Mexico: 1917 Constitution (Becker version)
1917 Constitution of Mexico
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- Chapter I National Sovereignty and Form of Government
- Chapter II Integral Parts of the Federation and of the
TITLE IV Responsibilities of Public Officials
TITLE V The States of the Federation
TITLE VI Labor and Social Security
TITLE VII General Considerations
TITLE VIII Amendments to the Constitution
TITLE IX The Inviolability of the Constitution
Constitution of Mexico
Article 1. Every person in the United Mexican
States shall enjoy the guarantees granted by this Constitution, which cannot be restricted
or suspended except in such cases and under such conditions as are herein provided
Article 2. Slavery is forbidden in the United
Mexican States. Slaves who enter national territory from abroad shall, by this act alone,
recover their freedom and enjoy the protection afforded by the laws.
The education imparted by the Federal State shall be designed to develop harmoniously all
the faculties of the human being and shall foster in him at the same time a love of
country and a consciousness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.
- Freedom of religious beliefs being guaranteed by Article 24,
the standard which shall guide such education shall be maintained entirely apart from any
religious doctrine and, based on the results of scientific progress, shall strive against
ignorance and its effects, servitudes, fanaticism, and prejudices. Moreover:
- It shall be democratic, considering democracy not only as a legal structure and a
political regimen, but as a system of life founded on a constant economic, social, and
cultural betterment of the people;
- It shall be national insofar as -- without hostility or exclusiveness -it shall achieve
the understanding of our problems, the utilization of our resources, the defense of our
political independence, the assurance of our economic independence, and the continuity and
growth of our culture; and
- It shall contribute to better human relationships, not only with the elements which it
contributes toward strengthening and at the same time inculcating, together with respect
for the dignity of the person and the integrity of the family, the conviction of the
general interest of society, but also by the care which it devotes to the ideals of
brotherhood and equality of rights of all men, avoiding privileges of race, creed, class,
sex, or persons.
- Private persons may engage in education of all kinds and grades. But as regards
elementary, secondary, and normal education (and that of any kind or grade designed for
laborers and farm workers) they must previously obtain, in every case, the express
authorization of the public power. Such authorization may be refused or revoked by
decisions against which there can be no judicial proceedings or recourse.
- Private institutions devoted to education of the kinds and grades specified in the
preceding section must be without exception in conformity with the provisions of sections
I and II of the first paragraph of this article and must also be in harmony with official
plans and programs.
- Religious corporations, ministers of religion, stock companies which exclusively or
predominantly engage in educational activities, and associations or companies devoted to
propagation of any religious creed shall not in any way participate in institutions giving
elementary, secondary and normal education and education for laborers or field workers.
- The State may in its discretion withdraw at any time the recognition of official
validity of studies conducted in private institutions.
- Elementary education shall be compulsory.
- All education given by the State shall be free.
- The Congress of the Union, with a view to unifying and coordinating education throughout
the Republic, shall issue the necessary laws for dividing the social function of education
among the Federation, the States and the Municipalities, for fixing the appropriate
financial allocations for this public service and for establishing the penalties
applicable to officials who do not comply with or enforce the pertinent provisions, as
well as the penalties applicable to all those who infringe such provisions.
Article 4. No person can be prevented from
engaging in the profession, industrial or commercial pursuit, or occupation of his choice,
provided it is lawful. The exercise of this liberty shall only be forbidden by judicial
order when the rights of third parties are infringed, or by administrative order, issued
in the manner provided by law, when the rights of society are violated. No one may be
deprived of the fruits of his labor except by judicial decision.
The law in each state shall determine the professions which may be practiced only with
a degree, and set forth the requirements for obtaining it and the authorities empowered to
Article 5.(2) No
one can be compelled to render personal services without due remuneration and without his
full consent, excepting labor imposed as a penalty by the judiciary, which shall be
governed by the provisions of clauses I and II of Article 123.
Only the following public services shall be obligatory, subject to the conditions set
forth in the respective laws: military service and jury service as well as the discharge
of the office of municipal councilman and offices of direct or indirect popular election.
