Overview of Mexico City


Politics of Mexico City


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Mexico's government tends to be authoritarian and has very centralized power. México City, being the seat of the powers of the Union, does not belong to any particular state but to all. There are executive, legislative and judicial arms of Mexican government, but all the power lies in the executive branch. The President has all the control and is elected for one six-year term. Many deals are made behind closed doors and bonds of personal loyalty can be hard to break, even for the public good. The legislature consists of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate. In the judiciary, the Supreme Court does little more than echo the pronouncements of the executive.

The PNR (National Revolutionary Party) was founded in 1929 and has had a huge impact on politics in Mexico. The party sought to end all factions and unite Mexico. The party was able to institutionalize itself in the 1940s and created a massive bureaucracy with which to maintain its hold on the nation. For 71 years the party, (now known as the PRI), ruled the country and created a nationwide culture of bureaucracy. The election of Vicente Fox in 2000 was the biggest sign of change. The current President of Mexico is Felipe Calderón , who was elected in 2006.

Despite the conservative nature of Mexico, current political decisions have been increasingly liberal. In 2007, the Federal District became the second federal entity in the country, after the state of Coahuila, to approve same-sex unions, and the first to allow conjugal visits for homosexual prisoners. In April of the same year, the Legislative Assembly expanded provisions on abortions, becoming the first federal entity to expand abortion in Mexico beyond cases of rape and economic reasons, and to permit it regardless of the reason should the mother request it before the twelfth week of pregnancy.

The México City Police have suffered from a dubious reputation for many years. However, their reputation as well as their conduct has improved. Some tips to presenting yourself in the best manner and being prepared are:

  • Remember that you're visiting one of the largest and most populous cities in the world.
  • Watch your belongings and don't make a great show of them.
  • If you want to take a walk or exercise, ask hotel personnel to direct you to the safest routes. Walk on busy, well-lit streets at night
  • When traveling by car, lock your doors and keep your windows closed. If you're bringing your car with you, don't forget to review the “Hoy No Circula” program regulations.
  • On the streets, don't accept or pay for un-requested services
  • Report incidents to any preventive police officer, regardless of his or her division

The official City website: http://www.df.gob.mx/


Update 6/09/2008

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