Mexico–Spain relations

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Mexico–Spain relations
Map indicating locations of Mexico and Spain



Mexican–Spanish relations refers to the interstate relations between the United Mexican States and the Kingdom of Spain. Like many other Latin American nations, despite having achieved independence, Mexico retains a fairly strong and stable relationship with Spain.

Both nations are members of the G20, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization of Ibero-American States and the United Nations.

Country comparison[edit]

Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico Flag of Spain.svg Spain
Population 117,409,830 [2012] 47,265,321 [2012]
Area 1,972,550 km2 (761,606 sq mi) 505,992 km2 (195,364 sq mi)
Population Density 57/km2 (142/sq mi) 93/km2 (231/sq mi)
Capital Mexico City Madrid
Largest City Mexico City – 8,851,080 (20,137,152 Metro) Madrid – 3,265,038 (6,369,162 Metro)
Government Federal presidential constitutional republic Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
First Leader Agustín de Iturbide Charles I
Current Leader Enrique Peña Nieto Felipe VI
Official languages None at federal level (Spanish is most spoken) Spanish[a]
Main religions 82.7% Christianity (Roman Catholic), 2.8% unspecified, 9.7% Protestant, 4.7% non-Religious,[2] 71% Catholicism, 24.1% non-religious, 2.7% other faith, 1.9% no answer
Ethnic groups 70% Amerindian-European, 15% White, 14% Amerindian, 1% other [2][3] 88% Spanish people (with various nationalisms and regionalisms), 12% immigrants
GDP (nominal) US$1.177 trillion (US$10,247 per capita) [2012 estimate] US$1.352 trillion (US$29,289 per capita) [2012 estimate]
GDP (PPP) US$1.759 trillion (US$15,312 per capita) [2012 estimate] US$1.411 trillion (US$30,557 per capita) [2012 estimate]
Military expenditures US$5.723 billion [2011] US$13.984 billion [2011] [4]


Spanish conquest[edit]

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and his indigenous mistress La Malinche meeting the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II in 1519.

The Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés led an expedition to what is now Mexico in 1518, establishing the city of Veracruz on his arrival. Tenochitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, fell to Spain in 1521. It was renamed Mexico City, the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.[5] The Viceroyalty had a stratified social hierarchy on race, with the purest white Europeans on top, who had the most civil rights.[6]

Mexican War of Independence[edit]

The late 18th and early 19th century saw much revolutionary feeling in the countries of Western Europe and their colonies. The feeling built up in Mexico after the occupation of Spain by the French Revolutionary Emperor Napoleon in 1808, and the 1810 Grito de Dolores speech by Mexican Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla against Spanish rule is widely recognized as the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. Although Hidalgo was white, he wanted racial equality and recruited many non-whites to his forces. In 1811, Hidalgo was executed, but his movement fought on until the establishment of the independent constitutional Mexican Empire in 1821, following the Treaty of Córdoba. The Empire was ousted and the first Mexican Republic created in 1823.[7]

Early relations[edit]

Spain established diplomatic relations with Mexico on 26 December 1836 (15 years after it recognized its independence).[8] In the beginning, the diplomatic relationship between the two nations was strained due to Mexico having been a former colony of Spain and the latter's unsuccessful endeavors to reconquer its former colony in the ensuing years under General Isidro Barradas.[9]

Spanish Civil War[edit]

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Mexico had provided arms and refuge to political refugees. Throughout the war, Mexican volunteers joined the Republican side to fight Francisco Franco. In 1939 when Francisco Franco took power in Spain, Mexico severed diplomatic relations between the two nations. Though the Republicans had lost the war, this helped improve the relationship between the two countries after the death of Franco. Mexico and Spain re-established diplomatic relations on 28 March 1977.[10]

Present day[edit]

Former Mexican President José López Portillo and his wife with Spanish King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía in October 1977

Mexico and Spain share close and warm diplomatic relations today. On several occasions, both countries had supported each other diplomatically and there have been several high level visits and meetings between both governments including with the Spanish Royal Family. In 1997, Mexico signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, of which Spain is a member.

Both countries' relationship continue to be based on deep-rooted cultural similarities, such as through surnames of Spanish origin and Roman Catholicism, and a shared linguistic heritage.

Diplomatic missions[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The official Spanish language of the State is established in the Section 3 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 to be Castilian.[1] In some autonomous communities, Catalan, Galician and Basque are co-official languages. Aragonese, Asturian and Leonese have some degree of official recognition.

External links[edit]