Duties in relation to elections and the census shall be compulsory and unpaid.
Professional services of a social character shall be compulsory and paid according to the
provisions of law and with the exceptions fixed thereby.
The State cannot permit the execution of any contract, covenant, or agreement having
for its object the restriction, loss or irrevocable sacrifice of the liberty of man,
whether for work, education, or religious vows. The law, therefore, does not permit the
establishment of monastic orders, whatever be their denomination or purpose.
Likewise no person can legally agree to his own proscription or exile, or to the
temporary or permanent renunciation of the exercise of a given profession or industrial or
A labor contract shall be binding only to render the services agreed on for the time
set by law and may never exceed one year to the detriment of the worker, and in no case
may it embrace the waiver, loss, or restriction of any civil or political right.
Non-compliance with such contract by the worker shall only render him civilly liable
for damages, but in no case shall it imply coercion against his person.
Article 6. The expression of ideas shall not be
subject to any judicial or administrative investigation, unless it offends good morals,
infringes the rights of others, incites to crime, or disturbs the public order.
Article 7. Freedom of writing and publishing
writings on any subject is inviolable. No law or authority may establish censorship,
require bonds from authors or printers, or restrict the freedom of printing, which shall
be limited only by the respect due to private life, morals, and public peace. Under no
circumstances may a printing press be sequestrated as the instrument of the offense.
The organic laws shall contain whatever provisions may be necessary to prevent the
imprisonment of the vendors, newsboys, workmen, and other employees of the establishment
publishing the work denounced, under pretext of a denunciation of offenses of the press,
unless their guilt is previously established.
Article 8. Public officials and employees shall
respect the exercise of the right of petition, provided it is made in writing and in a
peaceful and respectful manner; but this right may only be exercised in political matters
by citizens of the Republic.
Every petition shall be replied to in writing by the official to whom it is addressed,
and said official is bound to inform the petitioner of the decision taken within a brief
Article 9. The right to assemble or associate
peaceably for any lawful purpose cannot be restricted; but only citizens of the Republic
may do so to take part in the political affairs of the country. No armed deliberative
meeting is authorized.
No meeting or assembly shall be deemed unlawful which has for its object the
petitioning of any authority or the presentation of a protest against any act; nor may it
be dissolved, unless insults be proffered against said authority or violence is resorted
to, or threats are used to intimidate or compel such authority to render a favorable
Article 10. The inhabitants of the United
Mexican States are entitled to have arms of any kind in their possession for their
protection and legitimate defense, except such as are expressly forbidden by law, or which
the nation may reserve for the exclusive use of the army, navy, or national guard; but
they may not carry arms within inhabited places without complying with police regulations.
Article 11. Everyone has the right to enter
and leave the Republic, to travel through its territory and to change his residence
without necessity of a letter of security, passport, safe-conduct or any other similar
requirement. The exercise of this right shall be subordinated to the powers of the
judiciary, in cases of civil or criminal liability, and to those of the administrative
authorities insofar as concerns the limitations imposed by the laws regarding emigration,
immigration and public health of the country, or in regard to undesirable aliens resident
in the country.
Article 12. No titles of nobility, or
hereditary or prerogatives or honors shall be granted in the United Mexican States, nor
shall any effect be given to those granted by other countries.
Article 13. No one may be tried by private
laws or special tribunals. No person or corporate body shall have privileges or enjoy
emoluments other than those given in compensation for public services and which are set by
law. Military jurisdiction shall be recognized for the trial of crimes against and
violation of military discipline, but the military tribunals shall in no case have
jurisdiction over persons who do not belong to the army. Whenever a civilian is implicated
in a military crime or violation, the respective civil authority shall deal with the case.
Article 14. No law shall be given retroactive
effect to the detriment of any person whatsoever.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, possessions, or rights without
a trial by a duly created court in which the essential formalities of procedure are
observed and in accordance with laws issued prior to the act.
