POPULATION:
98,765,589

LITERACY RATE:
77%
SELF DEFENSE FORCES:
Fuerza Aerea Mexicana (FAM)(army), Armada de Mexico (ARM)(navy, includes Naval Air Force (FAN) and Marines)
LANGUAGES:
Spanish, English (high bilinguil rate)
ETHNIC GROUPS:
mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
BORDERING COUNTRIES:
United States, Guatemala, Belize
MEXICO - Before the collapse, Mexico was North Americas dumping ground.  Almost continually poverty stricken and oppressed.  Mexico was also the number one source of unwanted illegal aliens, and while the U.S./Canadian border was almost ignored, the U.S./Mexico border was home to an ever stricter border patrol.   American employment lost to these illegals, and the strain they put on social services was only a part of the problem.  Drugs smuggling over the border was a billion dollar industry.  Some Cartels going as far as digging elaborate tunnel systems to smuggle mass quantities of the drugs over almost danger free.  When the World Economic Collapse hit, Mexico was devastated.  Jobs in America were no longer available even to the Americans, and in paranoid effort to try and keep what few jobs were left, the border security tightened like a noose.  The National Guard units in all the states bordering Mexico were re-deployed to the border, their sole task now to act as border patrol, supported by state and federal law enforcement where available.

With financial aid from the States and everywhere else completely gone, Mexico was on its own.  Mexico City, the largest and most densely populated urban sprawl in the western world, nearly ate itself.  Starvation and disease, coupled with the massive earthquake in 1995, killed 12 million people in under 3 years in Mexico City alone, dropping the population by well over half.  Despite this, perhaps in spite of this, Mexico soldiered on.  As the economy began to balance itself again, Mexico began to rebuild.  

After countless years of relying on foreign aid, and staggered by political corruption, a minor and bloodless coup was held.  In 2001, the old regime was purged, and President Jesus Espinoza of the newly formed Mexican Restorative Party was elected president in an unprecedented landslide.  Under his leadership, and that of his hand selected cabinet, it was decided that Mexico would never again be dependent on foreign aid, that finally, for the first time since  the Spaniards landed, Mexico would stand on its own two feet.  The first thing they did was expunge all foreign corporations from their borders.  By this time the nomad movement had well and truly begun in America, but faced oppression and suspicion from all sides.  The success of the MRP has allowed them to remain in power ever since.  To further cement Mexico's newly restored providence, they began buying the latest Soviet surplus military arms and equipment, then retooling their own factories to produce munitions themselves using the Sov-tech as blueprint.  Mexico's military expanded greatly over the years, and while their military vehicles are clunky and outdated compared to Euro and American technology, the market for their products in the third world has provided a huge boom for the economy due to the comparatively extreme low cost.  In world arms production they rank just behind China and Russia.

The nomads allied under Juan Aldecaldo's banner were given the contract to rebuild Mexico City.  Since these nomads were not allied with any corporate subcontractors, they suited Mexico's needs perfectly.  It was a win/win situation for both parties, as it gave Mexico a skilled workforce to support their own, and gave the Aldecaldos a home and employment for several years to come. 

During the Second South American War, Mexico remained neutral and underwent an isolationist period, not even allowing the US to move supplies across its borders.  The fact that the United States had to ship everything around Mexico probably contributed a great deal to the U.S. economic collapse, at the very least it sped it up a great deal.  When the US forces withdrew from South America, stranding their own people for The Long Walk home, it wasn't until they reached Mexico that they were finally able to catch their breath.   Mexico sympathized with the Walkers, and with the exception of a short battle with Cartel supported forces while crossing the Sierra Madres, the Walkers were unmolested for the final stage of their journey.  Scores of Walkers joined up with the Aldecaldos in Mexico City, and other nomad groups contracted across Mexico.  This probably led to an exaggeration of the death toll attributed to the Long Walk.  The Mexican government also sided with the Walkers when the Texas border patrol briefly confronted them in an effort to turn them back.

Bolstered by grateful and experienced contractors, the Nomad work force in Mexico thrived.  To provide power for the city to come, it was decided that a series of solar collecting mega-arcologies would be built simultaneously providing free power, as well as decent and safe housing for many of the countries skilled technicians.  In 2011, after grueling negotiations, Mexico agreed to let foreign corporations back into the country.  Central and Southern Mexico, with its rich, fertile soil, had agri-corps and lumber industries drooling over it for years.  The newly stabilized political and economic situation made it all the more enticing. 

