Mexico: Geography, GDP, Education, Poverty And Criminal Justice System

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Looking at North America from a map, you will find that there is a country directly under the United States of America which is Mexico. Mexico has a huge land mass covering the southern region of North America and a portion of Central America with an approximate total population of 125,959,205 million people living there. Mexico is made up of different ethnicities, they consist of mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 62%, predominantly Amerindian 21%, Amerindian 7%, other 10% (mostly European) (2012 est.) Roman Catholic 82.7%, Pentecostal 1.6%, Jehovah’s Witness 1.4%, other Evangelical Churches 5%, other 1.9%, none 4.7%,1134168555521 unspecified 2.7% (2010 est.) Central Intelligence Agency. “Mexico.” HYPERLINK ‘’ Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2018. “ According to ‘The Coast of Mexico, 2002.’ The main industries located in the coastal and marine zones are oil and gas, fisheries, tourism, maritime transportation and ports, chemical industries, and minerals. Mexico is a very prolific country when it comes to natural goods.908050632364

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Mexico was worth 1149.92 billion US dollars in 2017. The GDP value of Mexico represents 1.85 percent of the world economy. GDP in Mexico averaged 434.76 USD Billion from 1960 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 1314.39 USD Billion in 2014 and a record low of 13.04 USD Billion in 1960, according to ‘Mexico GDP, 1960-2018.” Mexico has a sizable GDP of about $1.283 trillion. All things considered, Mexico’s GDP per capita or per individual is $14,000. This information tells us that there is a sizable wealth hole in the Mexican nation with rich and poor. Trade is significant for Mexico’s economy; the combined value of exports and imports equals 78 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 1.0 percent. Non-tariff barriers impede some trade. In general, government policies do not significantly interfere with foreign investment. Despite the challenging global environment, the financial sector has become more competitive and open. Banking remains relatively stable, and foreign participation has grown rapidly. (“Mexico Economy: Facts, Population,” 2018)

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In Mexico, the government divides the basic school into three levels which are primary school also known as primary, middle education, secondary education, vocational education, and tertiary education. Primary school is usually from grades 1-6, and the children are from 6 to 12 years of age. The Mexican Government declared that basic education was a vital need in children lives, so they made it free of charge. Children start in preschool and vary from ages 3 to 5 and are there for 3 years. The third year is considered their kindergarten year. Elementary school consists of grades 1 – 6. Spanish, mathematics, natural sciences, history, geography, art, and physical education are the subjects that are mandated by the SEP that standardizes their curriculum. Middle education, lower-secondary education, or education Secundaria is divided into grades 7-9.

Education is usually free when they are attending state schools. When attending lower-secondary school, students pick to go down either of 2 tracks, an academic track or a technical track. Students that are on academic track usually go on to upper-secondary school. Secondary education, upper secondary education, or preparatory is the second step of the secondary school process. Students that attend this level are in grades 10-12. Attendance depends on institutional policies, and most of these schools are well connected with large public universities. Others are more in touch with controlled and private colleges. In this school, there are two tracks to go down, the academic track or the professional technical track. In the academic track, they provide a general curriculum for the first 2 years of study and more specialized studies in the final year that they are there. In the professional technical track, they provide students with training that prepares them for work right after they are done with school. This track consists of basic education and professional classes in the students chosen field of study. Vocational Education is usually offered at Professional Technical Institutions after students complete lower secondary education.

Poverty in Mexico is at an all-time high and since 2006, levels of poverty have been growing. In the country, around 10 million people have to face the struggles of hardship on a daily basis. Some states are poorer than others, and the top 3 states that are the poorest are Chiapas, Guerrero, and Puebla. Children are affected the most by this. There are almost 20 million children living in poverty and there are around 4 million that live in extreme poverty conditions, according to Fusion. The average Mexican worker makes about $14 a day, and about 25% of the companies that have workers are underemployed. In rural areas, the salary is 3 to 4 times less than of someone in a more urban area. On the other hand, drug and cartel wars are something that many are thinking is the fuel to poverty. Mexico is a country that has a huge wealth gap between the rich and the poor, where the richest people are only getting richer and the poor are staying there because there is no way to dig out of the hole they are in. Mexico’s economic freedom score is 64.8, making its economy the 63rd freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 1.2 points, with improvements in trade freedom, investment freedom, and fiscal health outpacing declines in business freedom and government integrity. Mexico is ranked 12th among 32 countries in the Americas region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages. Mexico’s economic freedom score is 64.8, making its economy the 63rd freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 1.2 points, with improvements in trade freedom, investment freedom, and fiscal health outpacing declines in business freedom and government integrity. Mexico is ranked 12th among 32 countries in the Americas region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages. Mexico’s $2 trillion economies have quadrupled in size since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The government continues to emphasize economic restructuring, passing and implementing, for example, sweeping energy, financial, fiscal, and telecommunications reform legislation with the long-term aim of improving competitiveness and economic growth across the economy. Growth is constrained by lower oil production, weak oil prices, low productivity, a still-large informal sector that employs over half of the workforce, weak rule of law, and corruption. The top individual income tax rate is 35 percent, and the corporate tax rate is 30 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden equals 17.4 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 27.0 percent of total output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 3.8 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 58.1 percent of GDP. (“Mexico Economy: Facts, Population,” 2018.)

