MG in-depth

UNCLE SAM IS NOT MY UNCLE

North America

Only by persuading the most rebellious chicanos to embrace the American way of life the U.S. can thrive as the only superpower

1. North America is the American empire’s private garden. No other continent is dominated by just one power. Absolute supremacy in this heartland is the basis for U.S. primacy in the world. It is therefore vital for Washington to maintain this privilege. Should a rival capable of equalling American hegemony arise or infiltrate the area between the Queen Elisabeth Islands in the Canadian Arctic and the Darién rain forest, the barrier between the two Americas straddling the Colombian-Panamanian border, the global hierarchy of powers would be subverted.

Nowadays such a hypothesis seems absurd – but who knows what tomorrow will bring. American elites and apparatuses have, however, the main vector of threats to U.S. hegemony over North America well imprinted in their geopolitical memories; it is its southern flank between Cuba and Mexico. And while the Caribbean archipelago seems strategically sterile following the end of the Cold War, the Mexican issue is alive and well.

In our imagination, Mexico remains an exotic country, a perpetually developing one of modest strategic importance. European mental maps – and United Nations’ official geography – set Mexico in Central America, more similar to the Caribbean than to the United States. But Mexico’s intimate structure and geopolitical calibre, marked by geographical proximity and historical, economic and strategic intimacy with the United States, is what sets Mexico in North America, a 25 million square kilometre colossus with almost 600 million inhabitants.

It is a continental identity claimed ever since the first solemn declaration of independence by Mexican patriots from Spain (1813), in which the new homeland was proclaimed as “América Septentrional” (1).       

Seen from Washington, the Rio Grande (called the Río Bravo del Norte by Mexicans) is not at all the border between the two Americas. It is the internal geopolitical fault line of the North American sphere of influence. One must bear in mind the brutal formula established by Alan Bersin, formerly the Department of Homeland Security’s border tsar, who said that “the Guatemalan border with Chiapas is now our southern border” (2).

In America’s imperial perception, prefigured in 1823 with the Monroe Doctrine aimed at excluding European powers from the western hemisphere, the not excessively indirect control over access routes to North American is a priority. The geography of American armed intervention bears witness to this. There has never been a real war south of Panama, compared to dozens of expeditions between the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, North America’s de facto appendix. It is the expression of America’s project to continentalise its private garden, hence the attraction/subordination of two great neighbours, decreed in 1994 with the coming into force of NAFTA, the American/Canadian/Mexican free trade agreement with increasingly geopolitical rather than economic characteristics. (3) 

For the United States, the importance of the Mexican limes emerges from the comparison with its other land border, the one with Canada, assessed on the basis of security rather than the threat of powers or influences hostile to Number One. It is a soft border that contributes to outlining a calm cross-border area that is culturally rather homogeneous.

The physical barriers that extend for over one third of the Mexican border’s 3,201 kilometres – which Trump proclaims he wishes to wall up completely at his neighbour’s expense – are instead a monument to the perception of a threat from the south that insidiously exists in American public opinion.        

What threat? The Mexican United States, extending over almost two million square kilometres, with about 130 million inhabitants, are a significant economic entity associated to the G20, eleventh in the world in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (4), but are certainly not a military colossus (seecoloured map). They could only threaten the security of their northern neighbour if they offered to be the platform for a Eurasian superpower daring to threaten the U.S. using weapons.

An implausible idea. Washington’s fear is more subtle and deep, seeing Mexico as the bearer of a gradual demographic revolution capable of fatally corroding the cultural and geopolitical constitution of the United States of America. This is born witness to by the progression of the Hispanic lineage, the result of impressive latino immigration beyond the Rio Grande, not fully easily assimilated with the legendary White Anglo-Saxon Protestant identity that is the architrave of America’s universal mission.

Nowadays 17% of America’s population is already registered as Hispanic. The Chicanos alone, hence Mexican-Americans, amount to 11% of the population at a national level. What matters most is that they are mainly concentrated in states close to the Mexican border and two-thirds of Mexican-Americans live in Texas and California, where they amount to over 30% of the population.

