[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mexico-map_2856.gif]]

->''"Poor Mexico! So far from God, so close to the United States..."''
-->-- '''Porfirio Díaz'''

Home of WesternAnimation/SpeedyGonzales, [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Bumblebee Man]], and Creator/GuillermoDelToro, Mexico can stir up more emotion in three syllables than can be wrought from a {{Wangst}} filled RomanticPlotTumor. Whether it's love or hate depends entirely on the person.

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!!Media

'''Persons of interest (fictional and real):'''
* Creator/AlfonsoCuaron -- Film director. Some of his films include ''Film/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'', ''Film/YTuMamaTambien'' and ''Film/{{Gravity}}''.
* {{Cantinflas}} -- A famous comedian known for his unique style of speaking, made several movies in both Mexico and Hollywood.
* Creator/EugenioDerbez -- Another famous comedian. Has had various TV shows.
* Francisco Gabilondo Soler "{{Cri Cri}}" -- Beloved and acclaimed music composer of songs for children.
* Creator/{{Frida Kahlo}} -- Famous surrealist painter, subject of the film ''Film/{{Frida}}''.
* Creator/GuillermoDelToro -- Film director of ''Film/HellBoy'', ''Film/PansLabyrinth'' and ''Film/PacificRim'' among others.
* Creator/{{Octavio Paz}} -- Poet and writer, 1990 Literature Nobel Prize winner.
* UsefulNotes/{{Pancho Villa}} -- [[UsefulNotes/TheMexicanRevolution Mexican Revolution]] general.
* Creator/AlejandroGonzalezInarritu -- Film director.
* Wrestling/ElSanto -- Famous for his pulp MaskedLuchador movies. Genre maker.
* [[UsefulNotes/SorJuanaInesDeLaCruz Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz]] -- A scholar poet nun born in the XVII century, considered also [[BornInTheWrongCentury as an early advocate of women's rights]].

'''Films (Animated)'''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGuardiansOfTheLostCode''
* ''Franchise/ElSantos''
* ''WesternAnimation/UnaPeliculaDeHuevos''

'''Films (Live Action)'''
* ''Film/AmoresPerros''
* ''Film/AmarTeDuele''
* ''Film/ElCrimenDelPadreAmaro''
* ''Film/TheExterminatingAngel''
* ''Film/{{Frida}}''
* ''Film/LaHabitacionAzul''
* ''Film/LikeWaterForChocolate''
* ''Film/PorLaLibre''
* ''Film/SalvandoAlSoldadoPerez''
* ''Film/YTuMamaTambien''

'''ComicBooks'''
* Creator/{{Rius}}.
* ''ComicBook/LosMiserables''
* ''Franchise/ElSantos''

'''{{Literature}}'''
* ''Literature/TheEyesOfMyPrincess''
* ''Literature/LikeWaterForChocolate''
* ''Literature/PedroParamo''
* ''Literature/PopolVuh''
* ''Literature/YouthInSexualEcstasy''
* ''Literature/ElZarcoTheBlueEyedBandit''

'''LiveActionTelevision'''
* ''Series/ElChapulinColorado''
* ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho''

'''VideoGames'''
* ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram''

'''Webcomics:'''
* ''WebComics/PilliAdventure''

!!Films about Mexico and Mexicans:
* ''Film/ADayWithoutAMexican''
* ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars''
* ''Film/AFistfulOfDynamite''
* ''Film/{{Apocalypto}}''
* ''Film/{{Machete}}''
* ''Film/ElMariachi''
* ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro''
* ''Film/TheMexican''
* ''[[Film/ThreeAmigos ¡Three Amigos!]]''
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInMexico''
* ''Disney/TheThreeCaballeros''
* ''Film/TheWildBunch''
* ''Film/{{Traffic}}''

!!Commonly associated tropes:
* BananaRepublic
* Main/{{Bandito}}
* GratuitousSpanish
* TheIllegal
* LatinLand
* MagnificentMoustachesOfMexico
* MaskedLuchador
* Main/{{Mayincatec}}
* MexicanStandoff
* MexicansLoveSpeedyGonzales
* MexicoCalledTheyWantTexasBack
* RunForTheBorder
* SoapOpera
* SouthOfTheBorder
* SpaghettiWestern
* Main/{{Spexico}}

!!Useful Notes:
[[index]]
* MexicanFood
* MexicanMedia
* MexicanPolitics
* UsefulNotes/TheMexicanRevolution
* UsefulNotes/MexicanAmericanWar
* MexicansWithMachineGuns
* {{Televisa}}
[[/index]]

!!On Mexicans

Mexico's almost as racially diverse as UsefulNotes/{{Brazil}}. Mexicans tend to range all over on the political spectrum, but seem to favor a strong government to take care of social policies. Due to the UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}} having been technically under New Spain, Mexicans also tend to have fairly close cultural ties with Filipinos.

