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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Timeline and Chronoogy for Mexico, 25,000 BC- 2013 AD.


Dedicated to the background of contemporary events around the world. 


(Thanks in part to BBC for several items after 1910)

(Thanks to 'Timelines of History' for several  items before 1519)
(Thanks to for some items between 1519 and 1910)
(Thanks to Luis Astorga for items from Drug Trafficking in Mexico.)
(Thanks to Wikipedia for items on the Mexican Drug Traffc)


25,000 BC- possible earliest migrations from Bering Strait arrive in Mesoamerica.
11000BC    Scientists in 2001-2002 discovered skeletons in caves along Mexico’s Yucatan coast that dated to about this time.
11000BC    Peñon Woman, found in central Mexico in 1959, dated to this time. She shared many of the features found in the Kennewick Man (1996) of Washington State.
7,975BCE    Humans lived in a cave near Oaxaca, Mexico, named Guila Naquitz (White Cliff). Scattered remains of tools, seeds and plants were found in 1966 by archeologist Kent Flannery and some of the seeds were dated to this time. The squash seeds showed signs of cultivation.


5100BCE    agriculture established.
2700BCE    Domesticated maize in Mexico goes back to this time.
2500BC    - a 4,500-year-old burial in Mexico that showed front teeth ground down so they could be mounted with animal teeth. It was the oldest example of dental work in the Americas.

1600BC    The Paso de Amada site of Chiapas, Mexico, was first settled about this time in the Soconusco region, which extended down the Pacific coast into Guatemala. The town numbered about 2,000 people, who were later dubbed the Mokaya (maize people).
1600BC-1250BC    An earthen mound on the southern Mexico-Guatemala border dated to this period and was considered part of a chiefdom center of the Mokaya people.


-established farming villages raising beans, corn, squash. Pottery and weaving.

1500-400 BC- The Olmec Civilizarion. 

-Olmecs ancestral to all the great dynasties lof Mexico.
-these societies fit the requirements of civilization: namely- economies founded on intensive farming; dense concentrations of population; strict social hierarchies; specialization of skills and trades; state structure and administration that cut across kinship and locality; food production organized on a national basis; efficient systems of nationwide distribution; permanent armies; diversified settlement patterns; monumental architecture; concentration of public functions in cities and other areas.

1500BC    A court to play ulama was built about this time in Chiapas, Mexico. Olmecs used latex balls for the game. The Olmecs processed rubber using latex from rubber trees mixed with juice from the morning glory vine. The rubber was used to make a bouncy ball for their ball games.
1500BC-1100BC Evidence found in 1998 revealed terraced farming for corn back to this time in northeast Mexico on a hilltop overlooking the Rio Casa Grandes.
1400BC-400BC    The Olmecs, who called themselves Xi, were the earliest known civilization of Mesoamerica. They influenced the subsequent civilizations of the Maya and Aztec. They inhabited the Gulf Coast region of what is now Mexico and Central America. Their capital was San Lorenzo, near the present day city of Veracruz. In 1968 Michael D. Coe authored “America’s First Civilization: Discovering the Olmec.”       
1250BC-1150BC    This time frame is referred to as the Initial Olmec Period of southern Mexico.

1200BC    The tradition of the Mokaya people at coastal Chiapas and Guatemala came to a sudden end about this time. This appeared to coincide with the rise of the Olmec people.

-Olmec carved monuments- massive busts of Olmec rulers in basalt.

-an Olmec capital at San Lorenzo.

1200BC-400BC    The Olmecs built impressive cities and established trade routes throughout Mesoamerica, that included settlements at La Venta and Tres Zapotes.
1200BC-300BCE        The Olmec people ruled southern Mexico and northern Central America.
1150BC-1000BC    This time frame is referred to as the Early Olmec Period of southern Mexico.
1000BC    The settlement at Canton Corralito on the southern Mexico-Guatemala border covered at least 60 acres by this time and was believed to be a colony of the Gulf Olmec people. About this time the nearby Coatan River began to rise and engulfed the settlement.

900BC        In 2006 Mexican archeologists discovered a stone block in Veracruz state inscribed with 62 distinct signs that dated to about this time. The Cascajal stone was attributed to the Olmecs, who civilization lasted from about 1200BC-400BC.

-destruction of the Olmec capital at San Lorenzo by invasion and internal revolt.

-La Venta rises to become the new Olmec capital.

The Late Olmec Period.

900BC-500BC- This time frame is referred to as the Late Olmec Period of southern Mexico, which featured pyramids for the first time in ceremonial centers. La Venta, the 2nd major Olmec capital dates to this period.

800 BC- Olmecs beginning to influence social mand relgious organizations from the Valley of Mexico to as far south as El Salvador.

800BC-500BC  Zazacatla in central Mexico covered less than one square mile between during this period. Inhabitants of Zazacatla adopted Olmec styles when they changed from a simple, egalitarian society to a more complex, hierarchical one. Much of it was later covered by housing and commercial development extending from Cuernavaca.
600BCE- The great Olmec Ceremonial Center in Tabasco, Mexico, was abandoned about this time.
600BCE    The Zapotec city of Monte Alban was founded in the Oaxaca valley.

400 BCE- destruction of the Olmec capital of La venta.

-new Olmec capital established at  Tres Zapotes.

300 BC- 200 AD- Olmec civilization gives way to:

The Zapotec Civilization.

-Zapotec civilization of Monte Alban in the Oaxaca Valley

The Emergence of Teotihuacan.

