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Introduction

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Mexico (Spanish: México [ˈmexiko] (About this soundlisten); Nahuatl languages: Mēxihco), officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos, About this soundlisten ), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, and Tijuana.


Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of five cradles of civilization and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan (part of Mexico City), which was administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain. Three centuries later, the territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the colony's Mexican War of Independence. The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes. The Mexican–American War (1846–1848) led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, and the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century. The Porfiriato was ended by the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system as a federal, democratic republic.

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In the news

18 November 2018 – Central American migrant caravans
Hundreds of residents take to the streets in the Mexican city Tijuana, in protest of the arrival of thousands of migrants trying to get to the United States. (BBC)
31 October 2018 – Legality of cannabis, Cannabis in Mexico
A complete ban on recreational use of marijuana is ruled unconstitutional by Mexico's Supreme Court, putting the responsibility of regulating its consumption on lawmakers. (Reuters)
28 October 2018 – New International Airport for Mexico City
A nation-wide referendum called upon by Mexico's president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador results in a majority of votes for the cancellation of the new airport and in support of upgrades to the current Mexico City and Toluca airports as well as the adapting of Santa Lucía Military Base's runways for civilian aircraft use. (The Wall Street Journal)
23 October 2018 –
Hurricane Willa hits the coast of Western Mexico. It is also expected to become a nor'easter after it passes through the United States. (Boston Globe)
21 October 2018 – 2018 Pacific hurricane season
Hurricane Willa strengthens to a category 4 hurricane off the Pacific Coast of Mexico. (CBS News)
19 October 2018 – Illegal immigration to the United States
Hundreds of Central American migrants taking part in a migrant caravan to the United States clash with riot police on the Guatemala–Mexico border. (BBC)

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