Foreign relations of Mexico

Foreign relations of Mexico

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The foreign relations of Mexico are directed by the President of the United Mexican States[1] and managed through the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.[2] The principles of the foreign policy are constitutionally recognized in the Article 89, Section 10, which include: respect for international law and legal equality of states, their sovereignty and independence, non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries, peaceful resolution of conflicts, and promotion of collective security through active participation in international organizations.[1] Since the 1930s, the Estrada Doctrine has served as a crucial complement to these principles.[3]

After the War of Independence, the relations of Mexico were focused primarily on the United States, its northern neighbor, largest trading partner,[4] and the most powerful actor in hemispheric and world affairs.[5] Once the order was reestablished, its foreign policy was built under hemispheric prestige in subsequent decades. Demonstrating independence from the U.S., Mexico supported the Cuban government since its establishment in the early 1960s,[6] the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua during the late 1970s,[7] and leftist revolutionary groups in El Salvador during the 1980s.[8] In the 2000s, former President Vicente Fox adopted a new foreign policy that calls for an openness and an acceptance of criticism from the international community and the increase of Mexican involvement in foreign affairs, as well as a further integration towards its northern neighbors.[9] A greater priority to Latin America and the Caribbean has been given in the administration of President Felipe Calderón.[10]

Mexico is one of the founding members of several international organizations, most notably the United Nations,[11] the Organization of American States,[12] the Organization of Ibero-American States,[13] the OPANAL[14] and the Rio Group.[15] For a long time, Mexico has been one of the largest contributors to the United Nations regular budget, in 2008 over 40 million dollars were given to the organization.[16] In addition, it was the only Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development since it joined in 1994 until the accession of Chile in 2010. Mexico is considered as a newly industrialized country,[17][18] a regional power[19][20] and an emerging market,[21] hence its presence in major economic groups such as the G8+5 and the G-20. In addition, since the 1990s Mexico has sought a reform of the United Nations Security Council and its working methods[22] with the support of Argentina, Italy, Pakistan and nine other countries, which form a group informally called the Coffee Club.[23]


Foreign policy

The Article 89, Section 10 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States states the principles of the Mexican foreign policy,[1] which were officially incorporated in 1988.[24] The direction that the foreign policy will take lies on the President, as the head of state,[1] and it is executed through the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.[2] Textually, the article establishes that:

The powers and duties of the President are the following:
X. To direct the foreign policy and conclude international treaties, as well as end, denounce, suspend, modify, emend, retire reserves and formulate interpretative declarations about the formers, submitting them to the ratification of the Senate. In the conducting of this policy, the Head of the Executive Power will observe the following standard principles: the self-determination of peoples, the non-intervention, the peaceful resolution of disputes, the proscription of threat or the use of force in the international relations, the legal equality of states, the international cooperation for development, and the struggle for international peace and security.

Aside from these principles constitutionally recognized, the foreign policy has been based on some doctrines. The Estrada Doctrine as the most influential and representative instrument in this field, proclaimed in the early 1930s and strictly applied until 2000,[3] claimed that foreign governments should not judge, positively or negatively, the governments or changes in government of other nations, in that such action would imply a breach to their sovereignty.[25] This policy was said to be based on the principles of non-intervention, peaceful resolution of disputes and self-determination of all nations.[3]

During the first presidency of the National Action Party, Vicente Fox appointed Jorge Castañeda to be his Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Castañeda immediately broke with the Estrada Doctrine, promoting what was called by critics the "Castañeda Doctrine".[26] The new foreign policy called for an openness and an acceptance of criticism from the international community, and the increase of Mexican involvement in foreign affairs.[27]

On November 28, 2006, President-elect Felipe Calderón announced that Patricia Espinosa would serve as his Secretary of Foreign Affairs starting on December 1, 2006. Her declared priorities include the diversification of the United States-Mexico agenda, heavily concentrated on immigration and security issues, and the rebuilding of diplomatic relations with Cuba and Venezuela, which were heavily strained during the Fox administration.[28] As well as giving greater priority to Latin America and the Caribbean states.[10]

Diplomatic relations

Mexican diplomatic missions overseas.
  Consulate-General in Dubai, Representative Office in Palestine and Mexican Trade Office in Republic of China.

The Mexican foreign service officially started in 1822,[29] the year after the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba, which marked the beginning of the country's independence.[30] In 1831, legislation was passed that underpinned the establishment of diplomatic representations with other states in Europe and the Americas.[29]

As a regional power[19][20] and emerging market,[21] Mexico holds a significant global presence. As of 2009, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs has over 150 representations at its disposal overseas, which include:[31]

  • 7 permanent missions.
  • 73 embassies.
  • 72 consulates.

In the early 1970s, Mexico recognized the People's Republic of China as the sole and legitimate government of China,[32] therefore issues related to the Republic of China (Taiwan) are managed through the Office of Consular Liaison under the circumscription of the Consulate General of Mexico in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.[33] In addition, Mexico does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.[34]

Historically, Mexico has remained neutral in international conflicts.[35] However, in recent years some political parties have proposed an amendment of the Constitution in order to allow the Mexican army, air force or navy to collaborate with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions, or to provide military help to countries that officially ask for it.[36]

Bilateral relations

Latin America

Mexico is an observer of several regional organizations such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Andean Community of Nations (CAN). Former President of Argentina Néstor Kirchner expressed, during a state visit in Mexico City, that Mexico should become a full member of Mercosur,[37] other Latin American leaders such as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva[38] and Tabaré Vázquez share this vision and have extended the invitation, the latter emphasized Mexico's key role in integration of Latin America and the Caribbean and stated that:[39]

That is why, we want to have Mexico in Mercosur and UNASUR, because we need it, because Mercosur needs it and because UNASUR without Mexico is simply an incomplete, insufficient unit.



First contacts started in 1818 with the United Provinces of South America.[40] Due to internal conflicts in each nation, relations between Mexico and Argentina were established de jure until the 1880s when both countries officially accredited their respective representations, upgraded to embassies in 1927.[40] On May 20, 1914, accredited diplomats from Argentina, Brazil and Chile, known as the ABC countries, met in Niagara Falls, Canada, to prevent a war between Mexico and the United States, potentially possible due to measures taken by then-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson concerning the Tampico Affair.[41]

Relations reached their lowest point during the rule of the military government in Argentina, because of the asylum provided by Mexico to Héctor Cámpora and Abal Medina.[40] Nearly at the end of the López Portillo administration, in April 1982, Argentina challenged the British government when invaded the Falkland Islands, Mexico acknowledged the Argentine rights over the islands but condemned the use of force to solve the conflict and supported a resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that called for an end of hostilities.[42]

In 2005, during the Fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar de Plata, Argentina, tensions between the two countries started when former President Vicente Fox canceled the anticipatively programed bilateral reunion with then-President Néstor Kirchner.[43] At the Summit, Fox actively promoted the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and suggested the exclusion of those who did not agree; Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela argued that the Summit was not meant to discuss the FTAA and rejected the proposition.[43] At the end of the ceremony, Fox expressed that "the most important countries of the Americas (Canada, Mexico and the U.S.) supported the FTAA, and the secondary ones (Cuba, Venezuela and the members of Mercosur) were against it".[43] Later, he criticized Kirchner's interest of "pleasing the Argentine public opinion",[44] who responded that "Fox should only care for the affairs that involve Mexico [...] and good diplomacy was not about bowing down to powerful countries".[44] The respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs redacted a joint communiqué apologizing for the incident and reminded the "importance of the good relations for both countries".[44] In 2007, when Kirchner paid a state visit, he and President Felipe Calderón signed a "Strategic Partnership Agreement" to strengthen bilateral ties.[45]

In recent years, both partners, along with Colombia, Italy, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey and six other countries, developed a movement called Uniting for Consensus, nicknamed the "Coffee Club", in opposition to the possible expansion of the United Nations Security Council.[22] Argentina and Mexico, specifically, do not support the integration of Brazil as a permanent member of the UNSC.[23]



Diplomatic relations between Bolivia and Mexico are good. A free trade agreement has been in effect between the two Latin American nations since 1994, one of the first agreements of that sort for either country.[5] The agreement was modified in 2010 into an Economic Complementation Agreement as part of the process for a Strategic Economic Integration Agreement, for which many Latin American countries currently strive to achieve.

