The Temple of Warriors at Chichen Itza, Mexico

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LocationSouthern portion of North America

Mexico (Spanish: México [ˈmexiko] (listen); Nahuan languages: Mēxihco), officially the United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos; EUM [esˈtaðos uˈniðoz mexiˈkanos] (listen), lit.'Mexican United States'), 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. Mexico covers 1,972,550 square kilometers (761,610 sq mi), making it the world's 13th-largest country by area; with approximately 126,014,024 inhabitants, it is the 10th-most-populous country and has the most Spanish-speakers. Mexico is organized as a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.

Pre-Columbian Mexico traces its origins to 8,000 BC and is identified as one of the six cradles of civilization; it was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations, most notably the Maya and the Aztecs. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the region from its base in Mexico City, establishing the colony of New Spain. The Catholic Church played an important role in spreading Christianity and the Spanish language, while also preserving some indigenous elements. Native populations were subjugated and heavily exploited to mine rich deposits of precious metals, which contributed to Spain's status as a major world power for the next three centuries, and to a massive influx of wealth and a price revolution in Western Europe. Over time, a distinct Mexican identity formed, based on a fusion of European and indigenous customs; this contributed to the successful Mexican War of Independence against Spain in 1821. (Full article...)

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Approximate location of the Republic of Fredonia

The Fredonian Rebellion (December 21, 1826 – January 23, 1827) was the first attempt by Anglo settlers in Texas to secede from Mexico. The settlers, led by Empresario Haden Edwards, declared independence from Mexican Texas and created the Republic of Fredonia near Nacogdoches. The short-lived republic encompassed the land the Mexican government had granted to Edwards in 1825 and included areas that had been previously settled. Edwards's actions soon alienated the established residents, and the increasing hostilities between them and settlers recruited by Edwards led Victor Blanco of the Mexican government to revoke Edwards's contract.

In late December 1826, a group of Edwards's supporters took control of the region by arresting and removing from office several municipality officials affiliated with the established residents. Supporters declared their independence from Mexico. Although the nearby Cherokee tribe initially signed a treaty to support the new republic because a prior agreement with the Mexican government negotiated by Chief Richard Fields was ignored, overtures from Mexican authorities and respected Empresario Stephen F. Austin convinced tribal leaders to repudiate the rebellion. On January 31, 1827, a force of over 100 Mexican soldiers and 275 Texian Militia marched into Nacogdoches to restore order. Haden Edwards and his brother Benjamin Edwards fled to the United States. Chief Richard Fields was killed by his own tribe. A local merchant was arrested and sentenced to death but later paroled. (Full article...)

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Collage of the Mexican Revolution

The Mexican Revolution (Spanish: Revolución Mexicana, 1910–1920) was a major revolution that included a sequence of armed regional struggles that transformed Mexican culture and government. Although the regime of President Porfirio Díaz was increasingly unpopular after 31 years, there was no foreboding that a revolution was about to break out in 1910. The regime failed to find a controlled solution to the issue of presidential succession, resulting in a power struggle among competing elites, and elites and the middle classes that sometimes involved the "masses". This provided the opportunity in some places for agrarian insurrection, most prominently in Morelos under Emiliano Zapata.

The sparking event was the 1910 presidential election. Díaz had initially said he would not run again for election, setting off a flurry of political activity, but he then reneged and ran again at age 80. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz and gained considerable popular support. The election, however, was rigged in Díaz's favor, and after he won, Madero called for an armed revolt in the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict broke out in earnest in November 1910 starting in northern Mexico, led by Madero, Pascual Orozco and Pancho Villa. These Maderista forces received support from portions of the middle class, the peasantry, and organized labor, enabling them to pursue a military campaign in the north, ending with Orozco's capture of Ciudad Juárez in May 1911. Díaz was forced out of office by the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez in which he resigned and went into exile, new elections were scheduled for the fall, and Francisco León de la Barra became the interim president. Madero's advisers warned against allowing the old regime to linger in power, since the revolutionaries had won the contest against it in armed combat. Madero ignored them and the elections took place in October 1911 in a free and fair vote. Madero overwhelmingly won the presidential contest and took office in November. He won a political victory, coming to power via the constitutional process, but he did not make revolutionary changes. (Full article...)