200BCE    Migrations began toward the area north of Lake Texcoco where the urban center of Teotihuacan developed.
100BCE    The area around Palenque first occupied.
0-   Paintings on rock surfaces in the central mountain ranges of the Baha Peninsula by unknown native Indians.
100-150   - a pre-Columbian civilization from the Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan. Just north of Mexico City, Teotihuacan planned at about the beginning of the Christian era; sacked and burned by invading Toltecs in 650.

Teotihuacan the largest city in pre-conquest America.


200-650- The Empire of Teotihuacanin Central Mexico.
150-200AD    The Temple of Quetzalcoatl in Teotihuacan (City of the Gods) was built near what later became Mexico City. Quetzalcoatl was considered as the origin of all human activities on earth, the creator of land and time and its divisions.

200-850 AD- Epoch of the Classic Maya in Yucatan

200-300    Campeche (Mexico), from the 3rd century, was the principal town of the Maya kingdom of Ah Kin Pech (place of serpents and ticks).

300- highlands of Guatemala conquered by Teotihuacan.

300        Mayans began building on Cozumel Island off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula about this time. The town of San Gervasio built and inhabited through 1650. Cozumel covers 189 square miles, about the size of Lake Tahoe


300-900 -the empire of Teotihuacan, largest of the ancient Mexican empires, will spread from the Valley of Mexico to Guatemala.

400- Conquest of Peten by Teotihuacan.

431- A great Mayan dynasty at Palenque; soon began trading with communities hundreds of miles away.

 562- Tikal in Guatemala was conquered possibly by the Mayans of Calakmul city in Mexico. Calakmul is one of the largest of Mayan cities with more than 6,000 structures. It was the capital of a widespread hegemony of Lowland Maya kingdoms during the Late Classic (600-900).

-Teotihuacan at its height- a fully planned metropolis of 11 square miles, population 150,000.

600-900    A three hundred year dynasty ruled over Palenque.  In the Pyramid of Inscriptions is the tomb of Pakal, the greatest king of the dynasty.

-Mayan cultural and artistic achievement reaches is height.

615  -Pakal (12) became the Mayan ruler of Palenque. His reign ended with his death in 683.

Decline of Teotihuacan.

650-750  -The Teotihuacan culture began declining and was almost abandoned by the end of this period. 

c750        Teotihuacan, the 1st major urban center of Mesoamerica, fell about this time. It was burned, deserted and its people scattered. It contained the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun.

Collapse of the Yucatan Maya.

750-850 -beginning of the collapse of the Maya of Yucatan.

800- discovery of metallurgy.

900- end of Maya civilization as the population exceeds the food supply; ceremonial areas are abandoned, possibly due to a rebellion against monumental fertility gods in favour of private rites and worship. Outlying areas in the Yucatan continue to thrive, albeit at the mercy of the great Mexican empires.


The Toltec Empire replaces the Mayan.

900- 1250- rise of the Toltec empire in highlands. Toltecs penetrate Mayan lands.

970- 1000- Topilzin, Toltec high priest of Quetzalcoatl.

1000-1500- temple centres develope into vast, urban agglomerations.

987-1187- Toltec city of Cichen Itza established in declining Mayan civilization.

1156- fall of Tula, the Toltec capital.

1187-1446- northern Yucatan ruled by Mayapan dynasty.

1193- Aztecs found Tenochtitlan.


The Aztec Empire.

1325-1519- duration of the empire of the Aztecs.

1350- Aztecs occupy the Valley of Mexico, overthrowing the Toltecs.

- the Culhuacan Aztecs build Tenochtitlan on lake Texoco.

- the Tepanec Aztecs build the city of Tlatelolco

- under king Tezozomoc, the Tepanecs expand across the west to form an empire.

1423- upon the death of Tezozomoc, the Tepanec empire crumbles in local rebellions.

-Tenochtitlan Aztecs expand in a triple alliance as Aztec human sacrifices of prisoners and conquered peoples feed the increasing appetite of the gods of the temple cities.

Itzcoatl, King of the Aztecs.

1426-1440- conquests of Itzcoatl, king of the Aztecs.

-despite their conquests, Aztecs leave tribal and city state structures intact.

1475- the Tenochtitlan Aztecs take control of Tlatelolco.

Aztec Human Sacrifice.

1487- Aztec dedication of the temple of Tenochtitlan- 80,000 sacrificed.

1492- Columbus the first European to discover the Americas.

1500s        Zapotec Indians founded the town of San Antonino after Spaniards took over Ocotlan in Oaxaca. The residents later came to be called Tonineros.

Montezuma II, King of theAztecs.

1502        Moctezuma Xocoyotl (Montezuma II), an Aztec prince, inherits the Aztec throne becoming the 9th ruler of the Aztecs.

1466-1520    Montezuma II, Aztec emperor. He amassed great wealth through taxation in Mexico and Central America. He used his wealth to enlarge and beautify his capital at Tenochtitlan which reached a population of 200,000.

Cordoba of Spain finds remains of Mayan civilization.

1517        Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, Spanish explorer, sails from Cuba and discovered the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan, southeast  Mexico.

Arrival of Cortez

1519        Mar 13, The Spaniards under Cortes land at Vera Cruz with 10 stallions, 5 mares and a foal. Smallpox is carried to America by the Cortes expedition.

1520- Spain makes Cortes ruler of a Spanish empire of 5 million subjects.

Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

1519-1524- Cortes conquers the Aztec empire. Tribes resentful of Aztec human sacrifice, easily break away from Aztec domination and form alliances with the Spanish.

Population of Mexico at that time, 11 million. 

1520 Moctezuma II ( aka Montezuma ) is killed,

1521- Augustt 13- Cortes plundered the Aztec capital at Tenochtitlan.

1524-  Cortés met the Itzá people, the last of the Maya to remain unconquered by the Spanish.
-Spain establishes the Council of the Indies.

