Why is Mexico important?

Alberto Benitez
3 min readSep 21, 2020

On September 15, I asked this question: “Why is Mexico important to the world? “.

I sent it to Facebook groups of sports, literature, history, journalism, science, the arts and even TV stars, in Mexico and Latin America.

I did not suggest categories or topics, or limit on answers. Those who answered it could propose one or three or ten topics. Those who wish.

It was answered by a little more than two hundred Spanish speakers.

Culture and crime are the two things that give Mexico a place in the world.

Culture: the most outstanding:

For the vast majority, Mexico is important to the world for its culture.
In the first place, far above all other categories, for its gastronomy. The most mentioned in this subcategory were tacos and tequila. In second place, its comic actors were mentioned, from Chespirito and Cantinflas to Chuponcito and Chupitos, who seem to be recognized in practically the entire continent. Third, music was mentioned, first mariachi, but later regional music. And, far back, history, pre-Hispanic cultures, architecture and literature were mentioned.

The second most mentioned category was commerce.

The third was the drug trade and production.

The fourth category that the public proposed in response to why Mexico is important to the world, was “as an example of what not to do.”

Finally, a part of those who responded affirmed that Mexico is not important to the world.


Those who responded that Mexico is important because of its trade, mentioned the following subcategories. They are ordered from most to least mentioned:

Geographic location
Cheap labor
Natural resources

The third category most mentioned in response to: “Why is Mexico important to the world” was drug trafficking. Not all, but many of the people who answered that also mentioned arms trafficking.

The last response spontaneously proposed by the public to “why is Mexico important to the world” was a bad example.

The subcategories, from the most to the least mentioned were:
Arms trafficking
Xenophobia and racism
Child exploitation
Poor quality of education.

Finally, there were 16 mentions that Mexico is not important to the world. Sixteen affirmations. There was no ambiguity in either the tone or the statement.

Is Mexico important to the world?

According to this exercise, it is a lot.

Why it influences what you eat, the comic imagination, the sentimental education through music.

And together, crime. Mexico is important because it kills and dies. Why for many it is the main drug producer in the world.

These images are not opposite.

The image that summarizes them is that of the famous singer who has dealings with the drug trafficker. That seems to be the image of Mexico in the world. And it has consequences.

Finally, there is this category that appeared and is quite original: Mexico is important as a bad example.

That means that Mexico is highly regarded. That we occupy an important place on stage. Which is confirmed by the influence of Mexican comedians and musicians. That they are in very bad working conditions, by the way.
In what we give a bad example, we know it: in Mexico you kill someone and it is easier to get the Melate out of you than to be processed. This is why crime is so powerful.

What appeared in this exercise is not new. But it gives food for thought.