Should this tendency involving the Hispanicization of the south-west – and not just that area – continue, and the refractoriness to assimilation increase, over time a potentially secessionist group could take shape, aspiring for independence or the rank of the northern pole of a Greater Mexico. Even without undermining the United States’ territorial statute, this would result in the transfiguration of an imperial nation into a bi-national state, watered down by a multi-cultural soup or, even worse, plagued by a second decisive civil war. The death of the nation and the end of the empire.

This scenario, already evoked by authoritative Cassandras and analysed in Washington’s strategic think tanks, would be unthinkable if, alongside geography and demography, one did not also consider the history of Mexico, New Spain’s more than halved geopolitical heir (1535-1821). The Spanish empire’s Viceroyalty, which at its zenith touched Canada’s current southern borders extending all the way to Central America, also including most of today’s United States (the basins of Alabama and the Mississippi, plus Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and other central-westerns lands at the time mainly travelled by Native Americans), the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba, as well as lands that are now Mexican. This last area – centred on the former Aztec region – was New Spain’s beating heart, having at the beginning of the 19th century about six million inhabitants, one third of the total.

Its political capital, Mexico City, at the time was home to 170 thousand souls, the highest urban concentration in the Americas. Mexico was the world’s main producer of silver. In 1800 its subjects’ average pro capite income was worth one third of that of the British and almost half that of the Americans.  

In about the mid-19th century New Spain’s immense territory was mostly taken over by military force by the United States of America. The painful memories of that invasion penetrated the consciences of Mexicans, and there they remains. In 2006 a survey established that according to 58% of Mexicans the lands “taken” at the end of the Mexican-American war (1846-48) still belong to the defeated and humiliated nation. (5) Demography will sooner or later return these lands to them, de facto or even by right.

Irredentism has spread insidiously both in the Mexican diaspora and in the homeland. There have been real traces of this ever since the Plan of San Diego (1915) – blamed on influence exerted by the German secret services – when a number of rebels of Mexican origin agreed on a plan to overthrow the government in the southern United States and kill “all adult Anglo males.” (6) After the so-called “partial secession” of El Cenizo – a Texan border location that in 1999 established Spanish as its official language and proclaimed itself a free port for undocumented workers – the mirage of a reconquista reappeared in the early 21st century in a thesis by Charles Truxillo, a professor at the University of New Mexico. Truxillo toyed with the idea of a rather feasible República del Norte, the merging of the South-West United States and northern Mexico (he then lost his  chair for having stated, quoting Malcolm X’s formula that this objective would be achieved “by any means necessary”).

(7) So as to legitimise the historical basis for such a claim, Truxillo re-proposed the myth so dear to various Mexican-American organisations that believe that the Aztecs’ ancestral land, Aztlán, is to be found between New Mexico and Arizona; “unredeemed” areas.  

What is more relevant nowadays is the Demanda Lo Nuestro movement, led by the patriarch of the Mexican Left and former presidential candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. He has entrusted to his lawyer, Guillermo Hamdan Castro, the drafting of an appeal to the International Court of Justice (not recognised by the United States) requesting the annulment of treaties that left Mexico without the northern territories inherited from New Spain, since they were extorted through a war of aggression. Quoting Putin (“if they want Crimea back then they should return Texas to the Mexicans”) Hamdan Castro concludes saying that, “The president of Mexico must not govern over half of Mexicans, but beyond the Río Bravo.” (8)

No one imagines that the United States will give up even the smallest part of its sovereign territory and yet the spectre of a reconquista, evoked by the merge between demography and Hispanic-Mexican nationalism, is also present north of the Rio Grande. In 2004 the influential political analyst Samuel Huntington considered (with horror) that this was already happening. “No other immigrant group in U.S. history has asserted or could assert a historical claim to U.S. territory. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans can and do make that claim.” (9) And he entitled Who Are We? an alarming essay on the Hispanisation of a country that questions its original identity. (10)

Five years later the geopolitical analyst George Friedman, in one of his predictions about the end-of-century world, decreed that, “The parts of Mexico occupied by the United States in the 1840s will return to be culturally, socially and in many senses politically Mexican.” (11) Nowadays, Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House, conquered by exploiting white people’s fear of becoming a minority among others in a country transfigured by Latinos and other ethnic-religious stock, unyielding to the Founding Fathers’ criteria, confirms – alongside the violent revival of Confederate racism – that the empire’s future will be played on the identity issue.