1528 The Spanish under Francisco de Montejo begin their conquest of the northern Maya. The Maya fight back with surprising vigour, keeping the Spanish at bay for several years.

-despite attempts by the Chruch and the Crown to protect the Indian population, the harsh conditions of peon labour on the ecomiendas or plantations and espcially in the mines reduces lifes expectancy. Even worse is the lavoc left by diseases imported from Europe.

Chruch and State in Spanish Mexico.

1528 Juan de Zumarraga (1468-1548) arrives as bishop of Mexico City and begins native conversion to Catholicism.

1535- Antonio de Mendoza established in Mexico as first Spanish Viceroy of Spanish America north of Panama, the west Indies and Venezuela. Mexico is one of two Viceroyalties, the other at Lima, governing most of the South America. Mexico and Lima are sister cities of Castile and Aragon, responsible to the Crown at Castile. Mexico and Lima each have a Royal Council through which the Spanish king wields direct authority- though in fact, geography made this impossible. In practice, while Spain extracted wealth from the colonies, the Viceroys of Lima and Mexico ran the day to day administration.

Spanish Conquest of the Maya.

1541 The Spanish are finally able to subdue the Maya and put an end to Maya resistance. Revolt continues, however, to plague the Spaniards off and on for the rest of the century.

1542 The Spanish establish a capital city at Mérida in Yucatán.

1542- slavery is outlawed.

-Mexico City, with a population of 300,000 is far lerger than any European capital.

1550- Juan Ines de Sepulveda and Bartolome de Las Casas refer to Aristotle in debating whether or not Indians are natural slaves.

1551- Univerities in Mexico and Peru are given charters.

Ravages of Disease and Peon labour on the Population.

-Spain begins to supervise the extraction of silver and gold, retaining a fifth of all mined metals.

1600- poor working conditions and imported disease reduce the population 20 2.5 million from 11 million nearly a century bafore.

1650- gradually life expectancy of the Indian population begins to recover.

1697 The city of Tayasal, capital of the Itzá in the Petén, is taken by the Spanish. Thus the last Maya independent political entity is subdued to the Spanish Crown.

Continualtion of the Mayan Rebellion.

1712 The Maya of the Chiapas highlands rise against the Mexican government. They will continue to do so off and on until today.

1718 Franciscan missionaries settle in Texas which is of New Spain

1718 Mission San Antonio de Valero was established which later became famous as the Alamo

1724 The Spanish Crown abolishes the system of encomienda, which had given Spanish land owners the right to forced Indian labour.

1761 The Maya of Yucatán, led by Jacinto Canek, rise against the government.

Conditions on the Eve of Independence.

1767- Jesuits made to leave Spanish America.

1797- population of Mexico City- 113,000- larger than any European city- and the Spanish-American aristocracy is wealthier and mmore ciltivated than any other ruling class in the new world.

1800- the population has recovered from its 16th century decimation and the economy had begun to surge.

1803 Napoleon took Louisiana back from New Spain but sold it to the United States

1810 - Overthrow of the king of Spain by Napoleon

The Revolt of Father Hidalgo.

1810 September 16 Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811) preaches his Grito de Dolores, sparking rebellion and the War of Independence

1811 Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is captured and executed

Mexican Independence: Iturbide and Santa Anna.

1821 Spain recognizes Mexican independence with the Treaty of Cordoba.

1822 General Augustin de Iturbide assumes control as Emperor of Mexico

1823 General Santa Anna deposes Iturbide, the monarchy fails, and a new constitution creates a federal republic

1829 President Vicente Guerrero abolishes slavery

1829 A Spanish attempt at re-conquest is halted by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1794-1876)

Americans Migrate to Northeast Mexico: the Alamo.

-American settlers begin to crowd into Northeast Mexico claiming land and working it with slaves; slavery, meanwhile is illegal in Mexico.

1835- Santa Anna's dictatorship ends in exile.

-American colonists declare their independence from Mexico and form the state of of Texas. 

1836 February 23 to March 6 - A band of 189 Texas volunteers defied a Mexican army of thousands for 13 days of siege at the Alamo

1836- April Battle of San Jacinto - General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna is captured by Sam Houston

1839- discovery of Mayan civilization by American John Lloyd Stephens and the English artist Frederick Catherwood.

American Conquest of Northern Mexico from Texas to California.

1846-1848 US-Mexican War as the US wrests all territory from Texas to California from Mexico.

1847 The Yucatán Maya rise up against the Mexican government, rebelling against the miserable conditions and cruelty they have suffered at the hands of the whites. The rebellion is so successful that the Maya almost manage to take over the entire peninsula in what has become known as the War of the Castes.

 1848 The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo reduces Mexico's territory by half, ceding present-day Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and part of Colorado to the U.S.

1853 Santa Anna agrees to the Gadsden Purchase, ceding a further 48,000 square km (30,000 square mi) to the United States

The Three Years' Civil War and Benito Juarez

1857-1860- civil war, the "Three Years' War."

1860- Benito Juarez, the victor, takes control at the head of the Liberal faction.

-Juarez becomes Latin America's first pure Indian head of state.

-durign the 19th century, marijuana cocaine and other opiates are available over the counter for medical use.

-poppy cultivation for the manufacture of heroin is carried on in NW Mexico, in Sinaloa.

Louis Napoleon and the Mexican Debt Crisis.

-the defeated Conservatives apppeal to Europe.

-European nations, having made loans to Mexico were unable to obtain repayment due to the Three Yreas War and a bankrupt Mexican goverment.  Moreover,  President Juarez decides to default on the loans while European bondholders demand repayment. 

