National Regeneration Movement) have controlled both of them. The city has several progressive policies, such as elective abortions, a limited form of euthanasia,no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage. On 29 January 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.) and is now officially known as Ciudad de México (or CDMX), with a greater degree of autonomy. A clause in the Constitution of Mexico, however, prevents it from becoming a state within the Mexican federation, as it is the seat of power in the country, unless the capital of the country were to be relocated elsewhere.
Nicknames and mottos
Mexico City was traditionally known as La Ciudad de los Palacios ("the City of the Palaces"), a nickname attributed to Baron Alexander von Humboldt when visiting the city in the 19th century, who, sending a letter back to Europe, said Mexico City could rival any major city in Europe. But it was English politician Charles Latrobe who really penned the following: "... look at their works: the moles, aqueducts, churches, roads—and the luxurious City of Palaces which has risen from the clay-builts ruins of Tenochtitlan...", on page 84 of the Letter V of The Rambler in Mexico. During the colonial period, the city's motto was "Muy Noble e Insigne, Muy Leal e Imperial" (Very Noble and Distinguished, Very Loyal and Imperial). During Andrés López Obrador's administration a political slogan was introduced: la Ciudad de la Esperanza ("The City of Hope"). This motto was quickly adopted as a city nickname but has faded since the new motto, Capital en Movimiento ("Capital in Movement"), was adopted by the administration headed by Marcelo Ebrard, though the latter is not treated as often as a nickname in media. Since 2013, to refer to the city, particularly in relation to government campaigns, the abbreviation CDMX has been used (from Ciudad de México), prior to this but recently,[when?] the abbreviation was "DF" (from Distrito Federal de México).
The city is colloquially known as Chilangolandia after the locals' nickname chilangos. Chilango is used pejoratively by people living outside Mexico City to "connote a loud, arrogant, ill-mannered, loutish person". For their part those living in Mexico City designate insultingly those who live elsewhere as living in la provincia ("the provinces", the periphery) and many proudly embrace the term chilango. Residents of Mexico City are more recently called defeños (deriving from the postal abbreviation of the Federal District in Spanish: D.F., which is read "De-Efe"). They are formally called capitalinos (in reference to the city being the capital of the country), but "[p]erhaps because capitalino is the more polite, specific, and correct word, it is almost never utilized".
The oldest signs of human occupation in the area of Mexico City are those of the "Peñón woman" and others found in San Bartolo Atepehuacan (Gustavo A. Madero). They were believed to correspond to the lower Cenolithic period (9500–7000 BC). However, a 2003 study placed the age of the Peñon woman at 12,700 years old (calendar age), one of the oldest human remains discovered in the Americas. Studies of her mitochondrial DNA suggest she was either of Asian or European or Aboriginal Australian origin.
The area was the destination of the migrations of the Teochichimecas during the 8th and 13th centuries, people that would give rise to the Toltec, and Mexica (Aztecs) cultures. The latter arrived around the 14th century to settle first on the shores of the lake.
List of pre-columbian archaeological sites in Mexico City
After landing in Veracruz, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés advanced upon Tenochtitlan with the aid of many of the other native peoples,
arriving there on 8 November 1519. Cortés and his men marched along the causeway leading into the city from Iztapalapa (Ixtapalapa), and the city's ruler, Moctezuma II, greeted the Spaniards; they exchanged gifts, but the camaraderie did not last long. Cortés put Moctezuma under house arrest, hoping to rule through him.
Tensions increased until, on the night of 30 June 1520 – during a struggle known as "
siege of Tenochtitlan in May 1521. For three months, the city suffered from the lack of food and water as well as the spread of smallpox brought by the Europeans. Cortés and his allies landed their forces in the south of the island and slowly fought their way through the city. Cuauhtémoc surrendered in August 1521. The Spaniards practically razed Tenochtitlan during the final siege of the conquest.
Cortés first settled in Coyoacán, but decided to rebuild the Aztec site to erase all traces of the old order. He did not establish a territory under his own personal rule, but remained loyal to the Spanish crown. The first Spanish viceroy arrived in Mexico City fourteen years later. By that time, the city had again become a city-state, having power that extended far beyond its borders. Although the Spanish preserved Tenochtitlan's basic layout, they built Catholic churches over the old Aztec temples and claimed the imperial palaces for themselves. Tenochtitlan was renamed "Mexico" because the Spanish found the word easier to pronounce.
's (1571–1813) 18th century painting. The cathedral was built by the Spaniards over the ruins of the main Aztec temple.