As per Hispanic custom, Mexicans have two family names: the first is the paternal one, and the second is the mother's. Because children only get the first family name of either parent [[LineageComesFromTheFather only the father's name]] is passed on through successive generations. Also you can have more than one given name (think middle initial)... sometimes even three. And sometimes you even get single family names made of multiple family names. Example: former president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León. Women don't lose their maiden name when marrying, but traditionally added the husband's family name to their own, this has no legal value however.

Mexican humor is largely formulaic and simplistic. For example shows and stand-up comedians mostly resort to tried and true jokes OlderThanRadio. Comedy may rely on pure slapstick ("El Chavo"). Humor featuring social/political commentary is largely limited to printed media and the internet (Television rarely touches this stuff). The most characteristic type of humor is the "albur" (pronounced "al-BOOR") which consists in heavily sexual wordplay and double entendre, basically it's GettingCrapPastTheRadar taken UpToEleven since many people in the country already have the double entendres memorized, especially censors. Since it's practically the only aspect of national humor with any hint of subtleness, the albur serves as the foremost justification that Mexicans have in believing themselves the most ingenious and good natured nation ever.

If they make fun of others, rest assured they have developed a level of [[SelfDeprecation self deprecating]] humor Creator/WoodyAllen would admire (before knocking himself for it). Since making fun of people based on their race, their gender, or their handicaps isn't considered as politically incorrect as it is in the US or the UK it may seem that Mexican comedy can be [[UnfortunateImplications crass]]. But it's precisely because of their greater disregard towards political correctness that limits in Hollywood's depiction of Mexicans are rather set by Chicanos than by actual Mexicans. [[CulturalCringe Another phenomenon is Malinchismo: a very old and widespread tendency to show any unjustified preference, however slight, for foreign over national stuff]].

And then there's the odd element of Mexican culture based around "macho". This is a hard-to-define term, but call it TestosteronePoisoning on a national scale. Your average Mexican man would rather get his ass kicked than be considered feminine in any way, shape, or form. This is why there are so many films about castration, ranging from serious films to ''wacky comedies'' (the latter including the anti-classic ''La Garanon'', "The Stud").


!!In The Media
Generally there are only a few stock Mexicans:
* The hopeful illegal immigrant looking for the American dream,
* The greasy illegal immigrant looking to lower property values
* The downtrodden villager who can't defend himself,
* The SpicyLatina with a whole lotta attitude and a big butt
* The tattooed drug dealer, the logical progression of the desperado,
* And the gang banger/kidnapper.

Mexico itself is usually shown either as [[SouthOfTheBorder a dusty, dilapidated small town]], an urban slum of a deathtrap, or a beautiful tropical resort hotel. Also, don't drink the water (more money is made if you drink the Tequila!). Due to its spicyness (see below) and perceived hygiene conditions, Mexican cuisine is often portrayed as [[PottyEmergency inducing to extreme bowel movements]]. But it's one of the best in the world.

Tourism is an important source of revenue, regularly ranking among Mexico's top 5 moneymakers. Important touristic places include the [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight clichéd to mexicans]] but impressing to foreigners Channels of Xochimilco, sort of the Mexican version of Venice but with cheaper prices and more colorful boats. Oh and the Mayan pyramids such as Chichen Itzá, shorter than the Egyptian ones but featuring nigh unbelievable architectural progress.
Also, but don't expect any tour to take you there, you can find astoundingly poor mountain villages with Indians, starving to death and forgotten to the world. The slum village you seem in the movies can be found almost exactly as pictured in several places of the North, and it is worth mentioning the towns bordering the US aren't considered examples of the best of the country, so don't judge us from those places, ''please''. (No offense to the brothers on the Border) [[note]]''None taken, after all, it's the legions of fellow Mexicans immigrating from the south and the interior who actually inhabit these slums''[[/note]]. This is not to say that the rest of the country has no slums at all, but they look different from the Hollywood depiction of them.

They filmed TheMovie of [[Manga/DragonBall Dragonball Z]] in Mexico City and Durango. Considering [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff how insanely popular]] the anime was (and still is) in Mexico, hooray! [[BrokenBase Or Not!]]

!!On The Media

Due to the relative backwardness of Mexico, broadcast commercial television is still by far the dominant medium in the country. There are two major broadcast networks: Televisa and Azteca, both private and suspect of being colluded in a duopoly cartel that decides what is or isn't shown on open air TV in the country, which would also explain why so many politicians bow to these companies' whims. Leaving this aside, there are also a few public cultural channels like Once TV and Canal 22, providing documentaries and cultural programming for those who do not have cable tv (and the latter channel earning several international accolades).