In criminal cases no penalty shall be imposed by mere analogy or by a prior evidence.
The penalty must be decreed in a law in every respect applicable to the crime in question.
In civil suits the final judgment shall be according to the letter or the juridical
interpretation of the law; in the absence of the latter it shall be based on the general
principles of law.
Article 15. No treaty shall be authorized for
the extradition of political offenders or of offenders of the common order who have been
slaves in the country where the offense was committed. Nor shall any agreement or treaty
be entered into which restricts or modifies the guarantees and rights which this
Constitution grants to the individual and to the citizen.
Article 16. No one shall be molested in his
person, family, domicile, papers, or possessions except by virtue of a written order of
the competent authority stating the legal grounds and justification for the action taken.
No order of arrest or detention shall be issued against any person other than by the
competent judicial authority, and unless same is preceded by a charge, accusation, or
complaint for a credible party or by other evidence indicating the probable guilt of the
accused; in cases of flagrante delicto, any person may arrest the offender and
his accomplices, turning them over without delay to the nearest authorities. Only in
urgent cases instituted by the public attorney without previous complaint or indictment
and when there is no judicial authority available, may the administrative authorities, on
their strictest accountability, order the detention of an accused person, turning him over
immediately to the judicial authorities. Every search warrant, which can be issued only by
judicial authority and which must be in writing, shall specify the place to be searched,
the person or persons to be arrested, and the objects sought, the proceedings to be
limited thereto; at the conclusion of which a detailed statement shall be drawn up in the
presence of two witnesses proposed by the occupant of the place searched, or by the
official making the search in his absence or should he refuse to do so.
Administrative officials may enter private homes for the sole purpose of ascertaining
whether the sanitary and police regulations have been complied with; and may demand to be
shown the books and documents required to prove compliance with fiscal rulings, in which
latter cases they must abide by the provisions of the respective laws and be subject to
the formalities prescribed for cases of search.
Article 17. No one may be imprisoned for debts
of a purely civil nature. No one may take the law into his own hands, or resort to
violence in the enforcement of his rights. The courts shall be open for the administration
of justice at such times and under such conditions as the law may establish; their
services shall be gratuitous and all judicial costs are, accordingly, prohibited.
Arrest is permissible only for offenses punishable by imprisonment. The place of detention
shall be completely separate from the place used for the serving of sentences.
The federal and state governments shall organize the penal system withintheir
respective jurisdictions on the basis of labor, training, and education as a means of
social readjustment of the offender. Women shall serve their sentences in places separate
from those intended for men for the same purpose.
Governors of States, subject to the provisions of the respective local laws, may
conclude agreements of a general nature with the federal government, under which offenders
convicted for common offenses may serve their sentence in establishments maintained by the
The federal government and the state governments shall establish special institutions
for the treatment of juvenile delinquents.
Article 19. No detention shall exceed three
days without a formal order of commitment, which shall state the offense with which the
accused is charged; the substance thereof; the place, time and circumstances of its
commission; and the facts brought to light in the preliminary examination. These facts
must be sufficient to establish the corpus delicti and the probable guilt of the
accused. All authorities who order a detention or consent thereto, as well as all agents,
subordinates, wardens, or jailers who execute it, shall be liable for any breach of this
The trial shall take place only for the offense or offenses set forth in the formal
order of commitment. Should it develop, during the course of the proceedings, that another
offense, different from that charged, has been committed, a separate accusation must be
brought. This, however, shall not prevent the joinder of both proceedings, if deemed
Any ill-treatment during arrest or confinement; any molesting without legal
justification; any exaction or contribution levied in prison are abuses which shall be
punishable by law and repressed by the authorities.
Article 20. In every criminal trial the
accused shall enjoy the following guarantees:
- He shall be freed on demand and on furnishing bail which shall be fixed by the judge,
according to his status and the gravity of the offense with which he is charged, provided,
however, that such offense is not punishable with more than five years' imprisonment. No
requisites shall be necessary other than placing the stipulated sum at the disposal of the
proper authorities or giving adequate security or personal bond for acceptance of which
the judge is responsible.