The city had been the capital of the
viceroy of Mexico or vice-king lived in the viceregal palace on the main square or Zócalo. The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishopric of New Spain, was constructed on another side of the Zócalo, as was the archbishop's palace, and across from it the building housing the city council or ayuntamiento of the city. A late seventeenth-century painting of the Zócalo by Cristóbal de Villalpando depicts the main square, which had been the old Aztec ceremonial center. The existing central plaza of the Aztecs was effectively and permanently transformed to the ceremonial center and seat of power during the colonial period, and remains to this day in modern Mexico, the central plaza of the nation. The rebuilding of the city after the siege of Tenochtitlan was accomplished by the abundant indigenous labor in the surrounding area. Franciscan friar Toribio de Benavente Motolinia, one of the Twelve Apostles of Mexico
who arrived in New Spain in 1524, described the rebuilding of the city as one of the afflictions or plagues of the early period:
The seventh plague was the construction of the great City of Mexico, which, during the early years used more people than in the construction of Jerusalem. The crowds of laborers were so numerous that one could hardly move in the streets and causeways, although they are very wide. Many died from being crushed by beams, or falling from high places, or in tearing down old buildings for new ones.
Mexico City in 1628
Preconquest Tenochtitlan was built in the center of the inland lake system, with the city reachable by canoe and by wide causeways to the mainland. The causeways were rebuilt under Spanish rule with indigenous labor. Colonial Spanish cities were constructed on a grid pattern, if no geographical obstacle prevented it. In Mexico City, the Zócalo (main square) was the central place from which the grid was then built outward. The Spanish lived in the area closest to the main square in what was known as the traza, in orderly, well laid-out streets. Indigenous residences were outside that exclusive zone and houses were haphazardly located. Spaniards sought to keep indigenous people separate but since the Zócalo was a center of commerce for Amerindians, they were a constant presence in the central area, so strict segregation was never enforced. At intervals Zócalo was where major celebrations took place as well as executions. It was also the site of two major riots in the seventeenth century, one in 1624, the other in 1692.
The city grew as the population did, coming up against the lake's waters. As the depth of the lake water fluctuated, Mexico City was subject to periodic flooding. A major labor draft, the desagüe, compelled thousands of indigenous over the colonial period to work on infrastructure to prevent flooding. Floods were not only an inconvenience but also a health hazard, since during flood periods human waste polluted the city's streets. By draining the area, the mosquito population dropped as did the frequency of the diseases they spread. However, draining the wetlands also changed the habitat for fish and birds and the areas accessible for indigenous cultivation close to the capital. The 16th century saw a proliferation of churches, many of which can still be seen today in the historic center.
Economically, Mexico City prospered as a result of trade. Unlike Brazil or Peru, Mexico had easy contact with both the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. Although the Spanish crown tried to completely regulate all commerce in the city, it had only partial success.
Palacio de Minería, Mexico City. The elevation of silver mining as a profession and the ennoblement of silver miners was a development of the eighteenth-century Bourbon Reforms
The concept of nobility flourished in New Spain in a way not seen in other parts of the Americas. Spaniards encountered a society in which the concept of nobility mirrored that of their own. Spaniards respected the indigenous order of nobility and added to it. In the ensuing centuries, possession of a noble title in Mexico did not mean one exercised great political power, for one's power was limited even if the accumulation of wealth was not. The concept of nobility in Mexico was not political but rather a very conservative Spanish social one, based on proving the worthiness of the family. Most of these families proved their worth by making fortunes in New Spain outside of the city itself, then spending the revenues in the capital, building churches, supporting charities and building extravagant palatial homes. The craze to build the most opulent residence possible reached its height in the last half of the 18th century. Many of these palaces can still be seen today, leading to Mexico City's nickname of "The city of palaces" given by Alexander Von Humboldt.
Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores"), also known as El Grito de la Independencia ("Cry of Independence"), marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. The Battle of Guanajuato, the first major engagement of the insurgency, occurred four days later. After a decade of war, Mexico's independence from Spain was effectively declared in the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire on 27 September 1821.Agustín de Iturbide is proclaimed Emperor of the First Mexican Empire by Congress, crowned in the Cathedral of Mexico. Unrest followed for the next several decades, as different factions fought for control of Mexico.[citation needed
Texcoco de Mora and then Toluca became the capital of the State of Mexico.
Battle of Mexico City in the U.S.–Mexican War of 1847
During the 19th century, Mexico City was the center stage of all the political disputes of the country. It was the imperial capital on two occasions (1821–1823 and 1864–1867), and of two federalist states and two centralist states that followed innumerable coups d'états in the space of half a century before the triumph of the Liberals after the Reform War. It was also the objective of one of the two French invasions to Mexico (1861–1867), and occupied for a year by American troops in the framework of the Mexican–American War (1847–1848).
During this battle, on 13 September, the 4th Division, under
George E. Pickett and James Longstreet participated in the attack. Serving in the Mexican defense were the cadets later immortalized as Los Niños Héroes (the "Boy Heroes"). The Mexican forces fell back from Chapultepec and retreated within the city. Attacks on the Belén and San Cosme Gates came afterwards. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in what is now the far north of the city.
(second from right) commissioned many of the ornate European style buildings constructed from the 1890–1910 and hoped for Mexico City to eventually rival European cities like Paris in opulence.
Events such as the
French Intervention and the Reform War left the city relatively untouched and it continued to grow, especially during the rule of President Porfirio Díaz
. During this time the city developed a modern infrastructure, such as roads, schools, transportation systems and communication systems. However the regime concentrated resources and wealth into the city while the rest of the country languished in poverty.