Most of you should know the cheesy "Telenovelas", [[ProfessionalWrestling Lucha Libre]] and masked ''luchadores'' like Wrestling/ElSanto or Blue Demon, and perhaps even ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'' and that creepy Santa Claus movie MST3K riffed once. But there has been more stuff that, due to CreatorProvincialism , might never see the light of day outside from Mexico, like lots and lots of old movies and sketch series made between the 40's and 70's. Like the rest of the world, cable and some commercial broadcast programming material consists heavily of imported American TV and films.

Most newspapers in Mexico are unprofitable but survive thanks to bribes that local city or state governments or the drug cartels pay to keep them quiet on certain inconvenient issues and/or put a positive spin on those issues. Only a handful of papers (mostly those who enjoy national distribution or have a very large market) survive on their own. Mexico used to have a considerable comic book industry un TheForties and [[TheFifties Fifties]] but due to prolonged decay comics nowadays are almost an underground movement. Even the most successful are often unable to reach a true national distribution, be it on magazines or newspapers. There are, however, a few comics that in spite of being [[LongRunners very old]] still keep their fandoms, old and new, and some have become embedded in the national culture, like ''ComicBook/{{Kaliman}}'', ''ComicBook/LaFamiliaBurron'' and ''ComicBook/MeminPinguin'' (the latter being responsible for a minor diplomatic incident due to African-American groups viewing it as racist, see above for Mexican attitudes towards political correctness).

Traditional and cellular telephone services are quite inefficient and charge some of the highest service rates in the world. This in part due to the fact that most traditional phone land lines are serviced by a company called Telmex, property of Carlos Slim, the richest man on the planet, whose company enjoys a monopoly grant from the government. This has been changing as cable companies are entering the traditional phone services at a lower rate than Telmex, and recent laws allow people to switch companies without having to change phone numbers.

The pop music industry is quite influential in the Spanish speaking world but it's very hampered because Mexico is a haven of copyright piracy. Local music that plays harder than 2 in the MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness was actively ostracized by mainstream media for decades, specially after the fiasco caused by the "Rock y Ruedas sobre Avándaro", in which the government had to step in due to a sudden MoralPanic. Another factor that stifled the genre preferences was ''[[http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siempre_en_Domingo Siempre en Domingo]]'', a musical variety show displayed on Sundays, which, with a few exceptions, it was more a showcase of the presenter's favourite artists rather than a real musical variety show.

The film industry used to be the sixth in the country in terms of exports and it's also victim of the widespread piracy in Mexico. Mexican film making reached its Golden Age roughly from 1935 until 1960. In the 70's however the government introduced its own brand of ExecutiveMeddling via financiation schemes that ended up virtually ruining local film making for more than 20 years. An alleged renaissance has been improving the quality encouraging the rise of new talent like directors Creator/GuillermoDelToro, Creator/AlfonsoCuaron and Creator/AlejandroGonzalezInarritu and actors such as Guillermo Luna and Gael Garcia, however the industry still depends heavily on government subsidies and only releases between 50 and 100 films a year.

!!Mexican Food, certainly not Tex-Mex

The cuisine is world-renowned for being colorful, intense, spicy, greasy, and fiery hot (on par with Korean or Thai food). Mexicans ''absolutely love'' chili peppers: you can find at least 10 varieties at any supermarket, it's present in pretty much every single dish, you can even buy candy made with dried chili, and any Mexican who can't stand them is automatically called a pansy. Most of the traditional dishes are a mix of traditional prehispanic and medieval Spanish food; the ''pozole'', for example, is often made with Mexican corn grains, beans, tomatoes and chili peppers; and Spanish radish, lettuce / cabbage, and beef / pork.

There are some exceptions, though: if you roll around the streets, chances are you'll find some stalls in the sidewalks selling ''tacos al pastor'', which can be best described as "Mexican doner kebab" but frequently made of spiced pork, brought by a wave of [[UsefulNotes/{{Lebanon}} Lebanese]] immigrants. And of course, there's the fair share of [[ForeignQueasine weirdo dishes]], such as ''huitlacoche'' (fungus that grows on corn), ''chapulines'' (fried grasshoppers) and ''escamoles'' (fried ant larvae). Note that most average Mexicans will also [[AndIMustScream squeam]] at these.

