This article covers the history of Mexico.
In Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica many cultures matured into advanced civilizations such as the Olmec, the Toltec, the Teotihuacan, the Zapotec, the Maya and the Aztec before the first contact with Europeans. In 1521, Spain conquered and colonized the territory, which was administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain which would eventually become Mexico as the colony gained independence in 1821. The post-independence period was characterized by economic instability, territorial secession and civil war, including foreign intervention, two empires and two long domestic dictatorships. The latter led to the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the political system that governed the country until recent years.
After Doomsday: 1983-1984
September 25, 1983 saw strikes by Soviet missiles at several points along the U.S.-Mexican border. American military bases and missile silos, and the cities of San Diego, California; Tucson, Arizona; and El Paso, Texas; were the targets. The estimated casualties in Mexico due to the blasts and the related aftereffects of fallout, radiation, disease and starvation are 2 million people. Tijuana, Baja California Norte and Juarez, Chihuahua were not directly targeted but nevertheless greatly affected by the blasts hitting the adjacent American cities of San Diego and El Paso.
Soviet missile explosions over the United States activated an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that affected electronics, power and communications not just throughout the United States but also in all of the northern border states of Baja California Norte; Sonora; Chihuahua; Coahuila; Nuevo Leon; and Tamaulipas.
The first wind debris from the attacks on the American cities and military bases near the border arrived in Mexico in the early morning of September 26. By then, a mass exodus south out of the United States, from California to Texas, began, even as frightened Mexican nationals fled north. This caught the border and police authorities in both countries unprepared, while U.S. and Mexican authorities and civilians along the border tried to piece together just what had happened. Surviving U.S. Border Patrol agents had their hands full keeping order in their respective areas, to such an extent that they only broke from their duties to investigate rumors of Soviet spy activity at various points along the border in Arizona, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas and Texas).
The mass of refugees overflowed health services and shelters in the Mexican border cities and towns, causing several Mexican towns to order hospitals and clinics shut down, with local and national police and military shooting those who dared to challenge the authorities. Some towns used police force to organize survivors, and "good Samaritans" amongst the Mexican population tried to help refugees the best they could.
By Tuesday, September 27, the federal government had re-established contact with the governors of the six northern states and formally sent military troops to assist local and state police and medical personnel. The Red Cross joined the Catholic Church, various Protestant churches and other organizations in providing aid for the refugees, including food, clothing and medicine.
On September 28, the full scale of the catastrophe that hit America became apparent. President Miguel de la Madrid met with U.S. Ambassador John Gavin, recognizing him as the de facto representative of the United States, and began talks regarding the status of American refugees and for their care. The governors of the six Northern states ordered the evacuation of all the cities and towns within ten km of the border and the residents' resettlement in refugee camps, which made the situation locally much more chaotic.
On October 2, de La Madrid addressed the Nation regarding what the government knew of the situation and measures that had been taken thus far. Because of the situation, he said he sent an urgent bill to Congress to temporally place authority of the six northern state governments and local governments within those states under the federal government, installing Federal Delegates with wide powers to deal with the varying situations they would face, as well as placing local and state law enforcement under military control, and placing the Army along the entire border from Tijuana to the Gulf of Mexico. The bill was approved by the Federal Congress and enacted on October 3; a state of emergency for all of Mexico was also declared on October 3.
There were calls to federalize the six northern border states of Baja California Norte, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas into a unified "quarantine zone" for the millions of American survivors who crossed into Mexico; this was voted down by Congress on October 19.
During the next several days the federal government decreed the frontier open to all refugees and, with the assistance of the Red Cross, set up provisional health and refugee camps. The first effects of radioactive poisoning appeared within the local population and refugees by early October. As the region was already under the nationwide state of emergency, the Federal Delegates appointed by de la Madrid began implementing procedures government agencies had already set up in accordance with the conventions of the Red Cross.
Most residents and refugees in the areas of the northern states adjacent to the U.S. were evacuated within days of the attack, and many outside the nuked areas had returned in the subsequent weeks and months.
