Mexico //

Fact file

  • The world’s richest person since 2010 has been Mexican: Carlos Slim Helú is estimated to be worth around US$69 billion, thanks to his holdings in companies such as Telmex and América Móvil.
  • Mexico exports more Spanish-language entertainment than any other nation. Singing legend Marco Antonio Solís has sold over eighty million records and has had ten number ones on the Latin billboard chart; Juan Gabriel has sold over one hundred million albums worldwide. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) by film-maker Guillermo del Toro is the top grossing Mexican film of all time (US$37.5 million), though Like Water for Chocolate earned almost US$22 million back in 1993. Mexican movie stars include Anthony Quinn (born in Chihuahua in 1915), Salma Hayek, Gael García Bernal and Mario Van Peebles.
  • There are estimated to be around six million Mexicans working in the US legally, and around the same number working illegally. The number of migrant deaths along the Mexico–US border has steadily increased since the mid-1990s (no one really knows the total number), with exposure, heat stroke and dehydration the leading causes.
  • Mexicans have a well-earned reputation for absolute disregard of the law, summed-up by the saying “El que no transa, no avanza” (“he who doesn’t trick or cheat gets nowhere”). According to some estimates, more than half the country’s economic activity takes place underground, off the books.
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