World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Mexico Travelling Guide
Mexico Travelling Guide

General background: The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century. A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The nation continues to make an impressive recovery. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. Elections held in July 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that the opposition defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) was sworn in on 1 December 2000 as the first chief executive elected in free and fair elections.

Area comparative: Slightly less than three times the size of Texas.

Climate: Varies from tropical to desert.

Terrain: High, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert

Population: 103,400,165 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, White 9%, other 1%

Religions: Nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%

Language: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages.

Government type: Federal republic

Capital: Mexico (Distrito Federal)

Legal system: Mixture of US constitutional theory and civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

Economic overview: Mexico has a free market economy with a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competition in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural gas distribution, and airports. Income distribution remains highly unequal. Trade with the US and Canada has tripled since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994. Following 6.9% growth in 2000, real GDP fell 0.3% in 2001, with the US slowdown the principal cause. Positive developments in 2001 included a drop in inflation to 6.5%, a sharp fall in interest rates, and a strong peso that appreciated 5% against the dollar. Mexico City implemented free trade agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and the European Free Trade Area in 2001, putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements. Foreign direct investment reached $25 billion in 2001, of which $12.5 billion came from the purchase of Mexico's second largest bank, Banamex, by Citigroup.

Communication/Telephone system: Low telephone density with about 12 main lines per 100 persons; privatized in December 1990; the opening to competition in January 1997 improved prospects for development.

Places of interest:

Travel tips: Crime in Mexico has reached critical levels, particularly in Mexico City. There's been a marked increase in the level of violence and a significant incidence of sexual assault in crimes committed against women. The most frequently reported crimes involve taxi robberies, armed robbery, metro robbery, pick-pocketing and purse snatching. Credit-card fraud and ATM robbery are also prevalent.