Nearly 8.5 million people (of which over 7 million were Americans) were quarantined until deemed healthy enough to be released into the nation and begin their new lives.
By mid-October, the Army had reoccupied all frontier checkpoints not directly in nuked zones and began to establish patrols to protect incoming refugees and locals from bandits and looters. The Federal Delegates also temporarily banned private ownership of weapons, and the Army and local police were responsible for enforcing the collection of said weapons; their greatest difficulties were with criminals and with citizens who saw confiscation of their weapons as a threat from the Federal government.
Not widely known as the time was that the government had strongly urged all media in the nation to give out only general, government-approved information on the ongoing situation. Mexico City cracked down on remaining media within the northern states and fed the national media with information from the government authorities. In the early 2000s, personal accounts from Mexican and American reporters regarding the situation in the northern states after Doomsday began to circulate in Mexican newspapers and television.
In November 1983, Chihuahua, Hermosillo and Monterrey were designated as Red Cross "hospice cities" where tens of thousands Mexican nationals and American refugees were sent for shelter and health care.
Locals in Juarez and Tijuana had tried since Doomsday to maintain their respective cities, even with the Federal order to evacuate.
The situation in Tijuana, close to San Diego, soon became so untenable that remaining survivors and residents went south to Ensenada and east to Mexicalli and San Luis Rio Colorado. A similar situation developed in Juarez, which was adjacent to El Paso. De La Madrid ordered the evacuation of remaining residents and refugees to Ciudad Chihuahua on December 26.
Control was temporarily federalized from the state governments, which continued to operate under control of the de la Madrid-appointed Federal Delegates until March 25, 1984. On that date, control was handed back to the state governments. However, Juarez and Tijuana were shut down by federal order, accessible only to military or others approved by the government itself.
The Reagan/de la Madrid meeting
Numerous flyovers of the border states indicated some type of survivor community or government in western Texas, and smaller settlements throughout the rest of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Southern California was declared to be "the aftermath of hell", but some survivors were seen in and around the Death Valley area.
In March 1984, Mexican military made radio contact with the United States government at Mount Weather, Virginia. Many Mexican nationals and American refugees were overjoyed to hear that President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush and other officials had survived; the same was true for those at Mount Weather and at Bush's headquarters at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, who had already made contact with Australia.
Reagan declined de la Madrid's offer to relocate to facilities in Mexico City, and instead agreed to meet with him in Mexico City where he would explain his reasoning and future plans.
Reagan met de la Madrid in Mexico City on May 5, 1984 with one request: for Mexico to absorb the millions of homeless Americans. The surviving officials in the federal government had concluded that America was a wasteland, and that the American refugees would be best off remaining in Mexico. De La Madrid was reportedly shocked that Reagan would choose to leave, and again offered Mexico City as a site for the American government. Reagan declined, as the decision had already been made to evacuate the federal government to Australia. De La Madrid agreed for Mexico to accept the refugees, and to receive a large portion of what remained of American resources, specifically financial and military assets, as compensation.
Other arrangements were negotiated, most notably the American homeland was to be recognized as American territory, and any survivors in the region were to be given aid and assistance, and allowed to decide for themselves whether they would be part of the U.S., independent, or join with Mexico. A couple of de la Madrid's advisors urged him to send in the military to take as much American territory as possible; others told de la Madrid that territory was likely dead, radioactive land...and a few told him he had a moral obligation to not take the territory of a people who were destroyed by a war they never started.
Perhaps still in shock over the abruptness of Doomsday, and the stark pictures from the few Mexican Air Force jets that had flown near the bombed sites near the border, de la Madrid forcefully turned down any suggestions to take any American territory. He ordered any and all aid to be given to survivors on the American side of the border, as much as possible.
He also ordered Army and AIr Force leaders to begin regular surveillance of the U.S. side of the border, for survivors who would need help and for any activities by Soviet and/or Cuban agents who may still be alive.