Since by definition this is the greatest geopolitical game ongoing at a planetary level, Mexico is its deuteraganist. And its driving force is the Borderland extending to the south and north of the Rio Grande in lands previously under New Spain’s loose dominion.

This cross-border ensemble can be portrayed as a separate entity, increased in size over the past 150 years along its backbone, the United States-Mexican border. The Borderland’s longitudinal limits are physical and consist of two oceans. The latitudinal ones are vague and changeable, the result of subjective perceptions, except from an environmental and geopolitical perspective consisting of the La Paz Agreement.

This was signed in 1983 by Ronald Reagan and Miguel de la Madrid and, in Article 4, established a “border area” referring to the area situated 100 kilometres on either side of the inland and maritime boundaries, largely entrusted to the joint care of the officials of bordering federate states and local authorities in both countries. It was enough for protests to be heard in Washington opposing the alleged creation of a separate and independent border region entrusted to opaque non-elected powers, beyond Congress’ jurisdiction.

Borderland is a hybrid land. The South-West of the United States and the North of Mexico are more similar to one another that they are homogeneous to the rest of their respective nations. This above all due to the Spanish language, or rather the Anglo-Castilian mix – see the spanglish derided as casteyanqui south of the border – and changes in codes, hence moving from one idiom to another within the same discourse. This is an exercise practiced by the chicana author Gloria Anzaldúa even in the title of her book Borderlands/La Frontera. The New Mestiza (1987), dedicated to “todos los mexicanos on both sides of the border” (12).

If language is the blood of the spirit and the homeland is the place where its words are sovereign, as the Hispanic poet Miguel de Unamuno wrote, the Borderland can be considered an informal sub-nation, a matria. This almost materialises Theodore Roosevelt’s nightmare, who in 1907 attacked migrants who by refusing to speak English threatened to reduce the United States to a “polyglot boarding house”. (13) Such alarm is nowadays taken to the extreme by white supremacists, who consider the purity of language (English) and race (Caucasian) as synonyms. It is no surprise that their credo is especially rooted in the South, including in parts of the American Borderland.   

At the same time, this mixed-race region is divided by one of the greatest borders in the world if one considers the disparity in wealth and power between these two neighbours.

The economic fault line in the Borderland, an area in which there is trafficking of every kind as well as trans-border industries, is not as deep as the disparity between the totality of the two nations. However, the “open wound” is visible to the naked eye, for example when one crosses state lines dividing twin cities – not really Siamese twins – straddling the border, such as San Diego (California) and Tijuana (Baja California), Douglas (Arizona) and Agua Prieta (Sonora), El Paso (Texas) and Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua).

Income, the cost of living, health and education services diverge more or less vertically in favour of the northern side. Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, in their ambitious and successful book entitled Why Nations Fail, a mix of economic science and political analysis, have taken the case of the two Nogales to prove their thesis of rare depth, on the basis of which economic disparity derives from the different quality of institutions. (14)

The inhabitants of the American Nogales, in Arizona, boast an income that is triple that of their “fellow citizens” in the other Nogales, in the Mexican state of Sonora, in spite of the fact that ambo los Nogales share lifestyles, cuisine, music and ancestors. Hence the only explanation – or the only one envisaged by our two scientists – lies in the fact that the inhabitants of the northern Nogales live in a free and democratic state that encourages entrepreneurship and provides basic services, while the unlucky inhabitants of the Nogales in the south are subject to corrupt Mexican institutions.

Acemoglu and Robinson’s hypothesis is less aseptic than it seems. A culturalist subtext emerges, that of the superiority complex Anglo-European North Americans have regards to Hispanics, set in stereotypes of laziness (the people of mañana) and intolerance for law and order.

