Mexico

Population
The Mexican population is divided into three main groups, the people of European descent, the Native Americans, and the people mixed with European and Native American descent or better known as Mestizos. Of these groups, the Mestizos are by far the Largest, making up about 60% of the people of Mexico. The Native Americans are the next largest with 30% and the Europeans the smallest with only 10%. The society is semi-industrial.

The population of Mexico in the 1995 census was 93,670,000 giving the country an estimated person for about every 4 square miles. About 75% of people live in urban areas. Mexico consists of 32 administrative divisions, 31 states and the Federal District.

The capital and cultural center of Mexico is Mexico City, with a population of 8,236,960 in 1990. Other important cities are Gaudalajara, population 1,628,617, Netzahaulcoyotl, population 1,256,115, Monterrey, population 1,064,197, Puebla, population 1,054,921, Leon, population 758,279, Cuidad Jaurez, population 798,499, and Tijuana.

Climate
Mexico is bisected by the tropic of Cancer; therefore, the Southern half is included in the Torrid Zone. In general, climate varies with elevation. The Tierra Caliante (hot land) includes the low coastal plains, extending from sea level to about 3000ft. Weather is extremely humid, with temperatures varying from 60-120 degrees. The Tierra Templata (temperature land) extends from about 3000-6000 ft. with average temperatures of 62-70 degrees. The Tierra Friar (cold land) extends from 6000-9000 ft. with average temperatures of 53-65 degrees.

The rainy season lasts from May to October. Although sections of Southern Mexico receive about 40-60 in. of rain a year most other parts are much dryer. Rainfall averages less than 25 in. in the temperature lands about 18 in. in the cold land and less than 10 in. in the Semiarid North.

Government: 1980-Present
During the 1980s Mexico pursued an assertive hemispheric policy. In 1982Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado was elected to succeed President Lopez Portillo. By the mid 1980's a rapid increase in foreign, coupled with falling oil prices, had plunged the country into severe financial straits. Amid reports of widespread irregularities, the PRI claimed victory in congressional elections in 1985. However in that same year the added burden of a devastating earthquake, which killed 7000 kept Mexico's financial systems desolate.

Carlos Salinas De Gortari, the PRI candidate was elected president in 1988. Another thing that happened was Hurricane Gilbert devastated the Yucatan Peninsula and severely damaged the southern most parts of Texas. The overall damage estimate was about $880 million. In 1992 there was a constitutional change that abolished restrictions imposed on the Catholic Church in 1917.In December President Salinas, United States President Bush, and Prime Minister Mulroney of Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or better as NAFTA. The Mexican Legislature ratified it in 1993 and the treaty went into affect on January 1, 1994. This created the largest free trade zone in the world. By 1993, the Mexican Government had sold 80% of its industries to private investors for about $21 billion and had reduced inflation from 150%-10%.

The 1994 elections were damaged by tragedy. In March the PRI presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta, was assassinated while campaigning in Tijuana. He was replaced by his campaign manager, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce De Leon who won the election in august. In September, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, the Secretary General of the PRI assassinated as he left the meeting in Mexico City. Later another was arrested for helping in the assassination. Surprisingly enough it was Hurtado's brother, the former president of Mexico.

On December 1, 1994,Zedillo was sworn in as Mexico's President. A crisis soon followed the election. The lack of confidence in the peso caused withdraws from foreign investors. After, Mexico accepted a loan package of $52 billion. The Zedillo administration faced a broad array of economic problems throughout 1995-1996, including soaring inflation, labor unrest, a decline in investor confidence, and a prolonged recession. Zedillo worked to implement the economic austerity measures that had been a condition of the United States financial bailout and continued efforts to state owned petroleum and transportation enterprises.

In 1996 the Zedillo administration made a number of moves to forge closer ties with the United States government. In 1996 the Mexican government approved a military agreement that transferred 20 United States helicopters to the Mexican Air Force and allowed Mexican Soldiers to train at United States bases. Another plan was made so that the United States could send illegal