Mexico has an embassy in La Paz, and Bolivia has an embassy in Mexico City. Bolivia, along with Mexico, is a full member of the Rio Group, of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, of the Organization of American States and of the Organization of Ibero-American States.



President Felipe Calderón and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during an official ceremony in Mexico City on August 6, 2007.

Mexico and Brazil represent more than half of population, territory and economic development in Latin America, and have the major prestige in the region.[46] Considered as regional powers by analysts,[19][20] relations between the two countries remain good. In the economic area, both are members of the ALADI, the G8+5 and the G-20.[46]

Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Brazil were formally established in the 1820s.[47] During the French Intervention in Mexico, and subsequent Second Mexican Empire, every Latin American country, except Guatemala and the Brazilian Empire, refused to recognize the government of Maximilian I of Mexico.[48] In 1914, an incident occurred in the Port of Tampico[49] was enough to lead the U.S. to send troops to occupy the Port of Veracruz, event that coincided with the military aid provided by Germany to General Victoriano Huerta.[41] The governments of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, that were given the term ABC countries, supported by then-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, offered their mediation to solve the dispute peacefully. The ABC countries met in Niagara Falls, Canada to prevent a war between Mexico and the U.S.[41] Legit President Venustiano Carranza refused to participate because of discussions regarding the ideal form of government that should be established in Mexico took place at the Niagara Falls conferences, thus the Carranza followers condemned these actions and refused to accept any foreign aid.[41] Nonetheless, the ABC Pact of 1915 was successfully implemented during the following years. Since the 1970s, relations between Mexico and Brazil have been substantially strengthened.[50]

In October 2006, President-elect Felipe Calderón visited Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to deepen the dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.[46] The governments of Brazil and Mexico look for maintaining an opened dialogue with several visits to strengthen the bilateral relations and allow a major exchange in areas such as non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, human rights, environment and energy.[46] Thus the Brazil-Mexico Bilateral Commission was released in March 2007 to strengthen their relations.[51] In August 2007, when President "Lula" da Silva paid a state visit, both leaders agreed to coordinate their foreign policies towards Latin America in order to further integrate the region.[52]

In the multilateral scene, Brazil and Mexico's actions are guided by solid principles such as respect for international law, defense of multilateralism, social justice and democratization of international relations. As noted, both countries share views internationally.[46] However, some differences remain, being the most significant the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.[23] Brazil and Mexico, along with India, the People's Republic of China and South Africa, often represent the interests of the developing countries through economic forums such as the G8+5 and the G-20.[53]



President Sebastián Piñera and Felipe Calderón during Piñera's visit to Mexico, 2011.

In the early 1820s, Chile and Mexico established diplomatic relations, both countries had interest of integrating the region, however, due to Mexico's economic and political instability the project did not go further.[54] In 1914, due to the Tampico Affair, then-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ordered the occupation of the Port of Veracruz. Once Wilson realized that his objectives had failed, he appealed to the accredited diplomats of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, known as the ABC countries, to mediate and find a peaceful solution to the international conflict preventing a war between Mexico and the U.S.[41]

Based on the principle of ideological plurality, the Mexican government actively supported the regimes of Fidel Castro in Cuba and Salvador Allende in Chile. After the coup d'état of September 11, 1973, Mexico condemned the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, but did not break off diplomatic relations immediately due to the amount of Chileans seeking for asylum refuged in the Mexican embassy.[55] Months later, then-President Luis Echeverría formally broke off diplomatic ties with Chile.[55]

Relations were reestablished in 1990 after the Chilean transition to democracy with the election of Patricio Aylwin.[56] A Free Trade Agreement with Chile was signed in April 1998 and went into force on August 1, 1999.[57] Since then, bilateral trade has significantly increased and exceeded the USD$3,3 billion mark as of 2006. In addition, Mexico has become Chile's main Latin American investor, accumulating nearly USD$870 million.[56] Under the Fox administration, the candidacy of then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez for the Secretary General of the Organization of American States was highly promoted. It eventually failed but brought a diplomatic crisis with Chile when Derbez had announced that he would no longer compete against José Miguel Insulza, however, the Mexican delegation abstained despite being previously agreed that it would vote for the Chilean candidate.[58] Bilateral relations were raised to a new level during the state visit of President Michelle Bachelet to Mexico in March 2007, both countries put into effect a "Strategic Partnership Agreement" aimed at bolstering trade, political, diplomatic and cultural relations, as well as ties with civil society. It also creates a fund that will provide USD$2 million a year for development projects in Chile, Mexico and third countries.[59]





In 1902, Mexico became the first country to ever recognize and establish relations with the Republic of Cuba once it gained full sovereignty.[60] The cultural ties between the two nations became stronger during the following decades. In the mid-20th century, the Cuban Revolution took place, culminating with the triumph of the 26th of July Movement on January 1, 1959. In 1964, when Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States Mexico did not support this resolution and abstained.[61] Mexico thereafter maintained diplomatic relations with Cuba, which effectively established it as the sole link between Fidel Castro and the rest of the hemisphere because none of the other Latin American governments recognized Cuba's revolutionary regime until after 1970.[61] Since then, Mexico constantly supported Cuba in international organizations and multilateral forums, and strongly opposed to the economic embargo imposed to the Caribbean island in the early 1960s.[62]

Relations remained strong and stable until 1998 when Fidel Castro, declared that Mexican children were more knowledgeable on Disney characters than on key figures in Mexican history, such declarations led Mexico to recall its ambassador from Havana. He later apologized and said that his words were meant to underscore the cultural dominance of the U.S.[63] On November 16, 1999, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo highly criticized the lack of democracy and political freedom in Cuba during his official visit to the Caribbean island.[64] Relations worsened when then-president Vicente Fox, from the National Action Party, redirected the country's Castañeda Doctrine on foreign policy. In April 2002, the UN Human Rights Commission again criticized Cuba's rights record, the resolution was sponsored by Uruguay and supported by many of Cuba's traditional allies such as Mexico, that historically had abstained.[65] The same month, Fox apologized to Fidel Castro over allegations by Castro that Fox forced him at the last minute to leave the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, in order to favor the presence of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who also attended and likely requested Castro's removal. Castro, Cuba, and even many Mexicans saw this as an insult, and relations between the two countries reached their lowest point.[66]

Under the Calderón administration, Mexico has concentrated on rebuilding diplomatic relations with Havana.[28] On December 15–17, 2008, in the framework of the "First Latin American and Caribbean Summit for Integration and Development", President Calderón introduced Cuba to the regional organization Rio Group and held talks with President Raúl Castro about topics of interests for both countries. They both agreed to schedule mutual visits for 2009,[67] and put emphasis on strengthening the friendship, cooperation, integration, trade and support. Both countries share the vision of a permanent fight against poverty and organized crime.

