Mexico is located in southern North America. It is a country of more than one hundred million inhabitants bordering the United States, Belize and Guatemala. Mexico is known for its magnificent gorges, jungles, rapids, volcanoes and canyons.
Official language: Spanish
Currency: Mexican peso
Passport and visa: Mexico does not require a tourist visa for Finnish citizens. You can stay in the country for up to six months at a time.
Time difference to Finland: – 8
Climate: Cancun’s warmest month is July and the least rainfall is in April. The temperature stays between +27 and +35 degrees Celsius all year round.
Agriculture and fishing
Mexico is largely made up of mountainous landscapes and semi-deserts, which means that only a limited part of the area is suitable for cultivation. Agriculture now contributes only a few percent of the gross domestic product, but it still employs about every eighth employee.
- CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Mexico. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.
Small farmers especially in the south grow most corn, beans and squash to house needs, using old-fashioned methods. About half of the cultivated land belongs to ejidos, state-owned cooperatives where individual farmers have the right to use the land. These ejidos were created by old haciendas through land reform during the first half of the 20th century (see Older history). At the same time, some haciendas were cut up into small farming units for private farmers. In addition to small-scale and often inefficient agriculture, there are capital-intensive and high-tech large farms that grow for export. In the north there are large cattle ranches.
In addition to corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oats, potatoes and soybeans are important crops for the domestic market. Agave cactus is grown for the production of alcoholic beverages, including tequila. For export, coffee, cotton, fruit, tomatoes, sugar cane, tobacco and vanilla are grown. Mexico is also the world’s largest producer of avocado, which, like cocoa, originated here. For Mexico defense and foreign policy, please check themotorcyclers.
The waters off the coast of Mexico are rich in seafood. In recent years, investments have been made, not least in fish farming, and both catches and exports to mainly the United States have increased. The Mexicans themselves do not eat much fish, but the state is trying to encourage increased consumption.
FACTS – AGRICULTURE
Agriculture’s share of GDP
3.3 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
54.6 percent (2016)
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Offers how the 3-letter acronym of MEX stands for the state of Mexico in geography.
Indigenous people support regional railways
President Andres Manuel López Obrador receives local support for plans on a regional railroad that is intended to boost tourism and economic development in poor parts of southern Mexico. Activists and some groups of indigenous people have criticized the plans for lack of environmental analysis. But when hundreds of local referendums and unofficial town councils are held, support for the project will be about 92 percent of around 93,000 who participate. The intended “Mayan train” will connect places like Cancún with archaeological sites such as Palenque and Chichén Itzá and transport both passengers and goods.
Ex-security minister arrested in the US
Former Security Minister Genaro García Luna is arrested in the US, accused of receiving millions in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel. García Luna was minister of President Felipe Calderón’s government from 2006 to 2012, responsible for public safety and for the federal police. According to prosecutors, he guaranteed safe smuggling routes for the drug body, as well as access to sensitive information. Cartel members must on two occasions hand over up to $ 5 million in cash to him personally.
New version of free trade agreement signed
Mexico, the United States and Canada once again sign a new version of the free trade agreement that will replace Nafta from 1994, even though it was considered ready already a little over a year earlier (see September 2018). The first version of the agreement called T-MEC in Mexico (and the USMCA in the US) encountered patrol primarily in the United States, where Democrats demanded, among other things, strengthened labor law guarantees. The first version was ratified only by Mexico (see June 2019). Mexico will also first ratify the new agreement, already on December 12.
Violence causes Trump to call for war
A brutal assault on Mormons arouses dismay even in violent Mexico, as well as in the United States, as the victims had American as well as Mexican citizenship. The day after nine women and children were found dead in a burnt-out car near the US border, US President Donald Trump says the United States is ready to support Mexico in a war on drug cartels and “wipe them off the face of the earth.” President López Obrador, who has declared an end to the “war” on drugs thanks for the offer but says that war is “irrational”. Several children in the Mormon family that were affected were also injured in the attack described as a massacre. It is unclear why the Mormons were subjected to the assault.
HD judges depart
A judge in the Supreme Court, Eduardo Medina Mora, resigns on suspicion of the millions he has transferred to bank accounts in the United States and the United Kingdom. Media reports in June reported $ 5.2 million that Medina Mora transferred, money he has not declared. Medina Mora has previously been Minister of Justice, Minister of Security and US Ambassador.
