President López Mateos, consistent with his reformism, fought against the foreign companies in whose hands almost the entire electricity industry was found, which at the end of 1961 was totally nationalized; he did not tolerate, however, the opposition, made up largely of intellectuals, students and railway workers, against which he used the strong manner. Land reform, which had been underway for fifty years, also received a new impetus during his tenure although the ejidos(especially agricultural cooperatives) have not achieved the results they intended. Relations with the United States, frequently disturbed by issues raised by Mexican seasonal agricultural workers crossing the border and whose labor was exploited by North American farmers, deteriorated following Mexico’s attitude within the OAS. on the occasion of the expulsion of Cuba from the Organization (1962). The visit of President Kennedy (1963) to López Mateos, followed by a loan intended to favor small farmers, however, re-established good relations between the two countries.
López Mateos was succeeded by Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, candidate of the all-powerful PRI, elected (1964) with an overwhelming majority. Only 11% of the votes remained in the opposition. The new president did not stray from the line of his predecessors and was able to govern with the support of industry, banks, trade unions, the clergy and the military, all the forces that, included in the PRI, made him practically invincible. The army, in accordance with Mexican tradition, refrained from intervening in political life, unlike what happened in other Latin American countries: indeed the armed forces were significantly reduced (in 1966 they accounted for 10 percent of the national budget, while in 1968 for less than 4%). Mexico was thus able, in the course of the administrations ranging from Cardenas to Díaz Ordaz, ejidos. In the meantime intolerance towards the Church diminished; education received the utmost care from the government (25.5% of the budget in 1965) with flattering results, especially in comparison with the bleak Latin American educational landscape. However, in spite of a certain progress and a more widespread prosperity, the Mexico still presented, around 1968, a strong imbalance between the conditions of the workers in the industries and in the countryside. The split between backward workers and peasants, to which were added the slums who lived in the shadow of the cities, marginalized by progress, called into question the lack of democratization of power and the inertia of the PRI, which had ruled the country for half a century. The student demonstrations, which intensified in the months of July and August 1968, culminated in Città di Mexico, on the occasion of the
The foreign policy of Díaz Ordaz, in addition to following that of his predecessors, was characterized by a greater openness towards the countries of Central America (Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador), an area that in the past had remained, for historical reasons and political, rather foreign in its economic and cultural relations with Mexico. The entry into force (May 10, 1970) of the new labor code was hailed by the trade union centers as a great victory; the new provisions were considered capable of “distributing national wealth more equitably”. The elections of 5 July 1970 led to the presidency, with 90% of the votes, the PRI candidate L. Echeverría Alvárez, who, aware of having to interpret some maturing requirements, initiated a policy full of dynamism, in order to solve the problems of the Mexican economy that is three-quarters dependent on North American investments. The students, always at the forefront in terms of claims, supported by right-wing groups, promoted new demonstrations (10 June 1971) followed by bloody repression, while in the countryside the never dormant guerrillas resumed through the Partido de los Pobres and the Asociación Cívica Revolucionaria. For Mexico public policy, please check proexchangerates.com.
Echeverría has taken a less conformist position in foreign policy than that of his predecessors, making numerous trips in order to “diversify” the economic relations of his country. He went to Japan (March 1972), to the various EEC countries and to the USSR (1973-74), to Italy (February and November 1974). After having stipulated a mutual collaboration agreement with the Andean Group (15 December 1972) he visited the main republics of Latin America (11-31 July 1974); in particular, the final communiqué of his meeting with J. Perón, in Buenos Aires, called for the readmission of Cuba to the OAS. However, he did not fail to meet with President G. Ford at the border between the United States and the USA. The “Charter of economic rights and duties of states” presented to the Conference of UNCTAD of Santiago in 1972, placed Echeverría in authoritative prominence among the countries of the Third World. Mexico signed an important cooperation agreement with the EEC in Brussels (15 July 1975), which represents another attempt to free itself from US economic pressure. In this sense, the initiative taken by Mexico together with Venezuela to promote (Panama City, September 15) a Latin American Economic System (SELA) with the exclusion of the USA must be interpreted. With the elections of 4 July 1976, José Lopez Portillo, former Minister of Finance, was elected President of the Republic, the only candidate nominated by the majority party, the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional). On March 28, 1977, diplomatic relations with Spain were re-established after 38 years.