And for the record: Taco Bell is not a Mexican company, though the recent opening of a few nearby has caused us great amusement. Their food is certainly ''absolutely not Mexican''. And the taco bell Chihuahua? It was [[EatTheDog considered a culinary delicacy]] by the Aztecs. In general, Tex-Mex food is a blasphemous rip-off of Mexican food and is shunned by every respectable Mexican. [[note]]It's worth noting that Tex-Mex and every variation of Mexican food came to be because the ingredients used in many popular Mexican dishes weren't readily available, so they had to make do with whatever substitutes were available. There is also the issue of cultural assimilation many immigrants, not only Mexicans and Xicanos, face in the US: you don't want to seem "too foreign" if you want to fit in. Tex-Mex and Xicano cuisine are not blasphemy nor is it a matter of respectability.[[/note]]

''Useful Tip:'' Do '''NOT''' tell a Mexican guest that you are taking him to a "Mexican Restaurant" unless you are 100% sure it is not actually Tex Mex. Take him anywhere else: Thai, Korean, even American Food (yes, there is such a thing... vaguely) is better on the off chance that the Mexican restaurant is actually Tex Mex. (Then again, globalization probably means it's going to be staffed by Chinese cooks anyway). If you do, the consequences will be dire... amused {{Take That}}s, noting how the food is slightly (or hugely) off. Or feigned indignation, that is if any is registered. Honestly, take out a Mexican to dinner and you likely won't get any complaints: Free Food!

!!On Chicanos

In case you can't tell, there also is a bit of an ongoing sore spot with the "Mexican-ness" of Mexican immigrants to the United States. While they're cut from the same cloth and are, in theory, "on the same side", Mexicans tend to dislike Latinos for being "[[TheQuisling traitors]]" who: left their country (even if forced by necessity), are forsaking their heritage to become like the ever loathed "gringo" (just like Mexicans in Mexico), and in general "aren't mexican" (see Tex Mex food). To be fair, polls usually show a lot of Mexicans willing to leave their country if they had the chance (in fact, Mexico has the highest emigration rate of any country in the world). Chicanos for their part, (particularly those born in the States) tend to view Mexicans as snobby, stuck up, and generally all too proud with very little to be proud ''of'' (in other words, ''[[OurElvesAreBetter elves]]''). Generally, considering that most Mexicans place a high importance on personal relationships in general, this is ignored in families and constitutes one of the reasons why ''remesas'' (money orders) are sent by immigrants to families back home and ties are maintained despite the distance -- to the point that entire towns live exclusively off money sent from abroad, and money orders are Mexico's second largest income after oil imports. Chicanos or "Pochos" in all honesty deserve their own UsefulNotes page, but for now their search for an "identity" that doesn't compromise heritage and nationality is an ongoing issue for them as with other immigrant groups.

!!An (not so) abridged history:

Before it was colonized, it was home of and originator to some of the {{Precursors}} for the [[{{Mayincatec}} Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec civilizations.]] Expect them all to be lumped together when the AdventurerArchaeologist investigates [[RuinsForRuinsSake ruins]] in search of treasure. But Mexicans don't care about those [[MagicalNativeAmerican silly brown people]]. Well, not unless they're [[AmazonianBeauty hot]] and/or there's a {{curse}} involved.

It was colonized by UsefulNotes/{{Spain}}, those people in the funny metal Conquistador hats who looked for [[CityOfGold cities of gold]] (or means to [[GoldFever get gold]], they weren't picky), they were initially mistaken for Gods (Quetzalcoatl, mainly) and struck alliances with several of the native nations. It's harsh to judge the natives who allied with Cortés. They had lived under iron fist of the Mexica, who frequently forced to pay tributes to them.. in the form of men, women and children, who would most of the time be used as human sacrifice, but who also had the option of being eaten ritualistically. Moctezuma, the Emperor of the Mexica/Aztecs, tried to regale Quetzalcoatl/Cortés with Gold, so he would leave, but only instigated greed. Eventually the spaniards and their indigenous allies came to blows with the Aztecs, having numerical advantage (thanks to the natives), better technology, horses, and most importantly, plages. (The plagues were actually unintentional but handy at first, inconvenient after victory). Hernán Cortés and his men were able to win against the Aztec empire by [[ManipulativeBastard manipulating]] the Aztec's [[LaResistance unwilling subjects]] into an alliance. Fun and profit were had by all. And by all, we mean Cortés, his soldiers, and many of his native allies. Everyone else was either forcibly converted (although considering the documented human sacrifice and cannibalism, convertion probably wasn't a bad thing, for everyone involved) and enslaved in the Hacienda system (think Plantation) or killed. Even his native allies got sort of shafted, also being forcibly converted and becoming second class citizens below spaniards.

