playwrights and opera composers. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in traditional music and folklore, which has led to a revival of regional opera and theater productions. Among the Mejican composers of the beginning of the 21st century who stand out with their operas are Federico Ibarra, known for his operas Orestes Parte, Alicia and El juego de los insectos, Daniel Catán, José Ramón Enríquez, Víctor Rasgado, Luis Jaime Cortez, Julio Estrada, Gabriela Ortiz, among others.


Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

The literature of the Mejican Empire is rich and diverse, reflecting the country's long history and cultural influences. During the colonial period, literature was dominated by religious themes, with writings about the saints and the Virgin Mary being particularly popular. In the 19th century, Mejican literature became more political, with writers using their work to comment on the country's social and political issues. The Mejican Civil War saw a surge of nationalistic literature, with writers focusing on Mejico's heritage and its struggle.

Mejican literature has its antecedents in Mesoamerican literature. THese works include various forms of storytelling, songs, and poems, as well as codices (painted or written books), and and petrogylphs (rock carvings). Poetry had a rich cultural tradition in pre-Columbian Mejico, being divided into two broad categories—secular and religious. Aztec poetry was sung, chanted, or spoken, often to the accompaniment of a drum or a harp. While Tenochtitlan was the political capital, Texcoco was the cultural center; the Texcocan language was considered the most melodious and refined. The best well-known pre-Columbian poet is Nezahualcoyotl. The Maya had a rich tradition of literature, including the Popol Vuh, a creation story, and the Chilam Balam, a series of books of prophecy, history, and advice. The Aztecs also produced a wealth of literature, including annals and chronicles, which recorded their history and legends, as well as poems and songs, some of which have survived to the present day and are still performed today.

There are historical chronicles of the conquest of Mejico by participants and, later, by historians. Bernal Díaz del Castillo's True History of the Conquest of New Spain is still widely read today. Spanish-born poet Bernardo de Valbuena extolled the virtues of Mejico in Grandeza Mejicana (1604). In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque and Enlightenment movements gained significant influence, with religious writing characterizing the former, and neoclassical influencing the latter. Writers such as Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Francisco Javier Clavijero, Servando Teresa de Mier, and José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, are among the most important of this period.

A Mejican cowboy, c. 1887, one of the main inspirations of the Mejican Northern genre

The 19th century saw the rise of multiple currents, with modernity, religion, Mejicanity, racial identity, the Conquest, realism, and romanticism all playing important roles in shaping Mejican literature. Romantic poets such as Manuel Acuña, Manuel María Flores, and Ignacio Altamirano are some of the best known due to their profound lyrical poetry and the realistic depictions of Mejican life found in their writings. Nationalistic literature extolled the virtues of the Mejican people, and Mejican writers embarked on a quest of introspection, writing about identity, and how the Conquest continues to shape Mejicanity, with writers such as Manuel María Velasco, Humberto Labastida, and Toribio Garmendia. Polemics, Catholic Laborism, and Modernism also characterized this era, with writers Ernesto Valverde and Fermín Labrada being particularly important in the shaping of Mejican policy before the advent of the Liberal Trentennium.

Frontier literature, also known as Mejican Northern or simply as "novelas de vaqueros" (cowboy novels) emerged due to the fascination and romanticization of the Wild North. This movement, was heavily influenced by the lives of frontiersmen in the lands of Mejico's northern territories. The North was depicted as a lawless land where cowboys and bandits roamed freely. Some of Mejico's most influential books were written as part of this literary movement, with Sangriento Septentrión and Los Ciboleros by Julián Ortega and Arturo O'Donnell being iconic pieces of the Mejican Northern that are still relevant today.

In the 20th century, Mejican literature became more experimental, with writers exploring new styles and themes. The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise and consolidation of power of José Vasconcelos, and thus the birth of Castizaje ideology, which placed enormous value on mixed-race Mejicans, while emphasizing the importance of the nation's European heritage. This period saw a revival of interest in indigenous culture, although through a paternalistic lens, and gave rise to archaeological expeditions and an increase in the number of publications of indigenous texts. The Vasconcelist regime was fiercely opposed to the avant-garde movements that had grown in Europe and had begun to take root in Mejico, suppressing both writers and clubs; in their stead, nationalist literary movements were promoted, such as mythopoetical works, the Classics, and Mejican Northern. Notable writers of this period include Irineo Villaamil, Martín Luis Guzmán, Agustín Yáñez, Roldán Allende, Onésimo Naranjo, and Gonzalo Pietralcino.


The temple of Santa Prisca is renowned as one of Mejico's most magnificent buildings

Mejican architecture is influenced by both Mesoamerican and European currents, as well as those typical of and developed in Mejico. Mesoamerican civilizations achieved great stylistic development and proportion in the human and urban scale. In the north of the country there is adobe and stone architecture, multi-family housing as that in Paquimé; and troglodyte housing in caves of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Urbanism had a great development in the pre-Hispanic cultures, where we can observe the magnitude of the cities of Teotihuacán, Tollan-Xicocotitlán, and Tenochtitlan. The environmental urbanism of Mayan cities also stands out, incorporating the monumentality of their buildings with the thickness of the jungle and the complex networks of roads called sakbés.