Under the rule of Porfirio Díaz, Mexico City experienced a massive transformation. Díaz's goal was to create a city which could rival the great European cities. He and his government came to the conclusion that they would use Paris as a model, while still containing remnants of Amerindian and Hispanic elements. This style of Mexican-French fusion architecture became colloquially known as Porfirian Architecture. Porfirian architecture became very influenced by Paris'
During this era of Porfirian rule, the city underwent an extensive modernization. Many Spanish Colonial style buildings were destroyed, replaced by new much larger Porfirian institutions and many outlying rural zones were transformed into urban or industrialized districts with most having electrical, gas and sewage utilities by 1908. While the initial focus was on developing modern hospitals, schools, factories and massive public works, perhaps the most long-lasting effects of the Porfirian modernization were creation of the Colonia Roma area and the development of Reforma Avenue. Many of Mexico City's major attractions and landmarks were built during this era in this style.
Diaz's plans called for the entire city to eventually be modernized or rebuilt in the Porfirian/French style of the Colonia Roma; but the Mexican Revolution began soon afterward and the plans never came to fruition, with many projects being left half-completed. One of the best examples of this is the Monument to the Mexican Revolution. Originally the monument was to be the main dome of Diaz's new senate hall, but when the revolution erupted only the dome of the senate hall and its supporting pillars were completed, this was subsequently seen as a symbol by many Mexicans that the Porfirian era was over once and for all and as such, it was turned into a monument to victory over Diaz.
Mexican Revolution (1910–1920)
Corpses in front of the National Palace during the Ten Tragic Days. Photographer, Manuel Ramos.
The capital escaped the worst of the violence of the ten-year conflict of the
faction ultimately prevailed in the revolutionary civil war and Carranza took up residence in the presidential palace.
, an example of 20th-century Modernist architecture in Mexico
The history of the rest of the 20th century to the present focuses on the phenomenal growth of the city and its environmental and political consequences. In 1900, the population of Mexico City was about 500,000. The city began to grow rapidly westward in the early part of the 20th century and then began to grow upwards in the 1950s, with the Torre Latinoamericana becoming the city's first skyscraper.
The rapid development of Mexico City as a center for
The 1968 Olympic Games brought about the construction of large sporting facilities. In 1969, the Metro system was inaugurated.
Explosive growth in the population of the city started in the 1960s, with the population overflowing the boundaries of the Federal District into the neighboring State of Mexico, especially to the north, northwest, and northeast. Between 1960 and 1980 the city's population more than doubled to nearly 9 million.
In 1980 half of all the industrial jobs in Mexico were located in Mexico City. Under relentless growth, the Mexico City government could barely keep up with services. Villagers from the countryside who continued to pour into the city to escape poverty only compounded the city's problems. With no housing available, they took over lands surrounding the city, creating huge shantytowns that extended for many miles. This caused serious air pollution in Mexico City and water pollution problems, as well as subsidence due to overextraction of groundwater. Air and water pollution has been contained and improved in several areas due to government programs, the renovation of vehicles and the modernization of public transportation.
The autocratic government that ruled Mexico City since the Revolution was tolerated, mostly because of the continued economic expansion since World War II. This was the case even though this government could not handle the population and pollution problems adequately. Nevertheless, discontent and protests began in the 1960s leading to the
Three years later, a demonstration in the Maestros avenue, organized by former members of the 1968 student movement, was violently repressed by a paramilitary group called "Los Halcones", composed of gang members and teenagers from many sports clubs who received training in the U.S.
CST, Mexico City was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 on the Richter magnitude scale. Although this earthquake was not as deadly or destructive as many similar events in Asia and other parts of Latin America, it proved to be a disaster politically for the one-party government. The government was paralyzed by its own bureaucracy and corruption, forcing ordinary citizens to create and direct their own rescue efforts and to reconstruct much of the housing that was lost as well.
However, the last straw may have been the controversial elections of 1988. That year, the presidency was set between the P.R.I.'s candidate, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and a coalition of left-wing parties led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, son of the former president Lázaro Cárdenas. The counting system "fell" because coincidentally the power went out and suddenly, when it returned, the winning candidate was Salinas, even though Cárdenas had the upper hand.
Mexico City is located in the Valley of Mexico, sometimes called the Basin of Mexico. This valley is located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in the high plateaus of south-central Mexico.
It has a minimum altitude of 2,200 meters (7,200 feet)
above sea level and is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that reach elevations of over 5,000 meters (16,000 feet). This valley has no natural drainage outlet for the waters that flow from the mountainsides, making the city vulnerable to flooding. Drainage was engineered through the use of canals and tunnels starting in the 17th century.
Mexico City primarily rests on what was Lake Texcoco. Seismic activity is frequent there. Lake Texcoco was drained starting from the 17th century. Although none of the lake waters remain, the city rests on the lake bed's heavily saturated clay. This soft base is collapsing due to the over-extraction of groundwater, called groundwater-related subsidence.