The imbalance of power is after all a founding element of the border. Marked first by the incorporation of Texas in the American union (1845), just recently emancipated from Mexico, then by the 1846-1848 war that at Mexico’s expense provided the United States with an outlet to the Pacific – the gateway to Asia – comparable to the one on the Atlantic thanks to a series of resounding American victories.

These resulted in the conquest of Mexico City (September 1847) and then in the rather unfair Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (signed in February 2nd, 1848), strengthened by the Gadsden Purchase (June 24th, 1853). The adolescent Mexican republic surrendered half of its territory; an unforgotten humiliation

The first barriers at the U.S.-Mexican border were built in 1909 between California and Baja California to prevent the transhumance of infected cattle to the United States. However, the construction of a wall along at least one third of the Borderland only started at the end of the last century. Matters accelerated in the post 9/11 paroxysmal atmosphere, when the nation that had grown-up with the myth of its own impenetrability discovered it was vulnerable and started to build around itself an increasingly imposing protective perimeter.

Then came Trump’s bombastic electoral promises, which now oblige him to emphasise the need for a total wall paid for by America’s neighbour to seal the entire border. Verbal eruptions that he himself probably knows he will not be able to implement.

The declared reason for these protective barriers – ranging from barbed wire to steel and cement constructions – built by Washington along the south-western border, is that they are aimed at stopping illegal immigration, drug and arms-trafficking as well as other goods smuggled from Mexico.

Those supporting the wall observe the temporal coincidence between the approval in 2006 of the Security Fence Act, which intensified the creation of physical barriers and armed checkpoints, and the sharp decline in migratory flows from the nearby south, started that same year. For almost a decade the net balance of migration from Mexico to the United States has been constantly negative. Attributing this U-turn only to the wall’s progression seems doubtful however.

First of all most of the illegal migrants do not cross the Rio Grande border but enter the country with a legal visa, to then remain in the United States when it expires. There are a number of structural factors that have contributed to the fall in south-north cross-border transits by Mexican emigrants, such as the fall in fertility in Mexico and economic conjunctures such as the great recession of 2008-9 which affected a number of productive sectors in the United States, especially construction, which typically attracts low-cost Mexican labour.

However, the most intriguing geopolitical factor consists in Mexico’s recent non-spontaneous vocation to detain hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants, of which nine-tenths come from the Northern Triangle – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador – fleeing poverty and the violence of gangs running wild in the region. Their real objective is the United States, where Central American immigrants are increasing and there are now over 3.5 million. Many, however, remain between the two Borderlands; the southern one, between Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, and the northern one between Mexico and the USA.

For them Mexico has become a destination and is no longer just a corridor. This is the effect of the grip that Washington imposed in 2014 on the porous Chiapas-Guatemala border thanks to the Frontera Sur programme, with the Pentagon supporting local soldiers and police in containing transits.

Those who manage to enter Mexico’s poorest region aiming for the north are often the object of oppression by local gangs. Alternatively, they are blocked in detention centres or crowded into the infamous goods convoys (nicknamed “The Beasts”) that cross Mexico. In these anabasis attempts, which can take months, tens of thousands vanish or die.

As far as drug trafficking managed by the narcos is concerned, it will be impossible to stop for as long as the U.S. remains a formidable market for opiates, while Mexico, which supplies 94% of the demand for heroin, receives at least $50 billion every year, revenue that is mostly recycled within the official economy. The perfectly inverse mechanism is that of arms trafficking with weapons from the north invading Mexico’s hungry cartel market and guaranteeing a hefty revenue to American manufacturers and dealers.            

But for Washington the most important element at stake in the double Borderland is neither economic nor linked to security. It involves identity. It is necessary to preserve the nation’s trait from an excess of Hispanics who resist the American standard. This happens for historic and cultural reasons, aggravated in the Mexican case by the myth of the reconquista and very little readiness to abandon Catholicism, unlike other Latin Americans. Diffidence towards Mexicans reveals the permanence of negative stereotypes.

