On March 18, 2009, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed legislation overturning the state’s longstanding death penalty. The “Land of Enchantment”, as the state calls itself, joined fourteen other US states that ban capital punishment and became only the second to do so since the end of a four-year national execution hiatus in 1976.
“Poor Mexico“ the nation’s nineteenth century dictator Porfirio Díaz supposedly remarked, “so far from God and so close to the United States!” His lament continues to strike a chord today. Mexico remains fundamentally connected to its neighbor to the North both by economic and cultural ties. A substantial number of Mexicans work in the United States and the remittances that they send home play a significant role in the Mexican economy. American brands and popular culture are everywhere in Mexico.