With the arrival of the Spaniards, architectural theories of classical order and Arabic formalities were introduced, when the first temples and monastic convents were built; unique models of their type were projected that were the basis for the evangelization of the indigenous peoples, marking their ideology within the architectural style called tequitqui (Nahuatl: worker), years later, Baroque and Mannerism were imposed in great cathedrals and civil buildings, while in rural areas haciendas or stately estates were built with not so Mozarabic tendencies. Mendicant monasteries were one of the architectural solutions devised by the friars in the 16th century for the evangelization of New Spain, designed for an enormous number of unchatechized Amerindians. They were based on the European monastic model, but added elements such as the atrial cross and the open chapel, as well as being characterized by their decorative currents and sturdy appearance. The religious function of these buildings was thought for an enormous number of indigenous people to evangelize, although soon by the policy of reduction the set became the center of education of their communities and the civil ways of the West. Within these buildings, scattered throughout the center of present-day Mejico and with superb examples of mastery in architecture and decoration, it is possible to find an art originating in both stone carving and pictorial decoration: Tequitqui or Indo-Christian art, a kind of style made by the indigenous people who constructed the buildings based on European patterns and directed by the friars.

Cathedral Basilica of Puebla

The combination of Indigenous and Arabic decorative influences, with an extremely expressive interpretation of Churrigueresque, could explain the variety and intensity of the baroque in New Spain, with its fantastically extravagant and visually frenetic architecture. Even more than its Spanish counterpart, the American Baroque developed as a style of stucco decoration. Twin-towered facades of many 17th century American cathedrals have medieval roots. This ultra-baroque style culminated in the works of Lorenzo Rodriguez, whose masterpiece is the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Mejico City (1749-1769). Other notable examples are found in remote mining towns, such as the sanctuary of Ocotlán (begun in 1745), a Baroque cathedral of the first order, whose surface is covered with bright red tiles, contrasting with a plethora of compressed ornamentation generously applied to the façade and the flanks of the towers. The capital of Mejican Baroque is Puebla, where the abundance of hand-painted tiles and local gray stone led to a very personal and localized evolution of the style, with a pronounced indigenous flavor.

Other highlights include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mejico City with its Altar of the Kings, the church of Santa María Tonantzintla in Puebla, the Jesuit convent of Tepotzotlán, the Chapel of the Rosary in the Church of Santo Domingo in Puebla, the convent and temple of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Oajaca, and the church of Santa Prisca in Tasco. The baroque ethos in Mejico shook up classical forms and proportions to help forge a local identity.

With the neoclassical style, several temples have been rebuilt modifying their original structure, such as the Toluca Cathedral and most of the temples that include this style. Finally, some cathedrals are recent constructions that have a modern architecture and are equally interesting. In the XIX century, the neoclassical movement arises as a response to the objectives of the new Mejican nation, one of its examples is the Hospicio Cabañas, where the strict plasticity of the classical orders are represented in its architectural elements. New religious, civil and military buildings also appeared, demonstrating the presence of neoclassicism.

The Zaldívar Building, HQ of the Corporación de Construcción, Transporte y Tecnología Ferroviaria

During the Liberal Era, there appeared a group of intellectuals and scholars who thought that the regime could achieve the modernization of the country. This periodis reflected in the architecture of the time, from the end of romanticism to modernism. Mejico City, being the capital, will manifest more clearly the process, trends and conditions within which the architecture of this unique period developed, reflecting the contradictions of the society of the era: numerous Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings were built in the capital, as well as some of the first skyscrapers. Eclecticism, the permanence of academic schemes and tastes coming from the European Schools of Fine Arts, which influenced both during the Neoclassical period, the need and desire of a good part of society for revival, and at the same time its interest in integrating itself to the modernity of the nouveau, together with the nationalist desire, based on the interpretation and rebirth of the pre-Hispanic, clearly portray the development and evolution of a society that willingly, in exchange for progress, submitted to a "dictatorship".

As Mejico entered the 20th and 21st centuries, it rejected the architectural avant-garde and adopted a more traditional, revivalist and vernacular approach. The regime of José Vasconcelos rejected and suppressed any influence of the avant-garde movement and took hold of a new architectural narrative, one that celebrated a ‘return to the roots’. Architecture became a tool to write the heritage and glorious past of Mejico into the future. This can be seen in the country's continued reliance on revivalist styles such as Neoclassical, Neo-Palladian, Neo-Churrigueresque, Beaux-Arts, Neo-Déco, as well as a resurgence of interest in Indigenous motifs and themes. Today, Mejico is home to a rich and varied architectural landscape, with structures ranging from the grand and imposing to the simple and restrained, but all reflecting the country's rich history and cultural heritage.

This revivalist trend has continued into the 21st century, with Mejican architects and designers incorporating indigenous motifs and themes into their work, alongside traditional European styles. However, this revivalism has not meant a rejection of modern technology or sustainability. Instead, architects have incorporated the latest building technologies, materials, and techniques into their designs, while still prioritizing traditional aesthetics. One of the most notable examples of this fusion of tradition and technology is the growing use of arcology in Mejican architecture. Arcology is a design philosophy that seeks to create self-sustaining, energy-efficient buildings that are integrated into their environment. Many of Mejico's new buildings incorporate arcology principles, using materials like solar panels, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting systems to reduce their environmental impact, while still preserving the traditional aesthetics of Mejican architecture.

Mejican artisanry in Guanajuato


Mejican handicrafts and folk art is a collection of objects made of various materials intended for utilities, decoration and other purposes. Some of the handmade objects in this country are ceramics, murals, pottery, carvings, textiles and much more. They are a valuable part of Mejico's national identity. Traditional Mejican handicrafts are a mixture of European techniques, Asian and indigenous designs. This so-called "mestizo" mix was particularly emphasized by the political, intellectual and artistic elite in the early 20th century after the Civil War overthrew the French style and the focus on modernization of the Liberal Era. Today, Mejican craftsmanship is exported and is one of the reasons why Mejico is an attraction for tourists. However, competition with factory products and imitations from countries such as China has caused problems for Mejican artisans.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Mexica had absorbed most of the traditional crafts and trades of the Toltecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs and Mayas. In some of his writings, Hernán Cortés describes the large number of handmade goods available in the markets of Tenochtitlán, such as textiles, feather art, containers made from gourds and objects made of precious metals. Bernardino de Sahagún describes the various items made from the maguey plant, the great variety of ceramics, as well as the privileged place that artisans had in the native social hierarchy. At the beginning of the colonial period, the native artisan class was persecuted and almost destroyed, since many of the designs and techniques they used were related to pre-Hispanic religious practices, which the Spaniards wanted to replace with Christianity.