These stereotypes are emphasised by the border-shield that is of debatable protective effectiveness, but certainly has an effective on the U.S.’s ability to know and understand who their southern neighbours are and what they want. Recent surveys indicate progress with 64% of Americans prepared to observe their southern neighbours more or less favourably (15), while other polls confirm that north of the Rio Grande, Mexico continues to be seen by most people as a violent, corrupt and underdeveloped country (16).

On the Mexican side instead, opinions concerning the USA have change by 180 degrees over the past two years. In 2015, 49% of those interviewed expressed a “good” or “very good” assessment; the same percentage now considers the colossus in the North as “bad” or “very bad”. The Trump effect? Perhaps not just that.

What is Mexico really? A large developing power or a failing state? The Mexican case is explicative of the current trend in the hyper-mediatised world in which perception prevails over reality. Points of view diverge radically both in the country and abroad because here, as rarely happens elsewhere, stereotypes that are often fuelled by the Mexicans themselves jeopardise analyses.

And they turn them negative, to the extent of racism and at times beyond. Economic and political interests instead – especially those of people who have invested or intend to invest in Mexico and of course those of local governments – stage a show of sounds and lights as if one were observing the birth of a superpower.

In shifting the verdict towards one of these two poles, it is the custom to selectively examine economic, political-social and cultural data, and that is correct. We, however, prefer to set them within a geopolitical framework, because it is only thus that we can attempt to answer to the initial question.

Geopolitics informs us that Mexico is now powerful. Its power is the result of three factors. The first and decisive one is its proximity to the United States; the second and consequent factor is its intimacy with its dominant neighbour and the third and paradoxical element is the state’s frailty.

Contiguity to the North American superpower is usually perceived as a negative aspect. It implies an unequal exchange in all spheres, thereby restricting sovereignty and wounding the minor partner’s national pride. The motto attributed to Porfirio Díaz, the Mexican republic’s strongman between 1876 and 1911 applies here, “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.” These words illustrate its geopolitics, balancing Washington’s influence by opening to European powers and centralising power dispersed in disputes between the caudillos and caciques who divided up control over the territory.

This also applies to the intertwined matches for oil (in 1911 Mexico became the world’s top oil producer) and railways, taken in 1907-8 from the American companies Speyer and Standard Oil to entrust them to a national company. The nationalisation of oil promoted in 1938 by President Lázaro Cárdenas and revoked only in 2013, marked the last hurrah of reforming nationalism before the neo-liberist wave of the past thirty years. In recent decades, North America’s economic, energy and geopolitical continentalisation process has consolidated dependence on the United States, to which 80% of Mexico’s exports were sent well before NAFTA.

Nowadays, 46.7% of the Mexican GDP depends on trade with its neighbouring colossus. There is no economic diversification strategy, including the embryonic one with China, capable of deactivating this magnetic field. Unless the Americans were to contribute to such an event or were Trump to ever follow up on his protectionist dreams by erecting suicidal tariff barriers.  

But let us also observe the other side of the moon. If beyond the Rio Grande, instead of the United States, there were poor and disputed districts such as those on the southern border, it would be a dead loss for Mexico. Perhaps it would already have disintegrated, swallowed up by unenviable Mesoamerican ‘circles’. This is proven by the development of the centre-north compared to the profound backwardness of the south, an internal tropical colony. If instead the Chiapas bordered with Texas instead of with Guatemala, its percentage of poor inhabitants (about 75%) would certainly be less overwhelming.

From a strictly geopolitical perspective, belonging to the American private garden is a bond but also a resource, because it has protected Mexico from invasions from other hemispheres – with the exception of the French landing in 1862 to put Maximilian of Hapsburg-Lorraine on the imperial throne, but at that time the Americans were fighting a civil war. Washington has prevented anyone from carving out for themselves a corner in its personal vegetable garden between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean (with only one exception; Cuba).