Dominican Republic

Dominican RepublicMexico







Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 18, 1881. Mexico has an embassy in Asunción.[68] Paraguay has an embassy in Mexico City and an honorary consulate in Guadalajara.[69] Both countries are full members of the Rio Group, of the Latin Union, of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, of the Organization of American States and of the Organization of Ibero-American States.



Peru and Mexico have historically had a unique relationship solidly based on that they share two of the most significant ancient cultures in the Americas. Both countries have expressed solidarity over the need to defend the recovery of cultural and archeological heritage in the form of artifacts that have been illegally stolen from Peru and Mexico and which are to this date, illegally or legitimately kept in foreign locations. Peru's President Alan García and Mexico's Felipe Calderón signed a joint declaration in April 2011 aimed at deepening the two countries' friendship, cooperation, integration, trade, investments and the permanent fight against poverty and organized crime. The two countries aim to achieve a new model of integration within Latin America, and to represent a positive, realistic, and active example of integration amongst two "brotherly" nations. Peru is represented through its embassy in Mexico City, and Mexico has an embassy in Lima.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and TobagoMexico



Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 22, 1831. Mexico has an embassy in Montevideo.[70] Uruguay has an embassy in Mexico City and 2 honorary consulates in Guadalajara and Monterrey. Both countries are full members of the Rio Group, of the Latin Union, of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, of the Organization of American States and of the Organization of Ibero-American States.



Historically the two countries have had good diplomatic relations. Ever since both countries became important players in the oil industry, some competitive tensions arose, eventually leading to disputes after Mexico signed an agreement to join NAFTA. During President Vicente Fox's term, relations between the two countries became critically strained to the point of recalling one-another's ambassadors. It has been clear that diplomatic ties between both countries are not indefinitely severed, in recent years numerous groups, both in Mexico and Venezuela are working to restore the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, as they are of strategic economic and cultural importance. In August 2007, after two years of diplomatic absence in either country, normal relations were re-established with the appointment of former foreign minister Roy Chaderton as Venezuela's envoy in Mexico City and the transfer of Jesús Mario Chacón Carrillo, formerly Mexican ambassador to Colombia, to Caracas.[71]

North America

NAFTA Initialing Ceremony, October 1992. From left to right (standing) President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President George H. W. Bush, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. (Seated) Jaime Serra Puche, Carla Hills, Michael Wilson.

Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1, 1994, relations between Canada, Mexico and the United States have significantly strengthened politically, economically, socially and culturally.[72] During the Fox administration, a further integration towards Mexico's northern neighbors was a top priority.[9] The September 11 attacks changed the priorities of U.S. foreign policy toward the strengthening of regional security.[73] As a result, several trilateral summit meetings regarding this issue have occurred within the framework of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), a region-level dialogue with the stated purpose of providing greater cooperation on security and economic issues,[74] founded in Waco, Texas on March 23, 2005 by Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada, Vicente Fox, then-President of Mexico, and George W. Bush, former President of the United States.[74]

Other issues of concern are the ones related to conservation and protection of the environment, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) consists of a declaration of principles and objectives concerning this issues as well as concrete measures to further cooperation on these matters tripartitely.[75] In addition, the Independent Task Force on North America advocates a greater economic and social integration between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. as a region.[76] It is a group of prominent business, political and academic leaders from the three countries organized and sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (U.S.), the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations.[77]



Formal relations did not begin until 1944,[78] at the height of the Second World War, which both countries participated in on the Allied side.[79] Prior to the negotiations around the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), economic and political ties between Mexico and Canada were relatively weak. Since NAFTA has come into force, the two countries have become much more important to each other, and often collaborate when dealing with the United States, for example with issues related to the economic embargo imposed to Cuba.[80]

Currently, Mexico and Canada are close friends and strategic partners and benefit from a very active bilateral relationship which includes ever increasing commercial ties, high-level political exchanges and an expanding collaborative network between Mexicans and Canadians in areas such as climate change, culture, energy, education, good governance, human rights and public service modernization. And more recently, both countries have been building a closer security and defense relationship.[78]

In recent years, both partners along with Italy, Argentina, Pakistan and other eight countries have sought a reform of the United Nations Security Council and its working methods[22] Which form a group informally called the Coffee Club, that opposes to the proposition of the G4.[23]

United States

United StatesMexico

When Mexico finally gained its independence from Spain in 1821, the United States was the first country to recognize it.[81] On December 12, 1822 the then-United States Secretary of State John Quincy Adams introduced José Manuel Zozoya, the first Mexican representative, to the then-U.S. president James Monroe in the White House. Through this event, the U.S. recognized de facto the independence of Mexico and the recently-born Mexican Empire led by Agustín de Iturbide. However, Washington did not establish diplomatic relations formally with Mexico until 1825, naming Joel Poinsett as its representative, who had the mission of buying territory and getting trading facilities.[82]

The Mexican Cession, shown in white, and the later Gadsden Purchase, shown in brown.

The Mexican-American war was a conflict that sparked when the U.S. annexed Texas in 1845 and the Mexican government refused to recognize the secession of Texas which was the precursor to the annexation.[83] The war, which began in 1846 and lasted for two years, was settled via the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo which led to Mexico giving up even more of its land to the U.S., including California.[84] Mexico further transferred some of its territories (southern Arizona and New Mexico) to the U.S. via the Gadsden Purchase in 1854.[85]

In the Reform War, that lasted from 1858 to 1861, the liberals led by Benito Juárez, were given the U.S. recognition as the legitimate government in Mexico.[86] Meanwhile, the conservatives, headed by Comonfort, Zuloaga and Miramón, brought a European Emperor to govern the country, Maximilian I, which led to the French Intervention in 1862,[87] violating the Monroe Doctrine, there was nothing the U.S. could do, as it was involved in its own civil war.[88] Affecting Mexico's foreign policy, both sides, the Union and the Confederacy, were looking for international recognition as well. The Juárez administration was ideologically closer to the Union, but geographically Mexico shared a large border with the Confederacy.[88] In 1861, the then-U.S. President Abraham Lincoln named Thomas Corwin as his minister for Mexico and instructed him to neutralize the Mexican aid given to the Confederates; he successfully achieved this mission.[88] Once the civil war ended, then-Secretary of State William Seward declared that the French invasion in Mexico was harmful to the friendship between France and the U.S., and Washington provided financial aid to Benito Juárez, who successfully expelled the French in 1867.[88]

Lasting for seven years, the 1910 Mexican Revolution ended the rule of the dictator-president Porfirio Díaz. The war was sparked when the U.S.-supported Díaz was proclaimed the winner of the 1910 elections despite mass popular support for his rival in the election Francisco I. Madero.[89] After the war, the various groups that made up the revolutionary forces splintered as they lost the unifying goal of unseating Díaz —leading to a civil war.[90] The U.S. intervened in the conflict, including the involvement of the U.S. ambassador, Henry Lane Wilson, in the plotting of the 1913 coup d'état which overthrew Madero.[91]

