Maria Teresa Adame Molina stands outside her home in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state. Mexico's economic model of free trade and low wages has trapped millions of industrial and assembly line workers in a life of poverty. | Marcelo A. Salinas/MCT
Workers assemble aircraft fuselage parts at a Bombardier plant in Queretaro. Even as pockets of modernity emerge in Mexico, half of its 113 million citizens live in poverty and politicians delay reforms that could bring widespread prosperity. | Marcelo A. Salinas/MCT
Not long ago, Mexican factories couldn’t compete with the “China price,” the ridiculously low cost of production in the Asian nation. » read more
Twelve years ago, Mexicans thought their country had been given a fresh start when, for the first time in seven decades, the political party that had been identified with a do-nothing bureaucracy, crony capitalism and a corrupt government lost its hold on the presidency. When Mexican voters go to the polls July 1, however, that same party is all but certain to win, a restoration to power that signals how intractable Mexico's many problems have been. » read more
When experts talk about Mexico's future, they bemoan the condition of its schools. It's here, they say, that Mexico's possibilities of one day rivaling Europe as an economic power, something that would be an enormous benefit not just to this country but to the United States as well, founder. » read more
Experts looking for someone to blame for the poor state of Mexico's education system often latch on Elba Esther Gordillo, the 67-year-old president for life of Mexico's teachers union. Routinely ranked as the least popular of the nation's most prominent figures, she's amassed a huge personal fortune and so much political influence that she is said to walk through the gates of the presidential residence any time she wants. » read more
Some four decades after welcoming foreign assembly plants and factories, known as maquiladoras, Mexico has seen only a trickle of its industrial and factory workers join the ranks of those who even slightly resemble a middle class. Instead, poverty still clutches them. » read more
Written by Tim Johnson, McClatchy's bureau chief in Mexico City.