When in 1917 the German Empire offered Mexico the reconquista of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, as evidence of their anti-American alliance, promising that 200,000 German-Americans would have supported this enterprise, President Carranza refused as he was less unrealistic than the Kaiser’s Realpolitiker. Finally, the North American protective network allows Mexico to avoid merging with Latin America, its cultural but not its geopolitical cousin, and to instead cultivate non-fraternal competition with Brazil, mainly in the Southern Cone, for the nominal leadership of the volatile Latino family.

As far as its intimacy with the United States is concerned, Mexico has always been committed to defining its national identity. Distilling a synthesis from the multiple ethno-cultural contributions that enrich this country, recuperating the country’s pre-Colombian roots starting with the Aztecs to creatively introduce the legacies of the Hispanic and Creole communities, to the point, stretching pedagogy, of making the persons of mixed race (mestizo) a synonym for Mexican, is a constant job.

In the days of New Spain, Viceroy José de Iturrigaray has already baptised a Junta de Antigüedades (1808) and in 1825 the country’s first president, Guadalupe Victoria, founded the Anthropological Museum. In post-revolutionary Mexican national education, the invention of a homogeneous identity, the cultural equivalent of efforts made to centralise geopolitics, was manifested in the murales painted by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco, as in the ideology of a raza cósmica and its universalist mission according to José Vasconcelos Calderón.

It is certainly worship of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a Mexicanised Madonna, that unites the nation beyond faith. However, nothing has contributed to the outlining of Mexican identity as much as the comparison/contrast with the gringos. This applies to nationalists as well as to gringófilos seduced by the American dream.

Nowadays the diaspora in the States is Mexico’s greatest vector of power. It is not a trivial community of emigrants useful for sending money home. It is rather a conditioning factor based within the American system. Its greater or lesser assimilation will affect what is most precious to every nation; cohesion. The spreading of chicanos in the “irredentist” territories worries Washington and obliges its apparatuses to devote more attention to Mexico than would normally be required by its mere economic and demographic size.

When the “Mexico within” better understands how to use the “Mexico without”, the United States will discover that beyond the Rio Grande there is not just a client, but a potential rival. Certainly not a rival capable of overpowering the United States, but one that could contribute to undermining its identity and imperial vocation.        

Finally there is the third factor, the paradoxical one. A sober look at the spreading of corruption and violence, at the proliferation by gemmation of militias at the service of organised crime, intertwined with some formal powers in a bond involving reciprocal blackmail, leads one to doubt the efficiency let alone the stability of Mexican institutions. The Mexican republic has been trying to equip itself with a strong and legitimised state since 1824, when the first constitution was drafted.

The process has not been completed. The authoritative Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales has ruled that, “The greatest problem in Mexico does not arise from drugs or terrorism or violence; it is the lack of a government that governs.” (18) In the paper on security and defence published under the aegis of the Senate of the Republic, it is stated that after ten years of the war on drug trafficking – a never-ending massacre for which the provisional balance is of 200,000 deaths and 27,000 people vanished (19) – “common crime, violence and the violation of human rights have increased mainly due to the corruption and incapacity of the institutions.” (20) Nor is there any hesitation in branding as “Estado fallido” some of the federal states such as Tamaulipas and Guerrero. (21)

This conflict is deteriorating because while the authorities’ military approach has decapitated a number of cartels, it has also fragmented them, sparking a war for control over trafficking between the emulators of bosses who have been killed or arrested. All this while the rise in the price of petrol has opened another lucrative market for smugglers. What is worse is that violence and chaos are spreading to various tourist areas.

During the first seven months of this year, the cartels have been blamed for 330 murders in Mexico City, which has earned an international reputation as a vibrant metropolis. (22) The political climate is heating up in the run up to the July 2018 presidential elections, when a possible victory of the Left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who some opponents incorrectly compare to Hugo Chávez, could put to flight foreign investors attracted by the liberalisation of the energy sector and the discovery of new oilfields.