The first official contact with survivors was made with communities in western Texas in 1984, leading to ties between the fledging group of cities in the region and the Mexican government. With communications between Australia (the intended destination of Reagan, Vice President George Bush and others in the US Government) and Mexico still down due to the US-Soviet exchange on Doomsday, de la Madrid authorized Mexican military expeditions to other parts of the US near the quarantine zone.
Some of these expeditions were led by American Army and Marine commanders who were allowed to stay as part of the American refugee contingent, and made part of the Mexican Army. Military records released in 2005 indicate that San Diego and Los Angeles were "a death zone" filled with rubble and radioactivity; other records include a report of Mexican military ambushed by cannibal gangs in the outskirts of Phoenix and a mass suicide in a New Mexico town.
The 1985 earthquake
On September 19, 1985, an earthquake with the epicenter in Mexico City killed approximately 10,000 and destroyed over 400 buildings in the capital. This single event had a great impact on all facets of Mexican society and government with repercussions being felt years after the event.
The magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck at 7:19 central time. The complete seismic event consisted of four quakes. A pre-event quake of magnitude 5.2 occurred on May 28; the main and most powerful shock occurred on September 19, followed by aftershocks on September 20 of magnitude 7.5 and a final one on April 30, 1986 of magnitude 7.0. The quakes were located off the Mexican Pacific coast, more than 350 km away, but due to strength of the quake and the fact that Mexico City sits on an old lakebed, Mexico City suffered major damage. The event caused between three and four billion USD in damage as 412 buildings collapsed and another 3,124 were seriously damaged in the city. While the number is in dispute, the most-often cited number of deaths is about an estimated 10,000 people.
The earthquakes created many political difficulties for the then-ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) or Institutional Revolutionary Party. The crisis in and of itself would have tested the capabilities of Mexico or any wealthier country pre-Doomsday, but in the post-Doomsday environment party members from de la Madrid down to local party bosses did things to make the situation worse than it already was.
Who was helped, and how much, was determined by one's standing with the PRI; this even affected the American refugees, although humanitarian concerns led the PRI to back off of "taking" from the refugees still trying to integrate themselves into Mexican society. In regards to Mexican nationals, however, party members got preferential treatment and politicial opponents got the opposite.
In the days after the earthquake the military assisted factory owners in retrieving their machinery rather than in removing the bodies of dead factory workers. At many levels of the government, who was helped and by how much was determined by one’s standing vis-à-vis the PRI. Those belonging to the party received preference and those considered opposition received the runaround.
The government’s response to the earthquake was widely criticized throughout Mexican society, with the government seen as authoritarian and incompetent. Finally, the PRI decided it couldn't handle the crisis alone and sought help from competiting political groups. These groups took advantage of their opportunities, especially at the local, grassroots level. One of the most influential groups was the Sindicato Nacional de Costureras united to form the Coordinadora Única de Damnificados (CUD).
CUD and other popular movement representatives met with head of the Secretariat of Urban Development and Ecology (SEDUE) Guillermo Carrillo Arena on September 27 Carrillo Arena at first insisted that the movements incorporate themselves into the PRI before gaining any concessions. This was refused. Many media outlets expressed support for the popular movements and marches like that of October 2, demanding that the reconstruction process be more “democratic,” meaning the inclusion of non-PRI political organizations into the decision-making process. On October 11, the President granted a seven-minute audience to the heads of a dozen popular movements, which turned into a 45-minute meeting where de la Madrid was handed a document outlining what would remain the movements’ core demands: expropriation of all condemned buildings, followed by a “popular” and “democratic” reconstruction project which would include the active participation of the community movement. De la Madrid conceded some with the expropriation of 5,500 properties in the four most affected boroughs.