The status of native crafts remained precarious and were further depreciated during the Liberal Era. Not only crafts, but just about everything native to Mejico was nearly discarded in favor of French-style and modernization. The Liberal Era was ended by the Mejican Civil War. Near the end of the war, there was a desire on the part of artists, intellectuals and politicians to define and promote a national Mejican identity. Part of this effort was aimed at Mejico's crafts tradition. A number of Mejican intellectuals and artists, including Dr. Atl and Adolfo Best Maugard, were fascinated by folk art. Convinced of its importance, they began to write about the subject, and since then numerous books about the topic have been published. José Vasconcelos was interested in promoting Mejican crafts outside of Mejico. A group of academics and artists interested in folk art was commissioned to form the first collections of these for public display. This group included Gerardo Murillo, Javier Guerrero, Ixca Farías, Roberto Montenegro and Gabriel Fernández Ledezma.

From 1920 to 1950, Mejico was the third largest producer of handcrafts, behind Japan and China, with the support of the government. However, this did not lead to major museum collections or higher valuations on the work being produced. Some crafts did not benefit from being associated with the new myth of Mejican identity. One in particular is waxcrafting, as it is mostly associated with Catholic religious items and motifs. Today, the craft has been revitalized with governmental patronage. Native Mejican appreciation of their own crafts would be helped near the mid century, in part because of the popularity of films by Emilio "El Indio" Fernández and Gabriel Figueroa. Eventually, even homes in the exclusive Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Mejico City would have some touch of “lo Mejicano” in their décor. At the end of 1940, the governor of the Province of Mejico Isidro Fabela created the first museum dedicated to Mejican folk arts and crafts in Toluca. José Vasconcelos inaugurated the National Museum of Popular Arts and Industries, naming Fernando Gamboa as curator. Gamboa organized an exposition in Europe with great success. His successor, Salvador Abascal, created a trust to promote Mejican arts and crafts called the Banco Nacional de Fomento Cooperativo which was transformed into the current Fondo Nacional para el Fomento de la Artesanías (FONART). Various states organized similar support structures, including Casas de Artesanías which are provincial-run store selling handcrafted merchandise.

With the rise of intellectual and formal institutional interest in artesanía came also an ebb of interest in the Mejican populace. Much of this was due to the rise of the middle classes between 1950 and 1980 who showed a preference for mass-produced items and the desire to be part of a national culture, rather than a local traditional one. Interest in the latter part of the 20th century would be concentrated among academics, collectors, experts, and tourists.Among the artisans themselves, there has been some movement since the 1970s to break from the tradition of anonymity to having the individual's talents recognized as artists. Some who have managed to do this include Roberto Ruiz, who specializes in works made from bone, Teresa Nava who makes maquettes, Teodoro Torres who makes lead figures and many more. In each of these cases, the artists’ individual talents are part of the value of the works made.


The Mejican cinematic industry has its origins in the late 19th century, with the invention of the kinetograph in 1886 by scientist Tomás de Álava. Seeing a demonstration of short films the next year, President Porfirio Díaz immediately recognized the importance of documenting his presidency in order to present an ideal image of it. In the following decades, the production of silent films greatly expanded, studios formed, and films and the stories they told became much longer. Black-and-white silent films were initially very short, typically lasting under a minute, and featured simple everyday scenes or highlights from political events. However, as the film industry grew, filmmakers began to experiment with longer narratives and more complex storytelling.

Still from one of the earliest Mejican films, Carmencita

One of the key figures in the early development of Mejican cinema was the director Salvador Toscano Barragán, often hailed as the "Father of Mejican Cinema". In 1898, he produced and directed the first locally-made documentary film, depicting the arrival of President Romualdo Pacheco and Porfirio Díaz in Querétaro. This marked a turning point in the country's cinematic history, as it showcased the potential of film as a medium for recording and preserving historical events.

The Mejican Civil War (1910-1917) had a profound impact on the development of Mejican cinema. During this period, filmmakers took advantage of the opportunity to use cinema as a means of spreading political messages and documenting the conflict. The Alva brothers produced films such as La entrada de Madero a la capital ("Entry of Madero in the Capital" with the use of Indalecio Noriega Colombres' inventions, which allowed for a phonograph to be synchronized with the images projected, an industry first, bringing sounds of the tumultuous era to audiences for the first time. This technological innovation, though primitive by later standards, revolutionized the way films were experienced, marking the beginning of synchronized sound films in Mejico.

Blas de Ripalda Macías

Cinema became a propaganda tool under the government of Plutarco Elías Calles, who took advantage of it to produce movies critical of his opponents during the Cristero War. José Vasconcelos, as did his predecessors in the presidential office, saw the importance of cinema as a tool, and during his government and that of his successor, nationalistic films were produced, with the best examples being La Valentina, Allá en el Rancho Grande, La Conquista, and Agustín Primero. Nationalistic movies depicted national scenes from all periods of time: the pre-Columbian, Conquest, post-Conquest, colonial, and early Independence eras, with characters typically being heroic, strong, stoic, and virtuous.