The security or bond shall be not more than 250, 000 pesos except for offenses by which
the offender profits or the victim suffers financially; for such offenses the security
shall be at least three times the amount of the profit obtained or the damage suffered.(4)
- He may not be forced to be a witness against himself; wherefore denial of access or
other means tending to this end is strictly prohibited.
- He shall be publicly notified within forty-eight hours after being turned over to the
judicial authorities of the name of his accuser and the nature of and cause for the
accusation, so that he may be familiar with the offense with which he is charged, and
reply thereto and make a preliminary statement.
- He shall be confronted with the witnesses against him, who shall testify in his presence
if they are to be found in the place where the trial is held, so that he may cross-examine
them in his defense.
- All witnesses and other evidence which he may offer shall be heard in his defense, for
which he shall be given the time which the law deems necessary for the purpose; he shall
furthermore be assisted in securing the presence of the persons whose testimony he may
request, provided they are to be found at the place where the trial is held.
- He shall be entitled to a public trial by a judge or jury of citizens who can read and
write and are also residents of the place and district where the offense was committed,
provided the penalty for such offense exceeds one year's imprisonment. The accused shall
always be entitled to a trial by jury for all offenses committed by means of the press
against the public peace or against the domestic or foreign safety of the nation.
- He shall be furnished with all information on record which he may request for his
- He shall be tried within four months, if charged with an offense whose maximum penalty
does not exceed two years' imprisonment; and within one year, if the maximum penalty is
- He shall be heard in his own defense, either personally or by counsel, or by both, as he
may desire. Should he have no one to defend him, a list of official counsel shall be
submitted to him, in order that he may choose one or more to act in his defense. If the
accused does not wish to name any counsel for his defense, after being called upon to do
so at the time of his preliminary examination, the court shall appoint his counsel for the
defense. The accused may name his counsel immediately upon arrest, and shall be entitled
to have him present at every stage of the trial; but he shall be obliged to make him
appear as often as required by the court.
- In no event may imprisonment or detention be extended through failure to pay counsel
fees or for any other monetary obligation, on account of civil liability, or for other
Nor shall detention be extended beyond the time set by law as the maximum for the
The period of detention shall be reckoned as a part of the term of imprisonment imposed
Article 21. The imposition of all penalties is
an exclusive attribute of the judiciary. The prosecution of offenses pertains to the
public prosecutor and to the judicial police, who shall be under the immediate command and
authority of the public prosecutor. The punishment of violations of governmental and
police regulations pertains to the administrative authorities, which punishment shall
consist solely of imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty-six hours or of a fine.
Should the offender fail to pay the fine, it shall be substituted by a corresponding
period of detention, which in no case may exceed fifteen days.
If the offender is a day laborer or a workman, his punishment cannot consist of a fine
exceeding the amount of his wages, for one week.
Article 22. Punishment by mutilation and
infamy, branding, flogging, beating with sticks, torture of any kind, excessive fines,
confiscation of property and any other unusual or extreme penalties are prohibited.
Attachment proceedings covering the whole or part of the property of a person made
under judicial authority to cover payment of civil liability arising out of the commission
of an offense or for the payment of taxes or fines shall not be deemed a confiscation of
Capital punishment for political offenses is likewise prohibited; as regards other
offenses, it can only be imposed for high treason committed during a foreign war,
parricide, murder that is treacherous, premeditated, or committed for profit, arson,
abduction, highway robbery, piracy, and grave military offenses.
Article 23. No criminal trial shall have more
than three instances. No person, whether acquitted or convicted, can be tried twice for
the same offense. The practice of absolving from the instance(5)
Article 24. Everyone is free to embrace the
religion of his choice and to practice all ceremonies, devotions, or observances of his
respective faith, either in places of public worship or at home, provided they do not
constitute an offense punishable by law.
Every religious act of public worship must be performed strictly inside places of
public worship, which shall at all times be under governmental supervision.