The 1917 Constitution of Mexico caused several problems with the British and American transnational oil companies mainly derived from the article 27, which declares that "the wealth contained in the soil, the subsoil, the waters and seas of Mexico belongs to the Nation; the right to land ownership and to exploit the subsoil may therefore only be granted by the Nation."[92] Due to foreign pressure, the implementation of the article was continuously ignored by the government until March 18, 1938 when then-President Lázaro Cárdenas nationalized the oil industry.[93] PEMEX replaced the 17 Anglo-American companies, however, the country faced hard retaliations from the transnational oil companies, as well as an international boycott that could be overcome ten years later.[94]

During the Cold War, demonstrating independence from the United States, Mexico supported the Cuban government during the 1960s,[6] the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua during the late 1970s,[7] and leftist revolutionary groups in El Salvador during the 1980s.[8]

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1, 1994, which led to the elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers between Mexico and the U.S. and serves as a multilateral platform for cooperation between both countries.[95] The agreement increased trade volume and cooperation in both countries.[96] The free trade agreement has been increasingly opposed by Mexican and U.S. farmers, with many groups and the political left presenting that it hurts the interest of traditional, small and local farmers in both countries.[97] Allegations of violations of labor and environmental laws have been considered by the trilateral institutions.[98] The Bush Administration argued that NAFTA had had modest positive impacts on all three member countries, but Mexican farmers have strongly criticized the effects of the agreement as they have become overshadowed by the large corporations benefiting from NAFTA.[99] Notable bilateral trade disputes relate to trucking, tuna, sweeteners and anti-dumping measures.[100]

Migration,[98] border security[101] and trade issues[100] have dominated the bilateral relationship in recent years. In September 2006, Congress approved the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-367) to authorize the construction of a border fence and other barriers along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.[102] In March 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton officially visited Mexico to discuss issues of concern for both countries, specifically the ones related to drug trafficking and the U.S. financial support in the Mexican drug war.[103] Another persistent and growing problem[104] is the international parental kidnapping of children to Mexico by non-custodial parents and family members. Mexico is the most common destination for parents that have abducted their children across international borders with the vast majority of those children coming from the United States.[105]



Diplomatic relations between both countries were established in 1890, in 2010 the 120th anniversary of the ties of friendship between the peoples of Russia and Mexico was grandly celebrated. Mexico has an embassy in Moscow.[106] and Russia has an embassy in Mexico City.[107] Both countries are members of APEC.

Mexico was the first country in the Americas to establish relations with the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Soviet politician and leader Leon Trotsky moved to Mexico from Norway during his exile. Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas welcomed him warmly, arranging a special train to bring him to Mexico City from the port of Tampico. In Mexico, Trotsky at one point lived at the home of the painter Diego Rivera, and at another at that of Rivera's wife & fellow painter, Frida Kahlo with whom he had an affair.[108]

Due to its good relations with Russia, Mexico has often purchased military equipment from Russia. The Mexican Navy has received BTR-60's Ural-4320, Mi-17/8's, and anti-aircraft missiles SA-18 Grouse. Much of this equipment remains in service.


European Union

European UnionMexico

Mexico was the first Latin American country to sign a partnership agreement with the European Union (EU), in 1997, composed by 15 members at the time.[57] The agreement entered into force in July 2000 and has considerably strengthened bilateral relations between the two partners. It governs all relations between them, including a regular high-level political dialogue, and shared values such as democracy and human rights.



During the French intervention in Mexico, and subsequently the Second Mexican Empire between 1864 and 1867, with French backing Maximilian I of Mexico, member of Austria's Imperial Habsburg-Lorraine family was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico.

As of 2005, Mexico was Austria's second most important trade partner in Latin America.[109] The same year, the President of Austria Heinz Fischer visited Mexico and Brazil, the first ever state visit of an Austrian President to countries in Latin America.[109][110][111]



Belgium has an embassy in Mexico City and six honorary consulates throughout Mexico in Cancún, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Chihuahua and Veracruz). Mexico has an embassy in Brussels. In 1836, Belgium—itself newly independent—recognized the independence of Mexico. In 1919, the Belgian chamber of commerce of Mexico was established. Belgium opened its embassy in Mexico on June 5, 1954.[112]



Denmark is Mexico's largest investor and trade partner among the Nordic countries. Diplomatic relations were started in 1827 with a Treaty of Friendship, Trade and Navigation[113] and a commercial treaty based on the treaty Porfirio Díaz had signed with England.[114] Mexico has an embassy in Copenhagen and Denmark has an embassy in Mexico City.



The independence of Mexico was recognized de jure by France until 1830.[115] The first official contacts concerned trading, in 1827 an agreement signed in Paris established that both countries and its citizens would enjoy a privileged position reciprocally, which included complaints and demands related to the damages suffered during the war from French citizens living in Mexico, the Mexican Congress refused to ratify it.[115] then-French Foreign Minister Louis-Mathieu Molé sent an ultimatum urging the Mexican government to pay off its debts, due to economic instability, refused to do so.[116] In 1838, a French pastry cook, Monsieur Remontel, claimed his shop in the Tacubaya district of Mexico City had been ruined by looting Mexican officers in 1828, he appealed to French King Louis-Philippe. Coming to its citizen's aid, France demanded MXN$600,000 in damages.[117] When the payment was not forthcoming from then-President Anastasio Bustamante, Louis-Philippe sent a fleet to declare a blockade of all Mexican ports from Yucatán to the Rio Grande, and to seize the Port of Veracruz, which led to an armed conflict known as the Pastry War.[117] British diplomat Richard Pakenham offered his mediation, after several negotiations, Mexico was eventually forced to pay the initially demanded MXN$600,000 and burdensome compensations.[83]

In 1861, the liberals won the War of Reform, however, it left the treasury depleted. Trade was stagnant, and foreign creditors were demanding full repayment of Mexican debts, Juárez proceeded to declare a moratorium on all foreign debt repayments.[87] France, Great Britain and Spain decided to launch a joint occupation of the Mexican Gulf coast to force repayment.[87] The Spanish and British quickly figured out that Juárez fully intended to pay the debts when he could, so they withdrew. They also realized that the French had other intentions, indicated by the arrival of reinforcements, and had no desire to help France achieve its ambitions, which led to a military intervention, encouraged by the defeated conservatives.[87] When the French entered Mexico City in mid-1863, the conservatives quickly invited Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria to accept the Mexican crown, who agreed believing that this act responded to the desire of a majority of Mexicans.[118] However, once the conservatives understood Maximilian's democratic sentiments and anticlerical attitudes, began withdrawing their support.[119] When the American Civil War ended, the U.S. made its Monroe Doctrine valid and intervened by providing military and financial aid to Juárez.[120] Meanwhile, in Europe, France was increasingly threatened by a belligerent Prussia and, by 1866, Napoleon III began recalling his troops stationed in Mexico.[88] Conservative forces switched sides and began supporting the Mexican liberals. United resumed their campaign on February 19, 1867, and on May 15, Maximilian surrendered. He was tried and, on Juárez's orders, was executed on June 19.[88] After an exhaustive process, diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1880, leaving behind claims related to the war.[121]

Both nations had an international dispute over the island of Clipperton, which had been under Mexican occupation, but claimed by the Foreign Ministry of France.[122] In 1931 both nations agreed to abide to the arbitration of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, who declared it a French territory.

