Has Mexico become part of the First World, or only a dependent appendage of it?
It was 15 years ago that Mexico joined with the U.S. and Canada to form an integrated economic system that has fundamentally transformed Mexican society. Under the banner of "free trade" the movement of capital and commodities across the border was accelerated. Under the economic principles of neo-liberalism, public assets were privatized -sold often to those who were politically well connected-and social services were curtailed. Communally held ejido land was also opened up to sale and this, along with a flood of imported corn from the U.S., forced millions of campesinos off the land and fueled a massive migration. NAFTA has made Mexico an ideal laboratory in which to study the effects of globalization, since they are so intensified in this part of the global South.
These are among the effects of NAFTA that are explored in a talk by Cliff DuRand, a retired professor of social philosophy and a Research Associate at the Center for Global Justice.