Since the beginning of the 20th century the city has sunk as much as nine meters (30 feet) in some areas. On average Mexico City sinks 20
meters) every year. This sinking is causing problems with runoff and wastewater management, leading to flooding problems, especially during the summer. The entire lake bed is now paved over and most of the city's remaining forested areas lie in the southern boroughs of Milpa Alta, Tlalpan and Xochimilco.
Originally much of the valley lay beneath the waters of
fresh water used to raise crops in chinampas and to prevent recurrent floods. These dikes were destroyed during the siege of Tenochtitlan, and during colonial times the Spanish regularly drained the lake to prevent floods. Only a small section of the original lake remains, located outside Mexico City, in the municipality of Atenco, State of Mexico
Architects Teodoro González de León and Alberto Kalach along with a group of Mexican urbanists, engineers and biologists have developed the project plan for Recovering the City of Lakes. If approved by the government the project will contribute to the supply of water from natural sources to the Valley of Mexico, the creation of new natural spaces, a great improvement in air quality, and greater population establishment planning.
, in Ajusco neighborhood which is the largest in Latin America. There are numerous seasonal fairs present in the city.
Mexico City has three zoos. Chapultepec Zoo, the San Juan de Aragon Zoo and Los Coyotes Zoo. Chapultepec Zoo is located in the first section of Chapultepec Park in the Miguel Hidalgo. It was opened in 1924. Visitors can see about 243 specimens of different species including kangaroos, giant panda, gorillas, caracal, hyena, hippos, jaguar, giraffe, lemur, lion, among others. Zoo San Juan de Aragon is near the San Juan de Aragon Park in the Gustavo A. Madero. In this zoo, opened in 1964, there are species that are in danger of extinction such as the jaguar and the Mexican wolf. Other guests are the golden eagle, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, caracara, zebras, African elephant, macaw, hippo, among others. Zoo Los Coyotes is a 27.68-acre (11.2 ha) zoo located south of Mexico City in the Coyoacan. It was inaugurated on 2 February 1999. It has more than 301 specimens of 51 species of wild native or endemic fauna from the area, featuring eagles, ajolotes, coyotes, macaws, bobcats, Mexican wolves, raccoons, mountain lions, teporingos, foxes, white-tailed deer.
Gustavo A. Madero are usually drier and warmer than the upper southern boroughs of Tlalpan and Milpa Alta, a mountainous region of pine and oak trees known as the range of Ajusco. The average annual temperature varies from 12 to 16 °C (54 to 61 °F), depending on the altitude of the borough. The temperature is rarely below 3 °C (37 °F) or above 30 °C (86 °F). At the Tacubaya observatory, the lowest temperature ever registered was −4.4 °C (24 °F) on 13 February 1960, and the highest temperature on record was 33.9 °C (93 °F) on 9 May 1998. Overall precipitation is heavily concentrated in the summer months, and includes dense hail
Snow falls in the city very rarely, although somewhat more often in nearby mountain tops. Throughout its history, the Central Valley of Mexico was accustomed to having several snowfalls per decade (including a period between 1878 and 1895 in which every single year—except 1880—recorded snowfalls
global warming have greatly reduced snowfalls after the snow flurries of 12 February 1907. Since 1908, snow has only fallen three times, snow on 14 February 1920; snow flurries on 14 March 1940; and on 12 January 1967, when 8 centimeters (3 in) of snow fell on the city, the most on record. The 1967 snowstorm coincided with the operation of Deep Drainage System that resulted in the total draining of what was left of Lake Texcoco. After the disappearance of Lake Texcoco, snow has never fallen again over Mexico City. The region of the Valley of Mexico receives anti-cyclonic systems. The weak winds of these systems do not allow for the dispersion, outside the basin, of the air pollutants which are produced by the 50,000 industries and 4 million vehicles operating in and around the metropolitan area.
The area receives about 820 millimeters (32 in) of annual rainfall, which is concentrated from May through October with little or no precipitation the remainder of the year. The area has two main seasons. The wet humid summer runs from May to October when winds bring in tropical moisture from the sea, the wettest month being July. The cool sunny winter runs from November to April, when the air is relatively drier, the driest month being December. This season is subdivided into a cold winter period and a warm spring period. The cold period spans from November to February, when polar air masses push down from the north and keep the air fairly dry. The warm period extends from March to May when subtropical winds again dominate but do not yet carry enough moisture for rain to form.
Climate data for Mexico City (Tacubaya), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1877–2018
Historically, and since Pre-Columbian times, the Valley of Anahuac has been one of the most densely populated areas in Mexico. When the Federal District was created in 1824, the urban area of Mexico City extended approximately to the area of today's Cuauhtémoc borough. At the beginning of the 20th century, the elites began migrating to the south and west and soon the small towns of Mixcoac and San Ángel were incorporated by the growing conurbation. According to the 1921 census, 54.78% of the city's population was considered Mestizo (Indigenous mixed with European), 22.79% considered European, and 18.74% considered Indigenous. This was the last Mexican Census which asked people to self-identify with a heritage other than Amerindian. In 1921, Mexico City had less than one million inhabitants.
