MEXICO CITY
                  MAY 8-9, 1994
1.  A New Consensus of the Americas --
Secretary Christopher
2.  The United States and Mexico: Friends,
Neighbors, and Partners
     Arrival Remarks, Mexico City -- Secretary
     Remarks at Opening Plenary Session --
Secretary Christopher
     Remarks to Border Cooperation Subgroup --
Secretary Christopher
      Opening Remarks at News Conference --
Secretary Tello and Secretary Christopher
     Report to Closing Plenary Session --
Secretary Christopher
     Fact Sheets
3.  U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission
4.  Cooperation With Mexico--In Our National
5.  International Boundary and Water
Commission, United States and Mexico
6.  Mexico--Electoral Reforms
7.  U.S.-Mexico Cooperation on the Environment
8.  Mexico's Counter-narcotics Efforts
9.  The Mexican Economy
10.  Mexico:  Trade and Economic Profile
11.  Labor in Mexico
12.  Human Rights in Mexico
13.  Mexico's Marine Conservation Efforts
14.  Country Fact Sheet:  Mexico
A New Consensus of the Americas
Secretary Christopher
Address before the Matias Romero Institute for
Diplomatic Studies at the Mexican Foreign
Ministry, Mexico City, May 9, 1994
I am delighted to be in this vast metropolis,
the cradle of the New World and now the largest
city on earth.  As a Californian and a Los
Angeleno, I am particularly proud to be with
you in this vital center of modern Hispanic
culture in the Americas.  This afternoon, I
will visit one of Mexico's national treasures,
the anthropology museum in Chapultepec Park.
There, I will have a chance to reflect upon the
richness of the pre-Columbian cultures that are
part of the heritage of this nation.
An involvement with history comes with my job.
When it is being made, I often can see it and
feel it, and lend my hand.  I had that
privilege last Wednesday in another city of
ancient greatness, Cairo.  There, Israel and
the Palestinians agreed to implement the
Declaration of Principles that, we hope, will
transform the war-torn Middle East.
Thankfully, our task today is not a matter of
war and peace.  But I think that history will
remember well the importance of the work we are
undertaking here.
Earlier this morning, I joined members of
President Salinas' Cabinet, along with several
of my Cabinet colleagues, in opening the first
Binational Commission meeting since NAFTA went
into effect.  Only with Mexico does the United
States convene every year on such a basis.  In
that setting and in others, I have found that
the quality of Mexico's leadership--its
technical expertise and its political vision--
is a match for that of any other nation in the
I am confident in saying today that relations
between our nations have never been better,
stronger, or more important.
We recognize that NAFTA is not just a turning
point for free trade but a transforming event
in the history of our relations.  It is a
platform for prosperity and a bridge to greater
trade and investment throughout the Americas.
For the United States, Mexico, and Canada,
NAFTA represents a monumental decision to
strengthen cooperation, widen integration in
our hemisphere, and deepen our engagement in
the global economy.
NAFTA reflects and reinforces the new reality
in the Americas.  The historic movement over
the last decade toward democracy and economic
liberalization has resulted in an unprecedented
convergence of values and interests among Latin
nations--and between them and the United
When I visited Latin America in 1977 as Deputy
Secretary of State, most Latin countries were
stagnating under military rule.  Now, virtually
every nation in the Americas is a democracy--
and proud of it.  Not coincidentally, economies
have expanded and trade has multiplied.  This
progress is gaining irreversible momentum.  And
not surprisingly, it has set important
precedents for political and economic change
around the world.
Today, a new consensus of the Americas has
formed.  Open markets work.  Democratic
governments are just.  And together they offer
the best hope for lifting people's lives.
This morning, I will focus on the progress we
have made, and the work that remains to be
done, to build on this new consensus of the
Let me begin with economic reform.  Latin
America is capturing the imagination--and
attracting the trade and investment--of the
United States and the world.  Exports to the
region have more than doubled within the last
six years alone, and Mexico has become our
third-largest trading partner and our fastest
growing major export market.
Liberalization is opening markets, lowering
barriers, cutting tariffs, and creating jobs.
Inefficient state enterprises are giving way to
privatized companies that enhance productivity.
Debt crises are passing.  Latin America is
growing faster, on average, than the advanced
industrial nations of the OECD.  Latin
"jaguars" are in hot pursuit of Asian "tigers."
The modernizing economic reforms of the Salinas
Administration have made Mexico a pacesetter
for the region and for the world.  By becoming
a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation forum, Mexico is extending its
dynamism and its destiny to the west.  And by
becoming the first Latin member of the OECD,
Mexico is gain-ing new responsibilities as a
leader of the global economy.
President Clinton has reaffirmed our intention
to negotiate free trade agreements with other
market democracies in the hemisphere.  We are
committed to begin with Chile, another country
on the cutting edge of reform.  We are
consulting with Congress on broad fast-track
authority for these negotiations.
As we expand trade, we must also build a new
architecture for regional integration and
investment.  Regional development banks are
vital if we are to enlarge the circle of
prospering democracies.  Last month in
Guadalajara, we took an important step with the
landmark replenishment of the Inter-American
Development Bank.  Together, we provided $40
billion in new capital that will allow the IDB
to advance several new priorities:  investing
in education and human resources; protecting
the environment; and supporting the private
For the full promise of open markets and trade
to be realized, the vital arteries of a liberal
market economy--from banking to transportation
to communications--must carry commerce more
efficiently.  The reforms of the last decade
must be sustained.  Inflation must continue to
be curbed; public debt contained; corruption
We understand, as did Mexico's great 19th
century president, Benito Juarez, that even if
reform requires "immense sacrifice," it is
essential to freedom and modernization.  In the
spirit of Juarez, reform must also benefit
every segment of society and narrow the gap
between rich and poor.  All our governments,
including mine, have a responsibility to help
those who are left behind:  those who have lost
their jobs, and those who never had them.
Democracy is the single most effective link
between prosperity and equity.  Strengthening
that link not only will empower our nations; it
will enrich them.
The movement to democracy in Latin America is a
great epic of the late 20th century.  It is not
captured in any single image as indelible as
the fall of the Berlin Wall or the sight of
South Africans marking their ballots and
claiming their freedom.  But democ-racy's
victories in this hemisphere, from Argentina,
Brazil, and Chile, to Nicaragua, El Salvador,
and Guatemala, are just as vital to the cause
of liberty.
In El Salvador, political movements no longer
field armies; now they field candidates for
public office.  In many other countries, civic
groups that once conducted their work
underground now work openly to monitor human
rights and to advocate the needs of women,
minorities, and the poor.  They are advancing
democracy's agenda for the 1990s:  They are
building strong civil societies that
countervail the power of strong states; they
are making governments more accountable to
their people.
Here in Mexico, the government led Latin
America by reforming the econ-omy, opening
markets, and negotiating NAFTA.  Now Mexico,
with its proud revolutionary heritage, is in
the proc-ess of revitalizing its democratic
In response to events in Chiapas, the Mexican
Government has fostered political dialogue and
paved the way for national reconciliation.  In
announcing a cease-fire, in issuing a
unilateral amnesty, and in openly acknowledging
the legitimacy of grievances, the government
has shown sensitivity and responsibility.
In the period since the tragic assassination of
Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexicans have come
together to uphold democracy and oppose
violence.  The death of such a promising leader
would be a terrible loss for any nation.  But
Mexico is revealing its strength and courage.
I believe that out of this tragedy will come
This August's elections will demonstrate the
vitality of Mexico's democracy.  We applaud the
far-reaching electoral reforms that Mexico has
adopted over the last several years, including
the agreement of January 27 of this year.  We
trust that these reforms, combined with your
new election technology, will produce a free
and fair election that will give all Mexicans
confidence in its outcome.
We have a strong and productive relationship
with President Salinas and his Administration.
I am confident that we will have an equally
strong and productive relationship with the
government that Mexican voters choose in the
August election.
Democracy and human rights are cardinal
principles of the Americas.  Unfortunately,
Haiti and Cuba remain outside the orbit of
President Clinton is committed to the
restoration of democracy and the return of
President Aristide to Haiti.  The hemisphere is
united in opposition to the unconscionable
usurpation of power by the coup leaders.  The
Haitian people have suffered gravely under
their repressive rule.
This is why, last Friday, the UN Security
Council adopted tough new comprehensive
sanctions, including immediate measures
targeted at the coup leaders and their
supporters.  If Haiti's military leaders refuse
to give up power, they will find that the
international community has both the will and
the means to make them pay the price for their
illegal actions.  At the same time, the
international community will step up its
efforts to ensure that those who need
humanitarian assistance receive it.  President
Clinton announced yesterday that, for its part,
the United States will increase its
humanitarian feeding and health programs in
Haiti to reach 1.2 million beneficiaries.
All the nations of the Americas have an
interest in preventing a return to the rule of
dictators.  The United States is committed to
working with the nations of this hemisphere to
meet this shared objective.  We are working
with the Dominican Republic to tighten
sanctions along the Haitian-Dominican border.
We will seek to increase the number of UN and
OAS human rights monitors in Haiti.  And we
will seek the participation of other countries
in the region in an effort to assist Haitian
political refugees.  Working together, we can
restore democracy and hope to the people of
The people of Cuba, like all other citizens of
the Americas, deserve the right to choose their
leaders and to take command of their destiny.
Instead, their nation is caught in a downward
economic spiral.  Cuba can escape its plight
only by joining the hemispheric tide of open
societies and open markets.
As we acknowledge this hopeful tide, we
recognize that more must be done to fulfill the
promise of democracy in the Americas.  We must
build on the progress that Latin militaries
have made in accepting the primacy of civilian
authority.  We must also encourage the
development of fully independent judiciaries.
They are essential to guarantee that the rule
of law prevails for all.
Public institutions must become more efficient
and accountable.  Unresponsive bureaucracy
undermines productivity and saps trust in
democracy.  That is why in the United States,
Vice President Gore is leading an ambitious
effort to "reinvent government."
To sustain trust in democracy, governments must
attack the scourges of corruption and drug
trafficking.  Government cannot be held
accountable if its power can be bought.
Authority will not be respected if the rule of
law can be defied with impunity.
Drug production and trafficking remains a
vicious enemy.  Drugs destroy lives and fuel
violence.  The drug trade breeds official
corruption and distorts economies by diverting
private resources to criminal empires.
Under President Clinton's leadership, the
United States is taking responsibility for its
share of the problem.  Blaming other countries
for our drug problems will not help addicts in
Los Angeles or New York get off drugs.  Our
first line of defense is to reduce demand at
home.  President Clinton's drug strategy and
crime bill will allow us to step up street-
level drug enforcement, expand drug abuse
prevention, and provide treatment to hard-core
drug abusers in prisons.
We recognize that many nations in the
hemisphere have taken grave risks, and
demonstrated remarkable resilience, in the
fight against drugs.  Cooperation between the
United States and Mexico against narcotics is
at its highest level ever, although much
remains to be done.
We must help strengthen democratic institutions
so that they can resist intimidation.  We will
back sustainable development programs to
strengthen the economies of drug producing and
transit countries.  We will enlist, for the
first time, the international financial
institutions in this effort.  And we will
reinforce global law enforcement against drug
cartels.  The virtual "state of siege" they
impose on cities and even nations must be
Like drugs, environmental pollution respects no
borders; it cannot be contained by customs
officials.  It must be fought domestically,
regionally, and globally.  Two years ago in
Rio, leaders of 120 countries met at the Earth
summit.  It was right that the summit was held
in the Americas, for we face urgent
environmental problems.  But we have the chance
to lead the world toward sustainable
development that balances the environment,
population pressures, and economic growth.
By undertaking the commitments made in the
NAFTA side agreement on the environment,
Mexico, the United States, and Canada joined in
an unprecedented international effort to curb
pollution.  In 1994, Mexico will spend more
than 1% of its GDP on environmental programs--a
significant increase.  Nowhere are these
efforts more important than here in Mexico
President Clinton has returned the United
States to the mainstream of global efforts to
curb too-rapid population growth.  Ten years
ago in Mexico City, we watched the major
population conference from the sidelines.  This
year, in Cairo, we will help forge a global
action plan on population growth.  We will draw
on the experiences that have enabled Latin
America to cut its rate of population growth in
half over the last 20 years.  And we will seek
to expand health care and empower women.