After the government created the Programa de Renovación Habitacional Popular (PRHP) on October 14 to help deal with the crisis, friction between the government and community groups grew again, PRHP used PRI-membership as a requirement to be included into the census of damnificados. More protests followed on 26 October calling for, among other things, the firing of SEDUE head Carrillo Arena. Things got worse through February 1986, mostly due to the ineffectiveness of SEDUE and PRHP. Finally Carrillo Arena was fired from SEDUE and replaced by Manuel Camacho Solís.
In March, only weeks after taking office, Camacho Solís changed the charged atmosphere between SEDUE and the community groups. He actively integrated Tlateloloco citizen groups into a new program meant for that area, defusing the most volatile area of the city. Camacho Solís continued to work to integrate and smooth relations between his agency and the community groups. On 16 May 1986, Camacho Solís met with the heads of all the major groups. He offered a commitment to build 48,000 housing units in one year if the groups would all sign a “Convenio de concertación democrática para la reconstrucción de vivienda” (Democratic agreement for the reconstruction of housing). Basically, this document required the cooperation of community groups in exchange for solid commitments from the agency. All sides would compromise in order to get something done. The convenio generally worked; movements like CUD moderated their stances and agencies like SEDUE and PRHP made progress in rebuilding housing, regardless of political affiliation.
At the time of the earthquake, Mexico was still dealing with Doomsday's drastic effects on its economy, causing serious political problems for the PRI. Much of the PRI’s authoritarian nature was tolerated because the country had seen four decades of economic expansion of six percent or better. When this disappeared, the PRI’s power base began to shrink. Its reputation was damaged further when the government seemed to be deliberately downplaying the number of earthquake victims. President de la Madrid made relatively few public appearances afterwards and during those he did, he received strong heckling, in contrast to the near-reverence that past presidents enjoyed at such events.
The severe damage in so many buildings, including many public works projects construction to house the rapidly growing population of Mexico City, were blamed on lax enforcement of building codes. Critics argued that the lack of enforcement of such codes was indicative of corrupt practices in all levels of government.
The stepping-in of non-PRI organizations to take over where the government could not also took its toll on PRI’s reputation.
West Texas and the 'refugee atrocities'
As the Mexican government struggled to reassert itself, a group of military officials angered over the "destruction" of northern Mexico by the events of Doomsday decided to use the events to cut off relations with fledgling West Texas and perhaps force the American refugees out of Mexico altogether. As the Federal government struggled to keep order throughout the nation, these military officials chose to take over military control of the region and evacuate the border entirely. They then posted forces at every possible entry point from the US into Mexico; in an infamous meeting on December 14, 1985, the military told West Texas representatives the border was being shut down permanently.
These military leaders also authorized "forceful methods" to control the American refugee population, some of which were borderline atrocities.
The end result was the temporary, official severing of relations between Mexico and West Texas.
However, after the knowledge of the military officials' actions became known to de la Madrid and other government officials, the leaders of the coup were courtmartialed, or demoted in rank and stripped of their authority. Two colonels and 17 soldiers were sentenced to life in prison after admitting to separating wives and daughters from some American refugee families and not only using them for sexual purposes, but also prostituting them out for money. The information was leaked to the Mexican media, leading to widespread outrage among the native Mexican public.
American refugees who had established themselves in the Mexican business community tried to establish relations with the nation known as West Texas, only to learn that it had officially became isolationalist.
This led to many unauthorized meetings along the border between Texans, American refugees who had settled in Mexico and Mexican nationals interested in doing business in Texas or helping the region for humanitaritan reasons. This led to the creation of an underground market, where goods were traded back and forth.
Eventually, discontent and rioting in West Texas led its government to reverse its isolationist policy in August 1986. Mexico and West Texas quickly exchanged ambassadors, and Mexican private companies began doing business with their Texan counterparts.
In 1988 a Baja California Sur senator proposed formally invading West Texas and replacing its government with one led by a puppet governor from the American refugee population; his idea was soundly rejected, especially after it was learned the idea originally came from one of the Mexican generals who had been courtmartialed in the wake of the military's actions after the 1985 earthquake.