1861-1862- with the US occupied by civil war, Britain, France and Spain occupy Veracruz to demand repayment of the loans.

-Britain and Spain withdrew, believing they had made their point.

French Occupation of Mexico and the Emperor Maxilmilian.

-the Emperor Napoleon III decides to capitalize on the Mexican debt crisis by making contact with Mexican Conservatives and bringing Mexico into a French colonial empire for the expansion of the French economy. The new colony was to be led by the Austrian Archduke Maximillian.

1862- Mexican troops repel a French attack on Mexico City on May 2nd but the city falls to the French on June 10.

1863 the French occupy Mexico City and Napoleon III of France appoints Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria (1832-1867) as Emperor of Mexico

1864- -Maximilian accepts the crown after a fake referendum staged by the French. 

1866-  Washington views the French occupation of Mexico as a direct violation of the Monroe Doctrine. 

At US Prompting, France withdraws from Mexico; execution of Maxilmilian.

-with Washington having won the American Civil War and demanding the withdrawal of France, Napoleon III ends his Mexican project.

-Maximilian remains in power at the request of conservative factions. The liberals move to oust him.

1867- Maximilian is captured and executed. Juarez and the Liberals return to power.

President Porfirio Diaz's Industrial and Economic Revolution.

1876- Porfirio Diaz becomes president at the head of a popular revolt.

-Diaz cultivates support from the Church, the army and the landowners. His dictatorship brings stability and foregin investment but at he expense of poor farmers and workers. 

-Diaz regime brings massive, ninefold increase (1877-1907) in foreign investment and trade.

-industrialization and railway construction.

Industrialization and Rural Poverty Seed Unrest. 

-however there's a massive increase in the gap between rich and poor.

-by the time of the 1910 revolution, drugs are prohibited or controlled across the border in the US while they are freely available in Mexico, creating conditions for the drug traffic.

The Mexican Revolution.

1910 - Beginning of Epic Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, triggered by unrest amongst peasants and urban workers soon to be led by Emiliano Zapata.

-FRancisco Madero, a member of the elite speaks out against Diaz's rigging of the 1910 election.


1911 - Mexico's dictator, Porfirio Diaz, resigns. The new president is Francisco Madero, a liberal. Madero introduces land reform and labour legislation. Political unrest continues with Zapata leading a peasant revolt in the south.

                     Villa, Zapata and Carranza.

1911-1919- Emilio Zapata leads the Mexican revolt of peasant and workers dispossesed durign the Diaz era in the southwestern stae of Morelos.

1913 -in Chihuahua Pancho Villa leads a private army of unemployed woorkers and small ranchers against the capital.

-in the state of Coahuila, Venustianzo Carranza leads an iinsurgency.

                       President Huerta and Carranza.

1913 - Madero is assassinated. Victoriano Huerta seizes power and a new revolutionary movement aimed at land redistribution develops under Pancho Villa and Zapata. 

1914- the United States sends troops to Vera Cruz for fear of German influence on Mexico.

1914 - Huerta resigns. He is viewed with suspicion by the United States for his alleged pro-German sympathies. Huerta resigns and is succeeded by Carranza, governor of Cuahuila.

-Pancho Villa and other revolutionaries turn against Carranza.

1915- Carranza puts down Villa and his movement.

1916- Mexican writer Mariano Azuela (1873-1952) publishes Los De Abajo about peasant soldiers sacrificed in the revolutionary war.

                       US Intervention; pursuit of Pancho Villa.

1916 - US forces cross the border in pursuit of the guerrilla leader Francisco "Pancho" Villa.

-"Zimmerman telegram" intercepted by the British reveals a secret German proposal to Mexico to wit: if the US enters the war against Germany, Germany, in alliance with Mexico will take back all lost Mexican territories from Texas to California.

1917 - US forces withdraw, having failed to kill Villa. A new, nationalistic quasi- soocialist constitution is adopted by President Carranza, which is designed to ensure land redistribution and permanent democracy in Mexico. It is still the constitution today.

-laws are passed to control the sale, use and trafficking of drugs. Most drug traffickign takes place in the Baja- Tijuana area.

1919- death of Zapata.

1920 - Carranza is murdered. Civil war follows but the Cranza constitution of 1917 stands.

-marijuana cuultivation is prohibited.

National Revolutionary Party Consolidates the Revolution.

The National Revolutionary Party  is formed by President Ellias Calles. It dominates the government, crushing opposition including military revolts, implementing reform by force.

- NRP leader Plutarco Ellias Calles manages some land reform but becomes conservative due to opposition from the Church, labour and the military.

1923- death of Pancho Villa.

1926- poppy cultivation is prohibited.

President Cardenas and The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)
1929 - the NRP is re-named the Instiutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

1934-1940- under President Lazaro Cardenas the PRI consolidates, applies the revolution through collective economics and land reform (17,8 hectares to 800,000 people through communally owned ejidos. Mexican oil companies nationalized and farms collectivized in state cooperatives.

-Cardenas reorganizes the PRI as the Mexican Revolutionary Party (MRP) so that it represents every class and sector of society.

Industry and Nationalization of Oil.

1934 - President Lazaro Cardenas begins programme of oil nationalisation, land reform and industrial expansion.

1938- Cardenas expropriates foreign-owned oil companies.

-marijuana, opium and the cultivation, production and sale of other drugs is healthy throughout Mexico, much of it under the protection of state governors and military authorities.

Long Period of Mexican Economic Expansion.

1940-1970- rapid growth of the Mexican economy.

1940 - Leon Trotsky murdered by Mecader in Mexico.