We can gain confidence from the close political
and diplomatic cooperation that is building
from Central America to the Southern Cone.
With the advance of democracy and integration,
the chance that Latin neighbors will go to war
has dramatically receded.  Once, Brazil and
Argentina decided to design bridges on their
border so they would collapse in case tanks
ever crossed over.  Argentinians, Chileans, and
Peruvians once mined their border roads.
Today, bridges and roads carry trade, not
tanks.  Engineers dig tunnels and pipelines
through the Andes.  Military spending is down.
Soon, we expect Brazil to join Argentina and
Chile in renouncing a nuclear arms race in
Latin America by ratifying the Treaty of
Tlatelolco, a landmark agreement made possible
by Mexico's leadership.  Argentina has also
recently joined the Missile Technology Control
Regime.  At a time when the nuclear ambitions
of rogue states like North Korea pose a threat
to peace, the nations of this hemisphere have
set a different precedent:  nuclear and missile
proliferation can be reversed.
The Summit of the Americas will be a catalyst
for even greater cooperation in the hemisphere
this year.  The United States is already
engaged in intensive pre-summit consultations
with the nations of Latin America and the
Caribbean.  We will develop initiatives to
encourage effective democratic government,
strengthen the collective defense of democracy,
fight the drug trade, liberalize trade and
investment, and promote sustainable
Looking ahead to the summit, President Clinton
has said:
We have a unique opportunity to build a
community of free nations, diverse in culture
and history but bound together by a commitment
to responsive and free government, vibrant
civil societies, open economies, and rising
living standards.
This generation's task is to defend and develop
the powerful movement to market democracy.  We
must accept the responsibility to ensure that
this great, transforming change becomes truly
People from the United States like to come to
Mexico and quote Octavio Paz.  Being a young
man, I tried to resist this venerable practice.
But I couldn't.  That great poet, essayist,
Nobel laureate, and, I should add, diplomat,
wrote this of our hemisphere:
"America is not so much a tradition to be
carried on as it is a future to be realized."
Octavio Paz was right.  The task still lies
before us. (###)
The United States and Mexico:  Friends,
Neighbors, and Partners
Secretary Christopher, Mexican Foreign
Secretary Tello
Arrival Remarks, Mexico City
Remarks by Secretary Christopher upon his
arrival in Mexico City,  May 8, 1994.
Secretary Christopher.  Good evening.  Thank
you very much for coming.  On behalf of my
Cabinet colleagues, let me say how delighted we
are to be here in Mexico City for this 11th
annual binational meeting.
Attorney General Reno, Secretary Cisneros, EPA
Administrator Browner, Science Advisor Jack
Gibbons, former Governor of Vermont   and
Deputy Secretary of Education Madeleine Kunin,
and a number of other high government officials
came down with me today, and we are all
delighted and honored to be here.
This is my first visit to Latin America as
Secretary of State, and it is particularly
appropriate that this visit be to Mexico.  The
relationship between the United States and
Mexico is more important than ever, and I think
it's clearly stronger and better than ever.
This is a historic meeting of the Binational
Commission.  It's the last meeting during the
presidency of President Salinas--a time in
which tremendous progress has been made in the
relationship between our two countries.  It's
also the first meeting after the enactment of
NAFTA, which has marked a new level of
cooperation in our relationship.
There will be a number of important items on
our agenda tomorrow:
--  Implementation of the NAFTA agreement,
which is going very well indeed;
--  Protecting the environment;
--  Upholding labor rights;
--  Combating drugs; and
--  Improving cooperation along the border.
I also look forward to talking with Foreign
Minister Tello about a number of diplomatic
matters in the region and, particularly, about
the Summit of the Americas, called for by
President Clinton to be held in Miami next
My colleagues and I will be conveying to our
counterparts the enormous respect that Mexico
has earned as it proceeds down the path of
reform.  I observed last year, in the first
binational meeting that I attended, that the
quality of the Mexican cabinet members was
really second to none, and I'm looking forward
to renewing those acquaintances.
All over Latin America, we've observed that
market democracy really works and that it
reflects a growing consensus between the
nations of the hemisphere.  In my speech
tomorrow at the Foreign Ministry, I will be
discussing how we can effectively build on this
new consensus.
I am sure that this meeting will be productive
and enjoyable, and I thank you again for coming
out today.
Remarks at Opening Plenary Session
Remarks by Secretary Christopher at Opening
Plenary Session, Foreign Relations Secretariat,
Mexico City,  May 9,1994.
Secretary Christopher.  I want to thank
Secretary Tello and our other hosts for
arranging today's Binational Commission
meeting.  I am joined here by my Cabinet
colleagues:  Attorney General Janet Reno;
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Henry Cisneros; and Secretary of the Interior
Bruce Babbitt; as well as EPA Administrator
Carol Browner and the heads of the Drug
Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Customs Service,
and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
We also have high-ranking representatives of
more than a dozen other departments and
The Binational Commission is a unique
institution and a living symbol of our
relationship.  Only with Mexico does the United
States sit down once a year for meetings
involving so many high-level officials.  The
commission reflects and reinforces the
extraordinary cooperation between our
This is the second binational meeting I have
attended as Secretary and the first in Mexico
City.  More important, it is the last
binational held during the term of President
Salinas.  Never have relations between our
countries been so close and constructive as
they have been during the Salinas presidency.
President Salinas has been
a reformer, a modernizer, and a pacesetter.  In
opening Mexico's economy, he has opened new
possibilities for the Mexican people and new
vistas for Mexico's engagement in the world.
This is also the first binational since NAFTA
took effect.  Today, we recognize that NAFTA is
not just a turning point for free trade but a
transforming event in the history of our
relations with each other and the world.
As our friends in Mexico know, the debate in
the United States over NAFTA was one of the
most vigorous in recent memory.  President
Clinton made NAFTA one of his top domestic and
foreign policy priorities.  The President
understands that it served the overriding
interests of the United States.  He believes in
the possibilities of a partnership between our
Last year, our choice was whether to seize the
historic opportunity that NAFTA offered us.
Now, our objective is to complete the
implementation of NAFTA and the side agreements
and to intensify our cooperation in other
Our trade, environment, and labor ministers
have met, as have almost 30 working groups and
committees charged with oversight of the
agreement.  We are pushing forward with
initiatives on further tariff reductions, and
we are discussing how to expand NAFTA's free
trade principles to other interested nations.
Last month in Guadalajara, we agreed that the
Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of
the three NAFTA nations will consult regularly
on macroeconomic developments and their
consequences for NAFTA partners.  A framework
also was announced that provides for up to $8
billion in credits between the NAFTA countries
if a financial emergency arises.  In the spirit
of broad cooperation envisioned in NAFTA and
exemplified by this binational meeting today,
the United States and Mexico are deepening
their relationship in many areas.
We understand that to expand free trade, we
also must protect our environment and uphold
the fundamental rights of working people.  By
undertaking the commitments in the NAFTA side
agreement on the environment, Mexico is joining
the United States and Canada in an
unprecedented international effort to curb
pollution.  In 1994, Mexico will spend more
than 1% of its GDP on environmental programs, a
substantial increase. We have joined to protect
the North American environment by enforcing
existing laws and by implementing new projects.
Our discussions this morning will bring us
closer to the establishment of the Border
Environment Cooperation Commission and the
North American Development Bank.
In March, the Labor Ministers of the United
States, Mexico, and Canada met in Washington to
inaugurate the North American Commission for
Labor Cooperation, with its headquarters in
Dallas.  We will strengthen labor standards in
all three nations, especially in health and
safety, job training, industrial relations, and
workplace productivity.
Mexico is also a strong partner in the fight
against drugs. In 1993, Mexico assumed full
financial responsibility for drug enforcement
on its side of the border.  We share
intelligence and coordinate our enforcement
I will spend part of my time this morning with
the border cooperation sub-working group,
discussing common concerns about life along our
2,000-mile border.  Our countries benefit from
and welcome the open and lawful exchange of
people, goods, and ideas.  We are united
against criminal activities--whether that means
the narcotics trade, illegal immigration, or
the cruel and dangerous trafficking of third-
country nationals to the United States.
The United States and Mexico also are united in
the promotion of democracy and economic
development.  In December, our countries will
have the opportunity to advance our common
interests at the Summit of the Americas, which
President Clinton will host in Miami.  That
conference will provide the heads of state of
the hemisphere with a forum to strengthen
democracy and to promote sustainable
Together we face many complex problems.  They
will not be solved overnight.  But we can draw
confidence from the fundamental principles that
unite us.  Open markets work.  Open societies
are just.  The full promise of our efforts will
be realized only if they enrich people and
empower them.
Over the last decade, Mexico has had the
courage to undertake profound economic reform.
Now it is in the midst of equally important
political reform.  I believe that the changes
underway in Mexico are the birth pangs of
greater prosperity and of stronger democracy.
We have shared with you the pain caused by the
tragic assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio.
We join you and all citizens of this great
North American continent in reaffirming our
confidence in Mexico's future.
I have great confidence in Mexico's ability to
turn adversity into advancement.  Now it is
vital that the democratic process underway in
Mexico be carried out in the most successful
and credible way.  We look forward to free and
fair elections this August and to working with
the government that the Mexican people choose.
I also firmly believe that the ties between our
governments, and among our people, are strong
and getting stronger.  NAFTA reinforces those
ties.  So does this Binational Commission.
Together, we are building a lasting partnership
that is a source of strength for both our
Remarks to Border Cooperation Subgroup
Remarks by Secretary Christopher to Border
Cooperation Subgroup, Mexico City, May 9, 1994.
Secretary Christopher.  It is a pleasure to
participate in the work of this group and,
especially, to review progress achieved
together in building institutions to improve
our shared environment.  With the NAFTA
supplemental accords, Mexico and the U.S. have
created a structure that can ensure that
economic growth brings with it better
environmental conditions for our people all
along the border region.
The work we are doing to set up the Border
Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and
the associated North American Development Bank
(NADBANK) has drawn great attention from the
public, environmental and community
organizations, and state and local governments.
They have provided valuable ideas on how to
ensure that these institutions effectively
serve the communities directly touched by the
consequences of economic expansion and free
trade.  Private sector engineering and
investment firms are also looking ahead to the
business opportunities that this new approach
to environmental infrastructure development
will generate.
It is encouraging to see how much supportive
interest our work has stimulated.  For our
part, we are confident that we are creating
innovative instruments that will bring new
technologies and fresh resources to resolve
present and future environmental problems.
But it is important to remember that we have
created expectations of real progress in the
near term.  Our citizens want results.  They
expect us to keep faith with our commitments to
ensure public involvement in the priorities and
projects these institutions develop, and
transparency in the way they work.  We will
have to show that we really can come together
as one in the BECC and NADBANK to treat our
border environmental problems as a common
challenge and develop a concrete response.
We have come a long way in setting up these
institutions.  Our Presidents will soon appoint
exceptionally strong leadership.  Meanwhile, I
know you are working together on an array of
prac-tical issues of BECC and NADBANK
operations.  Your meetings in Washington and
Juarez have moved us forward and highlighted
the work that needs to be done to prepare these
organizations for the tasks ahead.  I believe
we are on the right track, and I'm hopeful that
our work will lead to a first full session of
the BECC this summer.
It is our expectation that the BECC and NADBANK
can be doing real project work before the end
of the year, so I encourage you to continue the
successful, hard work you have done this far.
The entry into force of NAFTA has brought our
relations to a new level of intensity and
cooperation.  The BECC and the NADBANK are
important parts of that.  I am delighted that
aspects of the BECC and the NADBANK will be
discussed in the different working groups this
morning.  I am confident that these initiatives
will make a major contribution to our shared
environment and to our overall relations.
Opening Remarks At News Conference
Opening remarks by Mexican Foreign Secretary
Tello and Secretary Christopher at news
conference, Mexico City, May 9, 1994.