A new capital: Mexica
In the wake of the earthquake, and with the knowledge that aid from outside Mexico would be non-existent for years, a movement began to move the capital from Mexico City. The movement gained steam, especially as the PRI saw it as an opportunity to allow both opposition parties and refugees to contribute in a tangible way; millions of jobs would be created in the construction of the capital city, and the reconstruction of Mexico City.
In 1987, Congress approved a bill that would create a new capital city. It was officially named Mexica in July 1987, a measure supported by several influential PRI leaders and by a number of popular figures. The city would be the center of a new federal capital district located in Michoacán state, carved in part from the mountains there. The site was chosen for its central location between Mexico City and Guadalajara (the largest cities in Mexico at the time), and for existing infrastructure that would allow for a quicker building, and settling, of Mexica. The city was designed by world-renowned architects from both Mexico and Brazil, using the old Aztec capital of Tenochtilan as their model. Construction began in September of 1987.
American refugees resettled
In line with the creation of Mexica, Congress also passed several bills designed to help house the estimated 9.2 million Americans living in the country who emigrated either from the United States or from Central America. Mexica and Mexico City would become the eventual destinations for many of the immigrants, but sizable American communities would also arise in Acapulco, Guadalajara, Tampico and Cabo San Lucas.
This created tensions amongst some nationals who were resentful of the PRI's alleged "pampering" of the refugees, and whom blamed the refugees for Doomsday (despite the fact that none of them could have possibly started the war). Allegations of "your war" were increasingly directed at Americans throughout the nation; in isolated incidents throughout 1987, five Americans were murdered by Mexican gangs, or individuals.
Those incidents further heightened tensions between the two groups, and on several occasions throughout 1988 the Army was called in to quell tensions in refugee camps and neighborhoods throughout the country. Radical nationalist groups were already calling for the relocation of all refugees to West Texas, and were further incensed when none of the three Presidential candidates in 1988 - Carlos Salinas of the PRI; Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of the PRD (National Democratic Front); and Manuel Clouthier of the PAN (National Action Party) - entertained their call to export all American refugees out of the country.
1988 Presidential election
Salinas won the election - the last not to involve American refugees - with 50 percent of the vote. Over the next few years, he held true to his campaign promises in several areas, and those initiatives have been credited with helping Mexico attain near economic equality with the South American nations, the ANZC and Singapore in the post-Doomsday economic world. They include:
- promoting various incentives designed to fully integrate American refugees into all aspects of Mexican life, including the business and educational sectors
- integrating surviving U.S. Navy and American civilian vessels to secure oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico
- seeking to continue to build relations with West Texas, hoping it would lead to West Texas opening itself up for business (which it did)
- reversal of the 1982 nationalization of all banks
- restoration of the nation's official relationships with the Roman Catholic Church in Rio de Janeiro
- changing land property investigation
- and his biggest initiative, negotiating a free trade agreement with Brazil, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the newly-formed United American Republic and East Caribbean Federation
Oil and the Gulf of Mexico
With the United States all but non-existent in the region, and Cuba in no shape to do anything beyond its own borders, Mexico decided to begin steps to take practical control of the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. President Reagan had ceded control of American interest in the Gulf to Mexico (or to Mexican subsidiaries of American oil companies) as one condition of Mexico accepting American refugees.
In 1984, and then again in 1986 after the nation began full recovery from the Mexico City earthquake, the government began sending out naval and coast guard forces to investigate the region. They were looking for workable drilling stations, and for signs of radiation that would hamper drilling efforts. After being elected to the Presidency, Salinas authorized the Mexican Navy to help Mexican oil companies secure the sites.
By 1989, Mexican oil companies had established or re-established presences in the western half of the Gulf of Mexico, most of the oil was targeted for domestic and military use, with civilians being urged to conserve as much oil as possible, through such measures as carpools and increased use of public transportation. Mexico also looked to its native and refugee engineers to begin research and development of engines that would provide increased fuel mileage, as well as alternative fuels.
Limited sales to the East Caribbean Federation and Puerto Rico had resumed.