Mexico or formally known as the United Mexican States was once controlled by the local individuals and Spanish conquerors. It was kept running in a hierarchal, dictator, and brought together with style. Mexico originally turned into a free nation in 1821 and the primary head of the land was Agustin de Iturbide. In 1821, Mexico got their independence and from that point forward, numerous constitutions have been made. The President is the leader of the state and the legislature, and also the president of the military powers. The President is also responsible for authorizing the law and making sure everything remains in tack, and veto bills. The President is chosen and is in office for 6 years, and can just serve 1 term. The Mexican lawmaking body is the bicameral Congress of the Union, made out of a lower house called the Chamber of Deputies and an upper house called the Senate of the Republic. The Congress makes government law, pronounces war, implement charges, keeps in mind the national spending plan and worldly settlements, and sanctions strategic arrangements.

The Senate is made up of 128 congresspersons. Of these, 64 senators (two for each state) are chosen by majority vote in sets – 32 legislators are the principal minority or first-sprinter up (one for each state) – and 32 are chosen by relative portrayal from national shut gathering records. Decisions to the Senate are held at regular intervals, each such race agreeing on the race to the Presidency. The Federal Electoral Institute, which was made in 1990, has finish command over races. In 1996, it accomplished more freedom when it turned into an office outside government whose 9 individuals are chosen by Congress.

There are 3 major political parties in Mexico, The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), The National Action Party (PAN), and The National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) (“A Short Guide to the Mexican Political System,” 2018.) The Institutional Revolutionary Party and was created in 1929 under President Plutarco Elías Calles who was president from 1924-1928. The National Action Party was founded in 1939. The National Regeneration Movement was founded in 2014 and was a movement to empower “Morenas” or darker colored Mexicans.

Mexico has had a history of criminal justice systems they have had intact and the first one was really different from the United States. Before 2008, The Mexican government was unsystematized and lacked clear information which made it hard for a new system that has been introduced in 2008 to operate to its full potential. Mexican authorities are thinking it might take 11 more years for the new system to be fully operational. Before the reforms, Mexico was based on a mixed inquisitorial system. Police were very committed to crime prevention, instead of investigation. Prosecutors were to question and investigate witnesses, also filed and prosecuted cases. Cases were decided from affidavits that were based on a judge. Cross-examination was rare. But in 2008, Mexico decided to undertake a huge reform in its criminal justice system, and over the next decade, the government has undertaken some serious moves to dramatically improve public security and administration of justice. The current system is now an adversarial system, similar to the United States. Mexican authorities want to cut down the high amounts of impunity and corruption that is going on today in the country. The reforms include big changes in the way Mexico does their criminal procedures, and there are new measures to gift victims a more likely chance of justice where there was once little to no help for survivors.

Organized crime is a huge part of Mexico, it is home to some of the most wanted, notorious, and violent drug kings in the world. Mexico’s long history of drug smuggling has affected many parts of the world and has become a regional threat, and the cartels have been able to thrive because its neighbor has one of the most powerful economies in the world. Smuggling has been detected from Argentina to Canada, and also in some parts of Europe. Dealers usually smuggle74435660960 illegal drugs, arms, and humans. The people who keep these businesses thriving are usually a part of a cartel. Cartels have become so experienced with smuggling and also protecting themselves from other cartels and the local government, therefore Mexico has tried to speed up their efforts to take them down. (“Mexico Profile,” 2017.)

There have been rising murders in Mexico. Assassinations of journalists and media personnel have continued and it is scaring citizens. Drug-trafficking related violence has been adequately punctuated by beheadings, public hanging of dead bodies, murders of journalists, car bombs and murders of government officials. Over time, cartels evolved into other illicit activities like extortion, auto theft, kidnappings, human smuggling, and oil smuggling. Drug traffickers still own and control most of the Mexican land. In 2017, the government reported that there were 29,000 intentional homicides. Based on the chart, since 2006 the numbers have been rising tremendously.

Organized crime is viewed as a changing and adaptable phenomenon. Huge numbers of the advantages of globalization, for example, simpler and quicker correspondence, development of accounts and worldwide travel, have made open doors for transnational organized criminal gatherings to prosper, enhance and grow their exercises. Traditional, regional-based criminal groups have developed or have been partially replaced by little and more adaptable systems with branches over a few locales. Over the span of an examination, unfortunate deaths, suspects, organized criminal groups and continues doing crime might be located in many States. Also, all crimes influence all States, regardless of whether as nations of supply, travel or demand. Present-day organized crimes establish a worldwide test that must be met with a purposeful, worldwide reaction. Mexico is suffering so much from organized crime and it has scared many from taking positions that will help or better the country. Police are having a shortage in Mexico with 116,000 positions unfilled. Cartels are scaring people by killing leaders, making it hard for anyone to want to join the government forces. Mexico only has half of the positions filled. Low pay is another reason why people are not willing to join, earning $460 a month. (“Mexico is Suffering From Its Bloodiest Year Yet,” 2018.) “Who would want to be on the front line against the drug cartels if there is no professional career or sufficient payment or support for them and for their families? That’s the reason local governments are relying on the Mexican army to be in the streets right now,’ says Geraldo Rodriguez, a professor in security. Ever since major drug kingpins have been arrested issue with crime in Mexico is the drug trafficking has evolved. There are now smaller subdivision gangs that are terrorizing cities across Mexico. Many gangs extort trains and rob money from civilians, making it hard to live an everyday life in their hometowns. There has been another popular trend in Mexico with the illegal extraction of oil. They say a pipeline is illegally tapped somewhere in the country every 90 minutes. People “milk” oil, transport it and resell it, giving jobs and implicating gigantic numbers of people in criminal networks in the process. (“Mexico is Suffering From Its Bloodiest Year Yet,” 2018.)

