Mexico Culture

Mexico Culture and Mass Media

According to INTERNETSAILORS.COM, Mexico is a country located in North America. The most popular media in Mexico are TV, radio and the Internet, while daily newspaper reading is low. Freedom of expression and expression are guaranteed in the Constitution of 1917 and advance censorship is prohibited. Self-censorship is common, especially when it comes to monitoring organized crime, but also when it comes to, for example, corruption in politics and administration.

The country is considered one of the world’s most dangerous for journalists (2013) and since the beginning of the 2000s, hundreds of reporters and photographers have been murdered or reported missing. In most cases, drug cartels are considered guilty, but very few murders have been cleared up. Even bloggers who have watched the drug war have been threatened or murdered.

TV and radio

Commercial TV is dominated by two actors, Televisa (founded in 1955) and TV Azteca (former state IMEVISION which was privatized in 1993). Together they have almost 90% of the market. Televisa, which is owned by three families, is the Spanish-speaking world’s largest media company. The parent company Grupo Televisa owns, among other things. magazine publisher Editorial Televisa, which publishes about 20 magazines in 20 countries, 17 radio stations and booklets by Iusacell, the country’s third largest mobile operator. Televisa has close ties with PRI, the dominant party, and the company is often accused of bias in its news broadcasts.

In the radio market, the same owner concentration does not exist. There are approximately 1,400 local and regional radio stations, most of which are commercial.

Daily press and magazine

According to PHILOSOPHYNEARBY.COM, there are about 300 daily newspapers, most of them local, but the spread is small, 66 copies. per 1,000 residents (2012). The largest are Reforma, El Universal and La Prensa, all headquartered in Mexico City. Unlike in Europe and North America, the total circulation for the daily press has increased in recent years.

Several free magazines have established themselves since 2000, including Publimetro, which is the largest with a circulation of about 250,000 items. (2013). Publimetro is part of Metro International, a group in the Swedish Stenbecks sphere.

The magazine market is small in relation to the crowd, but there are dozens of magazines and magazines focusing on culture and politics, including Nexos (founded 1978), Proceso (1976) and Zeta (1980). Zeta, headquartered in Tijuana near the US border, has attracted attention far beyond Mexico for its fearless surveillance of drug cartels and political corruption. Two of the magazine’s reporters have been murdered for their reporting and the magazine’s editor-in-chief and CEO Adela Navarro Bello (born 1968), who received several international awards for his journalism, lives under constant surveillance of bodyguards from the army.

Internet and mobile telephony

With around 40 million Internet users, Mexico has the most connected residents of the Spanish-speaking world and its use is increasing rapidly as more and more people use mobile broadband. The most popular sites are Google, Facebook, YouTube and Windows Live (2013).

Among the five mobile operators with their own networks, Telcel, owned by the businessman Carlos Slim, has a dominant position. The second largest is Movistar, owned by Spanish Telefónica.


According to CALCULATORINC, Mexico has many magnificent remains from the high cultures that flourished before Europeans arrived. After the Spanish conquest, a mixed culture emerged. The synthesis is reflected in the diverse culture of the arts, in the food culture and in particular festivities still celebrated in the countryside, for example All Saints’ Day with picnics among the graves.

The pre-European cultural treasures include pyramids, temples, altars, sculptures, ceramics, goldsmiths and more. The variation is great between, for example, the Aztecs depictions of bloodthirsty gods and the Mayan people’s decorative paintings.

When the most advanced cultural objects of the indigenous peoples were broken by the Spaniards, the indigenous craftsmen succeeded in passing on their cultural heritage. The meeting between the Spanish and “Native American” styles resulted in an explosion of ornaments, mainly on church buildings.

Mexican musical specialties have reached the world, such as mariachi music (sentimental dance music, mainly performed by guitar playing groups) and tex-mex music (a mix of traditional Mexican music and the music played by German immigrants in Texas).

According to PHYSICSCAT.COM, Mexican cultural life during the 20th century is generally associated with the mural and its principal practitioners, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Their giant-sized works adorn a number of official buildings.

Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) painted imaginative self-portraits, influenced by Mexican folk art. Kahlo was previously best known as Diego Rivera’s wife, but in recent years has become a feminist icon and recognized as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

The painting is part of the broad movement known as el indigenismo (the origin movement), which emerged in the traces of the revolution during the 1920s and 1930s. The movement was marked by a “rediscovery” and a rethinking of its own culture, which led to Native American motifs being included in visual art and literature. Even in public architecture, el indigenismo broke through. An example of this is the University of Mexico City.