The Air Force also began regular, and limited, flyovers of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alabama, leading to discoveries of survivor towns and villages in each state. Flyovers of the western, midwestern, southeastern and northeastern U.S. were scrapped by politicians and military leaders, obstensibly out of concern of conserving fuel and jets. This decision remains hotly debated to the present day, most notably because it is believed that the U.S. survivor states discovered in the 1990s and 2000s would have been discovered by the mid-1990s if the Mexican military had been allowed to extend its search perimeters to the entire U.S.
The Yucatan and Chiapas uprisings
Doomsday led to an influx of refugees into Yucatán and Chiapas from Central American nations undergoing chaotic changes in the wake of the Third World War. Indigenous groups within the two Mexican states were unhappy over the government's perceived incompetence in stemming the refugee surge and its inability to stem the rapidly failing local economy. They saw the chaos as their best chance for Yucatan and Chiapas to separate from Mexico and form their own nations.
Increased protests, and uprisings led President de la Madrid to send Army troops into Chiapas and Yucatan on May 10, 1987. His action is recognized as the unofficial start of the "Yucatan War", the beginning of years of conflict in the region that ultimately would lead to the secession of the Yucatan into a socialist republic and the eventual loss of influence for the long-ruling PRI.
1990s: The refugee riots, and the Torreon accords
Political and cultural tension from Mexican nationals in regards to the refugees began to create tension after the 1985 earthquake. Tensions gradually built up, and cumulated with riots in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tampico and Acapulco by both nationals and refugees in the spring and summer of 1991.
President Carlos Salinas - already facing fierce resistance from all parties after his aborted attempt to shut down Mexico City's largest refinery to combat air pollution - spearheaded several meetings with refugee and party leaders for two purposes: stop the violence and peacefully integrate Americans into Mexican society, once and for all.
On September 24, 1991, the "Torreon Accords" were signed by Salinas, ranking government leaders, and the recognized leaders of the refugee community in the public and private sector. One of the leaders was George W. Bush, the son of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
To this end, several neighborhoods in and around Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tampico and Acapulco were formally nationalized and set aside for American refugee settlement (formalizing what had gone on for the past several years). Several government initiatives in regards to employment, ownership of homes, educational opportunities and funding to start businesses were proposed and passed by Congress. Most importantly, refugees were given the status of dual citizenship - as if they were both full Mexican citizens and f full American citizens (this would be revisited, and revised, in 2002).
Refugees who wanted to relocate to Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand or to West Texas would be allowed to do so; only 20,000 people accepted that offer. The vast majority of refugees who still remained in Mexico chose to stay and continue to build their new lives in Mexico.
Construction of the new capital begins
In January, 1990, the first groups of civilians were moved into Mexica, the new capital city of Mexico; population figures would rise quickly and steadily over the next decade, topping out at over a million in 2001.
Also in 1990, fifteen former Americans, all representing refugee groups in various cities, were elected by those constituencies to Congress. And, in May, July 4th was designated a national holiday - Day of the Survivors, Día de los Sobrevivientes - in honor of the refugees.
A proposed new constitution, including the creation of the position of Governor General as a balance to presidential power, and with the two major parties (PAN and PRD) alternating both positions every four years, was not approved. Party leaders and other influential government officials decide to move towards adopting a U.S.-style government, with significant resistance from Mexican nationals concerned about the perceived increasing "Americanization" of Mexico.
The Yucatan War
The war that came to become known as "Mexico's Vietnam" began in earnest on February 9, 1988, when insurgents launched a series of guerrilla attacks on Army troops throughout Yucatan, killing 15 soldiers and injuring 11 more.
Over the next several years, the Mexican Army - helped by efforts amongst the American refugees to be peaceful despite ongoing tension surrounding their presence, and by the northern states ably patrolling the US border - sent much of its forces into Mexico's southern states and particularly Yucatan.