Up to the 1990s, the Federal District was the most populous
federal entity in Mexico, but since then, its population has remained stable at around 8.7 million. The growth of the city has extended beyond the limits of the city to 59 municipalities of the State of Mexico and 1 in the state of Hidalgo. With a population of approximately 19.8 million inhabitants (2008), it is one of the most populous conurbations in the world. Nonetheless, the annual rate of growth of the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City is much lower than that of other large urban agglomerations in Mexico, a phenomenon most likely attributable to the environmental policy of decentralization. The net migration rate of Mexico City from 1995 to 2000 was negative.
Greater Mexico City is formed by Mexico City, 60 municipalities from the State of Mexico and one from the state of Hidalgo. Greater Mexico City is the largest metropolitan area in Mexico and the area with the highest population density. As of 2020[update], 21,804,515 people live in this urban agglomeration, of which 9,209,944 live in Mexico City proper. In terms of population, the biggest municipalities that are part of Greater Mexico City (excluding Mexico City proper) are in the State of Mexico:
Approximately 75% (10 million) of the State of México's population live in municipalities that are part of Greater Mexico City. Greater Mexico City was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country until the late 1980s. Since then, and through a policy of decentralization in order to reduce the environmental pollutants of the growing conurbation, the annual rate of growth of the agglomeration has decreased, and it is lower than that of the other four largest metropolitan areas (namely
The net migration rate of Mexico City proper from 1995 to 2000 was negative, which implies that residents are moving to the suburbs of the metropolitan area, or to other states of Mexico. In addition, some inner suburbs are losing population to outer suburbs, indicating the continuing expansion of Greater Mexico City.
Mexico City is home to the largest population of Americans living outside the United States. Estimates are as high as 700,000 Americans living in Mexico City, while in 1999 the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs estimated over 440,000 Americans lived in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area.
Mexico City is home to some of the best private hospitals in the country, including Hospital Ángeles, Hospital ABC and Médica Sur. The national
public healthcare institution for private-sector employees, IMSS, has its largest facilities in Mexico City—including the National Medical Center and the La Raza Medical Center—and has an annual budget of over 6 billion pesos. The IMSS and other public health
institutions, including the ISSSTE (Public Sector Employees' Social Security Institute) and the National Health Ministry (SSA) maintain large specialty facilities in the city. These include the National Institutes of Cardiology, Nutrition, Psychiatry, Oncology, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation, among others.
The World Bank has sponsored a project to curb air pollution through public transport improvements and the Mexican government has started shutting down polluting factories. They have phased out diesel buses and mandated new emission controls on new cars; since 1993 all new cars must be fitted with a catalytic converter, which reduces the emissions released. Trucks must use only liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Also construction of an underground rail system was begun in 1968 in order to help curb air pollution problems and alleviate traffic congestion. It has over 201 km (125 mi) of track and carries over 5 million people every day. Fees are kept low to encourage use of the system and during rush hours the crush is so great, that authorities have reserved a special carriage specifically for women. Due to these initiatives and others, the air quality in Mexico City has begun to improve; it is cleaner than it was in 1991, when the air quality was declared to be a public health risk for 355 days of the year.
In 1854 president Antonio López de Santa Anna enlarged the area of Mexico City almost eightfold from the original 220 to 1,700 km2 (80 to 660 sq mi), annexing the rural and mountainous areas to secure the strategic mountain passes to the south and southwest to protect the city in event of a foreign invasion. (The Mexican–American War had just been fought.) The last changes to the limits of Mexico City were made between 1898 and 1902, reducing the area to the current 1,479 km2 (571 sq mi) by adjusting the southern border with the state of Morelos. By that time, the total number of municipalities within Mexico City was twenty-two. In 1941, the General Anaya borough was merged with the Central Department, which was then renamed "Mexico City" (thus reviving the name but not the autonomous municipality). From 1941 to 1970, the Federal District comprised twelve delegaciones and Mexico City. In 1970, Mexico City was split into four different delegaciones: Cuauhtémoc, Miguel Hidalgo, Venustiano Carranza and Benito Juárez, increasing the number of delegaciones to 16. Since then, the whole Federal District, whose delegaciones had by then almost formed a single urban area, began to be considered de facto a synonym of Mexico City.
The lack of a de jure stipulation left a legal vacuum that led to a number of sterile discussions about whether one concept had engulfed the other or if the latter had ceased to exist altogether. In 1993, the situation was solved by an amendment to the 44th article of the Constitution of Mexico; Mexico City and the Federal District were stated to be the same entity. The amendment was later introduced into the second article of the Statute of Government of the Federal District.
On 29 January 2016, Mexico City ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.), and was officially renamed "Ciudad de México" (or "CDMX"). On that date, Mexico City began a transition to becoming the country's 32nd federal entity, giving it a level of autonomy comparable to that of a state. It will have its own constitution and its legislature, and its delegaciones will now be headed by mayors. Because of a clause in the Mexican Constitution, however, as it is the seat of the powers of the federation, it can never become a state, or the capital of the country has to be relocated elsewhere.