Mexican literature is essentially a 20th century phenomenon. Writers such as the Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz as well as Carlos Fuentes and Alfonso Reyes are read all over the world.

Three award-winning Mexican directors, sometimes called three amigos (three friends), have a major international impact. Between 2014 and 2019, they jointly won five Oscars for Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (with Gravity and Roma), Alejandro González Iñárritu (with Birdman and The Revenant) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Both Birdman and The shape of water were also named best film.

The most famous actors include Gael García Bernal and Salma Hayek who both made international careers.

Singers like Chavela Vargas (1919–2012) and Mexican-American Lila Downs (born 1968) have attracted much attention outside of Mexico.



Journalist killed

December 10

Journalist Jesús Adrián Rodríguez is attacked by unknown men on his way to work in the state of Chihuahua. The press organization IAPA reports eleven murdered journalists so far this year. According to the International Journalism Federation (IFJ), Mexico is the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists, with 120 murdered in 25 years.


Veracruz is declared bankrupt

November 30

The finance minister for the transitional government who heads Veracruz announces to the state congress that the state is bankrupt.

Bloody weekend in Guerrero

November 24

At least 26 people are murdered and 10 kidnapped during a long weekend in Acapulco and other locations in the battered state of Guerrero. According to Governor Héctor Astudillo, the violence stems from a fight between criminal gangs over control of opium trading. The week after the weekend, a security officer in Guerrero states that several mass graves have been found in Zitlala in the central parts of the state, with a total of 32 corpses and nine heads.

López Obrador candidate in the presidential election

20th of November

The leader of Morena’s left party, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presents his program for the July 2018 presidential election. López Obrador has previously been presidential candidate for PRD.

Shock over Trump’s victory

November 9

Peson falls by 13 percent when it becomes clear that Donald Trump has won the presidential election in the United States, the largest case since 1994. Many Mexicans talk about a nightmare; During the election campaign, Trump has promised his supporters to expel millions of paperless immigrants, force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border and renegotiate the Nafta Free Trade Agreement.


Minister resigns following Trump visit

September 7

Finance Minister Luis Videgaray resigns following widespread criticism of a visit by US presidential candidate Donald Trump a week earlier. Trump, who met President Peña Nieto in a swiftly organized meeting, is generally badly seen in Mexico because of condescending statements about Mexicans (see July 2015). Videgaray has been one of Peña Nieto’s closest advisers and was seen as the main organizer of the visit. No formal explanation for his departure is given.


The chief of police fired after police were charged with murder

The head of the federal police, Enrique Galindo, may go after a report from the National Human Rights Commission showed that the police murdered 22 suspected members of a drug cartel. According to the Commission, these were pure executions at the confrontation in Tanhuato, when a total of 42 suspected gang members died (see May 2015). The authorities have rejected all allegations of abuse.

Peña Nieto is charged with plagiarism

22 August

According to media reports, the president’s thesis to 29 percent consists of plagiarized material. He holds a degree in law from the private Universidad Panamericana.


Increased violence trend

31 July

During an unusually violent three-day period, 105 people are murdered in 17 states. The number of murders during the first half of the year amounts to 9,413, which represents an increase compared to the previous year. The violence has spread to states that were previously relatively spared. Guerrero has become the most violent state and the former glamorous tourist resort of Acapulco the most violent city in Mexico – with the fourth highest homicide rate in the world.


Continuing teacher protests interfere with traffic

June 29

Roadblocks now exist in at least 20 places in the state of Oaxaca, in protest of education reform and with demands for detained members to be released. The protests have caused major traffic disruptions and there is a shortage of fuel. The neighboring states of Chiapas and Guerrero are also affected.

Deadly violence in teacher protest

June 19

Eight people are killed and over 50 injured, including many police, at a roadblock where members of the CNTE teacher union protested for a week. Two people, including one journalist, are killed in another place where protests are also ongoing. It is unclear who is behind the violence. CNTE talks about “infiltrators”. The protests erupted since the leader of “section 22”, a militant branch of the CNTE in Oaxaca, was arrested by police on suspicion of money launderingand for earning the equivalent of $ 1.3 million by receiving a commission on the sale of goods and services to union members. Sección 22’s secretary and several other union representatives have also been arrested and suspected of embezzlement in the same case. After the arrest, roadblocks were erected in a number of places. The teachers claim that the corruption charges are politically motivated. CNTE opposes Peña Nieto’s educational reforms.