Article 25. Sealed correspondence sent through
the mail shall be exempt from search and its violation shall be punishable by law.
Article 26. No member of the army shall in
time of peace be quartered in private dwellings without the consent of the owner, nor may
he impose any obligation whatsoever. In time of war the military may demand lodging,
equipment, provisions, and other assistance, in the manner laid down in the respective
Article 27. Ownership of the lands and waters
within the boundaries of the national territory is vested originally in the Nation, which
has had, and has, the right to transmit title thereof to private persons, thereby
constituting private property.
Private property shall not be expropriated except for reasons of public use and subject
to payment of indemnity.
The Nation shall at all times have the right to impose on private property such
limitations as the public interest may demand, as well as the right to regulate the
utilization of natural resources which are susceptible of appropriation, in order to
conserve them and to ensure a more equitable distribution of public wealth. With this end
in view, necessary measures shall be taken to divide up large landed estates; to develop
small landed holdings in operation; to create new agricultural centers, with necessary
lands and waters; to encourage agriculture in general and to prevent the destruction of
natural resources, and to protect property from damage to the detriment of society.
Centers of population which at present either have no lands or water or which do not
possess them in sufficient quantities for the needs of their inhabitants, shall be
entitled to grants thereof, which shall be taken from adjacent properties, the rights of
small landed holdings in operation being respected at all times.
In the Nation is vested the direct ownership of all natural resources of the
continental shelf and the submarine shelf of the islands; of all minerals or substances,
which in veins, ledges, masses or ore pockets, form deposits of a nature distinct from the
components of the earth itself, such as the minerals from which industrial metals and
metalloids are extracted; deposits of precious stones, rock-salt and the deposits of salt
formed by sea water; products derived from the decomposition of rocks, when subterranean
works are required for their extraction; mineral or organic deposits of materials
susceptible of utilization as fertilizers; solid mineral fuels; petroleum and all solid,
liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbons; and the space above the national territory to the extent
and within the terms fixed by international law.(6)
In the Nation is likewise vested the ownership of the waters of the territorial seas,
within the limits and terms fixed by international law; inland marine waters; those of
lagoons and estuaries permanently or intermittently connected with the sea; those of
natural, inland lakes which are directly connected with streams having a constant flow;
those of rivers and their direct or indirect tributaries from the point in their source
where the first permanent, intermittent, or torrential waters begin, to their mouth in the
sea, or a lake, lagoon, or estuary forming a part of the public domain; those of constant
or intermittent streams and their direct or indirect tributaries, whenever the bed of the
stream, throughout the whole or a part of its length, serves as a boundary of the national
territory or of two federal divisions, or if it flows from one federal division to another
or crosses the boundary line of the Republic; those of lakes, lagoons, or estuaries whose
basins, zones, or shores are crossed by the boundary lines of two or more divisions or by
the boundary line of the Republic and a neighboring country or when the shoreline serves
as the boundary between two federal divisions or of the Republic and a neighboring
country; those of springs that issue from beaches, maritime areas, the beds, basins, or
shores of lakes, lagoons, or estuaries in the national domain; and waters extracted from
mines and the channels, beds, or shores of interior lakes and streams in an area fixed by
law. Underground waters may be brought to the surface by artificial works and utilized by
the surface owner, but if the public interest so requires or use by others is affected,
the Federal Executive may regulate its extraction and utilization, and even establish
prohibited areas, the same as may be done with other waters in the public domain. Any
other waters not included in the foregoing enumeration shall be considered an integral
part of the property through which they flow or in which they are deposited, but if they
are located in two or more properties, their utilization shall bedeemed a matter of public
use, and shall be subject to laws enacted by the States.(7)
In those cases to which the two preceding paragraphs refer, ownership by the Nation is
inalienable and imprescriptible, and the exploitation, use, or appropriation of the
resources concerned, by private persons or by companies organized according to Mexican
laws, may not be undertaken except through concessions granted by the Federal Executive,
in accordance with rules and conditions established by law. The legal rules relating to
the working or exploitation of the minerals and substances referred to in the fourth
paragraph shall govern the execution and proofs of what is carried out or should be
carried out after they go into effect, independent of the date of granting the
concessions, and their nonobservance will be grounds for cancellation thereof. The Federal
Government has the power to establish national reserves and to abolish them. The
declarations pertaining thereto shall be made by the Executive in those cases and
conditions prescribed by law. In the case of petroleum, and solid, liquid, or gaseous
hydrocarbons no concessions or contracts will be granted nor may those that have been
granted continue, and the Nation shall carry out the exploitation of these products, in
accordance with the provisions indicated in the respective regulatory law.(8)
It is exclusively a function of the general Nation to conduct, transform, distribute,
and supply electric power which is to be used for public service. No concessions for this
purpose will be granted to private persons and the Nation will make use of the property
and natural resources which are required for these ends.(9)
(Note: A transitory provision of the amendment adding the foregoing paragraph to Article
"A regulatory law shall establish the rules to which concessions granted prior to
the enactment of the present law (amendment) shall be subject".)