In response to the demands, Mexico City received a greater degree of autonomy, with the 1987 elaboration the first Statute of Government (Estatuto de Gobierno) and the creation of an assembly of representatives.
Congress of the Union that sets the ceiling to internal and external public debt issued by the city government.
The politics pursued by the administrations of heads of government in Mexico City at the end of the 20th century have usually been more liberal than those of the rest of the country, whether with the support of the federal government, as was the case with the approval of several comprehensive environmental laws in the 1980s, or by laws that were since approved by the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly expanded provisions on abortions, becoming the first federal entity to expand abortion in Mexico beyond cases of rape and economic reasons, to permit it at the choice of the mother before the 12th week of pregnancy. In December 2009, the then Federal District became the first city in Latin America and one of very few in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
After the political reforms in 2016, the city is divided for administrative purposes into 16 boroughs (demarcaciones territorialescode: spa promoted to code: es , colloquially alcaldías), formerly called delegaciones. While they are not fully equivalent to municipalities, the boroughs have gained significant autonomy.
plurality in 2000. From 2016, each borough is headed by a mayor, expanding their local government powers.
The boroughs of Mexico City with their 2020 populations are:
Benito Juárez borough had the highest HDI of the country (0.9510) followed by Miguel Hidalgo, which came up fourth nationally with an HDI of (0.9189), and Coyoacán was fifth nationally, with an HDI of (0.9169). Cuajimalpa (15th), Cuauhtémoc (23rd), and Azcapotzalco (25th) also had very high values of 0.8994, 0.8922, and 0.8915, respectively.
In contrast, the boroughs of Xochimilco (172nd), Tláhuac (177th), and Iztapalapa (183rd) presented the lowest HDI values of Mexico City, with values of 0.8481, 0.8473, and 0.8464, respectively, which are still in the global high-HDI range. The only borough that did not have a high HDI was that of rural Milpa Alta, which had a "medium" HDI of 0.7984, far below those of all the other boroughs (627th nationally, the rest being in the top 200). Mexico City's HDI for the 2005 report was 0.9012 (very high), and its 2010 value of 0.9225 (very high), or (by newer methodology) 0.8307, was Mexico's highest.
The Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de la Ciudad de México – SSP) manages a combined force of over 90,000 officers in Mexico City. The SSP is charged with maintaining
public order and safety in the heart of Mexico City. The historic district is also roamed by tourist police, aiming to orient and serve tourists. These horse-mounted agents dress in traditional uniforms. The investigative Judicial Police of Mexico City (Policía Judicial de la Ciudad de México – PJCDMX) is organized under the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico
City (the Procuraduría General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México). The PGJCDMX maintains 16 precincts (delegaciones) with an estimated 3,500 judicial police, 1,100 investigating agents for prosecuting attorneys (agentes del ministerio público), and nearly 1,000 criminology experts or specialists (peritos).
Between 2000 and 2004 an average of 478 crimes were reported each day in Mexico City; however, the actual crime rate is thought to be much higher "since most people are reluctant to report crime".
security cameras around the city and a very large expansion of the police force. Mexico City has one of the world's highest police officer-to-resident ratios, with one uniformed officer per 100 citizens. Since 1997 the prison population has increased by more than 500%. Political scientist Markus-Michael Müller argues that mostly informal street vendors are hit by these measures. He sees punishment "related to the growing politicization of security and crime issues and the resulting criminalization of the people living at the margins of urban society, in particular those who work in the city's informal economy".
In 2016, the incidence of femicides was 3.2 per 100 000 inhabitants, the national average being 4.2. A 2015 city government report found that two of three women over the age of 15 in the capital suffered some form of violence. In addition to street harassment, one of the places where women in Mexico City are subjected to violence is on and around public transport. Annually the Metro of Mexico City receives 300 complaints of sexual harassment. While the violence against women in Mexico City is rising, there is still a large number of incidents of kidnappings and killings that go undetected and unreported due to the corruption in the police department.
Mexico City is one of the most important economic hubs in
PwC, Mexico City had a GDP of $390 billion, ranking it as the eighth richest city in the world and the richest in Latin America. In 2009, Mexico City alone would rank as the 30th largest economy in the world.
Mexico City is the greatest contributor to the country's industrial GDP (15.8%) and also the greatest contributor to the country's GDP in the service sector (25.3%). Due to the limited non-urbanized space at the south—most of which is protected through environmental laws—the contribution of Mexico City in agriculture is the smallest of all federal entities in the country. The economic reforms of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari had a tremendous effect on the city, as a number of businesses, including banks and airlines, were privatized. He also signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This led to decentralization and a shift in Mexico City's economic base, from manufacturing to services, as most factories moved away to either the State of Mexico, or more commonly to the northern border. By contrast, corporate office buildings set their base in the city.
Mexico City offers an immense and varied consumer retail market, ranging from basic foods to ultra high-end luxury goods. Consumers may buy in
fixed indoor markets, in mobile markets (tianguis), from street vendors, from downtown shops in a street dedicated to a certain type of good, in convenience stores and traditional neighborhood stores, in modern supermarkets, in warehouse and membership stores and the shopping centers that they anchor, in department stores, in big-box stores, and in modern shopping malls. In addition, "tianguis
" or mobile markets set up shop on streets in many neighborhoods, depending on day of week. Sundays see the largest number of these markets.