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"Así Fue" is a song written and produced by Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel and performed by Spanish singer Isabel Pantoja. It was released in 1988 as the second single from her studio album Desde Andalucía. The song tells of the singer dealing with her ex-lover after she has a new fiancé. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in the United States and was the fifth best-performing Latin single of 1989 in the country. Nine years later, Juan Gabriel performed a live cover version of the song at the Palacio de Bellas Artes which was recorded and released as a live album titled Celebrando 25 Años de Juan Gabriel: En Concierto en el Palacio de Bellas Artes (1998).

Juan Gabriel's cover was released as a single from the record and reached number three on the Hot Latin Songs. It was the best-performing Latin single of 1998 in the US and won the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Latin Award for "Super Song of the Year" in 1999. The track was well-received by music critics who called it one of Juan Gabriel's best compositions. "Así Fue" was recorded by other artists including Toño Rosario, Playa Limbo, and Jenni Rivera. Rosario and Playa Limbo's version led to Juan Gabriel winning an ASCAP Latin Award for their renditions while Playa Limbo received a nomination for Pop Song of the Year at the 22nd Annual Lo Nuestro Awards in 2010. (Full article...)

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Presidential portrait currently hanging in the Chapultepec Castle

Francisco Ignacio Madero González (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈsisko iɣˈnasjo maˈðeɾo ɣonˈsales]; 30 October 1873 – 22 February 19 13) was a Mexican landowner, reformist, writer and statesman, who became the 37th president of Mexico from 1911 until he was forced to resign in a rightwing coup d'etat in February 1913, during which he was assassinated. A member of a large and extremely wealthy landowning family in the northern state of Coahuila. Despite his wealth, he was an advocate for social justice and democracy. Madero was notable for challenging long-time President Porfirio Díaz for the presidency in 1910 and being instrumental in sparking the Mexican Revolution. Following his being jailed before fraudulent elections in the summer of 1910, he called for the violent overthrow of Díaz as a last resort in his 1910 Plan of San Luis Potosí. Histories of Mexico date the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution to this plan.

Until he ran for president in the 1910 elections, he had never held office, but he authored the book entitled The Presidential Succession in 1910, (1908). Madero called on voters to prevent the sixth reelection of Porfirio Díaz, which Madero considered anti-democratic. His vision would lay the help lay foundation for a democratic, twentieth-century Mexico, attempting to do so without polarizing the social classes. He bankrolled the opposition Anti-Reelectionist Party and urged voters to oust Díaz in the 1910 election. Madero's candidacy against Díaz garnered widespread support in Mexico. He was possessed of independent financial means, ideological determination, and the bravery to oppose Díaz when it was dangerous to do so. Díaz had Madero arrested before the elections, which were then seen as illegitimate. Madero escaped from prison and issued the Plan of San Luis Potosí from the United States. For the first time, he called for an armed uprising against the illegitimately elected Díaz, and outlined a program of reform. (Full article...)

In the news

19 September 2021 – Mexico–United States border crisis
The United States closes the Mexico–US border near the Texas city of Del Rio after thousands of Haitian migrants arrived at the International Bridge near the city. The U.S. will also begin flying the migrants back to Haiti. (AP)
14 September 2021 – Mexican drug war
A Mexican court sentences Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, a former leader of the Juárez drug cartel, to 28 years in prison on the charges of organized crime and drug trafficking. (AFP via RFI)
10 September 2021 – 2021 Guerrero earthquake
A landslide occurs at Tlalnepantla, State of Mexico, on the hill known as Cerro del Chiquihuite, killing one person and leaving three more missing. It is said that the landslide was triggered by the earthquake in Guerrero three days earlier, which weakened soil conditions on the hill. (U.S. News & World Report) (ABC News)
7 September 2021 – 2021 Guerrero earthquake
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck just outside the tourist city of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, killing at least one person and leaving more than 1.6 million without electricity. (Reuters) (The Guardian)
7 September 2021 – Abortion in Mexico
In a unanimous vote, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation rules that criminalizing abortion is unconstitutional, setting a precedent for the legalization of abortion. (The New York Times)
6 September 2021 –
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announces that the historic Monument to Christopher Columbus in Paseo de la Reforma will be permanently replaced by a statue of a woman from the indigenous Olmec civilization. Sheinbaum says that the move is not an attempt to "erase history" but to instead deliver "social justice". The Columbus statue is reportedly being moved to a small park in the Polanco neighborhood. (BBC) (USA Today)

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In Mexican cuisine, Menudo, also known as pancita ([little] gut or [little] stomach) or mole de panza ("stomach sauce"), is a traditional Mexican soup, made with cow's stomach (tripe) in broth with a red chili pepper base. Hominy, lime, onions, and oregano are used to season the broth. (Full article...)

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