The darkest predictions about Mexico’s future seem to be exaggerated, if for no other exquisitely geopolitical reason that the United States cannot afford to share a border with a failed neighbour. A gigantic black hole on its southern border, so intrinsic to the superpower, would be worse than a strategic rival. If there is a fire in the home of a neighbour who is also in your home, you have an existential problem.

The weakness of Mexican institutions obliges Washington to support them by every possible means, also in order to supervise them. In this sense, Mexico’s dependence on the United States is a textbook case of the power of powerlessness, of the weak conditioning the strong, especially if the weak is both within and outside the strong.

Perhaps one day the magnet of the American way of life will manage to include in the American mental universe even the most rebellious among the chicanos, those who say that “Uncle Sam no es mi tío.”, “Uncle Sam is not my uncle” (23) Until then, those who say that it is not the Rio Grande border that separates Mexicans and Americans, will be right. It is the otherness of two cultures that creates the border.

 

(Translated by Francesca Simmons)

 

 

 

 

 

            

     

   ENDNOTES

1) “Acta Solemne de la Declaración de Independencia de la América Septentrional”, dated November 6th, 1813, http://www.pudh.unam.mx

2) in S. TAYLOR, “Our southern border is now with Guatemala”, Latina Lista, 20.9.2012

3) On the continentalisation theses see M.T. GUTIÉRREZ HACES, La continentalisation du Mexique et du Canada dans l’Amérique du Nord. Les voisins du voisin, Paris 2015, l’Harmattan.

4) International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook, April 2017.

5) “American Views of Mexico and Mexican Views of the U.S.” Zogby poll published on May 25th, 2006, https:www.numberusa.com/text?ID=1149

6) M. COERVER, “The Plan of San Diego”, The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association, http:///www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/npg04

7) F. ZORETICH, “’Hispanic Homeland’—Southwest shall secede from U.S., professor predicts – Death to USA @@”, Albuquerque Tribune, 31.1.2000.

8) K. SURANA, “The Other Dispute on the U.S.-Mexico Border”, Foreign Policy, 10.4.2017. The movement’s manifesto, signed by Guillermo Hamdan Castro, is entitled “Nos Quitaron La Mitad De Nuestro Territorio #DEMANDALONUESTRO. Demandemos lo que nos pertenece”.

9) P. HUNTINGTON, “The Hispanic Challenge”, Foreign Policy, 1.3.2004.

10) P. HUNTINGTON, Who Are We? America’s Great Debate, London 2004, Simon&Schuster UK.

11) G. FRIEDMAN, The Next 100 Years. A Forecast for the 21st Century, New York-London-Toronto-Sydney-Auckland 2009, Doubleday, p. 239.

12) G.E. ANZALDÚA, Borderlands/La Frontera. The New Mestiza, San Francisco 1987, Aunt Lute Books.

13) “Theodore Roosevelt on immigration”, http://www.snopes.com

 14) D. ACEMOGLU – J. A. ROBINSON, Why Nations Fail. The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, London 2012, Profile Books

  15) Cfr. M. BROWNE, “Polls Measure Americans’, Mexicans’ Views of Each Other in Trump Era”, Cns News, 2.3.2017.

   16) As stated in Vianovo’s poll, “Mexico’s Brand in the U.S.”, http://www.vianovo.com, 28.6.2016.

   17) Cfr. M. BROWNE, op. cit.

   18)  Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales, “México-Estados Unidos. Redefiniendo la relación para la prosperidad de Norteamérica”, 27.6.2017, p. 37.

   19) Cfr. J. G. CASTAÑEDA, “How Trump Can Improve Nafta”, New York Times, 18.8.2017.

   20) R. BENÍTEZ MANAUT – S. AGUAYO QUEZADA (curated by), Atlas de la Seguridad y la Defensa de México, 2016, p. 25.

   21) Ivi, p. 26.

   22) J. FREDRICK, “Mexico City feels the heat of rising drug crime”, Financial Times, 7.8.2017.

   23) Cfr. D. FONSECA – A. EL KADI (a cura di), Sam no es mi tío: Veintiquatro cronicas migrantes y un sueño americano, Doral (Florida) 2012, Santillana USA.