Legal capacity to acquire ownership of lands and waters of the Nation shall be governed
by the following provisions:
- Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire
ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the
exploitation of mines or of waters. The State may grant the same right to foreigners,
provided they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as
nationals in respect to such property, and bind themselves not to invoke the protection of
their governments in matters relating thereto; under penalty, in case of noncompliance
with this agreement, of forfeiture of the property acquired to the Nation. Under no
circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of
one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores of the
The State, in accordance with its internal public interests and with principles of
reciprocity, may in the discretion of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs authorize foreign
states to acquire, at the permanent sites of the Federal Powers, private ownership of real
property necessary for the direct services of their embassies or legations.(10)
- Religious institutions known as churches, regardless of creed, may in no case acquire,
hold, or administer real property or hold mortgages thereon; such property held at present
either directly or through an intermediary shall revert to the Nation, any person
whosoever being authorized to denounce any property so held. Presumptive evidence shall be
sufficient to declare the denunciation well founded. Places of public worship are the
property of the Nation, as represented by the Federal Government, which shall determine
which of them may continue to be devoted to their present purposes. Bishoprics, rectories,
seminaries, asylums, and schools belonging to religious orders, convents, or any other
buildings built or intended for the administration, propagation, or teaching of a
religious creed shall at once become the property of the Nation by inherent right, to be
used exclusively for the public services of the Federal or State Governments, within their
respective jurisdictions. All places of public worship hereafter erected shall be the
property of the Nation.
- Public or private charitable institutions for the rendering of assistance to the needy,
for scientific research, the diffusion of knowledge, mutual aid to members, or for any
other lawful purpose, may not acquire more real property than actually needed for their
purpose and immediately and directly devoted thereto; but they may acquire, hold, or
administer mortgages on real property provided the term thereof does not exceed ten years.
Under no circumstances may institutions of this kind be under the patronage, direction,
administration, charge, or supervision of religious orders or institutions, or of
ministers of any religious sect or of their followers, even though the former or the
latter may not be in active service.
- Commercial stock companies may not acquire, hold, or administer rural properties.
Companies of this kind that are organized to operate any manufacturing, mining, or
petroleum industry or for any other purpose that is not agricultural, may acquire, hold,
or administer lands only of an area that is strictly necessary for their buildings or
services, and this area shall be fixed in each particular case by the Federal or State
- Banks duly authorized to operate in accordance with the laws on credit institutions may
hold mortgages on urban and rural property in conformity with the provisions of such laws
but they may not own or administer more real property than is actually necessary for their
- With the exception of the corporate entities referred to in clauses III, IV, and V
hereof, and the centers of population which by law or in fact possess a communal status or
centers that have received grants or restitutions or have been organized as centers of
agricultural population, no other civil corporate entity may hold or administer real
property or hold mortgages thereon, with the sole exception of the buildings intended
immediately and directly for the purposes of the institution. The States, the Federal
District, and the Territories, and all Municipalities in the Republic, shall have full
legal capacity to acquire and hold all the real property needed to render public services.