Street vendors ply their trade from stalls in the tianguis as well as at non-officially controlled concentrations around metro stations and hospitals; at plazas comerciales, where vendors of a certain "theme" (e.g. stationery) are housed; originally these were organized to accommodate vendors formerly selling on the street; or simply from improvised stalls on a city sidewalk. In addition, food and goods are sold from people walking with baskets, pushing carts, from bicycles or the backs of trucks, or simply from a tarp or cloth laid on the ground. In the center of the city informal street vendors are increasingly targeted by laws and prosecution. The weekly San Felipe de Jesús Tianguis is reported to be the largest in Latin America.
Historic Center of Mexico City is widely known for specialized, often low-cost retailers. Certain blocks or streets are dedicated to shops selling a certain type of merchandise, with areas dedicated to over 40 categories such as home appliances, lamps and electricals, closets and bathrooms, housewares, wedding dresses, jukeboxes, printing, office furniture and safes, books, photography, jewelry, and opticians.
, known as the "Turibus", that circles most of these sites, and has timed audio describing the sites in multiple languages as they are passed.
In addition, according to the Secretariat of Tourism, the city has about 170
museums—is among the top ten of cities in the world with highest number of museums—over 100 art galleries, and some 30 concert halls, all of which maintain a constant cultural activity during the whole year. Many areas (e.g. Palacio Nacional and the National Institute of Cardiology) have murals painted by Diego Rivera. He and his wife Frida Kahlo lived in Coyoacán, where several of their homes, studios, and art collections are open to the public. The house where Leon Trotsky was initially granted asylum and finally murdered in 1940 is also in Coyoacán. In addition, there are several haciendas
that are now restaurants, such as the San Ángel Inn, the Hacienda de Tlalpan, Hacienda de Cortés and the Hacienda de los Morales.
Sistema de Movilidad Integrada, describing eight distinct modes of transportation. The head of the government, Claudia Sheinbaum, said the branding would be used for a new single payment card to streamline public transportation fare collection.
Mexico City has an extensive bus network, consisting of public buses,
Mexico City has a large road network, and relatively high private car usage, estimated at more than 4.5 million in 2016. There is an environmental program, called Hoy No Circula ("Today Does Not Run", or "One Day without a Car"), whereby vehicles that have not passed emissions testing are restricted from circulating on certain days according to the ending digit of their license plates, in an attempt to cut down on pollution and traffic congestion.
During the 19th century, an important producer of art was the
National Museum of San Carlos). One of the students, José María Velasco, is considered one of the greatest Mexican landscape painters of the 19th century. Porfirio Díaz's regime sponsored arts, especially those that followed the French school. Popular arts in the form of cartoons and illustrations flourished, e.g. those of José Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla
. The permanent collection of the San Carlos Museum also includes paintings by European masters such as Rembrandt, Velázquez, Murillo, and Rubens.
Mexican Hairless Dog). It also regularly hosts small but important temporary exhibits of classical and modern art
(e.g. Venetian Masters and Contemporary New York artists).
During the 20th century, many artists immigrated to Mexico City from different regions of Mexico, such as Leopoldo Méndez, an engraver from Veracruz, who supported the creation of the socialist Taller de la Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphics Workshop), designed to help blue-collar workers find a venue to express their art. Other painters came from abroad, such as Catalan painter Remedios Varo and other Spanish and Jewish exiles. It was in the second half of the 20th century that the artistic movement began to drift apart from the Revolutionary theme. José Luis Cuevas opted for a modernist style in contrast to the muralist movement associated with social politics.
Mexico City has numerous museums dedicated to art, including Mexican colonial, modern and contemporary art, and international art. The Museo Tamayo was opened in the mid-1980s to house the collection of international contemporary art donated by Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo. The collection includes pieces by Picasso, Klee, Kandinsky, Warhol and many others, though most of the collection is stored while visiting exhibits are shown. The Museo de Arte Moderno is a repository of Mexican artists from the 20th century, including Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros, Kahlo, Gerzso, Carrington, Tamayo, and also regularly hosts temporary exhibits of international modern art. In southern Mexico City, the Carrillo Gil Museum showcases avant-garde artists, as does the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, designed by Mexican architect Teodoro González de León, inaugurated in late 2008.
Ecatepec. It has the largest private contemporary art collection in Latin America and hosts pieces from its permanent collection as well as traveling exhibits. The Museo de San Ildefonso, housed in the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City's historic downtown district is a 17th-century colonnaded palace housing an art museum that regularly hosts world-class exhibits of Mexican and international art. The Museo Nacional de Arte
is also located in a former palace in the historic center. It houses a large collection of pieces by all major Mexican artists of the last 400 years and also hosts visiting exhibits.