Director Blas de Ripalda Macías, the leading Mejican filmmaker during the silent film period, was instrumental in the development of film grammar, and producer and entrepreneur Ubaldo Pimentel was a leader in both animated film and film marketing. Directors such as Julián Fons redefined the image of the Old North and, like others such as Hernán Houston, expanded the possibilities of filmmaking with location shooting. The industry enjoyed its golden years in what is commonly referred to as the "Golden Age of Mejican Cinema" from the early sound period in the 1930s through the early 1960s, with screen actors such as Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Pancho Bastidas, Marta Treviño, Manuela de Haro, and Crescencio Huízar becoming iconic figures.

Cabrillo and Churubusco are the two main studios that dominated the film production landscape during the Golden Age of Mejican Cinema. Established in the mid-1920s, these studios were at the forefront of the film industry's rapid expansion and were instrumental in crafting the signature aesthetic and thematic elements that came to define this era of Mejican cinema. The infrastructure and resources provided by Cabrillo and Churubusco Studios allowed for the production of higher quality films, both in terms of visual and narrative complexity, which attracted audiences not only within Mejico but internationally.

Mejican cinema went through a period of growth and expansion during the 1960s and 1970s, coupled with government sponsorship of the industry and the creation of provincial-supported film, and with the establishment of television in the empire, Mejican filmmakers had a new platform to showcase their work and reach a wider audience. The rise of studios such as Hermanos Barrera, Estudios Fox, Mallol-Inzunza-Muñoz, and La Suprema, among others, helped foster the creation of a new wave of filmmakers and actors that experimented with narrative structures, themes, and genres. Directors like Carlos Enrique Taboada, Augusto Becerril, and Ulises Gallegos oversaw the production of films during an era known as "New Mejican Cinema".

The period spanning the 1990s to the present has been considered as the prime era of New Mejican Cinema. Filmmakers during this period had access to technological and economic innovations that had not been available in previous decades. El Hijo de la Noche (1990) became the first 35 mm feature film with a digital soundtrack. El Eclipse (1992) was the first film to make use of the Dolby Digital six-channel stereo sound that has since become the industry standard. Computer-generated imagery was greatly facilitated when it became possible to transfer film images into a computer and manipulate them digitally. The possibilities became apparent in director Jaime Castejón's Nahual II: Día del Juicio (1991), in images of the shape-changing character Nahual. Computer graphics or CG advanced to a point where Parque Jurásico (1993) was able to use the techniques to create realistic looking animals. Lotería (2001) became the first film that was shot entirely in digital. In the film Lusitania, Castejón wanted to push the boundary of special effects with his film, and enlisted Digital Domain and Pacific Data Images to continue the developments in digital technology which the director pioneered while working on El Abismo and Nahual II.

Angélica María, known as "La Novia de Méjico" ("Mejico's Sweetheart")

Animated films have also been produced in Mejico since the 1940s, with the most famous of these being El Gato con Botas (1947), produced by Estudios Churubusco, based on Charles Perrault's fairy tale, which was also the nation's first animated feature film; and El Viento en un Violin (1956) based on a story by the Mejican author Juan Rulfo. Animated films have become increasingly popular, with important films such as Las Sergas de Vivara (2013), El Libro de la Selva (2016), Coco (2017), and La Leyenda de la Llorona (2019).

Humberto Bogaert, perhaps the most successful Mejican actor

The "Churubusco Style" of Mejican films is characterized by its unique visual style, utilizing vibrant colors and a unique editing technique to create a dreamlike atmosphere. These films, often combining elements of comedy, drama and melodrama, have become popular with audiences around the world. Mejican cinema has been praised for its diversity and its ability to tell stories of all kinds, from the intimate to the epic. Mejican filmmakers have won numerous awards and worldwide recognition, with names like Arturo Ripstein, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Horacio Fancher, Alfonso Cuarón, Jaime Castejón and Apolinar Espígul becoming household names.

Meanwhile, some of the best-known Mejican actors, both born and naturalized, include: Humberto Bogaert, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Angélica María, Arnoldo Schwarzenegger, Gisela Winkelman, Leonardo di Caprio, Tomás Hanks, Diego Luna, Dagoberto Espósito, Clinton Eastwood, Victoria Wyndham, Lupe Vélez, Pedro Armendáriz, Alma Beltrán, Martha Higareda, Luis Dámaso de Alonso, Bernardo Cranston, Ignacio López-Tarso, Salma Hayek, Eduardo Franco, Matías McConaughey, Gael García Bernal, Diego Boneta, Demián Bechir, Eiza González, María Félix, Chabela Dávalos, Dolores del Río, Guillermo Lombardi, Vicente Apablasa, Susana Kohner, Lilia Prado, Marta Treviño, Manuela de Haro, Isabelita Hohenester, Pancho Bastidas, Dieudonné Poitier, Natividad Vacío, Rebeca Cébeillac, Carmen Zapata, Miguel Peña, Eva Beverfoerde, Ricardo Montalbán, Selena Gómez, Eduardo Olmos, Antonio Quinn, among many others.


Television is one of the major mass media outlets in the Mejican Empire. As of 2021, household ownership of television sets in the country was 96.7%. The majority of households have more than one set. The peak ownership percentage of households with at least one television set occurred during the 1996–97 season, with 98.4% ownership. In 1948, 1% of Mejican households owned at least one television while 75% did by 1955, and by 1992, 70% of all Mejican households received cable television subscriptions.

As a whole, the television networks that broadcast in Mejico are the largest and most distributed in the world, and programs produced specifically for Mejican-based networks are the most widely syndicated internationally. Due to a recent surge in the number of popular and critically acclaimed television series during the 2000s and the 2010s to date, many critics have said that Mejican television had entered a modern golden age around the beginning of the 21st century; whether that golden age has ended or is ongoing in the early 2020s is disputed.