Many things happened in the Colonial period, but for some reason the next 300 years are mostly ignored until ''"La Independencia!"'' Lots of shooting and fighting, wherein the royalists eventually gained the upper hand. Agustín de Iturbide, formerly a royalist, came up with a plan, independent from both insurgents and royalists, and successfully rallied all opposing parties behind him. It was during this time that Iturbide designed the first Mexican flag, which evolved and was later ratified by him into the basis of the flag we know today. After 11 years of bloody war, he, in 7 months, achieved Independence, in a practically bloodless campaign. Mexico was founded as an Empire, following the tradition of the Natives and the Colony. Spain was offered the chance to name Mexico's ruler, but declined. Iturbide was elected Emperor, but clashed with the Congress, who believed it had full sovereignty of the nation. Iturbide chose to abdicate after seeing another war was brewing. After, he exiled himself, but was executed when he decided to return after discovering a plan by several catholic nations to rein Mexico back into Spanish power. Then Guadalupe Victoria became the first presidente. His MeaningfulName and very GenderBlenderName is not an accident, as he picked it himself. Vicente Guerrero, former hero of Independence, followed... by rebelling after losing the election and forcibly being sworn in as President. This was mostly the doing of the York Freemasonry, of which he was leader. This act would be the first, but definitely not the last, in México's long, long tradition of presidents coming into power by way of force and bloodshed.

At some moment in 1838, UsefulNotes/{{France}} invades Mexico as payback [[SillyReasonForWar because a baker's shop was destroyed in the fighting]]... among another things. Want to know the name of the war? "The Pastry War".

After this, comes the Texan conflict at which point Mexicans become {{Red Shirt}}s to attack The Alamo. By the way, don't bring this up in the company of polite Mexicans unless you want to hear an earful about how the US supported Texas' independence only to annex it and use it as a ''casus belli'' once Mexico attacked. Bring it up in the company of impolite Mexicans and, well... let's just say they can hold a grudge for centuries (just ask Spain). Worth noting is how Antonio de Padua Marí­a Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón (try to say that without stopping to breath), mostly known as Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna or just Santa Anna, went from Independence hero to eleven times president/dictator to national traitor, first class, due to the loss of the war and secession of almost half of their land to the victorious United States. It's because of his merry-go-round presidencies that Mexicans, ''to this day,'' distrust re-election on principle [[note]]Although after Santa Anna at least three more presidents (Juárez, Díaz and Obregón) got themselves reelected in the 70 years that followed[[/note]]. Funnily enough, though Mexican's distrust their government as a rule, they always believe the history that said government wrote for them, and thus, hate Santa Anna with a passion, even though he is in fact not responsible, either for the loss of Texas or for the loss of half of México's territory (which came 10 years later, so don't mix the two conflicts, please). Santa Anna got cocky in Texas and was surprise as his 700-man force was resting. Decimated, Santa Anna was soon captured, and forced to sign a document wherein he ordered Mexican forces to withdraw. See, Santa Anna had split his army in 3, and the other two groups combined were over 2000 strong, better trained, equipped and much more than a match for Houston's forces. General Urrea, third in command (who became second in command after Santa Anna's capture) wanted to attack the Texans, but Vicente Filisola, promoted to first in command, failed to use his advantage and eventually chose to obey Santa Anna even if he, as a captured man, no longer had any political power. In fact, though Mexico withdrew, the opinion in México for the next 10 years was that Texas was still it's territory, and that eventually they'll send forces to bring it back in... it didn't quite happened like that. Santa Anna went on to tour the U.S, meet the president, and surprisingly, being hailed as a hero by minorities such as blacks because of México's novel approach to slavery, namely, abolishing it. Oh, and he also was partly responsible for the creation of chewing gum.

Then came the Mexican-American war, which, in México, is characterized as an unjust conflict of a more powerful nation bullying a far weaker and less established one. Following a shady event at the border, and the U.S annexation of Texas (which México still regarded as it's territory), war was declared. The problem, however, was that Mexico was politically fractured. On one side were the Conservadores, who believed that México's culture laid with it's Hispanic roots (like it's language, religion, some customs) and that many mechanisms that worked well in Colonial Mexico should be maintained. Some wanted a return to monarchy, since a frankly still largely uneducated nation like México couldn't really trust it's population to elect the most convenient ruler. They also were a bit justified in thinking that a republic led to instability every election, civil war and bloodshed (because up to that point, and still in the near future, it had, and it would.) On the other side were the Liberales, mostly freemasons, who disliked the Catholic Church, and believed México should eschew it's hispanic roots and try to emulate it's northern neighbor to a t in everything it could. What is important is recognizing that, although the faulty education system didn't educate us with this belief, there usually never are good guys vs bad guys situations, and neither of these groups could fit squarely into either category. There were also moderated liberals, who advocated a more reserved lberal agenda, recognizing how ingrained catholicism and hispanic culture was in México.

