AP COGO Weekly Update
Geographic Setting & Demographics
The geography makes transportation and communication difficult and infrastructure is expensive.
The nation has plentiful oil, silver and other natural resources, but Mexico has had difficulty managing resources. Mountain ranges limit large-scale commercial agriculture to irrigated fields in the north and the central area and the south produce a variety of crops on small farms.
It is the 2nd largest nation in Latin America after Brazil and is the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world.
60% of the country is 'mestizo' (people of mixed indigenous and Spanish ancestry.) About 30% of the population is descended from the indigenous people, but only 6.5% of them speak an indigenous language.
The biggest indigenous groups are the Maya in the south and the Nahuatl in the central area with 1+M in each group.
Even though Mexicans are proud of their nation's pre-Columbian roots, racial & class divides are issues.
Caudillos: Charismatic popular leaders, usually w/ a military background, who use patronage & draw upon personal loyalties to dominate a region/nation
Coup d'etat: a forceful, extra-constitutional action resulting in the removal of an existing government
Ejido: Land granted by the Mexican government to an organized group of peasants
Corporatist state: A state in which interest groups become an institutionalized part of the state structure
Civil Society: Refers to the space occupied by voluntary associations outside the state (ex. professional associations, trade unions, student & women's groups, religious bodies, other voluntary association groups)
State capitalism: An economic system that is primarily capitalistic but in which there is some degree of government ownership of the means of production
Remittances: Funds sent by migrants working abroad to family members in their home countries
Sexenio: The 6-year term in office of Mexican presidents
Anticlericalism: Opposition to the power of churches or clergy in politics
Accommodation: An informal agreement or settlement between the government and important interest groups in response to interest groups' concerns for policy or program benefits