Secretary Tello.  Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen.  Secretary of State Mr. Warren
Christopher and I have offered a press
conference before you in order to comment on
issues that have to do with this 11th meeting
of the Joint Commission.
I think that what we must point out in this
meeting is that it is the first one that takes
place after the North American Free Trade
Agreement was put in place.
At this meeting, we were able to see and review
what has been done since the last meeting and
the accomplishments made on some issues.  Not
everything is solved from one year to the next.
There are issues that we will continue to
discuss bilaterally with the United States, and
we certainly hope that in the 12th meeting that
will take place next year in the United States
we will be able to come to more decisions--more
concrete decisions--on the very broad array of
aspects and issues that the United States and
Mexico discussed.
Secretary Christopher.  Thank you, Secretary
Tello.  I will just make a few remarks.  I will
begin by thanking you for hosting me and my
colleagues today and for putting on a splendid
binational meeting.  I want to emphasize that
only with Mexico--and with no other country--
does the United States have this kind of annual
meeting with  an array of cabinet officials
Ties have never been as close,  as important,
and as constructive, I believe, as they are at
the present time.
The meetings today emphasized that our
objectives are to implement NAFTA, and to apply
our cooperation in many other areas, such as
protecting the environment, upholding labor
rights, combating drugs, improving law
enforcement, and cooperating along our border.
The United States has great respect for the
accomplishments that Mexico has made under
President Salinas' Administration.  He has led
the way in carrying out profound economic
reforms.  At the same time, he has opened up
new areas for political reform.  It is now time
when this difficult transition can be observed
as we move into the August election period.
The United States looks forward to working with
the leaders the Mexican people will choose in
August.  Together, I am sure we will build a
lasting partnership, working for the good of
the people of both our countries.
I think this binational meeting was a very
positive and substantive one.  We have just had
reports from all the committees that have been
meeting this morning and some that will
continue meeting into the afternoon, and I was
struck by the amount of progress that they were
able to report to us.
The meeting, of course, was only one day, but
the work that goes into it--the preparatory
work--means that we make a number of
constructive and positive steps forward because
we have these meetings every year.
Report to Closing Plenary Session
Report by Secretary Christopher to the Closing
Plenary Session, Mexico City, May 9, 1994.
Secretary Christopher.  Secretary Tello and I
had a very productive conversation this morning
on a broad range of bilateral matters.  We also
reviewed the situation in a number of countries
around the world in which we share intense
interest.  Our talks touched on Haiti, Cuba,
Nicaragua, and the peace process in Guatemala.
Now that NAFTA has entered into force,
Secretary Tello and I agree that our relations
are closer than at any other time in our
history.  In that respect, we are pleased with
the progress we have made in implementing
NAFTA.  We agree that the process should be
completed as soon as possible and, certainly,
no later than this fall.
Secretary Tello was kind enough to brief me on
recent events in Mexico, including the
aftermath of the tragic assassination of Luis
Donaldo Colosio.  I reiterated our profound
sorrow about this loss and our deep respect for
the resilience Mexico has demonstrated in these
difficult circumstances.  I reaffirmed the
confidence that President Clinton and I have
for Mexico's future.
Secretary Tello and I discussed our objectives
for the Summit of the Americas, which will be
held in Miami this December.
We also discussed in general terms the status
of our deliberations on a no-abductions treaty.
In that connection, we reviewed our cooperation
in law enforcement.
Our talks were positive and constructive.  The
United States and Mexico are friends,
neighbors, and partners in an increasingly
important and dynamic relationship. (###)
Fact Sheet:  U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission
The U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission (BNC) is
a unique forum established by the two countries
to allow for regular exchanges at the Cabinet
level on a wide range of issues critical to
U.S.-Mexico relations.
Development of the BNC
Presidents Carter and Lopez Portillo
established the precursor to the BNC in May
1977 to provide better coordination in U.S.-
Mexico relations.  Then called the U.S.-Mexico
Consultative Mechanism, it had three, broad
working groups--political, social, and economic-
-and subgroups within each of these.  At the
first meeting in May 1978, Secretary of State
Vance and Mexican Secretary of Foreign
Relations Roel met in Mexico with the chairmen
of the working groups to review the first
year's progress.
In February 1979, the two Presidents agreed to
reorganize and strengthen the Consultative
Mechanism.  The working groups were realigned
and broadened to provide an improved forum for
discussion and understanding.  The Presidents
later reaffirmed the Consultative Mechanism
during their September 1979 meeting in
Washington, DC.
The Binational Commission was established in
1981 by Presidents Reagan and Lopez Portillo to
serve as a forum for meetings between Cabinet-
level officials from both countries.  The new
BNC was envisioned as a simple, flexible tool
that would meet once or twice annually, with
counterparts exchanging an action agenda of
topics requiring attention.  One of the early,
temporary action groups formed in November 1981-
-the Border Relations Action group--met twice
and carried out several on-site investigations
and technical-level consultations and submitted
recommendations to the two governments.
BNC Structure
This year's BNC meeting is the 11th since 1981.
The meeting has become a one-day conference
chaired by the U.S. Secretary of State and the
Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations.  Each
delegation includes numerous Cabinet-level
officials and other agency chiefs. Meeting in
plenary sessions and working groups, they
discuss a complex and diverse range of
bilateral issues which have international and
domestic impact.
The number of groups has grown steadily,
especially during the past three years, as
education and culture, agriculture, housing and
urban development, labor, transportation, and
science and technology have been added.  In
preparing for the BNC, each group develops an
agenda which serves as the basis of working-
group discussions.  In some years, bilateral
agreements are signed.
Contacts between the two governments at every
level from staff to Cabinet officials have
proliferated, partly as an outgrowth of the
BNC. The approval of the North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has seen these contacts
grow still closer and more frequent.  The 1994
BNC meeting is the first since NAFTA entered
into force, and it offers an opportunity for
both countries to review and strengthen the
overall relationship. (###)
     Consultative Mechanism Meeting Dates
May 1977
May 1978
     BNC Meeting Dates
November 1981
November 1982
April 1983
April 1984
July 1985
January 1987
August 1989
August 1990
September 1991
June 1993
May 1994
     BNC Working Groups
Migration and Consular Affairs Financial
Trade and Investment
Business Development, Fisheries and Tourism
Environmental Cooperation
Education and Cultural Affairs
Legal Affairs and Anti-Narcotics Cooperation
Bilateral Relations:
   Border Cooperation Subgroup
   Science and Technology Subgroup
Housing and Urban Development
Transportation  (###)
Fact Sheet:  Cooperation With Mexico--In Our
National Interest
The United States and Mexico have a unique
relationship.  They share a common border and
the stewardship of the border environment, a
commitment to economic growth benefiting the
peoples of both nations, and a belief that
open, democratic governance provides for the
most legitimate representation of its
Over the past decade, political, economic,
business, and social leaders from both
countries have accelerated cooperation on a
range of issues of mutual concern--trade,
migration, law enforcement,  environment--to
find the best solutions on behalf of the people
of the U.S. and Mexico.  This dedication to
work as partners is symbolized by the 1993
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
NAFTA, together with the supplemental
environment and labor agreements and the
complimentary Border Environment Cooperation
Commission/North American Development Bank,
unites the United States and Mexico and the
third partner, Canada, in a shared vision for
the future of the continent.  U.S. bilateral
cooperative programs with Mexico further
enhance that partnership.
Mexico and the North American Economy
The economic reforms which have transformed
Mexico into one of the world's most open,
market-oriented developing economies continue
to spur growth and trade opportunities
beneficial to both Mexico and the United
States.  Reforms in the past several years have
improved the climate for doing business in
Mexico by  lowering trade barriers and
improving protection for investors.
Mexico is the United States' third-largest
trading partner and remains one of the fastest-
growing major export markets for U.S. goods and
services.  U.S. exports to Mexico have more
than tripled, from $12.3 billion in 1986 to
$41.6 billion in 1993.   The U.S. maintained a
$1.7 billion trade surplus with Mexico in 1993.
The importance of Mexico to the U.S. economy
and the significance of the trade
liberalization policies of the  Mexican
Government were recognized by the passage of
NAFTA.  By lowering tariffs and other trade
barriers, the agreement will spur greater trade
and will aid economic growth and job creation
for the three member nations.
Mexico's role in the international trade
community is also one of growing importance.
Mexico joined the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) in April
1994--the first Latin American nation to be
admitted to that body.  Furthermore, Mexico
became a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) forum in 1993, joining the
U.S. and  Canada as the Western Hemisphere
members of this dynamic Pacific basin group.
Democracy and Electoral Reforms in Mexico
Since 1989, Mexico has embarked on a series of
reforms which are bringing an unprecedented
level of openness to the Mexican political
system.  Although the ruling Partido
Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) still
dominates, reforms have enabled opposition
parties to make significant gains at the
national, state, and local levels.  Even more
far-reaching  changes to Mexico's electoral
system have been enacted since 1993, and those
reforms, when implemented, will raise public
confidence in the electoral system.
During the past five years, the Mexican
Government, under President Salinas, has made
great strides in fostering the country's
evolution to an open, modern, political system.
Mexico's commitment to reform is demonstrated
by some of the most significant measures
adopted to date:
     --  Enactment of a Federal Code of
Electoral Institutions and Procedures and
establishment of a Federal Electoral Institute
(IFE) to oversee federal elections;
     --  Development of new voter registries
and identification cards and opening of voter
lists to an independent audit;
     --  Creation of an impartial electoral
tribunal and strengthening of the IFE governing
council's independence by removing the vote of
the political party representatives;
     --  Amendments to the Mexican penal code
to incorporate electoral crimes;
     --  Elimination of the so-called
governability clause that previously granted
any party receiving 35% of the vote an
automatic majority in the lower house of the
Congress; and
     --  Provision for at least one opposition
party senator from each state.
The January uprising by armed rebels in the
State of Chiapas and the  March assassination
of a major presidential candidate have
presented Mexico with challenges not faced by
its leaders or people in decades.  Yet, in both
instances, the problems have been met with
reasoned responses.  The Mexican Government has
chosen to pursue the path to greater democratic
reforms and to address the socio-economic needs
of the population through peaceful means.
The Government of Mexico is confronting the
long-standing problem of corruption by
government officials and strengthening respect
for human rights.  The creation in 1990 of the
National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH)
and, subsequently, the  establishment of human
rights commissions at the state level provided
the means by which allegations of human rights
abuses could be investigated and corrective
actions--including prosecution of  abusers--
initiated.  The CNDH has earned considerable
respect for its advocacy of human rights in
Mexico, and increasingly the Mexican people
turn to it for assistance in human rights
The CNDH and other agencies of the Mexican
Government, as well as Mexican and
international non-governmental human rights
organizations, are investigating charges of
serious human rights abuses during the January
1994 Chiapas uprising.  The Mexican Government
has pledged to bring to justice those suspected
of human rights violations.
Bilateral Cooperation
U.S.-Mexico Border.  The U.S.-Mexico border is
one of the most active, vibrant, international
boundaries in the world.  In 1993, nearly 270
million people crossed that border from Mexico
into the U.S.  The ports of entry at San
Ysidro, Otay Mesa, and  Tecate--all in
California--are the busiest in the world.
Developments on both sides of the border
significantly affect bilateral relations and
provide another area for close cooperation
between the U.S. and Mexico.  Environmental
problems, immigration, law enforcement, and
transportation concerns are some of the key
border issues facing the two  nations.
In seeking common solutions to mutual problems,
local, state and federal officials from both
nations meet frequently to cooperate on joint
concerns.  The North American Free Trade
Agreement also created additional mechanisms
through which U.S., Mexican, and Canadian
officials discuss concerns which affect the
borders, such as land transportation and
business travel.
Immigration.  Mexico is a major source of
illegal immigrants, an issue of growing concern
in the United States.  The U.S. Border Patrol
apprehended 1.2 million illegal aliens crossing
the U.S.-Mexico border in 1993.  Estimates of
Mexicans residing without legal status in the
U.S. or crossing annually between  the U.S. and
Mexico range from 1 million to 3.2 million.