Four major television companies in Mejico own the primary networks and broadcasts covering all of the Empire: Televisa, TV Mejicana, Universo, and Imagen Televisión. Televisa is also the largest producer of Spanish-language content in the world and is the world's largest Spanish-language media network. Media company Grupo Imagen is another national coverage television broadcaster in Mejico, that also owns the newspaper Excélsior. Grupo Multimedios is another media conglomerate with Spanish-language broadcasting in Mejico, Spain, and South America.

Mejican soap operas, known as telenovelas,  are popular all over the American continent, and they are international hits in Asia, Europe, and Africa. The Mejican model of telenovelas, then to be replicated by other telenovela-producing countries in Iberoamerica and Asia for most of the 1990s, usually involves a romantic couple that encounters many problems throughout the show's run, a villain, and usually ends with a wedding. One common ending archetype consists of a wedding, and with the villain dying, going to jail, becoming permanently injured or disabled, or losing his/her mind. The use of sexually themed episodes starring the leading couple of the story has been a common element through most telenovelas. Senda prohibida was the first telenovela produced in Mejico. It was produced by Telesistema Mejicano and broadcast from 12 June to 20 July 1958, from Monday to Friday.

Still from the TV show Rey de Oro Blanco (1983-1992), widely considered one of the best TV shows in Mejican history

Televisa, TV Mejicana and Universo are the largest producers and exporters of telenovelas. Their main competitor is independent media company Argos Comunicación. Previously, telenovelas were often though to be used as a government tool to distract citizens from national issues, a reason cited for temporary decrease in their credibility and popular appeal. Nowadays, Mejican television has managed to counteract government influence in its telenovelas. In particular, around 1990, Televisa found an enormous market for its telenovelas in other parts of Iberoamerica, post-Cold War Eastern Europe and Asia. This precipitated the so-called 'Telenovela Craze'. Credited by media experts especially to Televisa's move in the early 1990s of exporting its telenovelas to parts of the world, this rivaled the wave of British sitcoms that had been broadcast worldwide in the same period.

Recreation of the iconic "vecindad" of El Chavo del 8

Sitcoms in Mejico have been vastly popular since the 1960s, with the work of Chespirito being especially renowned. El Chavo del 8 and El Chapulín Colorado, both produced by Chespirito, are two of the most famous Mejican sitcoms, and garnered audiences in the hundreds of millions in the peak of their popularity during the mid-1970s. El Chavo del 8 deals with the experiences of a group of people living in a Mejican neighborhood, with a poor orphan as its protagonists; meanwhile, El Chapulín Colorado parodies superhero shows. The Valdés brothers, Jorge Ortiz de Pinedo, Eugenio Derbez, Adal Ramones, Polo Polo, Omar Chaparro, Luis Gerardo Méndez, María Elena Velasco, Consuelo Duval and Mariana Treviño are all known for their work in Mejican sitcoms. Among their most popular works are the comedies Dr. Cándido Pérez, Vecinos, Cero en conducta, Al Derecho y al Derbez, La familia P. Luche, Una familia de diez, Club de Cuervos and Ay María, que puntería.

Historical and political dramas, bio-pics, narco-exploitation, and aristocratic politicking-inspired television series have also enjoyed significant success in Mejico and abroad. Most notable among them are the series Metástasis, based on the life of a chemistry teacher in New Mejico who turns into the meth business, El Señor de los Cielos, based on the life of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, El Secretario, inspired by the life of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Hernán, based on the history of the Conquest of Mejico. Other successful drama series include Rey de Oro Blanco, La Patrona, El Hotel de los Secretos, Monarca, La Dictadura Perfecta and Los Borbones.

Animated series and cartoons have been popular since the 1970s, with shows such as La Familia Burrón running for more than 40 years from 1974 to 2019, and Ama de Casa, which has been running since 1991. The golden age of Mejican cartoons ran from the 1990s to the early 2000s, with series like El Chavo Animado, El Tigre, Los Chicos del Barrio, Riqui el Ajolote, Santi Bravo, Pepe, Paco y Luis, Gazpacho, and Teletal. Many of these shows were designed to appeal to both children and young teenagers, including pop-culture references and veiled innuendos. A renaissance of Mejican cartoons has been taking place since the mid-2010s, with many beloved cartoons that have revolutionized the industry such as 2507, La Sociedad de los Gañañunflas, Ya párale, Seámos héroes, and Patrulla Canina.

Mejican television is also known for its talk shows, and even for the involvement of the clergy in such shows. Priests, nuns, pastors and bishops are frequent guests in talk shows and have their own shows such as Noches de Domingo con el Padre Domingo, Sor Clarita, and the cooking show Divina Cocina.  Mejican devotional channels and television programs have also multiplied in recent years, such as Tele María, Milites Christi, and Misa Diaria TV.


In 2000, Mejico presented the candidacy of its cuisine for LONESCO World Heritage, the first time a country had presented its gastronomic tradition for this purpose. However, in the first instance the result was negative, as the committee did not place adequate emphasis on the importance of corn in Mejican cuisine. Finally, on November 16, 2005, Mejican gastronomy was recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Depiction of an Aztec market

The origin of the current Mejican cuisine is established during the Spanish colonization period, being a mixture of the foods of Spain and that of the native Americans. Corn, chili (known in most of the Spanish-speaking world as ají), beans, pumpkins, avocados, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cocoa, guajolote and many other fruits and condiments, are of Indigenous origin. Likewise, some cooking techniques used today are a legacy of pre-Hispanic peoples, such as the nixtamalization of corn, cooking food in ovens at ground level, grinding in a molcajete and metate. With the Spaniards came pork, beef and chicken; pepper, sugar, milk and all its derivatives, wheat and rice, citrus fruits and a whole constellation of ingredients that are part of the daily diet of Mejicans.