Jack Kerouac, the noted American author, spent extended periods of time in the city, and wrote his 1959 masterpiece volume of poetry Mexico City Blues here. Another American author, William S. Burroughs, also lived in Colonia Roma where he accidentally shot his wife. Most of Mexico City's museums can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, although some of them have extended schedules, such as the Museum of Anthropology and History, which is open to 7pm. In addition to this, entrance to most museums are free on Sunday. In some cases a modest fee may be charged.
The Memory and Tolerance Museum, inaugurated in 2011, showcases historical events of discrimination and genocide. Permanent exhibits include those on the Holocaust and other large-scale atrocities. It also houses temporary exhibits; one on Tibet was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in September 2011.
La Feria, a former amusement park. The theme park Six Flags México (the largest amusement park in Latin America) is located in the Ajusco neighborhood, in Tlalpan borough, southern Mexico City. During the winter, the main square of the Zócalo is transformed into a gigantic ice skating rink, which is said to be the largest in the world behind that of Moscow's Red Square
The Cineteca Nacional [es] (Mexican Film Library), near the Coyoacán suburb, shows a variety of films, and stages many film festivals, including the annual International Showcase, and many smaller ones ranging from Scandinavian and Uruguayan cinema, to Jewish and LGBT-themed films. Cinépolis and Cinemex, the two biggest film business chains, also have several film festivals throughout the year, with both national and international movies. Mexico City has a number of IMAX theaters, providing residents and visitors access to films ranging from documentaries to blockbusters on these large screens.
Once considered plebeian fare, by the 19th century
gorditas, along with oyster shops and fried fish stands. There is evidence of some regional specialties being made available for recent migrants; at least two shops were known to serve pozole, a type of stew similar to hominy that is a staple of Guadalajara, Jalisco. Mexico City is known for having some of the freshest fish and seafood in Mexico's interior. La Nueva Viga Market is the second largest seafood market in the world after the Tsukiji fish market
Mexico City offers a variety of cuisines: restaurants specializing in the regional cuisines of Mexico's 31 states are available in the city, and the city also has several branches of internationally recognized restaurants. These include Paris' Au Pied de Cochon and
, have locations in Mexico City: La Mar, Segundo Muelle and Astrid y Gastón.
For the 2019 list of
World's 50 Best Restaurants as named by the British magazine Restaurant, Mexico City ranked 12th best with the Mexican avant-garde restaurant Pujol (owned by Mexican chef Enrique Olvera). Also notable is the Basque-Mexican fusion restaurant Biko (run and co-owned by Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso), which placed outside the list at 59th, but in previous years has ranked within the top 50. Other that has been placed on the list in 2019 is the restaurant Sud 777 at 58th place. At the other end of the scale are working class pulque
bars known as pulquerías, a challenge for tourists to locate and experience.
The two largest media companies in the Spanish-speaking world, Televisa and TV Azteca, are headquartered in Mexico City. Televisa, it often presents itself as the largest producer of Spanish-language content. Other local television channels include:
Club Deportivo Guadalajara, of Mexico's traditional "Big Four". The city's three derbies are the "Clásico Joven", played between América and Cruz Azul, the capital's two most popular and winningest teams; the "Clásico Capitalino
", between América and Universidad Nacional, and the "Clásico Metropolitano", between Cruz Azul and Universidad Nacional.
. Both races were removed from their series' schedules for 2009.
Baseball is another sport played professionally in the city. Mexico City is home of the
Francisco Gonzalez Pulido in collaboration with local architect Taller ADG. Mexico City has some 10 Little Leagues for young baseball players. In 2005, Mexico City became the first city to host an NFL regular season game outside of the United States, at the Azteca Stadium. The crowd of 103,467 people attending this game was the largest ever for a regular season game in NFL history until 2009.
The city has also hosted several
FIBA Americas Championship, along with north-of-the-border Major League Baseball exhibition games at Foro Sol. In 2017, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed interest in placing an NBA G League expansion team in Mexico City as early as 2018. This came to fruition on 12 December 2019 when commissioner Silver announced at a press conference in Mexico City Arena that LNBP team, Capitanes de Ciudad de México
will be joining the G League in the 2020–21 season on a five-year agreement.
[The very noble, very loyal, distinguished and imperial city of Mexico, head of the kingdoms and provinces of New Spain and in its name the sirs president and members of the Royal Police Board of this Court with the consent of the Excellency Sr. Viceroy of this kingdom let the pious neighborhood know what's coming next].
. Just west of Bellas Artes, the Alameda Central is the largest green space in the center of the city and the oldest public park in the Americas.
^"Three Kings Day in Mexico, a holiday in flux". LA Times Blogs – La Plaza. 6 January 2011. Consider the scene this week at the Alameda Central, the downtown Mexico City park historians describe as the oldest planned urban green space in the Americas.
^"Actualización Del Programa Hoy No Circula" [Update of the "Hoy No Circula" Program] (PDF) (in Spanish). Gobierno Del Distrito Federal, Secretaría Del Medio Ambiente, Dirección General De Gestión Ambiental Del Aire, Dirección De Instrumentación De Políticas. p. 19. Archived from the original(PDF) on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.