Both the border patrol and the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service have initiated
programs to reduce illegal immigration into the
U.S. and are working with Mexico on other
The U.S. and Mexican Governments are actively
working to make the border a safer place for
citizens of both countries.  Mexico created a
special police force, Grupo Beta, to combat
crime against migrants in the Tijuana area.  In
addition, Mexico cooperates with the U.S. on
efforts to reduce the use of  Mexican territory
by third-country nationals as a springboard for
entry into the United States.  Mexico deports
more than 100,000 third-country migrants each
year.  U.S. and Mexican officials  meet
regularly to discuss law enforcement issues
related to the border, at both the federal and
local levels.
Environment.  In recent years, the United
States and Mexico have recog-nized that
environmental problems, especially in the
border area, are issues of mutual concern which
know no  boundary.  Both countries have a
history of working together to manage natural
resources and to resolve environmental matters
which affect the lives of people well beyond
the immediate U.S.-Mexico border.  Lately,
cooperation has intensified, especially in
light of the environmental agreements concluded
as part of the negotiations for the North
American Free Trade Agreement.  Various
agreements and institutions provide the
framework for our binational cooperation to
protect and enhance our shared environment:
--  The 1944 Water Treaty gave the
International Boundary and Water Commission
(IBWC) authority to deal with border sanitation
problems, resulting in several border sewage
projects.  The IBWC, which is more than 100
years old, also is responsible for flood
control, for conservation and division of the
use of border water resources, and for
maintaining the  international boundary.
--  The 1983 La Paz Agreement is an important,
comprehensive framework agreement with Mexico
dealing with transboundary pollution.  Through
work groups and specific problem-solving
annexes, the La Paz Agreement deals with border
air pollution;  contingency planning for
pollution accidents; hazardous waste disposal
and transboundary shipments; technical
assistance and data exchange; and, in
cooperation with the IBWC, water quality.
--  The U.S. and Mexico concluded the Mexico
City Environment Agreement in 1989 and a U.S.
Department of  Energy-Mexican Petroleum
Institute memorandum of understanding in 1990,
both aimed at improving the environment in and
around  Mexico City.
--  In 1992, the U.S. and Mexico concluded the
landmark Integrated Environmental Plan for the
Mexican-U.S. Border Area in a process notable
for its public participation and input.  The
1992-94 plan comprises a detailed review of
border conditions and specific proposals to
solve problems.
--  In 1993, as part of the NAFTA negotiations,
the U.S. and  Mexico, together with Canada,
signed the North American Agreement on
Environmental Cooperation.  The agreement,
which entered into force   on January 1, 1994,
establishes a  trinational Commission for
Environmental Cooperation.  Its fundamental
objectives are to promote cooperation in
improving environmental conditions throughout
North America and to improve national
enforcement of each country's environmental
protection laws.
--  Also in 1993, the U.S. and Mexico agreed to
establish two new institutions devoted to
enhancing the border  environment:  the Border
Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and
the North American Development Bank (NADBank).
The BECC will work with border communities to
identify and develop environmental
infrastructure projects.  The NADBank will
provide or assist in arranging the financing
for those projects.
--  The United States and Mexico have about 100
joint wildlife/park projects ranging from
conservation and management of migratory bird
habitats, to protecting endangered species
such as the jaguar, to research on tropical
birds.  Mexico has extensive programs,
including the establishment of 44 national
parks, 8 reserves, and 14 biosphere reserves.
It also has joined the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species.
Illegal Drugs.  The security of the United
States and Mexico is threatened by the use of,
trafficking in, and production of illegal
narcotics.  Mexico is a transit point for more
than 50% of the cocaine that enters the U.S.,
and is also a significant producer of heroin.
Both countries share a mutual commitment to
combat drugs and work closely to enhance
bilateral measures to stem the flow of
narcotics from Mexico into the United  States.
The Mexican Government has made significant
advances in its own anti-narcotics efforts,
including increased seizures of cocaine, an
expansion of eradication of opium poppies, and
efforts to strengthen the criminal code for
drug crimes.  In 1993, it declined further U.S.
financial assistance for counternarcotics
programs, and assumed full responsibility for
funding key programs such as maintenance of the
air fleet (funded at $30 million in 1993).
The Government of Mexico increased eradication
of the opium poppy by 12% in 1993.
Interdiction of cocaine from South America
increased 19% to 46.2 metric tons; marijuana
seizures were up to 495 metric tons.  However,
heroin seizures declined in 1993 to 61.7
kilograms--down from 96.7 kilograms the
previous year.
Under the direction of then-Attorney General
Jorge Carpizo--who subsequently became
Secretary of Interior--the Mexican Government,
in  1993, intensified efforts in its campaign
against corruption by Mexican officials.
Investigations by the Attorney General's
office (PGR) resulted in the firing of eight
Federal Judicial Police commanders and the
filing of corruption charges against three
federal judges and a former Supreme Court
justice.  Hundreds of lower-ranking law
enforcement officers were disciplined or
Criminal code reforms, passed in December 1993,
revoked the right of bail for suspected drug
traffickers, expanded the period for evidence
gathering against a detained suspect and the
number of days suspected traffickers could be
held before arraignment, permitted seizure and
sale of assets of convicted traffickers, and
allowed rewards for trafficking information.
The government also published new regulations
on the declaration of currency and checks
entering Mexico and increased civil penalties
for money laundering.
The United States and Mexico conduct an active
partnership on counter-narcotics matters which
is vital to the efforts of each country's law
enforcement communities.  They cooperate in a
wide variety of policy and operational areas.
The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between
Mexico and the U.S. enhances the exchange of
evidence to assist in the prosecution of
criminals on both sides of the border.  (###)
Fact Sheet:  International Boundary And Water
Commission, United States  And Mexico
On March 1, 1889, the United States and Mexico
signed a convention establishing the
International Boundary Commission.  Under the
Water Treaty of 1944, the commission was
reconstituted and designated the International
Boundary and Water Commission, United States
and Mexico (IBWC).
The commission, called Comision Internacional
de Limites y Aguas  (CILA) in Spanish, is
widely recognized as a model of effective
international cooperation that has set a
standard for the rest of the world.  The IBWC
consists of U.S. and Mexican sections, each
headed by a commissioner who is required under
the terms of the 1944 treaty to be an engineer.
IBWC Projects and Achievements
Water Allocation and Boundary Settlements.  The
commission's work on dividing and sharing
international waters has benefited people in
both countries economically and socially.  The
IBWC has settled many difficult U.S.-Mexico
boundary and water problems.  It has:
--  Cut through flood-created bends in the Rio
Grande to create regular river channels,
exchanging territory between the two countries
in the process.  The 1967 land-exchange
settlement in the vicinity of the Chamizal
National Memorial near El Paso and Ciudad
Juarez is a prime example of such an exchange.
--  Constructed and operated flood control and
water conservation projects along the Rio
Grande and the Tijuana River, including two
major dams on the Rio Grande-Falcon and Amistad
rivers.  These projects have protected
thousands of lives and provided water for
valuable crops.
--  Helped resolve the Colorado River salinity
problem in 1973.
--  Built and maintained monuments on the land
boundary and on international bridges.
Public Health and Sanitation.  Most recently,
the commission has contributed to public health
by working with environmental, water, and
public health agencies in both countries to
resolve border sanitation problems.  Such
projects provide important, long-term solutions
to the four major sanitation problems along the
border and include the following:
--  In October 1992, the U.S. and Mexico
approved an IBWC conceptual agreement on long-
term measures to remedy pollution in the New
River at Mexicali-Calexico.
--  The IBWC has completed a land pipeline and
is designing a U.S.-Mexico sewage treatment
plant in south San Diego as well as an ocean
pipeline to treat and dispose of sewage not
handled by Tijuana's sewage system.
--  The IBWC has completed a major expansion of
the international wastewater treatment plant at
Nogales, Arizona, and is exploring other ways
to improve the Mexican and U.S. sanitation
infrastructure in the area.
--  By the end of 1994, the IBWC will complete
construction of a jointly funded sewage
treatment plant in Nuevo Laredo to improve the
quality of Rio Grande waters.  It also is
leading a binational toxicity survey of the Rio
Grande and is planning a similar comprehensive
survey of the quality of border groundwaters.
In addition, the IBWC is expected to have a
strong, complementary relationship with the
Border Environment Cooperation Commission
(BECC) and the North American Development Bank
(NADBANK) established under a NAFTA
environmental side agreement signed by
Presidents Clinton and Salinas in November
1993. (###)
Fact Sheet:  Mexico--Electoral Reforms
Since 1989, the Mexican Congress has approved a
series of electoral reforms which have
established the legal basis for free and fair
presidential elections to be held on August 21,
1994.  In 1990, a new Federal Code of Electoral
Institutions and Procedures (COFIPE) was
enacted and a Federal Electoral Institute (IFE)
was established to oversee federal elections.
IFE developed a new voter registry and issued
fraud-resistant voter identification cards.  In
August-September 1993, a special session of the
Congress enacted additional electoral reforms
to strengthen the impartiality of the Federal
Electoral Tribunal by creating a new body--
headed by the Tribunal's president with four
judges appointed by the Supreme Court and
approved by a two-thirds vote of Congress--to
have final say over the validity of elections.
The new reforms also eliminated the
"governability clause" that granted any party
receiving 35% or more of the vote an automatic
majority in the lower house.  They also set a
maximum limit of 315 seats (63%) in the lower
house for any one party; provided for at least
one opposition party senator from each state;
established procedures for limits to campaign
spending and party financing; and, inter alia,
fixed rules on equal access to commercial media
time.  Some of the political parties were
dissatisfied with the 1989-90 and 1993 reforms.
The leftist PRD and some smaller opposition
parties declined to vote for the 1993 reform
In the aftermath of the Chiapas insurrection,
there were renewed calls in Mexico for more
electoral reforms.  President Salinas responded
by appointing Attorney General Jorge Carpizo to
be Secretary of Government.  He chairs the
General Council of IFE.  On January 27, eight
of the nine parties fielding presidential
candidates signed an agreement to cooperate to
improve the electoral process.  On March 1,
Carpizo announced detailed rules for an audit
of vote lists, numbered ballots, and a special
prosecutor for electoral crimes.  The IFE
General Council took up the issue of
impartiality and voted to reaffirm IFE director
Arturo Nunez in his position--with the PRI,
PRD, and six other parties supporting him--
although it insisted on other personnel
A special session of the Mexican Congress met
on March 22 and 23 and approved the creation of
a non-partisan citizens' council to advise IFE
and amended the penal code to criminalize
electoral fraud.  The March 23 assassination of
PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio
prompted the adjournment of the special
session.  Other controversial issues such as
inviting international observers to Mexico's
elections have been carried over to the regular
session of the Mexican Congress which began on
April 19.
Mexican domestic observer groups have legal
standing and wide experience in monitoring
state and local elections in Mexico.  They are
coordinating with international and domestic
non-governmental organizations and have
developed an integrated action plan which
includes training of election observers, civic
education, and the monitoring of biased media
reporting and campaign financing.  Domestic
observer groups are also discussing with IFE
guidelines for foreign "visitors," presuming
the enabling legislation is passed by Congress.
Fact Sheet:  U.S.-Mexico Cooperation On the
The areas along the U.S.-Mexico border have
experienced rapid increases in population,
urbanization, and industry over the past 20
years.  The development of infrastructure to
deal with the resulting serious problems of air
and water pollution and hazardous waste has
lagged behind this growth.
As part of the NAFTA package, the United
States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to establish
the North American Commission on Environmental
Cooperation (CEC).  The CEC, located in
Montreal, is intended to oversee implementation
of the NAFTA environmental agreement, to serve
as a forum for discussion of environmental
matters, and to address questions and disputes
that may arise regarding the interpretation or
application of the agreement.  It will promote
cooperation by facilitating exchange of
information and by developing common approaches
to environmental standards, enforcement of
environmental laws, strategies for reducing
pollution, and conservation of natural
resources as well as other issues of common
The Border Environmental Cooperation Commission
(BECC) and the North American Development Bank
(NADBank) will assist U.S.-Mexico border
communities in designing, financing,
coordinating, and implementing environmental
infrastructure projects.  The BECC will provide
technical and planning support to local
communities on both sides of the border,
mobilizing expertise and resources from a
variety of different sources, including the
newly created NADBank.  The BECC will be
located in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and the
NADBank will have offices in San Antonio and
Los Angeles.