In the midst of this, Santa Anna, who was exiled, came in touch with the U.S invaders. He promised them that, if they let him through their blockade, he would use his fame and reputation to make México give up without a fight, and resign half of his territory over to the U.S. A MagnificentBastard, Santa Anna went back on his word, and, upon reaching the capital, quickly became president again, organized the Mexican forces and rose armies to defend. However, the inner political turmoil, and conservatives vs liberals openly fighting as the war was waging on, made the situation unsustainable. The brave mexican defenders were not getting any resources and rapidly began fighting an uphill, doomed battle. One famed regiment of american forces, made up of 200 irishmen and other assorted nationalities, defected the U.S and fought for México, as "El Batallón de San Patricio". They are remembered as heroes even today in México. Despite the brave efforts of it's inhabitants, México lost. Santa Anna escaped south, planning on continuing resisting, but was intercepted by the U.S and exiled. It was an interim president, José Manuel de la Peña y Peña, that signed the infamous Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which saw the U.S annexing over half of the Mexican territory. Santa Anna is thus, though an unashamed egomaniacal, innocent of this loss of territory, not that most modern Mexicans know that. For them, him being unable to win the war is enough to condemn the man.

The waters did not calm down after that. Liberals won, politically. Their reform laws saw the church and the military losing their privilege (this, however, conveniently did not applied to the political class). Many church-owned and operated establishments, such as schools and orphanages were extricated from them. The church losing it's political power was a worldwide trend, however, in México, it was wildly antidemocratic, as most of the population was, and still is, feverishly catholic. Then president Ignacio Comonfort was not as comfortable as his name suggests. He got a mixed cabinet of both liberals and conservatives and then self-coup d' état'ed. As it turns out, both groups engaged in mature and constructive debate for the betterment of the country via nasty war. This was called the Reform War. Benito Juárez gained the presidency after Comonfort was forced to step down (he wasn't elected, but he became acting president in such a crisis, as President of the Supreme Justice Court). He then fled the capital, declaring he had Emergency Powers and that the government would be wherever he was. In the capital though, two other presidents arose. The interim president and the newly-elected Conservador president, Miguel Miramón. Miramón fought as a child during the defense of the Chapultepec Castle in the Mexican-American war, and was truly a military ace. Under his command, los conservadores started gaining the upper hand, until Juárez was forced to fortify his position in Veracruz. Meanwhile, the U.S government couldn't decide on whose presidency it would recognize. It dictated terms, wherein México would give the U.S perpetual rights to use the narrower part of México as a canal for commerce (what would end up happening with the Canal of Panamá). The conservadores couldn't compromise, but Juárez and the liberals did. After Juárez' representatives signed the McLane-Ocampo treaty, which is fairly unknown but constitutes a violation by the president of national sovereignty, the U.S agreed to back Juárez's government, and it essentially won the war for the liberals. This, in turn, convinced the defeated conservadores to fight fire with fire. If the liberals had U.S backing, then they would secure European support for their side.

Because of the already mentioned conflict the Mexican economy was in the red, so the Juarist government decided to suspend the foreign debt. This wasn't of the liking of Spain (to whom Mexico owed the most), the British Empire (to whom Mexico owed a little less), and France (to whom Mexico owed the least), so they decided to send ships and soldiers to demand their money. When they arrived in the port of Veracruz, President Benito Juárez arranged a treaty promising that payment would be made... but not at the moment. Britain and Spain decided it was okay after having their ambassadors taken to a particularly underdeveloped area and realizing that they were shitting them not with "no freakin' dinero" and retired, but France moved inside the country as they planned to invade anyway... ''[[RecycledScript again.]]''

[[TheNapoleon Napoleon]] the Third decided that it needed a French protectorate to stop the growth of influence of the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates United States]], and believed that Mexico was the perfect place for his plans. He also spoke of preserving the latin race, which the french considered themselves as, in face of the anglo-saxons. Many of the Conservadores actually went to France to arrange this, as previously stated. The crown was offered to Maximilian, younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph of UsefulNotes/{{Austria}} [[note]](also uncle of ''[[WorldWarOne that]]'' Franz, this family had some rotten luck in the 19th and 20th centuries)[[/note]] which made him brother in law of famous Sissy. One memorable event in between is when the RagtagBunchOfMisfits, led by Ignacio Zaragoza, beat their awesome croissants in "El Cinco de Mayo", and now Mexico got another holiday out of it (they kind of kicked their tacos around for a few years after that, but shh). This holiday is notable for being probably the sole honest-to-God pride of your country events in the whole history of Mexico, losing the war or not it was simply unbelievable for the French ''or the mexicans themselves'' that this paradise of coups d'etat defeated motherfucking France in a serious battle, sort of that short nerd in your classroom beating to a pulp the tall jock with all the chicks... only to have the whole football team handing his ass later, yeah, but ''still''; "The weapons of Mexico have been covered in glory" indeed.

