The South Southeast,
a rich but a backward region

Among diverse conceptions of the regions of Mexico, there is one that refers to five mesoregions: (Northwest, Northeast, Center-West, Center-Country and South-Southeast) each of them formed by a set of federative entities that share an economic interdependence, in addition to a link for common geographical aspects and links of communication and transportation, as well as historical, social and cultural identity traits.

The South Southeast region of Mexico is formed by the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatan.

It is the second most populated region in the country, after the Central-Country mesoregion. The South Southeast has a territorial extension of more than 500,000 kms2 and has almost 30% of the Mexican population. It is the region with the highest biodiversity in Mexico and has an enormous natural wealth, which is distinguished by its agricultural potential, in addition to having the highest concentration of fresh water and oil in the country.

The South Southeast is the homeland of great pre-Columbian cultures and has an extensive legacy of the country's various historical periods. It has the largest concentration of indigenous populations, hence the great diversity and richness of its cultural heritage. Due to the richness of its environmental, landscape, historical and cultural resources, the South Southeast is prodigious in tourist destinations and is home to the most important tourist destinations in Mexico.

However, it is the region with the lowest level of relative development in Mexico. To overcome low economic growth and improve the distribution of the wealth it generates are the challenges facing the South Southeast. Historically, the region has high levels of poverty due to precarious incomes below the welfare line, major social deprivations, as well as a greater degree of inequality, educational backwardness and health. It also faces growing tension arising from the exploitation of its resources, the protection of biodiversity and the sustainability of tourism. Recently, the socio-economic tension arising from Central American migration has been growing and so the oil crisis.

The States of the South Southeast region have been promoting a process of regional management and development to face these challenges, pursuing the coordinated action of the different levels of government, public and private institutions and social organizations to identify all the opportunity areas that require the sum of the different States to reach a solution at a regional level, as well as the realization of actions, where the States and the Federation coordinated efforts and resources may generate more effective results.

This regional initiative seeks to provide an operational mechanism to promote a sustainable strategy for regional development that is territorially ordered, economically competitive, socially inclusive, environmentally responsible and financially viable.