The United States and Mexico have long
cooperated on the environment within the 100-
year-old International Boundary and Water
Commission (IBWC).  The IBWC actively is
involved in dealing with water quality issues
on the projects in this area and remains a
strong binational forum for the cooperative
solution of mutual boundary and water problems.
Under the 1983 La Paz Agreement on cooperation
for protection and improvement of health and
environment in the border area, the United
States and Mexico opened the door to new
cooperative projects.  A number of bilateral
initiatives have been undertaken through the
technical working groups established under this
agreement.  SEDESOL, the Mexican counterpart to
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and
the EPA cooperate in the areas of air and water
pollution, hazardous waste, joint emergency
response, pollution prevention, and national
enforcement of environmental laws. The two
countries also have cooperated on technology
exchange and conservation programs.
A significant, forward-looking strategy to
address binational environmental problems was
incorporated in the 1992 Integrated
Environmental Plan for the Mexican-U.S. Border
Area, covering the 1992-94 period. Other
bilateral agreements with an emphasis on the
environment address issues such as wildlife,
parks, forests, and climate change. (###)
Fact Sheet:  Mexico's Counter-Narcotics Efforts
The United States and Mexico maintain close,
effective counter-narcotics cooperation to
better coordinate bilateral, regional, and
hemispheric responses to the drug threat.  On
January 1, 1993, Mexico assumed the full cost
of the counter-narcotics programs that
previously were supported by U.S. funds; U.S.
Government support now consists of specialized
training and technical support on a
reimbursable basis.
The Mexican Government's assumption of the cost
of counter-narcotics programs has not resulted
in any reduction of effort as Mexico continues
its vigorous and comprehensive campaign against
the production, trafficking, and abuse of
illegal drugs.  Efforts to root out corruption
also continue, but it remains a persistent
problem, particularly at middle and lower
levels of the government.
The Mexican Government faces other obstacles in
its efforts to combat the drug threat,
including the presence of a large chemical
industry in Mexico which makes control of
precursor chemicals very difficult.  Also,
unregulated money exchange houses and a lack of
reporting requirements still make Mexico an
attractive venue for money laundering.
Further, illicit drug crop cultivation has
spread to new and more remote areas, and South
American cocaine traffickers have taken evasive
measures to avoid detection, resulting in an
undiminished flow of illegal drugs to the
United States from Mexico.
Despite these difficulties, the Mexican
Government maintains an active role in counter-
narcotics efforts.
--  In August 1998, the National Drug Control
Institute was established to coordinate all
Mexican Government anti-drug efforts, including
eradication, interdiction, and the activities
of the Center for Drug Control Planning
--  New laws have increased civil penalties for
money launderers, who can be convicted under
Mexico's fiscal/tax code and sentenced to three
to nine years' imprisonment.
--  In 1993, Mexico seized 46 metric tons of
cocaine, 50 kilograms of heroin, and 495 metric
tons of marijuana (more than any other country
except the U.S.), and effectively eradicated
about 7,000 hectares of opium poppy and 12,000
hectares of marijuana.
--  Also in 1993, major drug trafficker Rafael
Aguilar Guajardo, head of the Juarez cartel,
was killed; and Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head
of the Sinaloa cartel, was arrested. (###)
Fact Sheet:  The Mexican Economy
Domestic Sector
The Mexican economy has undergone massive
restructuring in the last six years.
Government spending as a percentage of gross
domestic product fell from 40% in 1988 to an
estimated 25% in 1993.  The government has
privatized 945 of the 1,155 enterprises it
controlled in 1988, including commercial banks
and the telephone company.
As it has reduced its role in the economy, the
government has increased central government
social spending from 33.2% of central budget
spending in 1988 to a projected 53.9% in 1994.
The January uprising in Chiapas highlighted the
importance of economic policies that address
the needs of the poorest segments of Mexican
society.  Mexico announced that in 1994 it
would increase spending on social welfare,
education, and infra-structure programs by the
equivalent of its 1993 budget surplus (about 1%
of GDP).
Inflation, which stood at 159% in 1987,
continues to decline and stands today at an
annualized rate of 7.1%. Following five years
of healthy growth, however, the Mexican economy
grew  at a rate of only 0.4% in 1993; the year
ended in recession.  The Mexican Government has
set a target of 2.5% to 3.0% for economic
growth and 5% for inflation for 1994.
Per capita GDP in 1993 fell 1.6% in real terms,
the first drop in this figure after four years
of growth.  Manufacturing was hardest hit;
total employment in the sector decreased 7.1%
in 1993, while total compensation fell 2.6% in
real terms.  This came in spite of a 6.5%
increase in productivity.  In late 1993,
President Salinas announced that wage increases
in 1994 would include a component to account
for productivity rises as well as inflation.
Mexico has experienced unprecedented political
turmoil in 1994, including the uprising in
Chiapas; the assassination in March of the
Revolutionary Institutional Party's
presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio;
and the kidnaping of several prominent business
leaders.  These events, com-bined with sluggish
economic performance in 1993, introduced
uncertainty into the currency and stock markets
in March and April of 1994.   The peso fell
against the dollar, and benchmark interest
rates rose in an effort to keep cautious
investors in the market.  Nonetheless, the
Mexican economy, as well as its fiscal and
monetary policies, remains sound, and the
country remains an attractive market and a key
economic partner of the United States.
International Sector
Mexico joined the GATT in 1986 and began to
liberalize foreign investment rules in 1989.  A
new foreign investment law was passed in
December 1993.  Mexico has diversified its
exports; industrial goods rose from 14% of
total exports in 1988 to 62% in 1993, while
petroleum exports fell from 75% to about 26%
during the same period.
Mexico also has expanded its economic and
commercial relations and is increasingly
integrated into the world economy.  Mexico has
free trade agreements with Chile and Costa Rica
and is a member of various Latin America
regional trade groupings.  In November 1993,
with strong U.S. support, it joined the Asia-
Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. In
April 1994, Mexico became the 25th member (and
the first Latin American member) of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD).
The United States remains Mexico's chief
trading partner, accounting for 60-70% of its
total trade.  Mexico is the United States'
third-largest trading partner, with a total of
$82 billion in bilateral trade in 1993.  The
U.S. had a bilateral trade surplus of $1.7
billion with Mexico in 1993.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
In December 1992, the United States, Canada,
and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA), a region-wide trade
agreement that:
--  Progressively eliminates tariffs and non-
tariff barriers to trade in goods;
--  Establishes principles of and improves
access for services trade;
--  Establishes rules for investment;
--  Strengthens protection of intellectual
property rights; and
--  Creates an effective dispute settlement
Supplemental agreements on labor and
environmental issues with Mexico and Canada
were concluded on August 13, 1993, as was an
understanding concerning emergency action for
import surges.  Also, the United States and
Mexico agreed in late 1993 to create a border
environment cooperation commission and a North
American Development Bank to address
environmental problems in the border region.
NAFTA came into force as scheduled on January
1, 1994.  Prior to NAFTA, most Mexican tariffs
ranged from 10% to 20%.  Under NAFTA, Mexico
will eliminate tariffs on all industrial and
most agricultural products imported from the
United States within 10 years and remaining
tariffs and non-tariff barriers on certain
agricultural items will be phased out over 15
years. (###)
Mexico:  Trade and Economic Profile
(U.S. $ billions, except where noted)
                         1989   1990   1991
1992   1993
Population (millions)   80.8   82.4   84.0
86.0   86.1a
GDP (current $)        208.0  238.0  280.0
323.4  364.5a
GDP Real Growth Rate (%) 2.9    3.9    3.6
2.6    0.4
GDP Per Capita (current $)
          2,575.0  2,890.0   3,333.0   3,700.0
Inflation (percent change in CPI)
                       19.7    29.9   18.8
11.9    8.0
Average Minimum Wage ($/day)
                        3.3     3.6    4.0
4.3    N/A
Average Exchange Rate (peso/dollar)
         2,483.0   2,807.0   3,006.0   3,094.3
Foreign Debt           95.0    99.7  104.1
107.4  125.0a
Current Account Balance
                       -6.1    -7.1  -13.3  -
22.8  -23.4
Capital Account Balance 3.0     8.2   20.2
25.9   30.9
Foreign Exchange Reserves (end of period)
                        6.9    10.9   17.5
18.5   23.5a
United States-Mexico Merchandise Trade
U.S. Mdse. Exports to Mexico (FAS Value)
                       24.9    28.4   33.3
40.6   41.6
U.S. Mdse. Imports From Mexico (Cus. Value)
                       27.2    30.2   31.2
35.2   40.0
U.S. Trade Balance With Mexico
                       -2.3    -1.8    2.1
5.4    1.6
Principal U.S. Exports to Mexico
Electrical Machinery, Apparatus
                        3.6     3.8    4.4
5.3    6.0
Auto/Motor Vehicle Parts
                        2.0     2.9    3.2
3.9    4.3
Chemicals               2.2     2.3    2.7
3.2    3.5
Telecommunications Equipment
                        1.0     1.2    1.3
1.5    1.6
Office Machinery & Computers
                        0.8     0.9    1.1
1.3    1.6
Principal U.S. Imports From Mexico
Electrical Machinery, Apparatus
                        4.2     4.6    4.8
5.5    6.5
Crude Oil
                        4.0     4.8    4.3
4.4    4.2
Autos/Motor Vehicles    1.2     2.2    2.6
2.6    3.1
TV's and Radios         1.6     1.5    1.6
1.9    2.2
Auto/Motor Vehicle Parts
                        1.1     1.2    1.4
2.0    2.4
Mexico Trade With World (Mexican official
Mexican Mdse. Exports (FOB Value)
                       22.8    26.8   27.1
27.5   51.9c
Mexican Mdse. Imports (FOB Value)
                       23.4    31.3   38.2
48.1   65.4c
Foreign Supplier Share of Imports (%)
     United States     68.0    64.6   65.6
63.0   N/A
     European Community
                       14.3    15.6   14.9
14.7   N/A
     Latin America/Caribbean
                        4.1     5.3    5.2
4.5   N/A
     Japan              4.5     4.7    4.7
6.2   N/A
     Canada             1.8     1.5    1.7
2.1   N/A
Sources:  U.S. Department of Commerce, American
Embassy Mexico City, Bank of Mexico
a  Estimates
b  New pesos
c  1993 merchandise trade statistics include in-
bond shipments
Fact Sheet:  Labor in Mexico
American trade unions, some Members of
Congress, and the U.S. public have expressed
concern about Mexican labor law and its
enforcement.  Issues include the right and
ability to organize and bargain for wages, to
strike, and to work in a healthy and safe
The right of Mexican workers to organize trade
unions and to strike for better wages and
conditions is provided for in Mexico's
constitution and laws. Mexico has a high rate
of unionization (30-36%) compared to most
industrial democracies (for example, the U.S.
rate is about 14%); its public sector is almost
totally unionized.  Strikes are limited
essentially to disputes over union recognition,
collective bargaining agreements and their
renewal--especially wages and benefits--and the
manner in which an employer carries out legally
mandated profit-sharing.
As defined by law, a "legal" strike means that
all employees, including management, must
depart the workplace; only mutually designated
security and maintenance personnel may remain;
and no hiring or use of substitute workers is
allowed.  If a strike is declared illegal,
strikers have 24 hours to return to work or
face dismissal for cause.  Unions complain that
the labor courts define legal strikes too
narrowly, but, in most cases, a strike notice
brings about prompt resolution of an industrial
The major union federations and autonomous
national unions form the Labor Congress.  Most-
-but not all--Labor Congress affiliates have
links to the ruling political party, the
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  With
the growth of free market reforms, Labor
Congress ties to the PRI are rapidly weakening,
because market conditions rather than politics
increasingly determine the outcome of labor
issues.  The Labor Congress is so dominant,
however, that leaders of would-be new unions
complain that government labor officials,
sensitive to the views of pro-PRI big labor,
improperly delay new union registrations.  The
government denies this, and there is no hard
evidence of purposely delayed registrations.