When the Fourth Republic collapsed in 1958, Mexico was the first country that recognized the Fifth Republic founded by General Charles de Gaulle.[123] In subsequent years, both countries coordinated actions and released a communiqué that supported the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) during the Salvadoran Civil War.[124] Recently, President Nicolas Sarkozy paid a state visit in March 2009, however, controversy over the Florence Cassez case, a Frenchwoman convicted of kidnapping in Mexico sentenced to 60 years in jail, overshadowed the bilateral agenda.[125] Backed by the "Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons", Sarkozy persuaded the Mexican government to allow Cassez to serve out her sentence in France, however, public opinion in Mexico strongly opposes under the suspicion that once home, she would quickly be released from jail.[126] A bilateral commission was established to handle the case.[126] Meanwhile, speaking at the National Palace in Mexico City, Sarkozy praised Calderón for Mexico's "courageous and determined" battle against drug cartels[125] and urged the Congress to reform the Constitution in order to allow the Mexican military to collaborate with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions.[127] Supported by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Sarkozy has previously expressed that the G8 would benefit from a permanent enlargement that includes the +5 countries.[128]



Alexander von Humboldt's reports on his trip to then-New Spain back in the early 19th century heralded the start of Germany's interest in Mexico.[129] Commercial links were quickly established through the signing of the "Treaty of Commerce and Navigation" between Mexico and Hamburg in 1823. Due to increasing investment, six years later, Prussia sent Carl Koppe as its first General Consul and first representative in the newly-born nation. During the administration of dictator Porfirio Díaz, commercial ties significantly strengthened.[129]

In January 1917, Britain's secret Royal Navy cryptanalytic group, Room 40, intercepted a proposal from Berlin, the Zimmermann Telegram, to Mexico to join the Great War as Germany's ally against the United States, should the U.S. join. The proposal suggested, if the U.S. were to enter the war, Mexico should declare war against the U.S. and enlist Japan as an ally. This would prevent the U.S. from joining the Allies and deploying troops to Europe, and would give Germany more time for their unrestricted submarine warfare program to strangle Britain's vital war supplies. In return, the Germans would promise Mexico support in reclaiming Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.[130] When the U.S. entered the war on April 2, 1917, eleven days later then-President Venustiano Carranza not only turned down the proposition but also declared neutrality.[131]

Nearly 25,000 Mennonites of German ancestry immigrated from Canada to Mexico and settled in the states of Chihuahua and Durango in 1922, their agricultural centers still contribute to the economy of the region.[132] During the Third Reich, Mexico received hundreds of asylum seekers, standing out important figures such as Egon Erwin Kisch, Anna Seghers and Paul Westheim.[132] During the Second World War, the Axis Powers sank two Mexican oil tankers such as Faja de Oro and Potrero de Llano, despite Mexico's neutrality. This attacks were enough to make Mexico enter the world conflict.[133] In 1952, diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially reestablished.[132]

In 1964, the foundation of Volkswagen in Puebla, Mexico, best represents the foreign investment from Germany; specifically, the Volkswagen Beetle, informally called "vocho", is commonly seen as a symbol of Germany in the country.[132] In contemporary times, Germany is viewed as a privileged partner in Europe, from whom economic, political and cultural engagement in Mexico is expected. Bilateral relations are being intensified in all areas based on a "Joint Declaration" between the two countries' Foreign Ministries signed in April 2007.[134] Economic ties have been strengthened since the European Union-Mexico Free Trade Agreement went into force in July 2000, Germany has become Mexico's fourth-largest trading partner.[135]



Diplomatic relations between Hungary and Mexico were suspended between 1941 and 1974 and re-established on May 14, 1974. The Mexican embassy in Budapest was opened on September 30, 1976.[136] Hungary has an embassy in Mexico City and 3 honorary consulates in Guadalupe, Guadalajara and Cancún).[137]



On September 27, 1993 the Netherlands Ministry of Finance announced The Netherlands - Mexico Tax Treaty and Protocol. The regulations detail the formalities residents of the Netherlands must observe "in order to be exempt from, or obtain a refund of, the Mexican withholding taxes on dividends, interest and royalties."[138] In 2008 Mexico and the Netherlands modified their existing tax treaty, initially signed in 1993 to strength cooperation to curb tax evasion.[139][140]



Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1946. Mexico has an embassy in Belgrade[141] and Serbia has an embassy in Mexico City.[142] Relations between the two countries are solid.[143] As socialist countries during the cold war, both with powerful neighbors, Mexico and Yugoslavia were natural allies.[144] Treaties between Mexico and Yugoslavia are now being carried forward to treaties between Mexico and Serbia[143]



Mexico was the first Latin American country to recognise independent and sovereign Slovenia on 22 May 1992. Mexican parliament members have praised Slovenia's participation in the eight-country initiative (which includes Mexico) for a world without nuclear weapons and its achievements in the human rights area. Since 1999 both countries have abolished visas as an example of strengthening relations.

Mexico recognised Slovenia on 22 May 1992. Diplomatic relations were established on the same day when Slovenian President Milan Kučan and former Mexican President Carlos Salinas exchanged letters.[145]



After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was successfully archived in 1521, Mexico became part of the Spanish Empire as the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which lasted until 1821 when the Kingdom of Spain officially recognized the independence of Mexico by signing the Treaty of Córdoba.[146] Ferdinand VII never gave his approval to the treaty signed by Juan O'Donojú, until he died in 1833, serious negotiations started to formalize the independence, the "Treaty of Peace and Friendship" was signed on December 28, 1836.[147]

The first decades of Mexico's post-independence period were characterized by economic instability. On July 17, 1861, then-President Benito Juárez's suspension of interest payments to foreign countries angered Mexico's major creditors: Spain, France and Great Britain.[87] Napoleon III was the leader of this operation, and the three powers signed the Treaty of London on October 31 to unite their efforts to receive payments from Mexico. On December 8 the Spanish fleet and troops from Spanish-controlled Cuba arrived at Mexico's main Gulf port, Veracruz. Spain along Great Britain soon withdrew after the signing of the "Treaty of La Soledad", France did not agree with the terms and immediately invaded Mexico.[87]

During the Spanish–American War, Mexico remained neutral to avoid conflicts with the United States and Spain, despite previously having negotiated the eventual annexation of Cuba with Washington.[148] In 1936, the Cárdenas administration declared, in the League of Nations, that "Spain was a victim of foreign aggression and had the right of moral and diplomatic support from the international community".[149] The government decided to openly support the republican forces during the Spanish Civil War.[149] Once the war finished in 1939, Mexico received nearly 30,000 asylum seekers and immediately broke off diplomatic relations with the "Spanish State" under the rule of dictator Francisco Franco.[149]

Diplomatic relations, since their reestablishment on March 28, 1977, have been strengthened within a modern, legal and institutional framework to promote politic dialogue and cooperation. In January 1990, the "General Treaty of Cooperation and Friendship" was signed to establish a Bilateral Commission.[150] In 2007, President Calderón and Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero paid state visits reciprocally[150] and signed a declaration to deepen the strategic association between the two countries.[151] After the European Union-Mexico Free Trade Agreement went into force in July 2000, Spain became Mexico's seventh trading partner and second amongst the European Union members.[152]

United Kingdom

United KingdomMexico

Due to rivalry with France and Spain, then-Prime Minister George Canning was interested in recognizing the independence of the newly-born nations in the Americas. On June 27, 1824, Canning received Mexican plenipotentiary minister José Mariano Michelena and recognized Mexico as an independent country de facto, and formally on December 30, despite opposition from the British cabinet.[153] United Kingdom was the first country to officially recognize the independence of Mexico.[154]