The United States and Mexico’s education system is very similar to each other.

Education in Mexico and U.S. Mexico United States

Core Classes Spanish Language Arts


Universal History




Intro. to Physics and Chemistry

Foreign Language English Language Arts




Physical Education

Elective Classes Art

Physical Education

Technology Technology

Culinary Arts


Foreign Languages



Although Mexico differs from the United States in how they grade. The United States is on a letter system ranging from A-F. Mexico is on a number system ranging from 10 to 5, with 5 meaning you failed the course. Both countries have Public and Private schools, the United States just includes charter schools and homeschooling as well.

Mexican culture is still vibrant until this day. In the homelands of Mexico and also traveling to other countries south of the border and north of the border. In the United States, we see a lot of Mexican cultures. An interview was done on a website called Quora about immigrants who’ve experienced Mexican culture in both Mexico and the United States. Douglas Whiteside stated that “Both Mexico and the U.S. have a very vibrant entertainment industry and culture. While the U.S. produces movies and television shows that are seen the world over, Mexico produces some of the most popular movies and TV shows for Latin America. And the people who star in them are, just like in the U.S., objects of interest and subjects of a great many gossip shows. Mexico also prides itself on its independence and the freedom of its population; just like the U.S. Mexico is also similar to the U.S. in that a lot of its citizens are skeptical of the government and generally support less government interference and intrusion. Still, Mexico has a good interstate highway system and a modern, federally funded air travel infrastructure. Lastly, Mexico enjoys a great many of the same consumer choices available in the U.S. For example, when I lived in the U.S., I drove a few blocks to the closest Walmart to do my grocery shopping. Here in Mexico, I do exactly the same; drive a few blocks and get my groceries at Walmart. There is also a Home Depot store not far from where I live. And a very nice shopping mall with many of the same stores you would see in any mall in the U.S.” Whiteside also stated that “the differences are The predominant language spoken in the two countries is obviously different. But I think the main cultural difference between the U.S. and Mexico has to do with family. In Mexico, family relationships are the absolute most important relationships anyone has. It is not at all uncommon for extended families to have lived in the same area for several generations. In fact, you can often find three generations of a family living in the same house. Mexican’s typically work longer hours than their U.S. counterparts, however; they also generally stress less overwork. They work the hours necessary then leave work and relax. And they way they relax is often at a party. Birthdays, weddings, holidays and sometimes “just because” are all great reasons to throw a party. The best ones don’t end until the sun comes up. While Mexican’s share a similarly skeptical view of government with many U.S. voters, that doesn’t mean that Mexico is heartless when it comes to the less fortunate. The Mexican government does not provide much of a social safety net but, it does make healthcare available to everyone at little to no cost. All in all, there are far more similarities between the U.S. and Mexico than there are differences. And there is no doubt that the U.S., historically at least, offers more opportunity for ordinary citizens to make a good living and a decent wage. But, there are many things about Mexico that make it a great place to live, particularly for a U.S. citizen with retirement or other stable income.”

Mexico is a thriving country connecting Central America to the United States. It is a country still needing to grow, and it has put forth the effort to do so. Education in Mexico is similar to the United States where they have preschool, elementary, middle, and high schools, and also public and private colleges. In Mexico, preschool is mandatory requiring all children to go to school. Poverty in Mexico is at an all-time high, where certain states like Chiapas is one of the poorest. Mexico’s criminal justice system has gone through quite a bit. Importantly, the Mexican government proposed reforms in 2008 to better the criminal justice system in Mexico to bring justice to victims of organized crime and cartel violence. Although this is a challenge, they are hoping that in 11 more years they will see a turn around in the country where the government has control of the towns in Mexico like they once had before.

In conclusion, Mexico is still a corrupted country with a lot of problems. their main problem seems to be the violence that happens in the country and also in the neighboring countries south of the border. Mexico has the potential to be a country of way more value than killing. Mexican education system is also something that can be improved. I believe it is going in the right direction with not enough resources. Organized crime is taking over he country and is at an all time high where government officials and journalists are being assassinated leaving hundreds of thousands of people scared of the violence that occurs in their communities. Its amazing how Mexico and the United States are so similar, yet have different outcomes.


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