Geographic and Governmental Profile of Mexico

Background
The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations - including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec - Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved its independence early in the 19th century. The global financial crisis beginning in late 2008 caused a massive economic downturn the following year, although growth returned quickly in 2010. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. The elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe CALDERON. National elections, including the presidential election, are scheduled for 1 July 2012. Since 2007, Mexico's powerful drug-trafficking organizations have engaged in bloody feuding, resulting in tens of thousands of drug-related homicides.
Location
North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States
Geographic coordinates
23 00 N, 102 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
North America
Area
total:
1,964,375 sq km
rank:
14
land:
1,943,945 sq km
water:
20,430 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries
total:
4,353 km
border countries:
Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km
Coastline
9,330 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
varies from tropical to desert
Terrain
high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point:
Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m
Natural resources
petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land use
arable land:
12.66%
permanent crops:
1.28%
other:
86.06% (2005)
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Irrigated land
63,000 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
457.2 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
78.22 cu km/yr (17%/5%/77%)
per capita:
731 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coasts
volcanism:
volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country; the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (elev. 3,850 m), which erupted in 2010, is Mexico's most active volcano and is responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villagers; it has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (elev. 5,426 m) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana
Environment - current issues
scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural freshwater resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion
the government considers the lack of clean water and deforestation national security issues
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico
Country name
conventional long form:
United Mexican States
conventional short form:
Mexico
local long form:
Estados Unidos Mexicanos
local short form:
Mexico
Government type
federal republic
Capital
name:
Mexico City (Distrito Federal)
geographic coordinates:
19 26 N, 99 08 W
time difference:
UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins first Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in October
Mexico is divided into three time zones
Administrative divisions
31 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Colima, Distrito Federal*, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro de Arteaga, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (Veracruz), Yucatan, Zacatecas
Independence
16 September 1810 (declared); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)
Constitution
5 February 1917
Legal system
civil law system with US constitutional law theory influence; judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal and compulsory (but not enforced)
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa (since 1 December 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa (since 1 December 2006)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president; note - appointment of attorney general, the head of the Bank of Mexico, and senior treasury officials require consent of the Senate
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a single six-year term; election last held on 1 July 2012 (next to be held July 2018)
election results:
Enrique PENA NIETO elected president; percent of vote - Enrique PENA NIETO (PRI) 38.21%, Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (PRD) 31.59%, Josefina Eugenia VAZQUEZ Mota (PAN) 25.41%, other 4.79%; note - official results pending; Enrique PENA NIETO is expected to take office 1 December 2012
Legislative branch
bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of the Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and 32 seats allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members are elected by popular vote; remaining 200 members are allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote; members to serve three-year terms)
elections:
Senate - last held on 1 July 2012 for all of the seats (next to be held on 1 July 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 1 July 2012 (next to be held on 5 July 2015)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRI 52, PAN 38, PRD 22, PVEM 9, PT 4, Movimiento Ciudadano 2, PANAL 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRI 207, PAN 114, PRD 101, PVEM 33, PT 19, Movimiento Ciudadano 16, PANAL 10; note - official results pending
Judicial branch
Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (justices or ministros are appointed by the president with consent of the Senate)
Political parties and leaders
Citizen's Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano) [Luis WALTON Aburto]; Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) or PRI [Pedro Joaquin COLDWELL]; Labor Party (Partido del Trabajo) or PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]; Mexican Green Ecological Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico) or PVEM [Jorge Emilio GONZALEZ Martinez]; National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional) or PAN [Gustavo MADERO Munoz]; New Alliance Party (Partido Nueva Alianza) or PNA/PANAL [Luis CASTRO Obregon]; Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica) or PRD [Jesus ZAMBRANO Grijalva]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Businessmen's Coordinating Council or CCE; Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic or COPARMEX; Confederation of Industrial Chambers or CONCAMIN; Confederation of Mexican Workers or CTM; Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce or CONCANACO; Coordinator for Foreign Trade Business Organizations or COECE; Federation of Unions Providing Goods and Services or FESEBES; National Chamber of Transformation Industries or CANACINTRA; National Peasant Confederation or CNC; National Small Business Chamber or CANACOPE; National Syndicate of Education Workers or SNTE; National Union of Workers or UNT; Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca or APPO; Roman Catholic Church
International organization participation
APEC, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CE (observer), CELAC, CSN (observer), EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-3, G-15, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, MIGA, NAFTA, NAM (observer), NEA, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Arturo SARUKHAN Casamitjana
chancery:
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone:
[1] (202) 728-1600
FAX:
[1] (202) 728-1698
consulate(s) general:
Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Laredo (Texas), Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Nogales (Arizona), Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s):
Albuquerque, Anchorage (Alaska), Boise (Idaho), Brownsville (Texas), Calexico (California), Del Rio (Texas), Detroit, Douglas (Arizona), Eagle Pass (Texas), Fresno (California), Indianapolis (Indiana), Kansas City (Missouri), Las Vegas, Little Rock (Arkansas), McAllen (Texas), New Orleans, Omaha, Orlando, Oxnard (California), Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Presidio (Texas), Raleigh (North Carolina), Saint Paul, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, Santa Ana (California), Seattle, Tucson, Washington DC, Yuma (Arizona); note - Washington DC Consular Section located in a separate building from the Mexican Embassy and has jurisdiction over DC, parts of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Earl Anthony WAYNE
embassy:
Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal
mailing address:
P. O. Box 9000, Brownsville, TX 78520-9000
telephone:
[52] (55) 5080-2000
FAX:
[52] (55) 5511-9980
consulate(s) general:
Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana
Flag description
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; Mexico's coat of arms (an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus) is centered in the white band; green signifies hope, joy, and love; white represents peace and honesty; red stands for hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor; the coat of arms is derived from a legend that the wandering Aztec people were to settle at a location where they would see an eagle on a cactus eating a snake; the city they founded, Tenochtitlan, is now Mexico City
similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter, uses lighter shades of red and green, and does not have anything in its white band
National symbol(s)
golden eagle
National anthem
name:
"Himno Nacional Mexicano" (National Anthem of Mexico)
lyrics/music:
Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA/Jaime Nuno ROCA
adopted 1943, in use since 1854; the anthem is also known as "Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra" (Mexicans, to the War Cry); according to tradition, Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA, an accomplished poet, was uninterested in submitting lyrics to a national anthem contest; his fiancee locked him in a room and refused to release him until the lyrics were completed
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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