Nearly 5,000 in secret tombs
More than 3,000 secret graves have been found with victims of the drug war in Mexico since 2006, according to official data from the National Search Committee set up in 2018 to help Mexicans find missing relatives. Remains after a total of 4,874 have been found in the 3,025 locations. This is the first time a survey has been made of secret burial sites and how many victims have been found. Many of them have remained unidentified.
The finance minister resigns in protest
Finance Minister Carlos Manuel Urzúa Macías leaves his post and writes in a letter that economic policy has been contradictory. Urzúa warns of “extremism”, from both right and left. Both the currency and the stock exchange fall according to his message. Mexico’s economy shrank by 0.2 percent during the first quarter of the year. New finance minister becomes Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, a choice that, according to the credit rating agency Moody’s, can help calm investors.
Former oil manager called for
An arrest warrant is issued for former Pemex state oil chief Emilio Lozoya, who is suspected of bribery. Lozoya is said to have received $ 10 million from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, who reportedly paid bribes to politicians across Latin America. Lozuya’s wife, sister and mother are also suspected of being involved in the corruption case. Lozoya was Pemex Chief and Leading Advisor to President Enrique Peña Nieto 2012–2016. It is unclear where he is.
Expulsions increase by one third
Mexico expelled 33 percent more people in June than in May, the migration authority said. The increase to close to 22,000 comes after pressure and threats of sanctions from US President Donald Trump.
Sharpened efforts at the US border
Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval states that nearly 15,000 soldiers and members of the National Guard are now stationed at Mexico’s border in the north, and that migrants trying to enter the United States are arrested and then handed over to migrants. Sandoval explains the handling at a press conference where President Andres Manuel López Obrador is also present. But a few days later, the president rejects the statement that security forces should have been ordered to arrest migrants. Already, migrants have been stopped on their way through the country, but Mexican authorities have not prevented people from crossing the border.
Mexico ratifies trade agreements
As the first country, Mexico ratifies the new North American Free Trade Agreement USMCA, which will replace Nafta (see September 2018).
New tours around the airport building
17th of June
A court in the state of Mexico orders the government to stop construction of the new airport at Santa Lucia Air Base (see May 6, 2019) and at the same time prevent further demolition of the previously planned major airport in Texcoco. According to the judge, the rebuilding of the Santa Lucia base must be halted until “all permits” are clear, as 147 separate targets have been raised around the building with reference to, among other things, environment and safety. The court decision is a setback for President López Obrador.
New journalism murder makes Mexico deadliest this year
Journalist Norma Sarabia is shot to death outside her home in Tabasco. Sarabia, who was a criminal reporter for Tabasco Hoy magazine, is the sixth journalist to be murdered in Mexico so far this year. That’s more than in any other country, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Migration settlement blows customs threat
US President Donald Trump announces that the sanctions against Mexico that he threatened to impose have been postponed “indefinitely” after a settlement reached on migration. The message comes after three days of negotiations in Washington. Mexico has now pledged to strengthen security at the border with Guatemala and to a greater extent than previously housed Central Americans while the United States is processing their asylum applications. Trump and Republicans call the deal a breakthrough, while some observers claim that it does not contain anything that Mexico has not already committed to.
Measures to stop the migration of migrants
The government decides to strengthen surveillance against Guatemala by 6,000 members of the National Guard, stop new caravans and state that bank accounts belonging to 26 suspected human traffickers should be frozen – all in an attempt to meet US demands for sharpened efforts to stop the flow of migrants through the country. Those who get their accounts frozen are suspected of organizing migrant caravans from Central American countries to the border in the north. So far this year, 300,000 people have entered southern Mexico, of which 51,000 have been arrested, according to the government. Some have been sent back. In the United States, authorities say the Border Police arrested 144,000 people in May, the highest figure in 13 years.
Trump threatens with penalties
In an unexpected spell, US President Donald Trump is threatening with 5 percent duty on all goods from Mexico as of June 10, unless Mexico stops the flow of Central American migrants across the US border to the south. Customs duties will then be increased incrementally every month until they reach 25 percent in October. The threat causes the person to fall and the markets in both countries react negatively. President López Obrador says Mexico is doing what it can to stop migrant flows. According to the government, another quarter of a million migrants would have reached the border unless Mexico took action.
The United States abolishes steel and aluminum duties
US President Donald Trump announces that the steel and aluminum tariffs introduced in June 2018 are now being removed. In the settlement that has been reached, both Mexico and Canada have pledged to withdraw complaints against the United States that the World Trade Organization has received.