Aided by outside assistance in weapons and manpower, the insurgents eventually took de facto control of the state in 1992; as more and more Mexican soldiers died in the never-ending conflict, public opinion amongst Mexicans gradually shifted from support for overthrowing the resurgents to leaving Yucatan to fend for itself.
Salinas himself changed his opinion from winning the war at all costs to negotiating with the insurgents, but was opposed by military leaders the entire way. Similarities between Yucatan and American involvement in Vietnam, and pundits and experts alike began to predict a similar fate for the Mexican military. Conflicts between the President, the Congress and the military hampered efforts to fight the war, and eventually led to the insurgents permanently gaining the upper hand over the Mexican military.
Only when it became clear that the military was clearly losing the war and that nothing short of a nuclear bombing would defeat the insurgents, did the politicians and military finally agree on something: the military's gradual withdrawal from the region.
On October 18, 1993, a ceasefire was called.
Yucatan formally declared itself as the Republic of Yucatan the next day and received its first ambassador - from Nicaragua - on October 30. On November 9, Mexican President Salinas and Yucatan independence leaders signed a treaty bringing an end to the war and giving Mexico's formal sanction to the creation of a Yucatan Republic. Mexico formally recognized the new nation on November 21.
Dia del Norte
On October 1, 1993, after much debate, Mexico ordered the cities of Tijuana, Laredo and towns located near targeted areas on the U.S. side of the border officially abandoned for 20 years. The government declared the day an official holiday, know as Dia del Norte (Day of the North).
The day took on additional significance for the residents of the abandoned areas and for Mexicans who had relatives and friends killed on Doomsday. Workers were given the day off nationwide in all non-essential industries, and tributes to the abandoned cities and to Mexicans killed on Doomsday were played all day on television and radio. The American refugees were not forgotten, as they were honored by President Salinas, and the major networks emphasized the human side of the tragedy when talking about the refugees.
That evening, Mexico's national football team played Australia in a friendly match in Monterrey Stadium, a place where some of the dead from Doomsday were housed 10 years earlier. The match raised 1,500,000 pesos for refugee relief.
Monterrey became the largest city in the north, but the relocation of refugees to Chihuahua, Victoria and La Paz was advantageous to sparking the giant growth of those cities into de facto replacements for the abandoned metropolises.
1994 Presidential election
Ernesto Zedillo won the Mexican presidential election in 1994, perhaps more from the efforts of outgoing President Salinas than his own efforts.
Zedillo served as the campaign manager for Luis Donaldo Colosio, the PRI candidate for the impending 1994 Presidential election. Colosio had advocated open talks with the nationalists fighting Mexico in the Yucatan War and with representatives of the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, both which were opposed by the PRI and by then-President Salinas, putting
Colosio was assassinated in 1994; Salinas appointed Zedillo as the party's candidate. After winning the election (admit protests from the PAN, which increasingly was targeting the strengthening American population), Zedillo moved to send troops into Chiapas to put down the Zapatista Army. He also oversaw political and electoral reforms that reduced the PRI's influence, and oversaw the establishment of the IFE (Instituto Federal Electoral, or Federal Electoral Institute); the IFE, overseen by nationals and refugees, was given the authority to oversee elections at all levels and to ensure they were conducted legally and fairly.
The end of one era, and the beginning of another
On May 1, 1995, the official U.S. Government in Canberra came to an end after 219 years. Flags were flown at half-mast all over Mexico.
On September 16, 1995, almost exactly ten years after the Mexico City earthquake, work in Mexica was formally completed. The full move of the government into Mexica had been postponed during the Yucatan War.
The federal district of Mexico City was absorbed into Mexico State and the new federal capital district of Mexica was named the Distrito Capital Federal (DCF).
2000 Presidential election
Vicente Fox - garnering support from the American refugee population - won as the candidate of a group representing the National Action Party, the Green Party and the Liberty Party (a political party made up of moderate and liberal ex-Americans). It ended the PDI's decades-long grip on the Presidency.