But delays of several years encourage
Mexican workers enjoy workplace health and
safety standards comparable to those in the
United States (after which most Mexican
standards were modeled) and in Japan and
Western Europe.  Social security is designed to
provide a total family health-care system for
workers, including day-care for children of
working mothers, financed by a 5% payroll tax.
Enforcement of safety and health rules is
reasonably effective for large companies and
maquiladora plants where imported parts are
assembled into products for export.  It is far
less effective, however, for Mexico's many
small (6-15 workers) and micro businesses (1-5
workers). Since spring 1991, the U.S.
Department of Labor has worked closely with its
Mexican counterparts to help ensure that
maquiladoras and other companies properly apply
Mexican standards.
Mexico's economy recovered from its near
collapse of 1981-82, when the country was
virtually bankrupt and individual purchasing
power dropped about 50%.  Average real
earnings, adjusted for inflation, rose about
129% from 1987 to 1992, slightly ahead of an
average national productivity growth of about
125% over the same period. Only the national
minimum wage has failed to keep pace but, as of
1992, more than 85% of Mexican workers earned
above the minimum wage.  On August 13, 1993,
President Salinas announced that increases in
the minimum wage will be tied to increases in
worker productivity as well as inflation.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement,
implementation of the North American Agreement
on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) is on schedule.
In January 1994, the labor ministries of
Canada, Mexico, and the United States each
opened a National Administration Office (NAO).
The U.S. NAO at the Labor Department--following
consultations with labor advisers,
congressional staff, and employer organizations-
-established internal guidelines for its own
operations.  On February 14, it received its
first submissions from two U.S. unions (AFL-
CIO's Teamsters and unaffiliated electricians),
each involving claimed wrongful dismissals by
subsidiaries of U.S companies--one in Ciudad
Juarez and one in Chihuahua. The U.S. NAO is
looking into the possibility of a failure by
Mexican labor officials to enforce Mexican
labor laws in connection with these cases.
On March 21, U.S. Labor Secretary Robert B.
Reich, Mexican Labor Secretary Arsenio Farell
Cubillas, and Canadian Human Resources
Development Minister Lloyd Axworthy met to
inaugurate the Council of the Tri-national
Commission for Labor Cooperation (CLC).  They
agreed to set up the Labor Secretariat in
Dallas, Texas by summer 1994.  They also agreed
on a structure and budget for the Secretariat
and an agenda of labor cooperation programs in
safety and health, worker rights, employment
and job training, and productivity--effectively
merging and updating the existing U.S.-Mexican
and Canadian-Mexican labor cooperation
When operational, the CLC Secretariat will have
rosters of experts available to analyze some
matters received from the NAOs on child labor,
health and safety, and minimum wage cases, as
well as arbiters to resolve such cases. (###)
Fact Sheet:  Human Rights in Mexico
The Mexican Government, under the direction of
President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, has taken
significant steps to improve respect for human
rights in Mexico.  Although there are areas in
which further actions are needed to ensure that
Mexican citizens enjoy the basic human rights
guaranteed them by Mexican law, President
Salinas has attacked long-standing problems
within the government.
The Salinas Administration also has made great
advances in opening the political process in
Mexico.  Under reforms which began in 1989,
opposition parties have made significant gains
at the national, state, and local levels. Since
1993, even more far-reaching changes to the
electoral system have been enacted.  These
reforms, if respected in practice in the
upcoming elections, would represent major
progress toward greater transparency in Mexican
democracy and raise public confidence in the
electoral system.
National Human Rights Commission
One of the government's key initiatives was the
1990 establishment of the National  Commission
for Human Rights (CNDH).  The CNDH investigates
allegations of human rights  violations by
government agencies, reports publicly on its
investigations, and promotes human rights
education among the public.  It has earned con-
siderable foreign and domestic respect for
investigations and efforts to curb official
abuse of power.  Increasingly, the Mexican
public turns to the CNDH for assistance in
human rights matters.
The first president of the CNDH was the
respected jurist and human rights advocate,
Jorge Carpizo.  Carpizo, known for his
professional and personal integrity, energized
the work of the CNDH during its early years.
In January 1993, Carpizo became Attorney
General and continued his aggressive pursuit of
officials guilty of human rights abuses or
corruption.  According to the Attorney
General's office (PGR), in 1993, more than
1,200 PRG officials were forced to resign.
Some of those officials have been prosecuted
for wrongdoing in office.  In January 1994,
Carpizo became the Secretary of Interior.  In
this capacity, he  will oversee electoral
reforms for the national elections of August
Legislative steps have strengthened the CNDH.
In 1992, constitutional reforms made the
commission a legally independent government
agency and established state human rights
commissions.  State commissions became
operational in the 30 states and the federal
district in 1993.
When the CNDH has completed its investigation
into a human rights abuse complaint, it issues
a recommendation to the appropriate state or
federal authorities for further investigation
or prosecution of transgressors.
Recommendations also can exonerate government
officials or agencies if that  conclusion is
warranted.  However, CNDH recommendations are
not legally binding, nor does the CNDH initiate
legal proceedings against suspected human
rights violators.  CNDH officials conducting
investigations have the right to enter
government offices or prisons, and federal
government officials are required to respond to
CNDH requests for information.
Since announcing in June 1992 that too many
recommendations were accepted but only
partially implemented by the recipient federal
or state agency, the CNDH has pursued an active
campaign to enforce full compliance.  In
addition, it developed a nationwide register of
public officials who have been punished for
human rights violations to prevent these
officials from being hired by another public
office or agency.
There are more than 90 non-governmental human
rights organizations in Mexico and many more
international organizations which monitor
progress on human rights in Mexico.  Mexican
Government officials meet with them to discuss
human rights problems and to respond to their
criticisms on human rights issues.  These
organizations--among them the Mexican Academy
of Human Rights, National Commission for the
Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, and the
Citizens' Network "All Rights for All," have
been instrumental in bringing to the attention
of the public instances of human rights abuse,
as well as providing strong advocacy for
improvements in  the human rights practices of
government authorities.
Prominent Human Rights Concerns
Despite the great advances in respect for human
rights in Mexico, there continue to be human
rights abuses and a frequent failure to punish
violators.  Significant abuses include
extrajudicial killings by the police, torture,
illegal arrests, and deplorable prison
conditions.  Furthermore, there remains a
"culture of impunity" which allows government
officials to evade punishment for violations.
There were no known, politically motivated
killings or disappearances in 1993; but there
still exists a number of  unresolved killings
of human rights activists from past years.
Last year, the CNDH opened a special
investigation into political violence--
including killings--against members of the
opposition Revolutionary Democratic Party
(PRD).  In 67 of the 140 cases, CNDH
investigations found culpability by government
authorities and recommended further action by
the appropriate government agencies.
In 1990, the CNDH launched special inquiries
into cases of alleged human rights abuses of
journalists.  Of the original 55 cases,  41
cases had been  resolved by the end of 1993
through arrests, final judgments--including
convictions, or dismissals for lack of
evidence.  The remaining 14 cases for which the
CNDH issued recommendations remain under police
investigation.  Twenty-two new cases of abuse
against journalists were added to the CNDH's
Although prohibited by the constitution, and
despite increased public awareness and some
convictions of violators, torture is still used
by members of the security forces.  CNDH
investigations into complaints of torture are
an important part of the effort to reduce
Of special concern to the U.S. Government is
the abuse of U.S. citizens who are in detention
in Mexico.  In 1993, there were 32 U.S.
citizens who registered complaints with U.S.
consulates and, with permission of the
complainants, the U.S. Government formally
protested, through diplomatic channels, 13
cases of torture or other mistreatment.  There
has been a  decline in such protests over the
past several years--39 cases in 1990, 21 cases
in 1991, and 17 cases in 1992.
Chiapas Uprising and Human Rights Abuses
The CNDH is conducting a full investigation
into the allegations of human rights abuses
after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army
of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994.  This
primarily Indian group was protesting what it
regarded as government failure to deal
effectively with social and economic problems.
A number of serious human rights violations
occurred during the fighting in Chiapas in
January.  The most prominent included charges
that the Mexican military executed five to
seven suspected rebels in the town of Ocosingo;
killed 11 civilians at a hospital in Ocosingo;
indiscriminately fired on civilian areas; and
was responsible for the arbitrary detention,
abuse, and disappearances of civilians.  The
rebels were accused of human rights abuses as
well, primarily kidnaping and extortion of
In an interim report on Chiapas dated February
22, the CNDH noted that it had opened  files on
218 abuse complaints involving 727 injured
parties.  The cases included 56 homicides, 427
disappearances, and 25 incidents of abuse of
authority.  Of the 427 disappearances, 404 were
resolved by the end of February (371 people
were returned to their homes).
In addition to investigations by the CNDH and
other Mexican Governmental authorities, some
140 Mexican and international non-governmental
human rights organizations have traveled to
Chiapas to look into abuse allegations.  Some
of the more credible and well-established
groups continue to monitor the ongoing
investigations.  The Mexican Government invited
the  International Committee of the Red Cross
to interview suspected rebel detainees
imprisoned during the uprising.
During the course of the uprising, President
Salinas was very clear in his statements and
actions that government authorities in Chiapas
must ensure respect for human rights for  the
residents of that state.  In naming Jorge
Carpizo to the Interior Ministry and appointing
former Mexico City mayor Manuel Camacho as
Peace Commissioner for Chiapas, Salinas sent  a
strong signal of his dedication to resolving
the problems of the uprising in a peaceful
manner and to addressing human rights concerns.
Early in the uprising, the U.S. Government
expressed its concern over the potential for
human rights violations in Chiapas.  It was
assured that all charges would be investigated
and that those found guilty would be punished.
U.S. Support for Human Rights
The U.S. Government long has had an interest in
the status of human rights  in Mexico, as noted
in the State Department's annual human rights
report.  In its contacts with Mexican
officials, the U.S. promotes full respect for
human rights.  Concern for human rights and
democracy is a part of the excellent, growing
bilateral partnership with a Mexico committed
to economic and political reform.  The North
American Free Trade Agreement, which entered
into force on January 1, 1994, enhances the
U.S. dialogue with Mexico.  NAFTA has
accelerated Mexico's progress toward a more
transparent, accountable, and responsive
political system. (###)
Fact Sheet:  Mexico's Marine Conservation
Reducing Dolphin Kills In Tuna Fisheries
The eastern Pacific tuna purse-seine fishery
once posed a serious threat to the survival of
dolphin populations in the region.  As a result
of efforts by Mexico and other fishing
countries, the number of dolphins killed by all
countries in the eastern Pacific tuna purse-
seine fishery has declined from almost 100,000
dolphins in 1989 to 3,600 in 1993.  With these
reductions, dolphin mortality in this fishery
now totals less than one-tenth of one percent
of the total dolphin population in the eastern
Mexico's fleet is the largest in the region,
accounting for approximately one-half of the
entire international fleet.  In 1993, the
performance of the Mexican fleet in reducing
the number of dolphins killed was as good as or
better than any fleet operating in the eastern
Pacific--including the U.S. fleet, whose
performance had long been considered
Mexico achieved this result through a combined
effort by the government and industry
--  Requiring the use of specific gear and
techniques to reduce dolphin mortality to the
lowest possible level;
--  Mandating extensive training for captains
and crews;
--  Establishing strong penalties for tuna
vessel captains and/or owners who violate
regulations; and
--  Requiring every fishing vessel to have an
observer on board during every fishing trip to
monitor compliance with required measures.
