TODD's reflections...: MEXICO – Third amigo

Todd, an engineer by profession, has been vacationing in Mexico for many years in the Lake Chapal area, residing in the town of Ajijic. The vacations have been ‘busman’s holidays’ as Todd has worked on a public works program of cleaning the water for the population residing in the area.

Early in March, Todd will be addressing over 400 foreign dignitaries describing the work that he is doing.

Canadians should be reminded that Mexico is the third partner in NAFTA and it is far from being a s***hole country as some world leaders label countries from which they draw immigrants.

Here is a copy of the facts he will be using as a source for his talk.

Mexico – An Overview (2018)

History

1521                       The Spanish arrive-Cortez (28 years after Columbus landed in the “New World”)
1810-1821            War of Independence from Spain
1910 – 1917        Revolution (separation from the church, more land re-distribution)
1920-1930            Cristero War in Jalisco State (50,000 rebels in mountains)

Population

124 million      (In 1910 was only 15 million)
38% as large as USA (327 million pop.)
3.4 time larger than Canada (36 million pop.)

Land Area

0.763 million square miles,
20% of 3.8 mil area for Canada
3.8 mil for the USA

National Wealth (GDP)

15 in the world, next to France(#14), #2 for Latin America.  Yet 50% nation is below poverty line
World leader for manufacturer of TVs
Makes more autos that USA + Canada, combined
#1 bread company in the world – Bimbo
#2 cement company in the world – CEMEX
100,000 electronic engineers/year enter manufacturing
Every nation, less China that makes autos now has plants in Mexico

Wealth/Person

(Nominal GDP/Capita = $8200) (GDP/Capita- PPP = $18,200)
World Rank = 69 out of near 200 nations (66 based on PPP)
$8200 versus:          France-36,900,
Russia – 8,700
Lebanon -8,300,
China – 8,600,
Brazil – 8,600,
Guatemala – 4,100,
Spain – 26,600,
Latin America – 8,300,
OECD nations – 36,900,
Europe – 22,200,
World Average – 10,200,
Upper Middle World Income – 4,800,
USA – 57,600
Sierra Leone – 505 at the bottom

Lack of Corruption

106 in the world, much like West Africa nations. Corruptions is at all level of government.
Estimated portion of national budget diverted is 25-40%

Miscellaneous  (needs more prep time to organize and expand further)

Enormous inequality of wealth- Wealth of Carlos Slim = wealth of 24 million Mexicans
North America is defined as having Mexico, USA and Canada
Mexico is the 8th most visited country
70%-80% exports are to the USA
Most Spanish speakers in the world (1/3rd of the total)
#2 nation for Catholics   (83% of pop. is Catholic), Brazil in #1
Has 31 states + the Federal District (Mexico City)
Free Trade agreements with 44 nations,  60% of world market is open with no tariffs
60-70% of wastewater is not treated. Claim of “Sanitation” means only a sewer pipe

Public water

As to public water, again note deceptive labelling of regulations, Nom 127 versus Nom 201.
The 1st implies human consumption as provided by the government while the 2nd speaks to standards for commercial businesses.
For example, the level of allowable arsenic is 5 times higher in the 1st. Thus Coke, Pepsis, Danone and Nestle rule in Mexico.

Drug cartels (30,000 deaths in 2017, 5% being bystanders), and corrupt police/courts are the major challenges, courts began last year to move away from Napoleonic Code, written versus verbal court presentations. Now lawyers use loopholes to free rich criminals

Population demographics:

#1 location for USA citizens outside the USA, about 1,000,000 US citizens in Mexico

Cultural divisions: 60% Mestizos, 15% indigenous, 10-40% European (9% in 1921)

Major cities:
Mexico City – 21 mil
Guadalajara – 5 mil
Monterey – 4.5 mil
Puebla – 3 mil    By 1600 (in 80 years)

80-90% of native population disappeared due to conflict and disease

Land to the USA

Texas-1836,
Major portion of Southwest – 1848,
Gadsden Purchase 1853

National governing party changes

2000 was the year that ended the 71 year rule by the PRI party, as Vincente Fox Felipe Calderon of the PAN (right) took power for 12 yrs

PRI of today

1952 mile border with the USA

  • About 700 miles with fence/wall, plan for another 700-800
  • Most of the northern and central portion of Mexico is near a mile high
  • Most of the population lives in the central highlands of the nation – temperate climate
  • The southern portion has perhaps 80% of the water of the nation and is near all indigenous
  • #1 in the world for reptile biodiversity. You need to look down for more than the cobblestones!
  • In 2010 Mexico turned over its nuclear weapons-grade uranium to the USA
  • Terms of president & state governors are 6 yrs, state legislators are 3 years, county and city/town leaders is 3 years
  • Bottom 10% of pop. has 1.3% of the wealth while the top 10% has 36% of the wealth
  • By 2050 Mexico is expected to have the 5th largest economy in the world. The key to this movement will be the demands of those now in the 15-35 yr old age group who are world savvy due to the Internet/social media and will thus demand less corruption
  • Mexico is the 9th holder of USA debt
  • Solar potential of Mexico is #3 in the world. All challenges in Mexico should look to some use of the sun to achieve solutions.
  • Huge potential exists for export of hydroponic high valued vegetables ( 10-15 times volume of vegetables for water used)
  • For each Mexican that immigrated to the USA, there is 1 gone to Canada
  • 38 million Mexican or their descendants live in the USA (12% of US pop)
  • 10-20 flights/day to the USA with a flight to Juarez, across the river from El Paso costing just $60
  • All waterways + 5-10 meters past the edge are defined as federal property
  • Building sites in Ajijic are $600,000 to $900,000 per acre
    Building sites on the other side of the lake are $5,000 to $8,000 per acre

                todd.stong@aridgroup.com
29 Jan 2018

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