Carnitas, carne asada, and al pastor tacos, with cilantro and onion, and a side of lime and radish

From this encounter of millennia-old culinary traditions, pozole, mole, barbacoa and tamales developed into their current forms, chocolate, a wide range of breads, tacos, and the wide repertoire of Mejican snacks were born. Drinks scuh as atole, champurraod, milk chocolate and aguas frescas were also born; desserts such as acitrón, a whole range of crystallized sweets, rompope, cajeta, jericaya, and the chrism of delicacies created in nuns' convents in all parts of the country. Some Mejican beverages have crossed its borders and are consumed daily in Central America, the United American Dominions, Louisiana, France, China, Japan, the Philippines, and much of the Iberoamerican Commonwealth of Nations; such is the case of agua de jamaica, horchata de arroz, agua de raíz, margaritas and tequila itself.

The history of the country and its links with other peoples allowed the incorporation of other cuisines into Mejican cuisine. The Nao de China, also known as the Manila galleons, brought from the Orient a range of varied spices and above all, rice, which is a fundamental part of the iconic Mejican dish, mole poblano. Arab cuisine arrived in Mejico indirectly through the Spanish conquistadors. The relationship with other Iberoamerican countries also left its mark on popular cuisine, perhaps the best known cases are ceviches and arroz moro, which are indebted to Cuban gastronomy and have been assimilated and reworked with ingredients from Mejico.

Immigration has left its mark on Mejican culture, and cuisine is no exception. The taste for ground beef arrived with Agustín II's Bavarian wife, Queen Maximiliana. Boxed bread was, according to legend, an invention of British American immigrants. The arrival of immigrants from other latitudes throughout the 19th and 20th centuries also participated in the construction of Mejican cuisine. As an example, the Italian cheeses and polenta that today are made in Chipilo, Puebla; or the French bread from Orizaba, and the Mennonites from Chihuahua and their cheese production. The English miners in Mejico laid the foundations of paste, a puff pastry that today is filled with cheese and potatoes as well as green mole or pumpkin seeds. Chinese and Japanese immigrants brought with them the art of making noodles and tempura, which have been incorporated into Mejican cuisine, as well as sushi, which has exploded in popularity in the northern areas. Arabic flatbreads and shawarma, Hindustani chutneys, African plantains, Jewish bagels, Polish sausages, Greek yoghurt and gyros meat, have also become part of Mejican food.

In recent decades, the globalization of food has made it possible to incorporate ingredients from all over the world into Mejican gastronomy. From the Middle East, hummus, falafel and other ingredients are now part of Mejican cuisine. Likewise, the influence of the United American Dominions and Europe in the contemporary Mejican kitchen can be seen in the use of fast-foods and convenience foods, as well as in the use of sauces, salads and other dishes that have been adapted from the culinary habits of these countries. Middle Eastern flatbreads and shawarma, Hindustani chutneys, African plantains, Jewish bagels, Polish sausages, Greek yogurt and gyros meat, as well as newer Southeast Asian incorporations have also enriched food choices in Mejico.

Mejican fast-food chain Chipotle

In the southern part of Mejico, the cuisine is heavily influenced by the indigenous populations, with a heavy use of chili peppers, corn, and beans. Dishes such as tacos, tamales, and enchiladas are popular in this region, as well as spicy stews and slow-cooked meats such as barbacoa. This cuisine also makes use of various herbs and spices, such as cumin, coriander, and epazote, to add depth and complexity to the flavors. Spanish influence can be seen in this region's seafood, especially with the taste for calamari, crab and bogavante, together with paella and gazpacho. French influence is most notable in the port city of Veracruz, which was the main hub of trade with France. This influence can be seen in the region’s use of rich sauces and the emphasis on seafood dishes, such as huachinango a la talla and arroz a la tumbada. French pastries and other delicacies also have a prominent place in this region's cuisine, thanks to the influx of French immigrants in the 19th century.

Logo of Tortas Magaña, a tortería with over 15,000 locations worldwide

The food eaten in the northern part of Mejico has differed from those in the south since the pre-Hispanic era. Here, Indigenous peoples were hunter-gatherers with limited agriculture and settlements because of the arid land. Upon the arrival of Europeans, they found much of the land in this area suitable for raising cattle, goats and sheep. This led to the dominance of meat, especially beef, in the region, and some of the most popular dishes include machaca, arrachera, and cabrito. The region's distinctive cooking technique is grilling, as ranch culture has promoted outdoor cooking done by men. The ranch culture has also prompted cheese production and the north produces the widest varieties of cheese in Mejico. These include queso fresco, ranchero, cuajada, requesón, chihuahua, asadero, and monterrey. Another important aspect of northern cuisine is the presence of wheat, especially in the use of flour tortillas. The area has at least forty different types of flour tortillas. The main reason for this is that much of the land supports wheat production, introduced by the Spanish. These large tortillas allowed for the creation of burritos, usually filled with machaca in Sonora, which eventually gained popularity nation-wide.

The cuisine of the Tejan and Fulgencines regions is more influenced by other European and Asian immigrant groups, such as German, Czech, Polish, Russian, and Scandinavian, as well as Southern Chinese, Northern Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Siamese. The culinary style of Baja Med cuisine was developed during the early years of the 21st century, a mixture of Mejican and Mediterranean, primarily Greek cuisine. European immigrants influenced traditional dishes, such as sausages, breads, pastries, and the use of beef, as well as grilling and frying techniques. The region of Tejas is known for its large beef production, cooking methods, and styles. Cornbread, pies, catfish, barbecue ribs, clobascas, sopapillas, chabatas, and chili con queso are specialties of Tejan cuisine.