The second Mexican empire lasted 3 years. Really, it was because the U.S was too busy with it's Civil War. Once that whole nasty business was settled (more or less), the U.S resumed their backing of the liberals and Juárez, whilst the French, facing the impending doom of the Franco-Prussian war, withdrew their support of Maximilian in turn, who decided to remain and fight, until he was defeated, summarily executed along with Miguel Miramón and General Mejía, and Conservadores everywhere shot. The Liberales may have won the Civil War, but many political fights happened inside the victorious party as [[EvilPowerVacuum everybody wanted to be president]]. President Juárez, still clinging to his Emergency powers went for reelection, again. Causing war hero and budding MagnificentBastard Porfirio Díaz to rebel... and fail at it. Better luck next time! But, as good national heroes always do, Juárez died just in time (in 1872, merely one year after his reelection) to avoid going the way of Santa Ana into Infamy. In fact, Juárez won only his last election (during which he was president with emergency powers) and for 15 years, that is, until his death, he never let go of the presidency (but good luck trying to bust the myth on Juárez). Mexican "heroes" tend to [[FallenHero end that way]]. ([[Film/TheDarkKnight Harvey Dent]] was right about that). He was succeeded by the next in line for the job, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada (Sebastián, not Miguel, as both brothers were very important in the Liberal party), then after his time was up he also tried to postulate himself for reelection. Porfirio Díaz rebelled again... and won, won so hard that he got to rule Mexico for the next 30 years. He first ruled for 4 years or so, then put his compadre (godsib) Manuel González on the presidency, but his presidency sucked ass and Díaz decided to reelect himself (after all, where did it say people could get reelected in different president terms?). The [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocrisy]] of rebelling against a president for trying to rewrite the constitution to get reelected, then doing so for thirty years himself, was probably not lost on him, as he actually ''exalted'' the character and justified the actions of Juárez, to justify his own by proxy.

Depending who you ask things were "relatively" dull under Porfirio Díaz's mostly enlightened "[[PresidentEvil Presidency]]" until 1910 and ''"La Revolución!"'' (For some reason, [[UsefulNotesOnAmerica Americans]] really dig this part of the Mexican history. As a Mexican school kid, all this troper can say is any civil war with more than three factions is a headache to keep track of (not complaining about the holiday, though). This is where you'll see "Bandidos" and outlaws, charismatic rebels like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata leading the peasants against the centre, small Mexican towns in need of rescue by MightyWhitey, and quite a few [[TheWestern westerns]]... (southerns?)

La Revolución as a whole, though, is largely misunderstood. Yes, it was sparked by overall good guy Francisco I. Madero's political ideals (and his wanting to be president, too) contrasting with the Porfirian regimen. But Díaz resigned and vacated office mere months after the revolution started. The Real conflict came around when Madero, now president, was betrayed by a very obvious traitor called Victoriano Huerta, who was, in fact, aided by the U.S ambassador in México. Madero was killed, and became a martyr behind which Villa and Carranza rallied. They defeated Huerta, and all the heroes of the revolution immediately started establishing a peaceful and benevolent.. wait, they actually killed each other, until only Alvaro Obregón remained.

Once La Revolución ends, Mexico had some nice, long 70 years of [[strike:dictatorship]] democracy bordering on BananaRepublic under the PRI, founded by the people who won the Revolution. Thing is, while it was a single party system, the presidents only served for six years apiece (originally 4 years, but Lázaro Cárdenas expanded the term), giving the illusion of change. All were corrupt, some were [[VisionaryVillain visionaries]], a few went insane. The last one that tried to get reelected (some people never learn), Álvaro Obregón, Carranza's bff (who got his arm blown off by Villa himself) was murdered by a Catholic fanatic... so the next one who succeeded him, Plutarco Elías Calles A.K.A. "El Jefe (Máximo de la Revolución)" just decided that [[ManBehindTheMan ruling from the shadows]] was way safer and more profitable, until Cárdenas exiled him.

During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, [[ThoseWackyNazis Germany]] sank two Mexican oil tankers, so in response war was declared (and it has been the only time Mexico fought on foreign soil). They sent the (American-trained and commanded) [[MexicansWithMachineGuns Escuadrón 201]] to do combat, reconnaissance and supply interception against Japanese forces in the Philippines, as well as about three hundred electricians, mechanics, and radio operators.