In subsequent decades, the United Kingdom would persuade other European countries to recognize Mexico, especially Spain, and offer mediation in different international conflicts that involved Mexico in the 19th century such as the Pastry War[83] and the Texas War of Independence.[155] By 1861, Mexico was a country deeply in debt and torn by divisions of the power of the Roman Catholic Church. Mexico's creditors demanded repayment, forcing then-President Benito Juárez to declare a two-year moratorium on foreign debt, which in turn led to a punitive expedition sent by Britain, France and Spain. Juarez successfully negotiated the "Treaty of La Soledad" with the British and Spanish, who soon withdrew.[87] After the Mexican Congress ratified a commercial agreement with the U.S. in 1883, Great Britain showed more interest in reestablish diplomatic relations with Mexico, and quickly did so a couple of years later.[156] Sovereignty over the territory of Belize was historically claimed by Mexico, but the British crown refused to discuss this issue for a long time; however, in 1897, the signing of the "Mariscal-Spencer Treaty" resolved the territorial disputes with the British crown colony.[157]

In 1917, Mexico's newly promulgated Constitution provided, among other things, restrictions on foreign ownership of land and subsoil resources, notably oil.[158] This last provision, included in Article 27, was ominous for American and British investors who had obtained oil-mining concessions.[159] Due to heavy foreign pressure, subsequent governments did not strictly applicate the article, until Lázaro Cárdenas, who on March 18, 1938, fully nationalized the oil-industry. This measure led to protests by the British government questioning the nationalization and Mexico's solvency to execute it. In response, a check, in an amount worth of the demands for nationalization, was sent and diplomatic ties were broken off.[160] PEMEX replaced the 17 Anglo-American companies, however, the country faced hard retaliations from the transnational oil companies, and an international boycott that could be overcome ten years later.[159]

Decades later, several state visits would be reciprocally paid, notably Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 1975.[161] On March 31-April 1, 2009, President Felipe Calderón officially visited the UK to discuss issues related to modernization of the national oil industry, climate change and strategic cooperation with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as well as coordinating actions for the G-20 London Summit.[162]

Other EU nations
Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Bulgaria 1938 See Bulgaria–Mexico relations
 Czech Republic 1922 See Czech Republic – Mexico relations
 Finland See Foreign relations of Finland
 Greece See Greece–Mexico relations
 Holy See See Holy See – Mexico relations
  • Latin America's first indigenous President, Benito Juárez confiscated church property between 1856 and 1861 in an effort to disban religious power over the land and ordered the separation of church and state.
  • In 1904 the Vatican assigned an Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico. The Holy See has a nunciature in Mexico City. As of 1990 about 90 percent of Mexico's population declared themselves Roman Catholics.
 Ireland See Ireland–Mexico relations
  • Mexico has an embassy in Dublin.
  • Ireland has an embassy in Mexico City.
 Italy See Foreign relations of Italy
 Romania 1935-07-20

European Free Trade Association

In 2000, Mexico was the first Latin American country to sign a partnership agreement with the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) integrated by Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.[57] The agreement entered into force in July 2000 and has considerably strengthened bilateral relations between the two partners. It governs all relations between them, including a regular high-level political dialogue, and shared values such as democracy and human rights.



Iceland and Mexico established diplomatic relations in 1960. Since then the Icelandic Embassy in Washington, D.C. has also served as the Icelandic Embassy for Mexico. The Mexican Embassy in Copenhagen serves as the Mexican Embassy to Iceland.[170] Within Mexico, there are Icelandic consulates in Campeche, Guaymas and Mexico City.



Norway has an embassy in Mexico City. The Mexican Embassy in Copenhagen serves as the Mexican Embassy to Norway.

EU Candidate Countries

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Republic of Macedonia 2001-10-04 Initially Mexico recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name, but in 2008 that decision was changed. Mexico is represented in Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.


First contacts with Asia started in 1565, when Governor General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi claimed the Philippines as a Spanish Colony and designated Manila as the capital in 1571.[173] Due to its distance from Spain, the Spanish Government assigned Manila's administration and government to Viceroyalty of New Spain for two and a half centuries. Evangelization and commercialization constituted the core of intercontinental ties between Asia and America that materialized with the Manila-Acapulco galleons.[174]

In 1993, Mexico joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, within this framework Mexico has sought to strengthen its relations with the region, especially with Australia,[175] India,[176] Japan,[177] the People's Republic of China[178] and South Korea.[179]



People's Republic of China


Mexico and the People's Republic of China established relations amidst tensions in 1972, and in recent years have seen an intense export rivalry over the United States market, with the Mexican government having accused the Chinese of impinging on its export territory by flooding the US with cheap goods manufactured in low-wage factories.

In 2005, Chinese President Hu Jintao came to Mexico promising increased investment in industries like automobile-parts manufacture and mineral exportation. In July 2008, Mexican President Felipe Calderón reciprocated with a visit to Beijing in a bid to improve bilateral trade. Nevertheless, China has focussed more on South American commodity producers such as Brazil and Chile to meet this end and fuel its chiefly-export economy. In 2008 Mexico exported just $2 billion worth of goods to China while importing some $34 billion from her, including clothing, electronics and "tourist trinkets".



President Felipe Calderón (center) with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (left) and Chinese President Hu Jintao, (second from right) among the G-5 leaders during an official meeting in Germany, 2007.

As one of the fastest-growing economies[180] and potential superpower,[181] India and Mexico are reciprocally considered as strategic partners.[176][182]

Under the Fox administration, several visits and bilateral meetings occurred concerning diverse areas such as economy, technology and culture. In April 2004, the "Group of Friendship Mexico-India" was established at the LIX Legislature.[176] To promote a major rapprochement with India, then-Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez met with his Indian counterpart in mid-2004 in Washington, D.C., and officially visited New Delhi in August, where both ministers agreed to celebrate the IV Binational Commission, formerly suspended in 1996, with the aim of strengthening the bilateral agenda.[176] In May 2007, India and Mexico signed the "Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement" (BIPA) to strengthen their trading relations, with proximity to the U.S., the joint ventures would enable Indian companies to increase their presence in the world's biggest market, taking advantage of Mexico's membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).[182]



The Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation concluded in 1888 between the two countries was Japan's first "equal" treaty with a foreign country.[183] In 1897, the 35 members of the so-called Enomoto Colonization Party settle in the Mexican state of Chiapas to grow coffee, this was the first organized emigration from Japan to Latin America.[183]

Former Mexican President Álvaro Obregón was awarded Japan's Order of the Chrysanthemum at a special ceremony in Mexico City. On November 27, 1924, Baron Shigetsuma Furuya, Special Ambassador from Japan to Mexico, conferred the honor on Obregón. It was reported that this had been the first time that the Order had been conferred outside the Imperial family.[184] In 1952, Mexico becomes the second country to ratify the San Francisco Peace Treaty, preceded only by the United Kingdom.[183]

On September 17, 2004, Mexico and Japan signed a free trade agreement, formally known as the "Agreement Between Japan and the United Mexican States for the Strengthening of the Economic Partnership", which went into effect in April 2005.[185] This was the among many historic steps led by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to strengthen global economic stability. As a result, in 2007 Mexico became Japan's largest trading partner in Latin America.[185] Over sixty treaties and agreements have been signed between the two countries, standing out the ones related to technological and scientific cooperation, several academic and cultural exchanges, as well as an increasing inter-parliamentary dialogue.[183][186]