Fast food has also played an important part in shaping Mejican eating habits. This visibly manifests itself in the presence of a variety of regional fast-food chains. Many fast-food chains in Mejico started in the New North and Central Mejico. Torterías, taquerías, pizzerías, hamburgueserías, and burrerías are the most common fast-food outlets. Tortas have managed to replace the taco as the most popular street food option in the country, as torterías have expanded on a global scale, with chains such as Martínez, Torta Plaza, Carrusel, and Hipocampo setting up franchises as far as Japan and Ethiopia, rivaling North American burger chains.


Mejico is one of the leading countries in the textile and fashion industry, along with countries such as South China, Italy, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Leaving aside the more formal and specialized work attire, Mejican fashion is eclectic, relaxed, and casual. Mejican fashion has changed over the centuries, evolving from traditional, colonial dress to a modern, globalized industry. The influence of international fashion has penetrated Mejico, and many world-renowned designers and brands have emerged in the country. Mejico City, Los Angeles and Veracruz, in particular, have become important centers for fashion, hosting internationally renowned fashion shows, events and trade fairs.

Pantalón de mezclilla, also known as jeans

Mejican fashion is characterized by its diversity and cultural richness. Local designers often draw inspiration from the traditional colors and patterns of indigenous costumes, such as the huipil and rebozo, to create unique and contemporary designs. The use of natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, is also valued in Mejican fashion, bringing a sustainable and authentic approach. Another important feature in Mejican fashion is comfort and functionality. Given the hot, tropical climate in many regions of Mejico, lightweight, breathable clothing is a priority in garment design.

Men's fashion in Mejico also reflects this fusion of traditional and modern. Typical garments such as the charro hat, guayabera shirt and jeans are still popular, but have been adapted to contemporary trends. In addition, Mejican men have also leaned toward international styles and have adopted urban and casual fashions. Capes, capes, jackets, vests and jackets are also common in the men's wardrobe. In turn, the use of hats, caps, berets and chisteras is also an integral part of men's style in Mejico, adding a touch of elegance and personality.

A Sysonby's store in Mejico City

As for women's fashion, the industry has experienced a boom, as well as a big change. Mejican women have a wide variety of styles at their disposal, from traditional dresses to haute couture designs. Large skirts, ruffles, corsets, lace dresses and wide skirts are some of the iconic garments that have been passed down from generation to generation and are still worn for festivities and special occasions. However, women's fashion in Mejico has also evolved towards more modern and avant-garde styles, in line with international trends. The use of rebozos, shawls, pareos, headdresses and other accessories also play an important role in the women's closet, providing versatility and elegance.

Indigenous styles have also left a significant mark on Mejican fashion. Mejico's different indigenous cultures possess unique textile traditions and techniques, which have been preserved and passed down from generation to generation. Handmade textiles and weavings, such as the embroidery of the Oajaca and Chiapas provinces, are especially valued in contemporary fashion. These designs have been integrated into high fashion garments and accessories, fusing indigenous tradition with modern fashion. In addition, indigenous fashion has also influenced the way designs are presented on runways and in everyday lifestyles. Prints and motifs inspired by indigenous iconography have become distinctive elements. At the same time, the use of natural materials and artisanal techniques has become increasingly appreciated.

After a period of liberalization in dress during the 2010s, modest fashion is considered to have begun to regain popularity in Mejico, due in part to a revival of interest in tradition and culture, as well as a desire to adopt a more conservative approach to dress. Mantillas, for example, have become a popular fashion accessory, especially among young women, who combine them with modern, elegant outfits. This is known as the "Sunday fashion" phenomenon.

As for shoes, leather boots, chopines, gaiters, huaraches, sandals and tennis shoes are some of the popular choices in Mejico. Leather boots, in particular, have a long tradition in the country, and are prized for both their aesthetics and durability. Huaraches, traditional sandals made of leather or woven straps, are also widely worn, especially in rural areas. In addition, tennis and sports shoes have also gained popularity, especially among young people, due to their comfort and urban style.

Mejican high fashion in recent years has made use of old styles, revitalizing them and giving them a modern twist. Well-known brands and designers, both nationally and internationally, have found inspiration in Mejico's rich history and culture to create innovative designs. Mejican haute coutoure tailors have focused on creating unique, high-quality garments using artisanal techniques and indigenous materials. Charro suits, three-piece suits, silk shawls, doublets, wide-brimmed hats, bowler hats, chopines and moccasins have also been reinterpreted in contemporary designs.

Mejico is also home to great designer brands such as Terencio Saavedra, Raul Corcuera and Loreto Palazuelos. Brands such as Sysonby, Cadwalader, Alcalá and La Saeta are focused on various niche markets. The "T-shirt" is used in Mejico by many people, it can be plain and white, or with colors, prints and company logos. Polo shirts are arguably the most widely worn type of garment in Mejico, along with guayaberas. Denim pants, also known as jeans, are worn by the majority of the population on a daily basis. The average Mejican male wears a hat on the outskirts, and in terms of personal grooming, it is estimated that approximately 57% of the male population wears a beard or mustache.


The Estadio Azteca is one of the largest stadiums in the world, capable of seating over 90,000 people

Sports in Mejico are very diverse, and over the years several figures have emerged and excelled at both the national and international levels. Additionally, the country has hosted several world-class events, including four SIHA Cups of Nations, two FIFA World Cups, and both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The Secretariat of Public Education includes the teaching of physical education in its schools, as do the provincial agencies in charge of instruction. In Mejico, organized sport is a common activity among the population, and exercise in general is highly valued for its health and social benefits.

According to statistics, the ranking of sports in Mejico by popularity (measured by number of viewers) is American harpast, box, association football, lucha libre, baseball, rugby, tennis, cricket, mixed martial arts, baloncesto, lacrosse, handball, volleyball, and polo. All of these sports find a good level of acceptance since the level of participation in each sport is quite significant. American harpast is the most widespread, and is recognized by the government as the national sport, being recognized by Mejican dictator José Vasconcelos as the "quintessential Mejican sport". Harpast, football, and baseball are universally popular, being widely practiced and seen throughout the country.

