One of the first contacts between Germany and Mexico was via the expedition of Alexander von Humboldt who arrived in Mexico in 1803 and remained for one year mapping Mexican topography and studying its culture and history. Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Germany were established on 23 January 1879 after the unification of Germany.
During World War I (1914-1918) Mexico remained neutral. During this time, Mexico was preoccupied with its revolution (1910-1920) which took place the same time as World War I. In January 1917, British agents intercepted a telegram sent to German Ambassador to Mexico Heinrich von Eckardt by Arthur Zimmermann, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the German Empire. In the telegram, Germany proposed to Mexico that if the United States were to join the war, Mexico should join and side with the Central Powers. In appreciation, and if the Central Powers were to win, Mexico would recuperate the territory of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona that Mexico lost in its war with the United States during the Mexican–American War in 1848. The telegram, known as the Zimmermann Telegram was intercepted when the telegram was being wired to the German embassy in Washington, DC to be re-routed to Mexico City. Mexico eventually rejected the telegram and continued to remain neutral during the war.
On 22 May 1942, Mexico declared war on Germany during World War II. The decision for war was made by Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho after German U-boats destroyed two Mexican oil tankers in the Gulf of Mexico; the SS Potrero del Llano and SS Faja de Oro, both carrying crude oil to the United States. Mexico is only one of two Latin-American nations to contribute soldiers during the war (the other nation being Brazil). However, more Mexican troops fought in the Philippines than in Europe. Diplomatic relations between the two nations were re-established on 16 April 1952.
Since the end of the war, relations between the two nations have strengthen and there have been several state visits between presidents/chancellors of both nations to each other's countries, respectively. Both nations are members of the G-20 major economies, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations.
There is a sizable German origin community in Mexico that thrives and several prominent Mexican politicians, journalists, artists and actors are of German descent. There is also a Mennonite community in Mexico with approximately 100,000 members in Northern Mexico of predominant German origin.
In 1997, Mexico signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (which includes Germany). In 2013, two-trade between both nations amounted to $17,258 billion USD. Germany is Mexico's biggest trading partner within the European Union and fifth biggest globally. At the same time, Mexico is Germany's second biggest trading partner in Latin America (after Brazil) and 30th on a global level. There are over 1,300 Germany companies based in Mexico with total capital amounting to $25 billion USD. Most notable German industries in Mexico mainly belong to the automotive sections, such as: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. A few Mexican mulit-national companies such as Cemex and Ruhrpumpen operate in Germany.
Resident diplomatic missions
- Germany has an embassy in Mexico City.
- Mexico has an embassy in Berlin and a consulate in Frankfurt.
- Relación México-Alemania (in Spanish)
- NSA: The Zimmermann Telegram
- History of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Germany (Spanish)
- Mennonite community in Northern Chihuahua, Mexico
- Comercio México-Alemania llega a 5,691 mdd en abril (in Spanish)
- Relaciones comerciales y de inversión entre México y Alemania (in Spanish)
- Area de Economía (in Spanish)
- Embassy of Germany in Mexico City (in German and Spanish)
- Embassy of Mexico in Berlin (in German and Spanish)
- Consulate of Mexico in Frankfurt (in German and Spanish)
- Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs on bilateral relations between Mexico and Geramny (in Spanish)
- German Ministry of Foreign Affairs on relations with Mexico
- Mexico during World War II