Mexico Development Policy
Location and size of the country
Geographically, Mexico is located in the southern part of North America. It is separated from its northern neighbor, the USA, by a 3,141 km long border. In the south it meets the Central American countries Belize (250 km border) and Guatemala (963 km border). With an area of 1,972,550 km 2, Mexico is almost six times larger than Germany.
After Brazil and Argentina, Mexico is the third largest country in Latin America in terms of area. It has a coastline of 12,540 km.
Mexico is the country where most of the Spanish-speaking people live. However, Spanish has not been the only national language since 2003. With a constitutional amendment, 68 language groups of the approx. 280 indigenous languages were recognized as national languages, even though Spanish remains the official language. The most widely spoken autochthonous variants belong to the Nahuatl and Maya language groups.
As an OECD country located in North America according to itypeauto, Mexico is no longer a developing country, but an emerging country, i.e. a global development partner that should play an important role in solving regional and global challenges.
The lack of social cohesion in the country is a clear obstacle to stable, long-term development in Mexico. Political dialogue and cooperation with the European Union since 2005 have focused on strengthening regional integration and social cohesion (combating poverty, inequality and social exclusion). The aim is to create sustainable development and a balanced society. Despite the use of diverse resources and the positive economic development, it has not yet been possible to initiate far-reaching changes in the social structure of Mexico.
Construction workers on their way to work in the state of Campeche
The unequal distribution of income creates a gap, which is partly reflected in major social problems. While 10% of the poor in Mexico receive 1.3% of the income, 10% of the rich generate 36% of the income. 52 million Mexicans live in poverty, 10.4% of them even in extreme poverty. Of the 50 million active Mexicans, 31 million live in a precarious situation and cannot live on their salaries. According to the World Bank, 10% of Mexicans lived on less than one dollar a day in 2005 and thus cannot adequately cover their basic needs. 29.6 million work in the informal economy. Agriculture, on which about 30% of the population live and which only generates 4% of GDP, is in deep crisis. 10% of young people do not go to school and have no job.
The development cooperation between Germany and Mexico has focused on forward-looking topics such as climate change, environment, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The European Union’s cooperation with Mexico focuses on the following topics: justice, social development, human rights, promoting the indigenous population, youth rights and democratization.
Memories of the Chiapas uprising
Millennium Development Goals: Poverty, Poverty Reduction, etc.
Even if Mexico has been partially successful in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) since the 1990’s, the proportion of the population living below the poverty line has been increasing again since 2006. The unequal distribution of wealth continues to grow, widening the gap between rich and poor. During the global economic crisis between 2008 and 2010, the poverty of the population temporarily increased to 46.2%. According to the World Bank, the proportion of the population living in poverty is now 41.9%, the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty, i.e. less than 1.90 dollars a day, is 2 by 2016, 2% down.
Resistance in Mexico
National development efforts
Government efforts to combat poverty are coordinated in the Bienestar Ministry of Social Affairs (previously SEDESOL, Secretaria de Desarollo Social). The programs largely target the marginalized sections of the population, such as migrants, day laborers, indigenous peoples, single parents, and other disadvantaged population groups. Despite poverty reduction programs, Mexico is one of the countries in Latin America that is least successful in combating poverty.
The state sees great development potential in large-scale energy projects such as the wind energy park on the isthmus of Oaxaca. Since planning and construction were carried out without public participation and bypassed the needs of the largely rural indigenous population, public protests broke out in 2011, which ended in increased repression.
Foreign development efforts
International organizations are also strongly represented in Mexico in the field of development cooperation. Education and poverty reduction as well as environmental protection programs are on the agenda of the organizations. The main donors include organizations such as the World Bank, which presents its country strategy, the United Nations Development Program UNDP and the Inter-American Development Bank.
German and other European development and aid organizations in the country
Mexico is an important partner country for European development organizations, also for cooperation with Latin American countries. Since 2015, the focus of German development cooperation with Mexico has been on environmental and resource protection, as well as renewable energies and energy efficiency.