New airport building inaugurated
A ceremony is being held to begin the redevelopment of Santa Lucia Air Base to a new civil airport, a project that has been supported in a contentious referendum (see October 28, 2018). President López Obrador is participating in the ceremony, which is held despite there being little evidence that any major construction work will begin in the near future. Critics believe a second major airport near Mexico City will create difficult challenges, as all planes will have to fly out and in from the same weather because of the high mountains surrounding the city on the other three sides.
Mass arrest of migrants
Police are apprehending nearly 400 Central Americans in the state of Chiapas in the south, in what is said to be the most extensive strike to date against migrants en route to the United States. The arrested included a so-called caravan with around 3,000 people, most of them from Honduras. The flow of Central Americans trying to get through Mexico to the United States has increased sharply in recent months. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to close the border unless Mexico stops the tide. In Mexico, fewer and fewer people are now getting visas for humanitarian reasons, and according to official data, 15,000 people have been sent back to their home countries in just the past month.
Strengthened security after massacres
President López Obrador decides to strengthen the military presence in Veracruz, three days after a massacre at a birthday party in which 13 people died. One child, five women and seven men were shot dead by one of the mafia gangs fighting for control of drug smuggling in the state. New statistics have just shown that the number of murders hit a new record during the first quarter of the year, when 8,493 people were killed. This was almost 10 percent more than the corresponding period in 2018.
Apologies for the Spanish conquest
President López Obrador, in a letter to Spain’s King Felipe and Pope Francis, apologizes for the human rights violations committed during the Spanish conquest 500 years ago. López Obrador notes that the indigenous peoples of Mexico were subjected to massacres (see Older History). He says in a speech at a Mayan temple in Tabasco that it is time for reconciliation, but that Spain and the Catholic Church should apologize first. However, the Spanish Government immediately rejects the proposal.
The president does not promise to stand for re-election
President López Obrador signs a letter promising Mexicans not to try to circumvent the constitution’s ban on re-election. The reason is that political opponents claim that he intends to do just that, because halfway into the six-year term, he wants to hold a referendum on whether he should stay the period out.
“Journalist murder should be reported as war crime”
the 12th of March
The Press Freedom Organization Reporters Without Borders (RUG) wants the International Court of Justice (ICC) to investigate 102 murders of journalists committed between 2012 and 2018 in Mexico, citing the murders as crimes against humanity. Fourteen journalists have disappeared during the period. According to RUG, the murders and kidnappings form part of a conscious and systematic campaign against a part of the civilian population: journalists. The organization believes that both presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto are obviously accomplices. Only ICC member states, prosecutors and the UN Security Council can make formal notifications to the court, so RUG hopes that the current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador will do so.
National Guard decision
Calls for the establishment of a National Guard with 50,000 members to combat the drug cartels; Critics fear it means further militarization of the fight against the armed gangs. Within a week, the proposal, which comes from President López Obrador, has been ratified by half of the states, which means it can come into force. In most states, the president’s party has Morena majority.
King of drugs is dropped in the United States
A New York federal court finds Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, guilty of all ten counts of drug smuggling. According to prosecutors, Guzmán earned $ 14 billion during his years in the drug trade when he ruled over smugglers, kidnappers and murderers. During the three-month trial, many have testified that Guzmán himself practiced serious violence. A witness who described himself as Guzmán’s right-hand man, Alex Cifuentes, has also claimed that former President Enrique Peña Nieto received $ 100 million from Guzmán in 2012. Peña Nieto has rebuffed previous allegations of corruption that emerged during the trial, which began in November 2018. Guzmán arrested under spectacular forms (see January 2016) and was extradited to the United States in January 2017. The penalty announced in July 2019 will be life imprisonment as expected.
The president says the drug war is over
30th of January
President López Obrador declares that the “war on drugs” is over and that the army will no longer have the task of arresting drug kings. Critics, however, point out that the military has not been withdrawn from the streets, as López Obrador promised during the election campaign. He also wants to create a national guard, which could lead to permanent militarization of the country.
Explosion at leaking fuel line
Dozens of people perish in a violent explosion at a leaking gas line north of Mexico City. People had poured in to fill containers with gasoline that spurted out, probably since thieves drilled holes in the pipeline. Many are severely burned and die later: two weeks after the accident, the death toll is reported to be 125. Gasoline shortages have occurred since President López Obrador began a hard-fought effort to stop the extensive fuel thefts in the country. Several large oil pipelines have been shut down and at least three senior employees of the oil company Pemex have been arrested, the days before the accident. Pemex is estimated to have lost $ 3 billion in 2017 due to fuel thefts, which has created an extensive black market.