Mexico's hillbilly drug smugglers have morphed into a raging
insurgency. Violence claimed more lives there last year alone than all
the Americans killed in the war in Iraq. And there's no end in sight.
Think books are dead? Take a trip to Mexico City, where a market for
fiction, self-help, and political works is thriving. FP recently spoke
with Mexico-based publishing executive Cristóbal Pera to find out why.
Bill Gates is no longer the world's richest man. That honor now goes to
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. But Slim's incredible fortune -- $59
billion and climbing -- is more than a story of one man's rise to riches.
He is one of a growing list of tycoons from countries like China,
India, and Russia who represent a new wave of wealth, power, and
influence. Many are skilled businesspeople. But, in these
fast-developing economies, being able to seize a political opportunity
may count for a lot more.
The United States may soon fortify its border with Mexico. But what
about the fence that is already there? A close look at the disjointed,
makeshift barrier reveals America's ambivalent and conflicted attitudes
The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the
United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike
past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have not assimilated
into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own political and
linguistic enclaves -- from Los Angeles to Miami -- and rejecting the
Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream. The United
States ignores this challenge at its peril.
Every day, migrants working in rich countries send money to their
families in the developing world. It's just a few hundred dollars here,
a few hundred dollars there. But last year, these remittances added up
to $80 billion, outstripping foreign aid and ranking as one of the
biggest sources of foreign exchange for poor countries. Following a
boom in the 1990s, this flow of money is lifting entire countries out
of poverty, creating new financial channels, and reshaping
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has sparked fierce
academic and political disputes -- not to mention an armed rebellion or
two. Looking back on its nearly nine years of existence, has NAFTA
delivered or disappointed? The answer will go a long way toward
determining the future of regional trade pacts. U.S. critics clash with
Mexico's original NAFTA architects on whether free trade in North
America is a blessing or a curse.
BY SARAH ANDERSON, JOHN CAVANAGH|SEPTEMBER 1, 2002