The federal and state laws, within their respective jurisdictions, shall determine in
what cases the occupation of private property shall be considered to be of public utility;
and in accordance with such laws, the administrative authorities shall issue the
respective declaration. The amount fixed as compensation for the expropriated property
shall be based on the value recorded in assessment or tax offices for tax purposes,
whether this value had been declared by the owner or tacitly accepted by him by having
paid taxes on that basis. The increased or decreased value of such private property due to
improvements or depreciation which occurred after such assessment is the only portion of
the value that shall be subject to the decision of experts and judicial proceedings. This
same procedure shall be followed in the case of property whose value is not recorded in
the tax offices.
The exercise of actions pertaining to the Nation by virtue of the provisions of this
article shall be made effective by judicial procedure, but during these proceedings and by
order of the proper courts, which must render a decision within a maximum of one month,
the administrative authorities shall proceed without delay to occupy, administer, auction,
or sell the lands and waters in question and all their appurtenances, and in no case may
the acts of such authorities be set aside until a final decision has been rendered.
- (11)The centers of population which, by law or in fact,
possess a communal status shall have legal capacity to enjoy common possession of the
lands, forests, and waters belonging to them or which have been or may be restored to
All questions, regardless of their origin, concerning the boundaries of communal lands,
which are now pending or that may arise hereafter between two or more centers of
population, are matters of federal jurisdiction. The Federal Executive shall take
cognizance of such controversies and propose a solution to the interested parties. If the
latter agree thereto, the proposal of the Executive shall take full effect as a final
decision and shall be irrevocable; should they not be in conformity, the party or parties
may appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, without prejudice to immediate
enforcement of the presidential proposal.
The law shall specify the brief procedure to which the settling of such controversies
- The following are declared null and void:
- All transfers of the lands, waters, and forests of villages, rancherías,
groups, or communities made by local officials (jefes políticos), state
governors, or other local authorities in violation of the provisions of the Law of June
25, 1856, and other related laws and rulings.
- All concessions, deals or sales of lands, waters, and forests made by the Secretariat of
Development, the Secretariat of Finance, or any other federal authority from December 1,
1876 to date, which encroach upon or illegally occupy communal lands (ejidos), lands
allotted in common, or lands of any other kind belonging to villages, rancherias, groups
or communities, and centers of population.
- All survey or demarcation-of-boundary proceedings, transfers, alienations, or auction
sales effected during the period of time referred to in the preceding sub-clause, by
companies, judges, or other federal or state authorities entailing encroachments on or
illegal occupation of the lands, waters, or forests of communal holdings (ejidos), lands
held in common, or other holdings belonging to centers of population.
The sole exception to the aforesaid nullification shall be the lands to which title has
been granted in allotments made in conformity with the Law of June 25, 1856, held by
persons in their own name for more than ten years and having an area of not more than
- Divisions or allotments of land among the inhabitants of a given center of population
which, although apparently legitimate are not so, due to a mistake or defect, may be
annulled at the request of three fourths of the residents holding one fourth so divided,
or one fourth of such residents holding three fourths of the lands.
- Centers of population which lack communal lands (ejidos) or which are unable to have
them restored to them due to lack of titles, impossibility of identification, or because
they had been legally transferred, shall be granted sufficient lands and waters to
constitute them, in accordance with the needs of the population; but in no case shall they
fail to be granted the area needed, and for this purpose the land needed shall be
expropriated, at the expense of the Federal Government, to be taken from lands adjoining
the villages in question.
The area or individual unit of the grant shall hereafter be not less than ten hectares
of moist or irrigated land, or in default of such land its equivalent in other types of
land in accordance with the third paragraph of section XV of this article.(12)
- For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this article and of regulating laws
that may be enacted, the following are established:
- A direct agency of the Federal Executive entrusted with the application and enforcement
of the agrarian laws;
- An advisory board composed of five persons to be appointed by the President of the
Republic and who shall perform the functions specified in the organic laws;
- A mixed commission composed of an equal number of representatives of the Federal
Government, the local governments, and a representative of the peasants, to be appointed
in the manner set forth in the respective regulating law, to function in each State,
Territory, and the Federal District, with the powers and duties set forth in the organic
and regulatory laws;
- Private executive committees for each of the centers of population that are concerned
with agrarian cases;
- A communal office (comisariado ejidal) for each of the centers of population that
possess communal lands (ejidos).