Mejican harpast national team.

There is evidence of sports being practiced since pre-Hispanic times, as was the case of the Mesoamerican ball game, one of the spiritual predecessors of American harpast, practiced in some communities via some contemporary modalities such as ulama and pok ta pok. In addition, there are other indigenous sports practiced within Indigenous communities, such as Uárukua chanakua, practiced in Michoacán, Tarahumara wrestling and Rarajípari, practiced in Chihuahua. Lacrosse is an Indigenous sport that was originally played by the Indigenous peoples of North America, such as the Huron in Ontario, but is not recognized as an Indigenous sport in Mejico.

There are other traditional sports of spectacle with great acceptance within the Mejican popular idiosyncrasy, such as wrestling (lucha libre), charrería, and jaripeo. In addition, paddle tennis, with growing global acceptance, originated in the country. With a growing market of both children and young players, the extreme racquet sport, racquetball, is enjoying steady development. The Basque pelota, also known as Jai Alai, is another important sport that has enjoyed significant popularity among the Mejican populace, although it has declined since the 1960s, when it enjoyed its peak. Other immigrant sports, such as Russian bandy, the Greek orthogonikon, and the Irish gaelic football and hurling, have a small but growing presence in the country.

El Santo, one of Mejico's most iconic figures

Historically, Mejico has performed relatively well in the Olympic Games, first participating in the Olympic Games in 1900, and sending athletes to compete since 1924. Mejican athletes have won a total of 1,87 (821 of them being gold) medals at the Summer Olympics, and another 189 at the Winter Olympics. Most medals have been won in the disciplines of athletics, diving, swimming, and long-distance running. Mejico has hosted the Summer Games on four occasions (1904, 1932, 1968, and 1984), and the Winter Games on three occasions (1960, 1984, and 2002). It is also set to host the 2028 Summer Olympics. Mejican athlete Enriqueta Basilio made history by being the first woman to light up the Olympic Cauldron at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Boxing and lucha libre have long traditions in the country, with the first being the most popular individual sport in Mejico by far. Mejico is placed second in total number of world champions produced, after the British Empire, and has recently produced more World Champions in the last 30 years. Mejico has won fifteen Olympic medals in boxing. Julio César Chávez, Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez, Raúl "el Ratón" Macías, Ricardo López, Juan Manuel Márquez, Óscar de la Hoya, and Carlos Zárate are some of the most important Mejican boxers. Mejico's biggest boxing rivals are Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Lucha libre, on the other hand, is one of Mejico's most famous cultural exports, with many mythical characters of popular culture originating in Mejican rings, such as El Santo, Blue Demon, Octagón, Huracán Ramírez, Rey Mysterio, and El Místico. Mejican wrestling is characterized by its styles of quick submissions and high acrobatics, masked luchadores, and special matches where wrestlers can bet either their mask or their hair. Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) and Lucha Libre AAA (AAA) are the two main promotions in the country, and have exported their style to the British Empire and Japan.

Charrería, jaripeo, bullfighting, bull-leaping and cockfighting are known as deportes del campo in Mejico, and all involve animals in some way. Charrería is a traditional sport, and is recognized, together with American harpast, as the national sport of Mejico. It is derived from the work of caporales in the haciendas and cattle ranches, originating in the colonial era of New Spain. Charros and escaramuzas, men and women, compete in a series of suertes, events that demonstrate their horsemanship and roping skills, such as cala de caballo, piales, and jineteo. Jaripeos, known in the Anglosphere as rodeos, are events that are particularly important in northern Mejico, with large palenques and ferias ganaderas in the provinces of Sinaloa, Matagorda, Béjar, and Tejas attracting millions of visitors every year. Jaripeos typically include various events such as bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, and bareback bronc riding.

Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mejico City

Both cockfighting and bullfighting have a long history in Mejico, and are considered by some to be an inviolable part of Mejican culture. These sports have faced strong criticism, and there have been attempts to ban them, which have been so far unsuccessful. In cockfighting, roosters are pitted against each other in deadly fights, with spectators placing bets on the outcome. Bullfighting, on the other hand, involves a matador facing off against a bull in a series of choreographed maneuvers, possibly culminating in the death of the bull. In many areas of the country, bullfighting generates a large amount of revenue from the local population, as well as visiting tourists. The government and local nobles sponsor several events each year, giving a public forum to the city or region and increasing public interest and attendance at other events, such as concerts, festivals, and exhibitions.

As evidence of the popularity of the sport, the largest bullring in the world is the Plaza Méjico, located in Mejico City. The Plaza Méjico has been host to many of the world's best and most famous bullfighters, as well as to many other cultural events. Other large bullrings include La Monumental in Aguascalientes, Plaza Alberto Balderas in Autlán, Jalisco, Plaza de Apizaco in Tlaxcala, Coliseo Centenario in Torreón, El Domo in San Luis Potosí, Plaza Fermín Espinoza in Jalostotitlán, La Petatera in Colima, Nuevo Progreso in Mazatlán, El Volcán in San Diego, Plaza Rodolfo Gaona in Ciudad Obregón, Plaza Cuatro Caminos in Naucalpan, La Condesa in Mejico City, and Coliseo de La Venta in Sacramento. Some of the most renowned Mejican bullfighters are Eloy Cavazos, Fermín Rivera, Adolfo Rodríguez, Octavio "el Payo" García, Miguel "el Galo" Lagravère, Carlos Humberto, Eliécer “el Judío” Burstein, Luis Carlos Maldonado, and Jesús "el Vasco" Aristizábal.

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