Much bloodshed happens. Two massacres, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlatelolco_Massacre Tlatelolco Massacre]] and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Christi_Massacre Jueves de Corpus Massacre]] were indications that the regime was slowly starting to go to oblivion. 10 days after the Tlatelolco Massacre, Mexico had the Olympic games! It basically got to be an opportunity to whitewash the massacre, specially after Smith and Carlos raised their fists. Two years later, Mexico had her first World Cup tournament, and the president got a huge whistle from angry spectators because of his poor administration (not to mention killing more than 200 students). After these things, you'd think Mexico would have at least some decent governor right? Enter José López [[strike:Por Pillo]] Portillo, A.K.A. the guy who caused 3 devaluations. His best friend Arturo "El Negro" Durazo got to be police chief and he'd end up in jail after discovering the extreme corruption his employees got on and the incredible wealth he received (he even built himself a palace on Ixtapa known as "El Partenón"!). After this, president Miguel de la Madrid got to be the boss. On September 19, 1985, Mexico suffered the most devastating earthquake in its history. And what did the president do? Hide in his house of course! Mexicans basically had to scrub the rubble by themselves and it gained De la Madrid some very loud whistles during the 1986 World Cup Opening Ceremony, just like the last time.

This "dictatorship that looks like a democracy" thing starts really fading away in 1994, when Ernesto Zedillo finally eases back on the President's grip over the country (not mentioning his predecessor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, being one of the most hated presidents in Mexican history due to the financial crisis that ensued because of his actions and winning a very controversial election), and finally ends in 2000, when Vicente Fox wins and the ruling party is replaced.

Due a combination of the government ignoring them, poverty, and America's lax weapon laws, and the [[DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster high profit of selling drugs]], the [[GangBangers Gangs and Cholos]] became [[TheCartel Organized, resourceful, and very violent]], despite the fact that they were (and still are) in plain sight, recruiting young people because they're led to believe that GangstersAreCool, even gaining control of certain Cities and lots of small towns.
Daily shootings are reported on places like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, and most people there can claim to know someone on the Drug's Business, but no one does anything, since it is, for the most part, [[PoliceAreUseless useless]]. To make things worse, denouncing narcos to anyone ''but'' the army is a guarante for [[FateWorseThanDeath a horrible]] [[ColdBloodedTorture fate]] [[CruelAndUnusualDeath for you]] and [[RevengeByProxy your family]] if you are ([[DirtyCop and you will be]]) discovered, or more simply, because being in [[TheCartel "El Negocio"]] (The Business) is not seen as a bad thing. Hell, you can hear songs (narcocorridos, "drug trafficker runs") describing a CruelAndUnusualDeath and the [[DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster life of a gangster]] on parties, taxis, karaokes and bars. The drug subculture became Ingrained in lots of states, and many teenagers aspire to enter in the Business world or escape from Mexico (legally or [[TheIllegal otherwise]]).

It must be noted, however, that though consumption has been increasing there still aren't a lot of consumers in Mexico; the main profit still comes from the American consumers, though now traffickers are starting to fight over who owns the local market. The drug cartels use violence within Mexico against each other for control of the land routes, and against the Mexican government because it is against them. In turn, the Mexican government fights against them because they're undermining national security, society, sovereignty... and because America puts pressure on them.

Nowadays, Mexico is mostly democratic, and slightly less pessimistic about being doomed to live in a [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack]] [[strike:[[CrapsackWorld World]]]] [[strike: [[CrapsackWorld Country]]]] {{Gangsterland}}. It's kind of a work in progress, really. Check out MexicanPolitics for more.


[[AC:The Mexican flag]]
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mexico_flag_6614.png
-> A bit of history. The red, white and green were the colors of Agustín de Iturbide's Ejército Trigarante (Army of the Three Guarantees), called thus because it guaranteed three things: Independence (from Spain), Religion (Catholic) and Union (All Caste systems were abolished, and all people living in México, whether indigenous, black, criollos, mestizos, or spanish-born were now considered to be equal). The flag was designed by Iturbide himself, it featured the three colors in a diagonal pattern and a golden 8-pointed star on each color. When the Independence was won, Iturbide and his government took the colors of the Trigarante flag, and added a coat of arms based on an old Aztec legend, wherein the gods sent them a vision: they would have to settle on whichever place they found a Golden (we call it Royal) Eagle, devouring a snake, sitting atop a nopal (is that Metal or what?). That place is today's México City. To distinguish the flag from that of UsefulNotes/{{Italy}}, this flag uses a shorter height than the Italian flag, has distinctively darker colors, and adds the coat-of-arms.

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Please keep this article from sneaking into UsefulNotesOnAmerica -- being this is an American wiki, "America" here stands for the USA, with the continent(s) being referred as "American continent(s)".
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