-industry emphasized over agriculture. Gross national product increases dramatically at the expense of equality.
-Mexico City's Torre Mayor, Latin America's tallest building.

1942 - Mexico joins the allies, declares war on Japan and Germany.

-Mexico sends 300,000 labourers to help the US war effort, beginning a tradition of migrant Mexan labour passing into the the southern US, sending money home and providing cheap labour for the US.

President Aleman.

1946-1952 - President Aleman

1946- Aleman formally reorganizes the MRP into the PRI

-anti-inflationary policy brings prosperity into the 1970s but social tensions increase between of widening gap between rich and poor.

1947- scadal erupts as the governor of Sinaloa is implicated in alleged drug trafficking.

I940 Economic Miracle declines with Inequality.

-drug trafficking in  Mexico is protected by patronage and cronyism in the PRI which has permanent control over the entire country. Sinaloa remains the most prominent centre of drug trafficking- most of the transport being done by plane throughout northwestern Mexico. Authorities try and fail to shut it down.

1960s - economic decline.

- unrest amongst peasants and labourers over unequal wealth distribution is suppressed.

-the marijuana and opium trade from Sinaloa and Chihuahua into the United States grows exponentially.

1968 - Student demonstration in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, during the Olympic Games is fired upon by Mexican security forces. Hundreds of protestors are killed or wounded. The extent of the violence shocks the country.

President Echeverria Pushes Country to the Left.

1970s- President Juan Echeverria brings in price controls on some food products to help the poor.
-Echeverria plans to make Mexico the leading nation of the Third World, with Mexico as the model of big government. He increases the state's part in the economy to 50% and the number of state-owned enterprises from 86 to 740.

-hyperinflation, flight of foreign capital and crisis in balance of payments arise as a consequence of Echeveria's policies. 

Lopez Portillo Brings back the Free Market. Discovery of oil.

 -Mexican military launches Operation Condor, an unprecedented  but unsuccessful attempt to wipe out the drug traffic.

1976-1982 Lopez Portillo elected president. he brings back free market policies. Nevertheless he is saddled with the costly, immense bureaucracy guaranteed by the entrenched ruling party, PRI.

1976 - Huge offshore oil reserves discovered; the Cantarell field becomes the mainstay of Mexico's oil production.

-Pedro Diaz Parada begins his career as head of the Oaxaca drug cartel by planting marijuana in his native Oaxaca.

-the Mexican economy recovers.

1979- John Paul II gives blessing to the Latin American tidal wave of religiosidad popular by placing the Mexican people under the protection of a native Indian Madonna on a visit to the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadeloupe.

1980s- Mexico carries a massive foreign debt.

Fall of Price of Oil Brings Economic Downturn.

1981- economy sufferes from decline in the price of oil.

1982- unable to meet its interest payments on its foreign debt, Mexico nationalizes the banks.

De La Madrid Liberalizes the economy.

1982-1988- President Miguel de la Madrid adopts economic liberalization and privatization of state companies.

-the Mexican economy blends with the North-East Pacific economy of the western US, Alaska and western Canada.

lllegal Migrants Crossing to US.

-illegal Mexican migrants flocking to California and other border states.

1984- American DEA agent Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Afredo Zavala discover the immense 12 square kilometre marijuana plantation, 'The Buffalo' in the state of Chihuahua.

1985 - Earthquake in Mexico City kills thousands and makes many more homeless.

-Feb 7- American DEA agent Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Afredo Zavala are kidnapped by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, now an international hub of the drug trade. Their bodies are found a month later.

-Columbian drug Lord Pablo Escobar switches to Mexico for drug transit (Mexico already had its own traffickign netowrks in place) after US law enforcement tightens up on Florida and the Caribbean.

PRI begins to lose its Monopoly on Power.

-De la Madrid addresses growing economic problems with mixed policies of politcal pluralization, limiting the power if the PRI.

1985- Mexico signs an agreement promising to restructure its debt.

-nevertheless Mexico's foregin debt continues to grow.

1985- Pedro Diaz Parada, the head of the Oaxaca cartel of Oaxaca and Chiapas in southern Mexico, is arrested and sentenced to 33 years.

-Columbian drug lords begin paying Mexican traffickers in kind rather than cash- often 30 tlo 50% of the cocaine shipped, thus laying the foundations for the Mexican drug traffick.

-1980s- the Familia Michoacan drug Cartel is founded as a vigilante group to bring law and order to Michoacan state and to aid the poor.

1987- Pedro Diaz Parada of the Oaxaca Cartel escapes from prison.

-Antonio Eziquiel Cardenas, begins drug trafficking career with Gulf Cartel, headed by his brother Oziel Cardenas.

1988-1994- President Carlos Salinas Gotari- conintues De La Madrid policy of political pluralism.

1989- the arrest of Mexico's biggest drug lord, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo of the Sinaloa gang, touches off the drug war which has never really ended, as rival cartels fought one another to obtain his place and his networks. Drug cartels begin strategically to use the police as well as corrupt police officials against one another and what often amounts to a three way battle between police and rival cartels.

1989-  After a fallling out, Tijuana associates of Sinaloa drug boss El Chapo Guzman attempt to murder him at Tijuana airport but accidentally killed Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocamp instead. Guzman, now on the run, ends up in Guatemala where he is arrested. 

1992- PRI loses in several state elections.

1992- Pedro Diaz Parada of the Oaxaca Cartel, sentenced in 1985 and escaping jail in 1987, escapes a second time.

Mexico, US and Canada joined in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

1993 - Mexican parliament ratifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with the US and Canada- the agreement is a threat to small businesses.

-Salinas carries out democratization of the political system through reform of the constitution.