In addition, Mexico is a full and active
participant in an international program
established in 1992 by an intergovernmental
agreement which:
--  Establishes a limit on dolphin mortalities,
which was scheduled to be reduced each year to
a level of no more than 5,000 in 1999.  That
goal, however, already has been surpassed--the
1993 total was 3,600--causing the fishing
countries to consider further reductions in the
schedule limits in the future.
--  Requires an observer on every tuna purse-
seine vessel over a specified size operating in
the fishery.
--  Establishes a research program to develop
new fishing gear and techniques to reduce and,
if possible, eliminate dolphin mortality in the
This agreement, implemented under the auspices
of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
(IATTC), also establishes an International
Review Panel comprised of representatives from
government, the fishing industry, and the
environmental community in each country.  The
review panel monitors performance and
recommends additional measures to ensure
compliance with the agreement.
Preserving Sea Turtle Populations
In 1993, Mexico mandated the use of turtle
excluder devices (TEDs) on all commercial
shrimp-trawl vessels operating in the Gulf of
Mexico and the Caribbean to eliminate the
incidental capture and drowning of sea turtles
in shrimp-trawl nets.
The Mexican shrimp fleet has received extensive
training in the use of TEDs from U.S. gear
technicians.  That training will continue this
fall for Mexican shrimp fishermen working the
Pacific coast.
Mexico also has taken other steps to protect
sea turtle populations.  In 1990, Mexico banned
the previously legal harvest of olive ridley
sea turtles in the state of Oaxaca.  Also,
Mexico joined the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and banned
exports of sea turtle shells and skins to Japan
and elsewhere.
Mexico and the United States have cooperated
for years on a program to save the highly
endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle, whose only
known nesting beach is at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico.
In addition, Mexico and the United States have
agreed to work together on a regional
convention for sea turtle conservation.
Establishing a Biosphere Reserve For Endangered
Marine Species
In June 1993, Mexico established a biosphere
reserve in the state of Sonora and the upper
Gulf of California to enhance protection for
endangered and threatened species, including
two highly endangered marine species, the
totoaba fish and the Gulf of California harbor
porpoise, or vaquita.
The United States and Mexico are considering a
bilateral agreement to further efforts to
promote the recovery of these two species.
Country Fact Sheet:  Mexico
Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking
country in the world; it is the second-most-
populous country in Latin America after
Portuguese-speaking Brazil.  About 70% of the
people live in urban areas.  Many Mexicans
emigrate from rural areas that lack job
opportunities--such as the underdeveloped
southern states and the crowded central plateau-
-to the industrialized urban centers and the
developing areas along the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to some estimates, the population of
the areas surrounding Mexico City is about 20
million, which would make it the largest
concentration of population in the world.
Cities bordering on the United States such as
Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, and cities  in the
interior such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and
Puebla, have undergone sharp rises in
Education in Mexico is being de-centralized and
enhanced in rural areas.  The increase in
school enrollments during the past two decades
has been dramatic.  Education is mandatory from
ages six through 18.  Primary enrollment from
1970 through 1993 increased from less than 10
million to 15 million.  In 1993, 59% of the
population between the ages of six and 18 were
enrolled in school.  Enrollments at the
secondary school level also shot up from 1.4
million in 1972 to as many as 4 million in
1993.  This rapid rise occurred in higher
education also.  Between 1959 and 1993, college-
level enrollments rose from 62,000 to 1.2
million.  Education spending has risen
dramatically from 2.6% of GDP in 1988 to 4% in
1993.  The 1994 education budget is 4.4% of
Contemporary artists, architects, writers,
musicians, and dancers draw inspiration from a
rich history of Indian civilization, colonial
influence, revolution, and the development of
the modern Mexican state.  Artists and
intellectuals alike emphasize the problems of
social relations in a context of national and
revolutionary traditions.
Highly advanced cultures, including those of
the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, and Aztecs, existed
in Mexico long before the Spanish conquest.
Hernando Cortes conquered Mexico during the
period 1519-21 and founded a Spanish colony
that lasted nearly 300 years.  Independence
from Spain was proclaimed by Father Miguel
Hidalgo on September 16, 1810, and the republic
was established on December 6, 1822.
Prominent in the War for Independence were
Father Jose Maria Morelos; General Augustin de
Iturbide, who defeated the Spaniards and ruled
as emperor for a short period; and General
Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, who controlled
Mexican politics from 1833 to 1855.
Santa Ana was Mexico's leader during the
conflict with Texas, which declared itself
independent from Mexico in 1836, and during
Mexico's war with the United States (1846-48).
The presidential terms of the venerated Benito
Juarez (1858-71) were interrupted by the
Hapsburg monarchy's rule of Mexico.  Archduke
Maximilian of Austria, whom Napoleon III of
France established as Emperor of Mexico, was
deposed by Juarez and executed in 1867.
General Porfirio Diaz was President during most
of the period between 1877 and 1910.
Mexico's severe social and economic problems
erupted in the 1910-20 revolution.  Prominent
leaders in this period--some were rivals for
power--were Francisco I. Madero, Venustiano
Carranza, Pancho Villa, Alvaro Obregon,
Victoriano Huerta, and Emiliano Zapata.  The
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), formed
in 1929 under a different name, continues to be
the most important political force in the
The Constitution of 1917 provides for a federal
republic with powers separated into independent
executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
The executive is the dominant branch, with
power vested in the president, who promulgates
and executes the laws of the Congress.  The
president also legislates by executive decree
in certain economic and financial fields, using
powers delegated from the Congress.  The
president is elected by universal adult
suffrage for a six-year term and may not hold
office a second time.  There is no vice
president; in the event of the removal or death
of the president, a provisional president is
elected by the Congress.  The next presidential
election will be held in August 1994.
The Congress is empowered to legislate on all
matters pertaining to the national government.
Congress is composed of a Senate and a Chamber
of Deputies.  Consecutive reelection to the
Congress is prohibited; 64 senators, two from
each state and the Federal District (i.e.,
Mexico City), are elected to six-year terms.
Deputies serve three-year terms.  Under
constitutional and legislative reforms adopted
in 1986, the Chamber of Deputies was enlarged
in 1988 from 400 to 500 members.  In 1994, the
Senate will expand to 128 seats.  In the
expanded lower chamber, 300 deputies are
directly elected to represent single-member
districts, and 200 are selected on an at-large
basis by a modified form of proportional
representation.  The 200 at-large seats were
created to give the opposition parties more of
a voice in the Chamber of Deputies.
The judiciary is divided into federal and state
court systems, with federal courts having
jurisdiction over most civil cases and those
involving major felonies.  Under the
constitution, trial and sentencing must be
completed within 12 months of arrest for crimes
that would carry at least a two-year sentence.
Trial is by judge, not jury, in nearly all
criminal cases.  Defendants have a right to
counsel, and public defenders are available.
Other rights include defense against self-
incrimination, the right to confront one's
accusers, and the right to a public trial.
Supreme Court justices are appointed by the
President and approved by the Senate.
Principal Government Officials
President--Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Foreign Minister--Manuel Tello Macias
Ambassador to the U.S.--Jorge Montano Martinez
Ambassador to the United Nations--Victor Flores
Ambassador to the OAS--Alejandro Carrillo
Mexico maintains an embassy in the United
States at 1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20006 (tel. 202-728-1600).
Consular offices are located at 2827 16th St.
NW, 20009 (tel. 202-736-1000), and the trade
office is at 1776 I St. NW, 20016 (tel. 202-728-
1679).  Consulates General are located in
Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Los
Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San
Antonio, San Diego, and San Francisco;
consulates are (partial listing) in Atlanta,
Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle, St.
Louis, and Tucson.
For over 60 years, Mexico's Government has been
controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary
Party (PRI), which has won every presidential
race and most gubernatorial races.  To secure
its continuance in power, the PRI has, over the
years, relied on extensive patronage and
massive government and party organizational
resources.  In some cases, it has been accused
of fraud.
Following federal elections in 1988, a total of
six parties gained representation in the
Chamber of Deputies and two in the Senate.  The
combined opposition won an unprecedented 237
seats out of a total of 500 in the lower house
and four of 64 in the upper.  The center-right
Party of National Action (PAN) won the
governorship of the state of Baja California
Norte in 1989.  Since 1989, the opposition has
won power in at least 10% of Mexico's
municipalities.  Currently, some 12 to 15
million Mexicans are governed by opposition
authorities at the state and local level.
In mid-term elections held in August 1991, the
PRI bounced back with a major victory.  It
increased its representation to 320 in the
Chamber of Deputies and 61 in the Senate, won
numerous local and municipal offices, and,
based on official figures released, won several
gubernatorial contests.  However, the PAN has
since gained two more governorships, one in
1991 in Guanajuato, where the PRI governor-
elect did not take office because of
accusations of fraud, and another in 1992 when
a PAN candidate won the governorship of
President Salinas began his six-year term in
1988.  Salinas, holding a doctorate from
Harvard University, was Secretary of
Programming and Budget in the De la Madrid
Administration (1982-88), where he played a
prominent role in formulating economic policy.
Significant themes of the Salinas
Administration have included adopting market-
oriented economic policies, lowering inflation
and reducing the foreign debt burden, pursuing
a free trade agreement with the U.S. and
Canada, opening the political system, combating
narcotics trafficking, bolstering environmental
protection, and curtailing corruption and human
rights abuse.
President Salinas' successor will be elected in
August 1994 and take office in December.  The
Mexican political scene was affected by two
unexpected events early in 1994.  In January,
indigenous peasants in the state of Chiapas
briefly took up arms against the government,
proclaiming resistance to oppression by local
elites and to governmental indifference to
poverty and depressed social conditions in
southern Mexico.  In March, the PRI candidate
to succeed Salinas as President, Luis Donaldo
Colosio, was assassinated in Tijuana.  The PRI
nominated Ernesto Zedillo to replace Colosio as
its candidate.  The PAN candidate in the 1994
elections is Diego Fernandez de Cevallos and
the PRD candidate is Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, son
of Lazaro Cardenas, President of Mexico from
1934-40.  There are six other presidential
candidates running on the tickets of minor
The Chiapas uprising increased pressure to
speed the process of political reform initiated
by the Salinas Administration.  In March 1994,
the government entered into negotiations with
the political parties to devise reforms
intended to guarantee free and fair elections.
Proposals included enhancing the independence
of electoral authorities, restricting the use
of government resources by parties, and
establishing an independent prosecutor to
investigate allegations of electoral fraud.
Mexico's economic growth is vital to its
political prospects and has a substantial and
direct impact on the U.S. economy.  Mexico is
our third-ranked trading partner, purchasing
about two-thirds of its imports from the United
States and sending about two-thirds of its
exports to the U.S.  Chief U.S. exports to
Mexico are motor vehicle parts, office
equipment, and agricultural products; top
imports from Mexico include petroleum, cars,
piston engines, and coffee.  The U.S. is the
source of two-thirds of direct foreign
investment in Mexico.  Both U.S. exports and
investment have increased as Mexico has
progressively opened its economy.
The Mexican Government has taken bold steps in
recent years to restructure the economy and has
made impressive progress.  Monetary and fiscal
discipline and a wage/price stabilization
program have reduced inflation from more than
150% in 1987, to 8% in 1993, and to 7.1% in
March 1994.  However, Mexico ended 1993 in
recession due to stagnant domestic demand,
declining industrial output, and slow growth in
the international economy.  This trend was
exacerbated by the government's strict domestic
monetary and fiscal policies, which kept
interest rates high.  Gross domestic product
(GDP) shrank in the last two quarters of 1993
and overall growth for 1993 was only 0.4%, well
below original government predictions of 2.5%-
3%.  Growth in per-capita GDP was a negative
The Mexican economy has gradually reduced its
dependence on petroleum exports, which only
accounted for 14% of 1993 exports, down from
75% in 1982.  As another indication of its
commitment to economic reform and trade
liberalization, Mexico acceded to the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986.
Reflecting international recognition of its
enhanced economic status, Mexico also became a
member of the Paris-based Organization of
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in
April 1994.