In 2001, the military began exploration of the former U.S. states of Arizona and New Mexico, reporting contact with Dinetah scouts 45 km northwest of former Albuquerque and intermittent contact with wanderers and squatters throughout the state. Limited exploration was also made of bombed areas, notably missile bases in Arizona and the cities of Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque. The survivor cities of Prescott, Arizona and Silver City, New Mexico were discovered during this time.
Some members of the American caucus in the Mexican House and Senate began to push for Mexican membership in the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand. The impracticality of such a merger was not lost on the Senators and Representatives, who wanted to try to pull Mexico closer to the ANZC instead of the more logical South American sphere of influence. This would eventually led to Mexico acting as a neutral party of sorts between the two new global superpowers.
The Mexican Army set up a demilitarized zone (DMZ) around the borders of the rogue city-state Dos Laredos, which by the 2000s had become ungovernable. The decision by the Mexican government to isolate the city-state and send in only basic items was and remains a point of controversy among the public.
Felipe Calderon won the 2006 Presidential election. Michael Williams, an American refugee from Arizona living in Guadalajara, ran as the candidate of the Conservative Party and got 4 percent of the overall vote nationwide.
In 2007, Calderon visited the countries of Brazil, the United American Republic, Colombia and Chile, and followed up with a visit to Canberra, Australia in 2008. During his visit to Canberra, Calderon emphasized that Mexico was "friends of the ANZC, South America, the United States and the entire world".
His discussions with ANZC and South American leaders proved helpful in the off-the-record discussions that helped form the League of Nations. When that body was formed, Mexico was one of the charter members.
Later in 2008, some northern Congressmen and state officials began to push for repopulation of the destroyed cities of Juarez and Tijuana, despite scientists' insistence that the area would not be fit for human habitation for at least another 40-50 years.
On September 16, 2008, riots triggered by right-wing extremists erupted across the country on Independence Day. The extremists used the situation to call for an end to immigration and closing the borders at Istmo-Chiapas and Yucatán. The "México Primero" party was formed with two dozen Catholic defectors from the PAN already in Congress. They demanded the annexation of all Central American states, the creation of reservations for all "Indian insurgents" and for Catholicism to be made the official religion.
In April 2009, after months of killings and kidnappings by the MP Camisas Doradas (Gold Shirts), five million people marched on Mexica, Mexico City and other major Mexican cities in protest of the MP Party and demand it be disbanded and its leaders arrested. The "Good Friday Riots" resulted in the death of two MP Deputies, Ricardo Sullivan and Marco Antonio Cavuto on the streets of the capital. Several MP leaders escaped to Cuba with the help of leaders within the Mexican Catholic church. Many of the other leaders were captured and arrested. The few that escaped authorities were all captured by the end of the year.
In 2010, Calderon gave his support for the reformation of the Republic of Texas, and pledged increased Mexican aid for survivor states in the former United States (a move decried by MP representatives in Cuba).
In response to a group of western American states proclaiming themselves to be the continuation of the United States, Calderon said Mexico "respects" that country as a "separate entity" but still recognizes the American Provisional Administration as the bona fide continuation of the U.S. government.
Mexican Air Force units destroyed cocaine fields in nearby Belize and Costa Rica in June, and Mexican Naval forces continued to fight private vessels ferrying drugs from Colombia to Mexican territory along the Gulf of Mexico throughout 2010.
Calderon's "War on Drugs", begun at the start of his administration, came under scrutiny at the end of 2010 after a series of media reports focused on a Mexican Army report released in October.
The report focused on the Mexican military's ongoing attempts to eliminate facilities throughout Mexico used by Mexican and Central American drug cartels to supply illegal drugs for the Mexican and South American markets. It acknowledged success in destroying drug fields and labs in northern and central Mexico and limited success in destroying similar facilities in southern Mexico and along the Mexican/Yucatan border. The report made a number of recommendations, among them weighing the bombing of facilities in southern Mexico, Yucatan, El Salvador and Guatemala run by the cartels against the potential for that leading to a regional war.