Chiapas Rebels Against NAFTA Threat to Local Culture, Economy.
1994 - uprising in Chiapas due in part to the threat of NAFTA to local Indian culture, business and small farmers.

-a guerrilla rebellion in Chiapas by the Zapatista National Liberation Army is brutally suppressed by government troops. The rebels oppose Nafta and want greater recognition for Indian rights. The government recognises the Zapatista National Liberation Front (EZLN).

March 23- presidential candidate Puis Donaldo Colosio is assassinated.

Zedillo of the PRI wins Violent Election followed by crash of Peso.

1994- August - Presidential elections won by PRI candidate Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, after the previous candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, was murdered. The stock market plunges in December, the peso loses a third of its value.

-US President Clinton sends a $20 billion credit guarantee to prevent the collapse of the Mexican economy and NAFTA  along with it..

1995 - Former President Carlos Salinas goes into exile after his brother Raul Salinas is connected with Colosio's murder.

1990s- with the demise of the Medellin and Cali drug cartels, the trafficking of drugs between South and Central America thrives in Mexico, but the government takes little decicive action.

-the Familia Michoacan becomes the paramilitary arm of the Gulf Cartel, intended to control the drug trade in Michoacan.

-Guero, Palma and "Chapo" Guzman step into the shoes of imprisoned Felix Gallardo as heads of the Sinaloa cartel.

 -the Gulf cartel of Tamaulipas emerges as one of Mexico's major drug gangs, hiring a an armed mercenary group, Los Zetas.

Agreement Reached on Chiapas.

1995 November - The government and the EZLN reach an agreement on greater autonomy for the indigenous Mayans of Chiapas.

1996 - The insurgency in the south escalates as the leftist Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) attacks government troops.

1997- Carrillo Fuentes, drug lord of Juarez dies under surgery in Mexico City. Immediately Sinaloa boss El Chapo Guzman and Gulf Cartel boss Osiel Cardenas Guillen move in to take over the Ciudad Juarez territory.

1997- the Arellano-Felix or Tijuana Cartel in Tijuana starts a war to control the border drug trade in Tijuana and Jalisco.

The PRI Finally Loses Power.

1997 - The PRI suffers heavy losses in elections and loses its overall majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time since 1929.

1997 December - 45 Indians killed by paramilitary gunmen in a Chiapas village. The incident causes an international outcry, President Zedillo starts an investigation.

-Mexico experiences a brief lull in the drug wars.

1998 January - Governor of Chiapas resigns. Peace talks with the rebels are reactivated, but break down at the end of the year.

Fox elected President for Right of Centre Opposition.
2000 July - Vicente Fox of the opposition Alliance for Change wins presidential elections, the first opposition candidate ever to do so. Parliamentary elections see the Alliance for Change emerge as the strongest party, beating the PRI by just over 1%.

2000 December - Vicente Fox is sworn in as president.

-with the PRI out of power, the pervasive government party's 70 year quiet toleration and sweet-heart deals with drug trasffickers is at an end. Fox brings in an area of independent government opposition to the drug cartels

-Fox sends troop detachments to Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas on the US border to fight drug cartels.

Zapatistas of Chiapas Renew their Demands.

2001 March - Zapatista guerrillas, led by Subcomandante Marcos, stage their 'Zapatour', a march from Chiapas to Mexico City to highlight their demands.

2001 April - Parliament passes a bill increasing the rights of indigenous people. A few days later, Subcomandante Marcos rejects the bill, saying it leaves the Indian population worse off than before. Marcos says the uprising in Chiapas will continue.

2001 November - President Fox appoints a prosecutor to investigate the disappearance of left-wing activists during the 1970s and 1980s.

2001- Sinaloa drug boss El Chapo Guzman escapes prison in a laundry van.

2002 March - Roberto Madrazo wins the contest to lead the PRI, which governed for 71 years until 2000.

Political Violence of Past uncovered

2002 June - Millions of secret security files are released, shedding light on the torture and killing by security forces of hundreds of political activists in the 1960s and 1970s. President Fox says his government is not afraid to pursue prosecutions.

2002 July - Former President Luis Echeverria is questioned about massacres of student protesters in 1968, when he was interior minister, and in 1971 when he was president.

2002 September - Three army officers are charged with first-degree murder over the killings of 134 leftists in the 1970s.

2003- Oaxaca Cartel joins with the Tijuana Cartel.

March- arrest by Mexican police of Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas leads Sinaloa cartel, under the leadership of Mexico's wealthiest and most wanted drug baron, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to challenge the Gulf cartel's control of the Southwest Texas Drug Corridor.

2004 July - Investigator deems 1971 shooting of student protesters by government forces to have been genocide; judge refuses to order arrest of former President Luis Echeverria on charges that he ordered the attack.

-Genocide trial against former president Luis Echeverria is suspended.

 Drug Gangs in Prisons Murder Jailers.

2005 January - Six prison officers are murdered and top-security jails are put on high alert amid escalating tension between the authorities and drug gangs.

Jan-Aug- the Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels engage in their own battle killing 100 in Nuevo Laredo alone.

-violence increases as the cartels struggle to establish themselves in the state of Michoacan.

2005 April - Political furore as Mexico City mayor and presidential favourite Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is stripped of his immunity from prosecution by Congress in a land dispute. The government eventually abandons the prosecution.

The Murdered Women of Ciudad Juarez.

2006 February - A federal post of special prosecutor is created to tackle violent crime against women. Mexico had been criticised by the UN and rights groups over the unsolved murders of more than 300 women over 12 years in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

-65 miners are killed in an explosion at a coal mine in Coahuila state. President Fox orders an investigation.

Left Wing Obrador Disputes Election Victory of Calderon.