The government took steps to put public finance
on a sound footing through privatizing and
deregulating state-owned companies, eliminating
subsidies to inefficient industries,
dramatically reducing tariff rates, and
shrinking Mexico's federal deficit from nearly
17% of GDP in 1987 to a federal budget surplus
equal to 0.7% of GDP in 1993.  The
privatization process is nearly complete:  The
number of enterprises owned by the Mexican
Government (parastatals) has dropped from 1,155
in 1982 to 210 at the end of 1993.  Twelve more
parastatals are in the process of being sold.
On December 17, 1992, the U.S., Mexico, and
Canada signed the historic North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect
January 1, 1994.  NAFTA will generate economic
growth in all three countries by eliminating
restrictions on the flow of goods, services,
and investment in North America.  This includes
phasing out tariffs over a period of up to 15
years, elimination (as far as possible) of non-
tariff barriers, and full protection of
intellectual property rights (patents,
copyrights, and trademarks).  The agreement
also includes provisions covering trade rules
and dispute settlement.  NAFTA marks the first
time in the history of U.S. trade policy that
environmental concerns have been addressed in a
comprehensive trade agreement.  In addition,
the parallel labor agreement with NAFTA
reflects concerns about Mexican worker's
NAFTA also serves as a basis for enhancing on-
going U.S.-Mexico cooperation on a host of
issues.  As the two countries stand on the
threshold of the 21st century, cooperation on
issues such as migration, environmental
pollution, and narcotics control--which do not
respect national borders--is of critical
Mexico's agrarian reform program began with the
revolution, when land was distributed to
landless farmers.  Agrarian reform caused land
fragmentation and lack of capital investment,
since the land could not be used as collateral.
This, combined with poor soil, lack of
rainfall, and rural population growth, has made
it difficult to raise the productivity and
living standards of subsistence farmers.
Mexico's agricultural sector continues to
experience extraordinary adjustment problems as
the government seeks to move policy away from
import substitution and self-sufficiency to a
market-oriented and competitive industry.  High
interest rates for agricultural loans have
compounded the difficulty for producers.  These
adjustments have led to a sharp decline in
productivity.  Agriculture accounted for only
6.5% of Mexico's GDP in 1993, compared to 7.7%
in 1991.  In addition, the number of
agricultural workers is expected to drop from 6
million to 2 mil-lion over the next generation.
In an effort to raise rural productivity and
living standards, President Salinas introduced
major reforms to Article 27 of the Mexican
Constitution in 1992 which allow for the
transfer of ownership of communal land to the
farmers cultivating it.  These reforms permit
farmers to sell their land or use it as loan
collateral.  The reforms also loosened
restrictions on corporate land ownership,
opening the way for larger farms (and therefore
economies of scale).  Tangible benefits have
yet to be seen from these reforms, however,
because implementation has been slow.
In the past, the government encouraged
production of basic crops such as corn and
beans by maintaining support prices for these
products, which were up to two-and-a-half times
higher than world prices.  In order to
rationalize its agricultural sector, Mexico is
abandoning its support price scheme.  The
government intends to phase out most of its
support for the agricultural sector over the 15-
year NAFTA phase-in period.
To ease hardships among farmers resulting from
such structural changes, Mexico has introduced
PROCAMPO, an innovative rural support program.
Over the next 15 years, PROCAMPO will provide
the approximately 3.5 million farmers who
produce basic commodities (approximately 64% of
all farmers) with a fixed payment per hectare
of cropland.  Because the payments are based on
the amount of land farmed, farmers will now
have the choice of either basing production
decisions on whatever crop is most profitable
in a free market environment or exiting farming
Energy and Minerals
The discovery of extensive oil fields in the
coastal regions along the Gulf of Mexico in
1974 enabled Mexico to become self-sufficient
in crude oil and to export significant amounts.
New reserves discovered in 1993 added 50
million barrels to Mexico's estimated 48
billion barrel reserves (about 7% of the
world's proven reserves).  Total hydrocarbon
reserves, including natural gas, are estimated
to equal another 65 billion barrels of crude.
With crude oil production averaging 2.7 million
barrels per day during 1993, Mexico ranks as
the world's fifth-largest oil producer.  About
half of the oil is refined and consumed
domestically, leaving the remainder for export.
The U.S. is Mexico's most important oil export
market, accounting for 66% of all exports by
volume in 1993.
Mexico is also rich in mineral and energy
resources, and mineral exports are an important
element in foreign trade.  A leading producer
of silver, sulfur, lead, and zinc, Mexico also
produces gold, copper, manganese, coal, and
iron ore.
New business opportunities are expected to open
up in Mexico's energy sector for foreign energy
firms.  The state-owned monopolies which
dominate the Mexican energy sector, PEMEX (the
oil company) and CFE (the Federal Electricity
Commission) are undergoing far-reaching
restructuring and are increasingly allowing
limited participation by the domestic and
foreign private sector.
Under NAFTA, PEMEX will retain its
constitutional monopoly over petroleum
exploration, production, refining, and basic
petrochemicals, but the treaty will expand U.S.
firms' access to Mexico's petrochemical, gas
and energy services, and equipment markets.
NAFTA also provides significant opportunities
to sell to PEMEX under open and competitive
bidding rules; it also immediately lifts trade
and investment restrictions on most
Manufacturing and Foreign Investment
Manufacturing has been hard hit by 1993's
stagnant domestic demand, increased
international competition, a sharp drop in the
growth of private sector investment, and
negative growth in public sector investment.
Mexico's manufacturing sector accounts for 23%
of the GDP and 11% of jobs; this negative
growth in manufacturing during 1993 (minus
1.5%) largely explains the overall poor
performance of the 1993 economy.
On the other hand, important gains were made in
the production of cement, aluminum, synthetic
fibers, chemicals, fertilizers, petrochemicals,
and paper.  The automobile industry has become
one of Mexico's most important industrial and
export sectors and is the sector best
positioned to benefit from NAFTA.  Although the
auto industry slowed like the rest of the
manufacturing sector in 1993, Mexican auto
exports have ballooned 37% in the first two
months of 1994 alone, rising from 55,000 cars
and trucks in January and February of 1993 to
75,590 in 1994.
Mexico made sweeping revisions of its foreign
investment regulations in 1989, which included
explicit permission for foreigners to have
majority ownership in companies.  In December
1993, Mexico passed a new foreign investment
law intended to promote competitiveness, offer
juridical certainty for foreign investment in
Mexico, and establish clear rules for
channeling international capital into
productive activities.  The new law permits
foreigners to own non-residential property in
the "restricted zones"-- 100 kilometers (62
miles) from the border and 50 kilometers from
the coasts.  Residential property in the zones
must still be acquired via a trust through a
Mexican financial institution.  Total foreign
investment in 1993 was about $16 billion, up
87% from 1992.
Key sectors of the economy, including energy,
power generation, and railroads, remain
restricted to Mexican state ownership.
Transportation and Communications
The Salinas Administration is attempting to
modernize infrastructure and services,
deregulate and develop more efficient transport
systems, and privatize all sectors allowed
under the constitution.
Mexico's land transportation network is one of
the most extensive in Latin America.  Under the
Salinas Administration, over 4,000 kilometers
(2,400 miles) of four-lane highway have been
built through government concessions to private
sector contractors.  Tampico and Veracruz on
the Gulf of Mexico are Mexico's two primary
ports.  Recognizing that the low productivity
of Mexico's 79 ports poses a threat to trade
development, the government plans to privatize
port operations to improve their efficiency.  A
number of international airlines serve Mexico,
with direct or connecting flights from most
major cities in the United States, Canada,
Europe, and Japan.  Most Mexican regional
capitals and resorts have direct air service to
Mexico City or the United States.  The 36,000
kilometers (22,000 miles) of railroads are
government owned.
Mexico has taken significant steps to modernize
its telecommunications system.  A key element
was the privatization in 1990 of the national
telephone company, Telefonos de Mexico
(TELMEX), which was sold to a consortium of
Mexican investors, Southwestern Bell, and
France Telcom.  This privatization has meant an
increased rate of infrastructure enhancement.
In addition, eight regional companies are
providing cellular telephone service to various
parts of Mexico, resulting in a dramatic
expansion of cellular telephone users.  Two
larger communications satellites have been
ordered to replace the two currently in use.
The government has also opened the
telecommunications sector to further foreign
investment.  Starting in 1997, long-distance
telecommunications service will be a
competitive industry in Mexico.
The Government of Mexico has sought to maintain
its interests abroad and project its influence
largely through moral persuasion and selective
economic assistance.  In particular, Mexico
champions the principles of non-intervention
and self-determination.  In its efforts to
revitalize Mexico's economy and open it to
international competition, the Salinas
Administration has sought closer relations with
the U.S., Western Europe, and the Pacific
Basin.  While past Mexican and U.S. policies
have differed over regional conflicts in
Central America, both countries agree on the
ultimate goal of establishing a lasting peace
based on economic and social justice and
democracy.  To that end, Mexico is
participating in a number of recent regional
initiatives to promote peace, democratization,
and economic development in Central America.
Mexico actively participates in several
international organizations.  It is a strong
supporter of both the UN and OAS systems, and
also pursues its interests through a number of
ad hoc international bodies.  Mexico has been
selective in its membership in other
international organizations.  To date, it has
declined to become a member of the Organization
of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the
Nonaligned Movement.  Nevertheless, Mexico
acceded to the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT) in 1986.  In April 1994, Mexico
became a member (and the first Latin American
member) of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, along with the
major developed nations of the world.  It
joined the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) forum in November 1993.
U.S. foreign relations with Mexico are among
its most important and complex.  They are
shaped by a mixture of mutual interests, shared
problems, growing interdependence, and
differing national perceptions.  Historical
factors, cultural differences, and economic
disparities add further intricacy to the
The scope of U.S.-Mexican relations goes far
beyond diplomatic and official contacts; it
entails extensive commercial, cultural, and
educational ties.  Along our 2,000-mile shared
border, state and local governments interact
closely.  The two countries cooperate to
resolve many issues, including trade, finance,
narcotics, immigration, environment, science
and technology, and cultural relations.
An independent, strong, and economically
healthy Mexico is a fundamental U.S. interest.
Both governments actively discuss ways to
improve cooperation on an array of bilateral
issues.  Since 1981, this process has been
formalized in the U.S.-Mexico Binational
Commission, composed of several U.S. cabinet
members and their Mexican counterparts.  The
Commission holds annual plenary meetings, and
many sub-groups meet during the course of the
year to discuss a range of topics, including
trade negotiations and investment
opportunities, financial cooperation,
narcotics, migration, law enforcement, cultural
relations, education, border cooperation,
environment, labor, agriculture, housing and
urban development, fisheries, and tourism.
U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--James R. Jones
Deputy Chief of Mission--David R. Beall
Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs--
Theodore S. Wilkinson
Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs--Daniel
L. Dolan
Counselor for Labor Affairs--Richard Booth
Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs (USIS)--
William Dietrich
Minister-Counselor for Consular Affairs--Bruce
Consul General--Kathleen Mullen
Counselor for Scientific and Technological
Affairs--Ahmed Meer
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--Carlos Poza,
Consuls General and Consuls
Consulate General, Ciudad Juarez--Richard
Consulate General, Guadalajara--John P. Jurecky
Consulate, Hermosillo--Gregory Frost
Consulate, Matamoros--Janice Jacobs
Consulate, Merida--David Van Valkenberg
Consulate General, Monterrey--Jake Dyels
Consulate, Nuevo Laredo--Mary Daniel
Consulate General, Tijuana--Edwin Cubbison
Consular Agents
Acapulco--Lambert J. Urbanek
Cabo San Lucas--Robin A. Hanni
Cancun--Lorraine H. Lara
Mazatlan--Jerianne Nelson Gallardo
Oaxaca--Mark A. Leyes
Puerto Vallarta--Jeanette McGill
San Luis Potosi--Kathleen C. Reza
San Miguel de Allende--Philip Maher
Tampico--Mary Elizabeth Alzaga
Veracruz--Edwin L. Culp
The U.S. embassy in Mexico is located at Paseo
de la Reforma 305, 06500 Mexico, DF. Tel. (from
the U.S.):  011-52-5-211-0042.  (###)

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