Essay: Mexico foundation

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  • Subject area(s): International Relations
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  • Published on: 6th June 2012
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Mexico foundation

Mexico is found on the continent of North American just south of the United States of America and northwest of Guatemala and Belize. Mexico officially called United Mexican States was once called New Spain from 1523 until it became independent of Spain in 1810 (Interactive Timeline, 2010). The new nation called itself the United Mexican States and its independence day is September 16. Mexico had an Emperor and his empire covered modern day California, Texas, Nevada, and Utah, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado, and all of modern day Mexico (Infoplease, 2009).

During 1823 through 1860 Mexico was a Republic that had centrists and federalists groups fighting for power (Timeline, 2010). In the late 1830 the centrists came to power which cut down Mexico's territory because Texas reseeded from Mexico because it disagreed with the centrists views. Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836 with the battle of San Jacinto (2010). The United States of America and Mexico had a war in 1846 that lasted only two years; this war was over where the northern border of Mexico falls. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo brought Mexico to its present size of 761,600 square miles by giving California, Nevada, and Utah, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado to the United States (Bureau, 2010). In 1857 the liberal party gained control and they elected Benito Juarez to be president in 1858 (2010). Benito Juarez was also the liberal leader. Juarez was not in office long before Mexico was invaded and Mexico City was capture by the French in 1863 and in 1867 the French withdrew (Interactive Timeline, 2010). When the French withdrew from Mexico, Benito Juarez was again president of Mexico. When Juarez died in 1872 (still in office) the presidencies after him were very corrupt and weak. They would change repeatedly because of other groups overthrowing them and/or they were assassinated (Bureau, 2010). That is when General Porfirio Diaz took office and during a period between 1877 and 1911 he was president (2010). Between 1910 and 1920 an up rise occurred that created the 1917 constitution which is still Mexico's constitution to this day. But in 1911 the very corrupt and weak governments would again change repeatedly with killings, and overthrowing. During this chaos the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was founded (Timeline, 2010). The corruption, killing and overthrowing of presidents ended in 1934 when Lazaro Cardenas was elected to office with the backing of the PRI (Lazaro, 2010).

Then Mexico entered World War II on the allied side that fortified the relationship between the United States and Mexico. To this day things like the NAFTA agreement and others have helped Mexico create strong international relations. Mexico has been doing very well in international relations after World War II. The PRI was a big force behind everything Mexico has done including WWII and since 1929 to 2000 (Bureau, 2010).

Mexico is a developing country like many countries in Latin America. A developing country is a country with some industrialization, has strong heritage, and has an empirical statehood. As Mexico is a developing country it has a weaker government than a developed country. The type of government that Mexico now has is a federal republic (CIA, 2010). This weaker government gives way to major issues, from environmental to political and even social problems. The foremost environmental issues that Mexico has are its water shortages, and the contaminated water supplies. The primary political issue that faces Mexico is border control on its southern border along with its northern border. By far the most important social issue for Mexico is drug trafficking, which has the drug cartels going to war with each other and its own government too. All of these issues affect Mexico's population at large. The current population of Mexico has reached 111,211,789 people and still growing (2010). Mexico has three major issues that prevent them from becoming a developed country; include water shortages, border control problems, and drug trafficking.

"Water covers about two-thirds of the Earth's surface" that is about 71% of the world (Kirby, 2000, pg.1). With all this water how is it that people do not have enough to drink. Well only about 2.5% of the water on the Earth is fresh water the rest is salt water that is undrinkable (2000). Out of all the fresh water in the world only about one-third is in an available and a usable form. About 20% of that one-third is in isolated areas. Most of the other 80% of the one-third comes as heavy rains called monsoons, and floods. The other two-thirds are in glaciers, icecaps, and deep underground aqueducts which are all unavailable for most living things to use. Humans have under 0.08% of all the water in the world available to them (2000). That one-third or 0.08% has to sustain all living things on earth not just humans.

The country of Mexico has about 457.2 cubic kilometers (109.7 cubic miles) of renewable water resources as of 2000 (CIA, 2009). The total freshwater withdrawal for Mexico as of 2000 was about 78.2 cubic kilometers (18.8 cubic miles per year); and the per capita was about 731 cubic meters (0.0000002 cubic miles per year) (2009). Mexico still has water shortages just like many countries. Mexico's water shortages are mainly in larger cities like Mexico City (the capital of Mexico) and the very remote rural zones. About 76% of Mexicans live in urban areas; the other 24% live in remote areas and rural districts (Bureau, 2010). That means about 85 million Mexicans live in urban regions. The Mexican population living in rural/remote zones is about 27 million. About 80% of the Mexican population had access to drinking water in 1989 that is about 89 million people that had drinking water in Mexico (National, 2007).

The issue with large cities like Mexico City is that the population has out grown the old water infrastructure within the city, leaving the urban districts just outside the city without adequate water supplies. Mexico City itself has an estimated population of about 22 million Mexicans living in its metro area (Bureau, 2010). They account for nearly 26% of all Mexicans that live in urban districts. The issue with the rural areas is that they rely heavily on rainfall but also basin technology to supply sufficient levels of water to everything that needs water. There are about 1,479 basins in use today (National, 2007).

A decentralized government agency was created in 1989 to "manage and preserve water and its inherent public goods to achieve a sustainable use for these resources, with the co-responsibility of the three levels of government and society-at-large" (National, 2007, pg. 2). This government agency is called the National Water Commission of Mexico also known as CONAGUA (2007). CONAGUA has been able to get drinking water to over 100 million Mexicans as of 2007. Also CONAGUA has improved sanitation from 62% in 1989 to 86% today, which helps cut down water contamination (2007). Drinking water was accessible to about 76 million urban living Mexicans throughout Mexico in 2007. Through CONAGUA's work 19 million Mexicans living in remote/rural areas have access to drinking water. CONAGUA was able to do all this through infrastructure but how did they raise the money they sold deeds. These deeds were for the use of the water they were trying to give everyone. Even with all of CONAGUA's work Mexico City and other places still had to have cutbacks some up to 30% of the supplies of water to the city (Ellingwood, 2009). This only "means lower flows in many neighborhoods for days at a time, but no citywide cutoffs" (Ellingwood, 2009, pg.1).

Mexico in my opinion is trying very hard to help its entire population live a better and happier life. Mexico is on the right track with the projects it has now and is planning to have in the near future. My prediction for the next 10 years on how Mexico will fair with the issue of water shortages is that Mexico will be much better off than it is now. I think this way because Mexico has called its water crises a national security problem. I also believe this because the agenda that CONAGUA has prepared and presented to the Mexican government is very realistic.

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