2006 July - Conservative candidate Felipe Calderon is declared the winner of presidential elections with a razor-thin majority over his leftist rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who challenges the result with mass street protests. The Federal Electoral Tribunal confirms Mr Calderon's win in September.

2006 October - US President George W Bush signs legislation to build 1,125km (700 miles) of fencing along the US-Mexico border. Mexico condemns plans for the barrier, which is intended to curb illegal immigration.
In the fall,

-Los Zetas, corrupt military commandos and formerly the mercenary army of the Gulf Cartel, rise to acceptance as the Gulf Cartel's partners. Meanwhile, the Familia Michoacan, trained with the Zetas, forms its own cartel, turning to rivalry against the Zetas and the Baltran y Leyva cartels.

-the Michoacan cartel developes strong partnerships with the Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels, making the Michoacan one of the strongest in Mexico.

-Los Negros, the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel is formed to resist Los Zetas.

Surge in War on Drugs

2006 December - A new federal police force is created to tackle drugs cartels; thousands of troops are deployed in the western state of Michoacan as part of a major anti-drug trafficking drive.

-Mexican drug Cartels have become the major supppliers of cannabis, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to the United States and in Mexico are beginning to control regions and municipalities by force and by intervention in state elections.

Dec 11 President-Elect Calderon intervenes directly in the drug war by sending 6,500 troops to Michoacan, directly west of Mexico City, this inaugurating Mexico's government militaty offensive on the cartels.

Head of Oaxaca Cartel Arrested

2007-January-  Pedro Diaz Parada, the head of the Oaxaca cartel of Oaxaca and Chiapas in southern Mexico, is arrested by Federal police a third time, having been arrested before, in 1985 and 1990.

-February - New law obliging authorities to take tougher action against domestic violence comes into effect.

War Between Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels.

-beginning of a long-running battle between the Juarez and Sinaloa Cartels for a major drug route leading into the US through the border town of Ciudad Juarez.

2007 July - A financial website says that Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim has overtaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world's richest person.

2008- Jan- March -El Chapo Guzman, chief of tthe Sinaloa Cartel launches an offensive to expel the Juarez Cartel from Ciudad Jarez. Between then and fall, 2010, 7,000 will die in Juarez and environs due to the drug war.

2008- April General  Sergio Aponte, in charge of anti-drug operations in Baja California, alleges that the cartels are assisted by police corruption, bribery and intimidation.

April 26- a pitched battle between the Sinaloa and Tijuana drug cartels in Tijuana, Baja Califirnia leaves 17 dead. Gang wars in boider towns are now threatenign border towns on the American side.

Old Tijuana Cartel in Decline.

-Tijuana cartel, once powerful, is in decline due to arrests of much of its leadership and is entering a partnership with the Gulf Cartel. 

May, 2008 -former Sinaloa boss Guzman ally Arturo Beltran escapes police ambush outside Acapulco and sunsequently escapes arrest due corrupt police working for the narcotrafficantes.

-the Beltran Leyva cartel leaves it alliance with the Sinaloa cartel to join Las Zetas.

August 2008- 12 decapitated bodies bearing dragon tattoos found in Yucatan. The heads are never found. 

-September, drug cartel grenade attacks leave 8 dead in Morelia.

Sharp Rise in Drug Violence.

-Drug-related violence rises sharply in 2008 and 2009

2009- March- Calderon calls 5,000 more federal troops into Ciudad Juarez.

-the US Department of Homeland Security considers the us of National Guard troops to protect US border towns. Texas and Arizona call for National Guard protection.

-July 11- the Familia Michoacan attacks serveral police stations in Morela in an attempt to free one of their members, Rueda Medina.

Both maps: Drug traffic (above) and drug cartels (below), 2009. (Stratfor)

-July 14- The Familia Michoacan cartel, which operates a parallel government in the state of Michoacan, tortures and kills 12 police agents, leaving their bodies along road sides. 

Sinaloa Chief one of World's Most Powerful People.

Guzmán Loera has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world every year since 2009.

US attacks  Michoacana Cartel inside US borders.

2009- -Oct 22- the US launches Project Coronado, seizing tons of weapons and drugs and arresting 303 individuals working for the Michoacan Cartel inside the United States.

-December- Arturo Beltran, head of Beltran Leyva cartel surrounded and killed by a team of Government Navy commandos, chosen presumably for its lack of corruption.

2010- February 1- prisoners hired as gunmen are let out of prison in a secret deal between the warden and a cartel, proceeding to kill 10 in a bar in Coahuila.

February- the Michoacana Familia Cartel joins the Gulf Cartel against the Beltran Leyva and Los Zetas cartels in a war in the border region of Tamaulipas.

2010- -Antonio Eziquiel Cardenas of the Gulf cartel is in charge of drug trafficking and financial operations in Matamoros and the Matamoros-Brownsville, Texas, drug corridor.

Government Attempts to Invest in Crime-ridden border States.

-government launches a social investment program in Ciudad Juarez and the border region to fight the problem of drug trafficking.

-the Gulf Cartel and the Los Zetas Cartel have a falling out and engage in gun battles across the state of Tamaulipas, wreaking havic in the state's NE border towns.

US Consular Officials Murdered in Bodrer Area.

2010- March- three people connected with US consulate in Ciudad Juaraz are murdered, prompting President Calderon to demand US cooperation and partnership in the war on drugs in the border region.

May- Sinaloa Cartel alleged to have infiltrated the Mexican army and government in a bid to wipe out the other cartels.

Police and Military in Pay of Sinaloa Cartel.

May- allegations surface that elements of the police and military are in the pay of the Sinaloa cartel. The low arrest rate for Sinaloa members may be evidence of protection from within the government.

