Anita Brenner, in "Idols Behind Altars" sums up the state of pre-revolutionary Mexico, at the turn of the 20th century and later. She mentions the feudal system, and the preference for Europe and its exports, that the nationalist fervor of the 1820s independence movement had sunk to.
Revolution, unfortunately, replaced one military ruler with another, the weak and corrupt with the brutal and corrupt, leading to the political Mexico of today. The Borderlands, the Aztlan of Anzaldua, is a land where mayors are dumped, dead, on their own doorsteps; where twenty-year-old police chiefs flee from fear; where the next one will be given the choice of silver--money--or lead, "Plata o Plomo" on its way to becoming the best-known Spanish phrase, with those choosing Plata getting pumped with Plomo by the other gang. Where a quarter of the population has fled south, a quarter crossed north, a quarter dead in unmarked graves, and the rest desperate. Where the country's President actually asks America to take in its refugees. The spiritual Mexico of the Chicana literature seems as elitist and unreal as art could get.