Mexico and the Philippines share a myriad of traditions and customs derived from historical ties established nearly 450 years ago. Their common history dates back to the time when both countries were part of New Spain. Mexican money financed the expedition known as Legazpi exploration, under the command of King Philip II of Spain. During the Mexican administration of the Philippines, other than General Legazpi, all of the governor-generals were born in Mexico. Due to the grand exchange with the Philippines in those days, many cultural traits were adopted by one another, with Mexicans remaining in the Philippines, and Filipinos establishing in Mexico, particularly the central west coast, near the port town of Acapulco. Many Nahuatl words were adopted and popularized in the Philippines, such as Tianggui (market fair) and Zapote (a fruit).[187]

After the colonial period, the first official contacts of Mexico with the Philippines were established in 1842, when a Mexican Representation was opened in Manila. With the assignment of Mexican Diplomat Evaristo Butler Hernandez in the Philippines in 1878.

The Independence of the Philippines brought forth a new era of relations between these countries. Mexico dispatched an envoy to participate in the festivities to celebrate the birth of the Southeast Asian nation. Diplomatic ties between both countries were formalized on April 14 of 1953. The year of 1964 was decreed the "Year of Philippine-Mexican Friendship" to celebrate the Fourth Centennial of the Expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi. In modern day, the conquest of the Philippines is seen as a Spanish initiative, while Mexico is viewed as a country of historical link and friendship, and several groups intend on strengthening the bond between the two countries.[188]

Mexico has an embassy in Manila, and the Philippines has an embassy in Mexico City. Both countries share a multitude of bilateral agreements including cooperation in Science, Technology, Culture, Tourism, Education, and the fight against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

South Korea

South KoreaMexico

Mexico has an embassy in Seoul, while South Korea has an embassy in Mexico City. See also Korean Mexican.

Africa and Middle East



With Angola's fast growing economy, relations between the West-African nation and several Latin American countries have become of increasing priority due to the geographical proximity and cultural similarities. Mexico has an embassy in Luanda, and Angola has an embassy in Mexico City.



During the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, Mexico was the only country to condemn the Italian occupation of the country in the League of Nations.[citation needed] Since then, relations between the two nations have strengthened. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia thanked Mexico by naming a square in the city called "Plaza Mexico." Mexico then named a metro station in Mexico City called Metro Etiopía. Mexico re-opened its embassy in Addis Ababa in 2007.[189][190] Ethiopia is represented in Mexico through its embassy in Washington, D.C.. It also has an honorary consulate in Mexico City.



The first diplomatic relations between Mexico and Iran date back to 1889, although cooperation and trade between the two friend nations was not formally established until 1937.[191] Mexico and Iran have enjoyed increasingly close political and economic relations over the years, growing with the volume of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The two countries aim to expand cooperation in several sectors, sharing science and technology, particularly in the oil industry. Both countries have also shared successful experiences in cultural cooperation and exchange. In 2008, an agreement to form a Mexico-Iran parliamentary friendship group was made at the Mexican parliament. Iran has an embassy in Mexico City, and Mexico has an embassy in Tehran.



Mexico recognized the State of Israel in January 1950. Diplomatic relations were soon established with the opening of the Embassy of Mexico in Tel-Aviv with an honorary consulate in Haifa.[192] Israel also opened an embassy in Mexico City with three honorary consulates in the country; Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana.[193] In 2000, a free trade agreement was signed between the two nations.



Mexico was among the first nations to recognize Lebanon's independence in 1943. Mexico has an embassy in Beirut, and Lebanon has an embassy in Mexico City. Mexico was a popular destination during the Lebanese diaspora. There is a significant population of Lebanese descent in Mexico, nearing half a million people, many of which travel to and support business with Lebanon. The Centro Libanés and "Club Deportivo Libanés" in Mexico City are important symbols representing the historically cultural and social ties between both countries.


Palestinian territoriesMexico

The Palestinian National Authority has a Special Delegation in Mexico City, and Mexico has a limited diplomatic relations office in Ramallah. Many groups in Mexico strive to create a permanent official relation with Palestine, this includes Sub-Comandante Marcos of the EZLN, who has condemned the Israeli invasion of Palestine.[194]

South Africa

South AfricaMexico

There were no official relations between Mexico and South Africa before 1994. After the birth of democracy in South Africa, the countries established relations. Mexico has an embassy in Pretoria, South Africa has an embassy in Mexico City.



Mexico and Syria have increasingly strengthened their relations, particularly in the interest of expanding educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries. In 2008, Syria was Mexico’s eighth-largest trading partner in the Middle East.[195]

South Sudan

South SudanMexico

Mexico recognized the independence and sovereignty of South Sudan on July 14, 2011 and established full diplomatic relations on September 26 of the same year.[196][197]

Multilateral relations

United Nations

United NationsMexico

Mexico is the tenth largest contributor to the United Nations (UN) regular budgets.[16] Currently, it is a member of eighteen organizations arisen from the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and other specialized organizations of the UN.[198]

Mexico has served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) three times (1946, 1982–83, 2002–03). On October 17, 2008, picking up 185 votes, it was elected to serve as a non-permanent member for the fourth time, from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010.[199] Since April 1, Mexico holds the rotative presidency of the UNSC.[200]

In recent years, the need of reforming the UNSC and its working methods has been widely impulsed by Mexico,[22] with the support of Canada, Italy, Pakistan and other nine countries.[23] And have formed a movement informally called the Coffee Club, created in the 1990s, which highly opposes to the reform that the Group of Four (G4) suggests.[201]

In line with the Castañeda Doctrine of new openness in Mexico's foreign policy, established in the early first decade of the 21st century,[9] some political parties have proposed an amendment of the Constitution in order to allow the Mexican army, air force or navy to collaborate with the UN in peacekeeping missions.[36]

Organization of American States

Organization of American StatesMexico

Mexican Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C..

As a founding member of the Organization of American States (OAS),[12] Mexico has actively participated in the intergovernmental organization. Since the creation of the OAS, Mexico always promoted to include more principals related to international cooperation and less military aspects,[202] its position was based on the principles of non-intervention and the pacific resolution of disputes.[203] In addition, Mexico favored the membership of Canada in 1989 and Belize and Guatemala in 1991.[203]

In 1964, under U.S. pressure, the OAS required all member countries to break off diplomatic ties with Cuba. Mexico refused, condemned the Bay of Pigs invasion, and did not support the expulsion of Cuba from the OAS.[204] Years later, Mexico strongly opposed to the creation of a military alliance within the OAS framework, and condemned the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989.[205]

Under the Fox administration, the candidacy of then-Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez for the Secretary General of the OAS was highly promoted. It eventually failed but brought a diplomatic crisis with Chile and harsh critics from the Mexican public opinion when Derbez had announced that he would no longer compete against José Miguel Insulza but the Mexican delegation abstained despite being previously agreed that it would vote for the Chilean candidate.[58]

Mega-Diverse Countries

The 17 countries identified as Megadiverse by CI.

The megadiverse countries are a group of countries that harbor the majority of the Earth's species and are therefore considered extremely biodiverse and therefore are of utmost priority on the global environmental agenda. Conservation International identified 17 megadiverse countries [206] in 1998,[207][208] most are located in or have territories in the tropics.