But these contracts did not come without a steep price.  Mexico instituted strict guidelines for any foreign corporate facility operating on Mexican soil.  The rules were maximized for Mexico's benefit.  Any corporation operating in Mexico had to ensure that 50% of its workforce were Mexican nationals, on all levels of operations, including top executive positions. 

The reconstruction was slow, but after a few years, Mexico City was fast becoming the shining beacon of the latin american world, and the salary and benefits for employees in these positions must be equal to that of the non-Mexican workforce.  The corporations must also adhere to strict rules for regulating and disposal any hazardous by-products created by their operations.  It was a hard bullet to bite, but in the face of worldwide food shortages and an ever threatening energy crisis, the corporations were left with little choice.  In the end, the corporations fared better than they expected, with only one notable exception. 

In late 2015, the city of Torreon was home to a Biotechnica research facility working on experimental nanite technologies.  One of the projects involved research into the viability of using nanite disassemblers to help eradicate the worlds landfills by breaking down the garbage into the simplest mineral and biological components.  On September 17th, something went horribly wrong, and the nanites were released from their containment facilities and began self replicating at an exponential rate.  It happened in the wee hours of the morning, and before anyone noticed the problem, it was too late.  In the space of a few hours, the nanite sludge had grown to immense proportions, the lab had been devoured, and the nanites began spreading to the homes surrounding the area.  The city was evacuated, but for an estimated 80+ people it was too late.  As the nanite disassembler swarm continued to grow, experts from around the world were called in to contain the threat.   A 4 mile area surrounding the disaster was sealed off with a 40  foot high wall, the insides covered in a polymer glass coating.  The threat was contained, but for Biotechnica, the troubles were only beginning.  Mexican officials arrested the top executives in charge of the facility, as well as the surviving researchers, as they were trying to board a private plane to escape the country.  Their trial was short, and they were sentenced to life in prison, the researchers forced into prison labs to work on neutralizing the Nanites, still rampaging in their confinement, while the executives were put into hard labor.  When Biotechnica objected, and threatened action in retaliation, Mexico Banned the corporations from its borders, permanently.  This example set a harsh reminder to all the corporations still operating in its borders, and cost Biotechnica billions in profit, and a black eye that festers to this day. 

Today Mexico is on the verge of becoming a first world power.  The MRP remains in power, and Jesus Espinoza has taken a personal hand in choosing the candidate for each each election since his six year term ended in 2007, he remains active as a political advisor and ambassador, and is revered as a hero to the people of Mexico.  It has become the seventh largest lumber and agriculture producer in the world, and has a booming export business.  Due to the stringent controls placed on foreign corporations, the national standard of living in Mexico has skyrocketed as well.  A major change from a country whose population a mere 20 years prior was so overwhelmingly poverty stricken that its natives would swim open sewers, risk death and imprisonment, and all other manner of hardships just to escape to America.  To add more irony to the situation, The tight border security once implemented to keep Mexicans from escaping into the states has been reversed, and the Mexican government now enforces the borders themselves to keep American immigrants from illegally entering its borders.  However Mexico continues its love affair with nomads, and welcomes them with open arms.  The Baja 5000l, often called the most grueling and exciting race on earth, has become such a popular event among the nomad community, that corporate sponsors now choose nomad outriders almost exclusively for sponsorship.  A resurgence in national pride and economic power has made Mexico a shining beacon of success for the rest of the world.

Of course, not everything in Mexico is shiny and happy.  In some of the more isolated areas, agri-corp farms tend to ignore, or bribe their way past the corporate guidelines, using the same draconian practices the agri-corps in the rest of the third world employ.  Bandits and gangs still run rampant, taking advantage of newfound Mexican prosperity.  Tourist attractions abound in Mexico, from ancient ruins, to resort towns like Cancun are littered with pickpockets, and even worse, kidnappers, eager to exploit the wealthy touristas.  On of the most ecologically and geographically diverse places on earth, Mexico is hailed the world over by eco groups and green parties due to its strict corporate environmental policies, however  poaching and animal rights abuses are still prevalent.

With the ugly specter of war in South America looming once again,  Mexico is returning to its isolationist policy, however they have tentatively agreed to allow the US to move troops and supplies to cross to the south.

HOTSPOT:
MEXICO CITY

(Written by Deric "D" Bernier.)