Accusations of crimes against humanity

6th June

A US-based legal organization, the Open Society Justice Initiative, claims that Mexican authorities and the Zeta cartel have committed humanity crimes through “deliberate murders” of 150,000 people in 2006-2010, when thousands also disappeared.

Historical loss for PRI in state elections

June 5

The ruling party PRI loses big in several governor elections, including in four states that the party controlled for almost 90 years. Among them are both oil-rich and important Tamaulipas and Veracruz. Prior to the election, PRI ruled in nine out of twelve states where elections were held, but the party retained only three. The winner of the election will be PAN, which takes home seven states, in three cases in alliance with the PRD. In total, PRI now controls in only 15 of the 32 states. The result is ominous for PRI ahead of the 2018 presidential election.


Mass grave is excavated

24th of May

Remains of 116 people are found in the tomb found in the state of Morelos. As related organizations estimate that more than 30,000 people have disappeared in the country in recent years, there is great interest in establishing identities. According to the prosecutors, these may be bodies that were dumped illegally by courthouse employees.

Bill on same-sex marriage

May 17

The President proposes a constitutional amendment that would explicitly legalize marriages between gays throughout the country (see also Social Conditions). Both the president’s and the government’s twitter images are provided with the rainbow flag in connection with the presentation of the proposal. In 2015, the country’s highest court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violates the constitution.


General gets jail for torture

April 29

An army general is sentenced to over 52 years in prison for ordering torture of a prisoner in Chihuahua in 2008. The prisoner died in connection with the torture, and the general then ordered his remains to be cremated in secret. Several other cases of torture by military personnel have attracted attention in a short time.


More and more attacks against journalists

March 17

Media workers are living more dangerously in Mexico: between 2012 and 2015, the number of attacks nearly doubled to nearly 400, reports the Freedom Group Artículo 19. Seven journalists were murdered in 2015, probably because of their work. An employee of the administration at a news organization was also killed. More than 40 percent of the reported attacks were carried out by representatives of federal, state or municipal authorities.


The Pope visits Mexico

February 15

Pope Francis repeatedly condemns forced emigration and the drug trade he calls a cancer that destroys Mexican society. At a trade show in San Cristóbal de las Casas, he begs indigenous people for forgiveness for being excluded from the community. He also talks about threats to the environment.

Many dead in prison riots

February 11

About 50 prisoners are reported dead after an extensive brawl in a prison near Monterrey.

New investigation contradicts official report on teacher students

February 9

Argentine forensics say they were unable to find any DNA traces on the dump, following the 43 teacher students who were abducted by police in September 2014. Nor are there any signs that a fire large enough to burn bodies has occurred. Several other investigations have come to the same conclusion (see September 2015).


The metropolitan area becomes the state

January 29th

The area that has been a special administrative unit under the name Federal District (Distrito federal) officially changes its name to Mexico City (Ciudad de México, CDMX). The city is about to be transformed into its own state through a change in the constitution, since the minimum number of 23 of the other 31 state congresses voted for it. The 16 districts in the capital will become municipalities. The change is part of the effort to decentralize power in the country. The future state is surrounded by the state of Mexico, which is the country’s largest in terms of population.

“El Chapo” Guzmán is arrested again

January 8

Officers seize the wanted Guzmán (see July 2015) in a raid on a villa in Guzmán’s home state of Sinaloa. Five people are killed in the raid while Guzman and his security manager manage to escape through a stormwater system. They drive a mile from the villa and steal a car, but are stopped by the police soon. Guzmán is extradited to the United States a year later, where he faces trial for drug smuggling, money laundering, kidnapping and murder. As the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Guzmán has been named one of the world’s most dangerous drug kings, and Forbes magazine has included him on his list of the world’s most powerful people.

The mayor’s murder causes the governor to step in

January 2

A former congressman is murdered, less than a day after taking office as mayor of Temixco in Morelos. She had promised to deal with drug trafficking and organized crime. The murder leads the governor to take over the police in 15 cities in the state, which is one of the most violent in the country.

The President points out leagues

January 1st

Peña Nieto says in a New Year’s address to the nation that 98 of the country’s 122 most dangerous criminals are now behind locks and booms.

Mexico Culture

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