In 2002, Mexico formed a separate organization named Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries, consisting of countries rich in biological diversity and associated traditional knowledge.[209] This organization includes a different set of involved megadiverse countries than those identified by Conservation International.

Participation in international organizations

  • Regional Organizations:
  • International and Multilateral Organizations:

Free trade agreements

Mexico holds more free trade agreements than any other country in the world.[210] Ordered by date, the free trade agreements in force are:[57]

Mexico free trade agreements

Transnational issues

Illicit drugs

Hot spots where police corruption and extreme drug cartel violence prompted an increased use of the military in law enforcement roles.

Mexico remains a transit and not a cocaine production country.[211] Methamphetamine and cannabis production do take place in Mexico and are responsible for an estimated 80% of the methamphetamine on the streets in the United States,[212] while 1,100 metric tons of marijuana are smuggled each year from Mexico.[213]

In 1990 just over half the cocaine imported into the U.S. came through Mexico, by 2007 that had risen to more than 90 percent, according to U.S. State Department estimates.[214] Although violence between drug cartels has been occurring long before the war began, the government used its police forces in the 1990s and early first decade of the 21st century with little effect. That changed on December 11, 2006, when newly elected President Felipe Calderón sent 6,500 federal troops to the state of Michoacán to put an end to drug violence there. This action is regarded as the first major retaliation made against cartel operations, and is generally viewed as the starting point of the war between the government and the drug cartels.[215] As time progressed, Calderón continued to escalate his anti-drug campaign, in which there are now well over 25,000 troops involved.[216] During the Calderón administration, the Mexican government has spent approximately USD$7 billion in an 18-month-old campaign against drug cartels.[217] It is estimated that during 2006, there were about 2,000 drug-related violent deaths,[218] about 2,300 deaths during 2007,[219] and more than 6,200 people by the end of 2008.[220] Many of the dead were gang members killed by rivals or by the government, some have been bystanders.[221][222]

Drug trafficking is acknowledged as an issue with shared responsibilities that requires coordinated measures by the U.S. and Mexico. In March 2009, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, when officially visited Mexico City, stated that:[223]

Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.

Illegal migration

Almost a third of all immigrants in the U.S. were born in Mexico, being the source of the greatest number of both authorized (20%) and unauthorized (56%) migrants who come to the U.S. every year.[224] Since the early 1990s, Mexican immigrants are no longer concentrated in California, the Southwest, and Illinois, but have been coming to new gateway states, including New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., in increasing numbers.[224] This phenomenon can be mainly attributed to poverty in Mexico, the growing demand for unskilled labor in the U.S., the existence of established family and community networks that allow migrants to arrive in the U.S. with people known to them.[224]

The framework of U.S. immigration law has largely remained the same since 1965. The U.S. economy needs both high-skilled and low-skilled immigrant workers to remain competitive and to have enough workers who continue to pay into Social Security and Medicare as the U.S. population grows older. Nonetheless, there are currently very few channels for immigration to the U.S. for work-related reasons under current law.[225] Furthermore, Amnesty International has taken concern regarding the excessive brutality inflicted upon illegal immigrants, which includes beatings, sexual assault, denial of medical attention, and denial of food, water and warmth for long periods.[226]

For many years, the Mexican government showed limited interest in the issues. However, former President Vicente Fox actively sought to recognize the contribution of migrants to the U.S. and Mexico and to pursue a bilateral migration agreement with the U.S. government, which eventually failed.[227] The current administration has placed an emphasis on how to create jobs in Mexico, enhance border security, and protect Mexican citizens living abroad.[228]

Traditionally, Mexico built a reputation as one of the classic asylum countries, with a varying attitude toward refugees from Spain and other European countries before and during World War II, from Latin America's Southern Cone in the 1970s, and from Central America since the beginning of the 1980s.[229] However, in recent years refugees who solicit asylum are usually treated as if they were just immigrants, with exhaustive administrative processes.[229] The southern border of Mexico has experienced a significant increase in legal and illegal flows over the past decade, in particular for migrants seeking to transit Mexico to reach the U.S.[230] José Luis Soberanes, president of the National Human Rights Commission, condemned the repressing policy implemented by the Mexican government against illegal immigrants who cross the country's southern border.[231] President Calderón modified the "General Law on Population" to derogate some penalties against immigrants such as jail, instead undocumented immigrants have to pay fines as high as USD$500.[232]

See also


Policy and Doctrine


  1. ^ a b c d (Spanish) Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (February 5, 1917). "Article 89, Section 10". Chamber of Deputies. Retrieved March 28, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b (Spanish) Internal Rules of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (August 10, 2001). "Article 2, Section 1". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c (Spanish) Palacios Treviño, Jorge. "La Doctrina Estrada y el Principio de la No-Intervención". Retrieved April 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Bilateral Trade". Embassy of the U.S. in Mexico. 2006. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ Kim Richard Nossal (June 29-July 2, 1999). "Lonely Superpower or Unapologetic Hyperpower? Analyzing American Power in the Post-Cold War Era". Queen's University. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Renata Keller (2009). "Capitalizing on Castro: Mexico's Foreign Relations with Cuba, 1959-1969". Latin American Network Information Center. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Salaverry, Jorge (March 11, 1988). "Evolution of Mexican Foreign Policy". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "El Salvador in the 1980s". Historical Text Archive. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c Larry Birns and Michael Lettieri (June 27, 2006). "Mexican President Fox Chooses U.S. Over Latin America". Political Affairs. Retrieved March 28, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b (Spanish) Dirección General de Coordinación Política (December 2, 2008). "Se hará política exterior de Estado: Patricia Espinosa". Senate of the Republic. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  11. ^ UN (November 7, 1945). "United Nations Member States". UN official website. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Velázquez Flores (2007), p. 145.
  13. ^ (Spanish) Organization of Ibero-American States. "Members". OEI official website. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  14. ^ OPANAL. "Members". OPANAL official website. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  15. ^ (Spanish) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (March 7, 2007). "El Presidente Felipe Calderón Hinojosa en la Ceremonia de Entrega de la Secretaría Pro Témpore del Grupo de Río". Gobierno Federal. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b United Nations (2008). "Regular Budget Payments of Largest Payers". Global Policy. Retrieved April 4, 2009. 
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  • Pereña-García, Mercedes (2001). Las Relaciones Diplomáticas de México. Plaza y Valdés, p. 94. ISBN 9688569178.
  • Velázquez Flores, Rafael (2007). Factores, Bases y Fundamentos de la Política Exterior de México. Plaza y Valdés, p. 331. ISBN 9707224738.
  • Alponte, Juan María (1993). La Política Exterior de México en el Nuevo Orden Mundial : Antología de Principios y Tesis. FCE, p. 428. ISBN 9681641671.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005) La Política Exterior Mexicana en la Transición. FCE, SRE, p. 281. ISBN 9681677455.
  • Lajous Vargas, Roberta (2000) Los Retos de la Política Exterior de México en el Siglo XXI. SRE, p. 560. ISBN 9688106216.
  • El Colegio de México (2007). Historia General de México: Versión 2000. El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Históricos, p. 1103. ISBN 9681209699.
  • Selee, Andrew D. (2007). More Than Neighbors: An Overview of Mexico and U.S.-Mexican Relations. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, p. 43. ISBN 1933549262.

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