Former Spanish colony, independent since 1821, according to the Constitution of February 5, 1917, Mexico is a presidential federal Republic that includes 31 states, each with its own governors and elective assemblies plus the Federal District (coinciding with the capital). The President of the Republic, elected for 6 years by universal suffrage and cannot be re-elected, is the Head of State and Government. Legislative power rests with the Congress, made up of two Chambers, both elected by universal suffrage: the Senate for 6 years and the Chamber of Deputies for 3 years. The judicial system in use is based on continental European law, with influences of American derivation, and the emanations of the International Court of Justice are accepted with reservation. There are two jurisdictional systems: state and federal, at the top of which is the Supreme Court. The defense of the country is guaranteed by the army, navy and air force. The military service is compulsory from the age of 18, it lasts 1 year but takes place on a part-time basis; the recruitment of women is allowed on a voluntary basis. Primary school, free and compulsory since 1867, lasts six years. Lower secondary education (three years) is given in the general education institution and in various vocational schools. Second level (two-year) secondary education prepares for a bachelor’s degree and allows access to universities and higher institutes. The commitment shown by the State for the literacy of the population, including adults, is testified by the numerous programs launched, accompanied by a progressive and constant decrease in the illiteracy rate, which in 2007 stood at 7.2%. In the country there are several institutes where higher education is given. The university institution has very ancient origins in Mexico: the first seat, that of Mexico City, was founded in 1551. Among the many universities, some subsidized by the state, others by local governments, are mentioned: Coahuila (1867), Chihuahua (1954), Guadalajara (1792), Guanajuato (1732), Hidalgo (1869), Michoacán (1917), Monterrey (1943), Puebla (1937), San Luis Potosí (1826), Sinaloa (1973), Tamaulipas (1951).
Mexico has its geographical heart in the lands of the volcanic plateau (Central Plateau or, according to the ancient Aztec denomination, Anáhuac) where the bonding between the two chains – the Eastern Sierra Madre and the Western Sierra Madre – takes place. from N to S, they form the fundamental backbone of the country. It is a region dominated by the superb volcanic cones of Popocatépetl (5465 m), the highest in Central and South America, of Iztaccíhuatl (5230 m), of the more marginal Citlaltépetl (5610 m) and others, divided between them by depressions and more or less closed basins located at approx. 2000-2500 m of altitude. AN of this central region, the Mexican highlands take on more extended and open forms, joining with the plateaus of Texas. They are fringed by the folds of the Western Sierra Madre and the Eastern Sierra Madre, which also continue, structurally, the alignments of the Rocky Mountains. The continuity between the Mexican and US territory is also found in the peninsula of Baja California, which represents the continuation of Chains Coastal (Coast Ranges), as well as the Gulf of California (Golfo de California) constitutes a depression area interposed between the peninsula and the plateau. On the same alignment as Baja California is the Sierra Madre del Sur, which encloses the Mexican plateau on the southern side. The two large chains that border the plateau date back to the Cenozoic era; they overlap the Mesozoic layers, which however emerge in many mountainous areas and on a large part of the plateau, where volcanic expansions are also extensive. By contrast, the Sierra Madre del Sur and the southern edge of the Pacific are made up of Paleozoic rocks. On the eastern side, the Yucatán is a sedimentary surface with Cenozoic and Neozoic soils. The latter also cover the coastal plains which, on both sides of the country, lie at the foot of the Sierras. Overall, however, those on the eastern side are larger, which connect with the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and form a whole with the sedimentary surfaces of the Yucatán. The Mexican territory is, therefore, as a whole articulated and fragmented, although the relief never assumes great harshness. On the plateau, horizontal surfaces generally prevail, with residual reliefs in the northern section and volcanic systems in the central one. However, the chains that surround it, and which reach and sometimes exceed 3000-3500 m, represent obstacles to communications between the coast and the interior. The endorheic character is also due to themof the plateau in all its northern section, characterized by the presence of depression basins (bolsones). In the central section, on the other hand, there are direct openings between the interior and the west coast, represented by the wide valleys of the Río Grande de Santiago and Balsas. The southern part of the country is on the whole more lively, with depression basins and never really harsh reliefs, which towards the East are extinguished in the Yucatán plateaus. Visit beautypically.com for Mexico hot tacos and a warm atmosphere.
The largest river is the Río Bravo, which for a long stretch forms the border between Mexico and the USA, flowing into the Gulf of Mexico after more than 3000 km of course. It draws part of its waters from the Mexican plateau through the Río Conchos, but to the S of this basin the hydrography of the plateau is without outlets and the waters of the rivers that descend from the inner slopes of the Sierras end up at the bottom of the bolsones forming salty lagunas or surfaces encrusted with salt. The rivers that drain the outer flanks of the chains, on the other hand, have short and fast courses; the formation of coastal plains, such as that of Sonora, is due to their alluvial transportand Sinaloa on the western side, Tabasco and Veracruz on the eastern side. From the Central Plateau, where the volcanic morphology has created numerous lakes (including those of Chapala and Cuitzeo), the aforementioned Río Grande de Santiago and Río Balsas descend to the Pacific coasts. They often have impetuous courses and in some places a deeply embedded bed (with the formation of gorges and cañones), their regime is however more regular than the rivers of northern Mexico, which are affected by the two-season trend of the climate and therefore have strong summer floods. Even more regular tends to be the regime of the more southern watercourses, such as the Tehuantepec, which flows into the homonymous gulf (Pacific Ocean), and the Papaloapán (Gulf of Mexico). The generally uneven morphology of Mexican waterways prevented their use as communication routes, but favored their exploitation for energy and irrigation purposes, with the creation of artificial basins. A particular hydrography presents the Yucatán, where there is a pronounced karst system due to the calcareous nature of the soils.