The two events that shook Mexico and the world on January 1, 1994 seemed to have little to do with each other. The first had been carefully planned, laid out over two years by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men on the continent. On that day, the historic North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) became the law of the land, setting in motion a series of foreseen and unforeseen changes throughout the country.
Even long-time Mexico observers sat up and took notice on January 31. The march that day by campesino organizations, which counted on the support of unions, universities, and civil society groups, broke the mold in a city accustomed to large demonstrations.