MEXICO - John Mazariegos

The United Mexican States , or commonly Mexico , is a country located in North America. It is bounded on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. The United Mexican States comprise a constitutional republican federation of thirty-one states and a federal district, the capital Mexico City, which is one of the most populous cities on Earth.

Covering almost 2 million square kilometers, Mexico is the fifth-largest country in the Americas by total area and the 14th largest in the world. With a population of 109 million, it is the 11th most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

As a regional power and a full-fledged developed country and the only Latin American member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1994, Mexico is firmly established as an upper middle-income country. Since joining the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, its economy has diversified and grown to become the world's 12th largest by gross domestic product (GDP), on par with Canada and Spain and near France and the UK. Elections held in July 2000 marked the first time that an opposition party won the presidency from the Institutional Revolutionary Party ( Partido Revolucionario Institucional : PRI) which had held it since 1929, culminating a process of political alternation that actively had begun at the local level during the 1980s.

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