About the Mexico Studies Project

A Fact Book about México

The Mexico Fact Book is a long-term project that I started in 1980 when someone, who shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons, exclaimed to me, “What? México has an air force!” Dumbstruck, I held my composure and simply responded, “Yes, México indeed has an air force.” However, the episode got me thinking, do people not know about the México that I know? “But, you speak English!” uttered a girlfriend of the time, forcing me to finally accept that people just don’t really understand the México I grew up in.

These events, among others, started me on a project I now call the Mexico Fact Book. Back then, the Mexico Fact Book was nothing more than a loose-leaf binder composed of reference materials, pictures and general studies about México. Originally, the material covered the military and geo-political issues involving Mexico that I shared with my friends.

Eventually I began to write monographs, research & whitepapers for companies looking to position themselves in the Mexican market place and in the process, I developed numerous sources of data about my country.

Unfortunately, during heated discussions about México, the analog system of data I kept did not allow me the opportunity to show my friends and acquaintances that México is more than sleepy siestas and beautiful beaches where beer flows endlessly. Thus, I needed something more “digital” where the data I needed to support my arguments was within easy reach. The Internet gave me the mechanism to create the fact book I always wanted.

The México I know is the eleventh largest economy in the world with a robust economy and an industry capable of competing with most of the world. And, yes, México does indeed have an air force! México also boasts three of the world’s largest companies according to Fortune 500. To my ex-girlfriend, Mexicans do learn how to speak English and many other languages. We are educated in México as well as in some of the world’s greatest institutions of learning. We, Mexicans can be found in most countries contributing to the world economy from mom-and-pop operations to the leaders of industry. Mexicans contribute to the arts and the cultures of many countries and have even fought wars to protect freedom, and yes, México fielded a squadron and many men for the cause of the Allies in World War II.

México has sent an astronaut into space. México, also maintains satellites in orbit all the while contributing supplies, resources and men to help other countries during their times of need, including the United States.

Recently the debacle of the Drug War, not to mention Donald Trump, as well as the issue of immigration has found me discussing México more and more with associates and friends. However, what really galvanized me into creating Mexico Studies is a comment I once heard, “There is 90% unemployment in Mexico City!”

Ninety percent! Wow, unbelievable a number that just doesn’t make logical sense was being thrown about by so-called México pundits to people who have become so sanitized to negative stereotypes about México that the illogical number had to be true.

Let see, the largest or second largest city in the world, depending on whom you ask has 90% unemployment. Let’s take this number for a moment and think about it. There are over 9 million people in Mexico City. If we were to accept the number of unemployed as fact then it would mean that less than 1 million people support the other 8 million of the city! Obviously the 90% is exaggerated but most people just don’t realize it because they are so sanitized to accepting the negative stereotypes about México, just because it is México, without giving any thought to what the facts really are.

Normally intelligent people, just can’t comprehend that México is just like any other country in the world, we have our champions and we have our losers, we have policemen risking their lives to protect the citizenry and we have our criminals intent on destroying our country. We also have culture, technology, ideology and contribute to our world both positively and negatively. But more importantly, we are a proud nation where we defend our sovereignty but also support the right of any people to self-determination.

After further discussion, it became apparent that the actual intent was to say that 90% of those looking for a job couldn’t find one. Even that number doesn’t make logical sense to me, but let’s explore this a little further. Where would someone get this kind of data and how would you quantify it to allow us to have a logical discussion on the issue?

The problem with people that I call malinchistas (Mexicans who love to denigrate Mexico rather than contribute to its growth) is that they exaggerate the truth and when that fails, outright lie to get their agendas out to the public. Forget how they hurt people and forget the truth, all they want is to serve their own selfish purposes.

As I began to decide how best to convert my analog volume to a digital one it became apparent to me that this is a project that would benefit from several people. I also realized that the power of the Internet would allow me to share my country with the rest of the world while at the same time challenging the concepts of books, collaboration and pushing the boundaries of our digital world.

I hope to serve three purposes with this site.

To share my analog notebook, I have embarked on creating individual webpages for those topics that merit a website on its own. For other topics, I am adding individual pages to this site. This site is the home for all of the Mexico Studies projects that I am creating. From here, you can jump to the topic of your choice, whether it is locally on this this site or on a page on its own.

In addition to my fact book, I also blog about geopolitics and Mexican affairs. There are links at the bottom of the site that takes you to my commentary.

I also encourage you to send me your email address so that I can send you updates each time I launch a new page or a new topic.

This is a project perpetually a work in progress. I ask for your patience, as this is a hobby that needs to be balanced with the realities of making a living. However, it is also a labor of love. This online project is not intended as a defender of Mexican affairs, either internal or external, nor is it a trumpeting of how great the country is. México is my mother country and as such, I will always honor it. But, I am not above understanding that like any other country in the world, México has its faults and its triumphs. Rather this online project is intended to be a fact sheet on México and a place for honest discussion about the issues. Welcome, I hope to make the acquaintance of each of you as we debate and discuss the issues because with each discussion I learn more about my country.

¡Saludos y bienvenidos!
Martín Paredes