2010- June 11- 19 are murdered at a Ciudad Juarez drug rehabilitation centre.

July 30- Ignacio Coronal Villareal, one of the Sinialoa cartel bosses, is killed in a shootout with Mexican military at his home in Guadalajara. Four other Sinaloa bosses remain.

-45,000 government troops are engaged in the war on drugs.

August- President Obama signs a law investing $600 million in border security to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Demise of Beltran Levya Cartel

2010- -Edgar Valdez, lord of Beltran Leyva cartel arrested.

-Beltran Leyva cartel splits into warring factions.

Aug, 25- 27 migrants found murdered by Los Zetas cartel in Timaulipas near NE border.

September 30- 18 Acapulco tourists disappear, later found in mass grave.

2010- Oct. 15- Gunmen attack a party in Ciudad Juarez killing seven.
Oct 23- 13 massacred at birthday party in Ciudad Juarez in wa between Sinaloa and Juarez cartels.

Nov. 24- Beltran Leyva cartel dismantled with arrest of gang boss Carlos Montemayor.

Sinaloa Cartel Claims Beheadings. Zetas Kill US Agent.

2011- Jan. 8- 15 decapitated bodies and heads turn up in supermarket plaza in Acapulco with Chapo Guzman's calling card.

2011- Feb-  ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and his partner Victor Avila are attacked by Zeta gunmen while driving along Mexico's Highway 57 in an armored Chevy Suburban with diplomatic license plates. Zapata is killed in the ambush, making him the first U.S.agent to die in the line of duty in Mexico since 1985.

2011- March 3- President Barack Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon  to smooth over troubles in their drugs war alliance. Calderon pressed Obama to crack down on US drug consumption and illegal arms sales. After the meeting it was announced that Mexico and the US agreed to end a ban on Mexican trucks crossing into the US. The agreement would lead to Mexico dropping tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of US pork, cheese, corn and fruits

2011 April - Thousands participate in protests across Mexico against drug-related violence. The marches are called by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, whose son was murdered in March 2011; protests continue throughout the summer.

Mass Murders by Zetas.

2011- April- Mexican investigators pull 193 bodies from dozens of mass graves around the town of San Fernando, in Tamaulipas state, where gangsters from the Zetas drug cartel had been abducting passengers from buses and taking them to remote ranches to be robbed, raped and executed.

2011- May- Zeta gunmen massacre 27 people at a jungle ranch in northern Guatemala, as the cartels push deeper into Central America in the competition for new smuggling routes. Governments in the region, following Mexico's lead, send their military forces against the traffickers, backed by growing amounts of U.S. aid.

2011 June-July - Two crime journalists, Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, are killed in separate incidents.

2011- Last leader of Baltran Levya Cartel arrested- signalling the Ccrtel's slow death.

2011 August - An attack on the Casino Royale in Monterrey kills 52 people, after gunmen douse the building with fuel and set it alight. President Calderon describes the attack as "an abhorrent act of terror."

2011- Sept- A gang dumps 35 bodies at a busy intersection in the tourist zone in the coastal city of Veracruz. Authorities try to calm the public by saying that most of the dead were criminals who were killed by a warring drug cartel.

2012- Jan- Mexican police in the northern city of Torreon find the severed heads of five people killed in a suspected outbreak of drug gang violence.

2012- March- Gunmen in Teloloapan, Guerrero ambush and kill 12 policemen who were investigating the beheadings of 10 people. At least nine other agents are injured during the incident.


2012- March 20-  central southern Mexico hit by 7.4 earthquake destroying 500 houses.

2012 May - The army arrests a drug cartel leader over the killing of 49 people whose mutilated bodies are dumped on a major road in Nuevo Leon state. The massacre is one of the worst atrocities committed in the ongoing drug war.

The Nuevo Laredo Bridge Massacre.

2012-- May- Police find the bodies of nine people hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas, a message from the Zeta Cartel to the Gulf Cartel. The same day, police also find the dismembered bodies of 14 people in garbage bags, dumped near the Nuevo Laredo police station. Later in the month, dozens of mutilated bodies are found dumped by a highway near Monterrey.

Enrique Pena Nieto Wins Presidential Election.

2012 July - The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Pena Nieto wins the presidential election, defeating veteran leftwing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and ending 12 years of rightwing National Action Party (PAN) rule. PAN candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota came a distant third. Thousands take to the streets to allege vote-buying by the PRI, and Mr Lopez Obrador launches a legal challenge to the result.

 2012- Aug- Four members of the Sinaloa cartel, including the cousin of Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman, also known as El Chapo, are arrested in Madrid, Spain.

 2012 September - Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rejects court ruling upholding July's election and called for a mass demonstration in protest.

Zeta leader Killed by Troops.

2012- Oct- One of Mexico’s most-wanted drug lords, who founded the super-violent Zetas criminal organization dies.  Zeta leader and founder Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, alias El Lazcawas killed over the weekend in a firefight with marines.

2012- 400,000 Mexicans have been repatriated from the US during 2012.

President Pena Takes Office.

2013- Jan- Representing the Industrial Revolutionary Party, President Enrique Pena Nieto takes office. Formerly the State of Mexico governor, Pena Nieto vows to reduce the violence that plagues his country, largely the result of the power of drug cartels.

July - Miguel Angel Treviño, alias Z-40, leader of Mexico’s most brutal drug cartel, Los Zetas, captured by Mexican police

 Drug Lord Released from Jail.

2013- Aug- Drug lord Caro Quintero released from prison after his conviction in the 1984 murders of two  American travelers, and the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Afredo Zavala- was overturned. Corruption is strongly suspected.
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