- Petitions for a restitution or grant of lands or waters shall be submitted directly to
the state and territorial governors.
The governors shall refer the petitions to the mixed commissions, which shall study the
cases during a fixed period of time and render a report; the State governors shall approve
or modify the report of the mixed commission and issue orders that immediate possession be
given to areas which they deem proper. The case shall then be turned over to the Federal
Executive for decision.
Whenever the governors fail to comply with the provisions of the preceding paragraph,
within the peremptory period of time fixed by law, the report of the mixed commission
shall be deemed rejected and the case shall be referred immediately to the Federal
Inversely, whenever a mixed commission fails to render a report during the peremptory
time limit, the Governor shall be empowered to grant possession of the area of land he
- The agency of the Executive and the Agrarian Advisory Board shall report on the
approval, rectification, or modification of the reports submitted by the mixed
commissions, containing the changes made therein by the local governments, and so notify
the President of the Republic, who as the supreme agrarian authority will render a
- Landowners affected by decisions granting or restoring communal lands and waters to
villages, or who may be affected by future decisions, shall have no ordinary legal right
or recourse and cannot institute amparo proceedings.
Persons affected by such decisions shall have solely the right to apply to the Federal
Government for payment of the corresponding indemnity. This right must be exercised by the
interested parties within one year counting from the date of publication of the respective
resolution in the Diario Oficial. After this period has elapsed, no claim is
Owners or occupants of agricultural or stockraising properties in operation who have
been issued or to whom there may be issued in the future certificates of non-affectability
may institute amparo proceedings against any illegal deprivation or agrarian claims on
their lands or water.(13)
- The mixed commissions, the local governments and any other authorities charged with
agrarian proceedings cannot in any case affect small agricultural or livestock properties
in operation and they shall incur liability for violations of the Constitution if they
make grants which affect them.
Small agricultural property is that which does not exceed one hundred hectares of
first-class moist or irrigated land or its equivalent in other classes of land, under
To determine this equivalence one hectare of irrigated land shall be computed as two
hectares of seasonal land; as four of good quality pasturage (agostadero) and as eight as monte
(scrub land) or arid pasturage.
Also to be considered as small holdings are areas not exceeding two hundred hectares of
seasonal lands or pasturage susceptible of cultivation; or one hundred fifty hectares of
land used for cotton growing if irrigated from fluvial canals or by pumping; or three
hundred, under cultivation, when used for growing bananas, sugar cane, coffee, henequen,
rubber, coconuts, grapes, olives, quinine, vanilla, cacao, or fruit trees.
Small holdings for stockraising are lands not exceeding the area necessary to maintain
up to five hundred head of cattle (ganado mayor) or their equivalent in smaller animals
(ganado menor - sheep, goats, pigs) under provisions of law, in accordance with the forage
capacity of the lands.
Whenever, due to irrigation or drainage works or any other works executed by the owners
or occupants of a small holding to whom a certificate of non-affectability has been
issued, the quality of the land is improved for agricultural or stockraising operations,
such holding shall not be subject to agrarian appropriation even if, by virtue of the
improvements made, the maximums indicated in this section are lowered, provided that the
requirements fixed by law are met.
- Lands which are subject to individual adjudication must be partitioned precisely at the
time the presidential order is executed, according to regulatory laws.
- The Federal Congress and the State Legislature, within their respective jurisdictions,
shall enact laws to fix the maximum area of rural property, and to carry out the
subdivision of the excess lands, in accordance with the following bases:
- In each State, Territory, or the Federal District, there shall be fixed a maximum area
of land of which a single individual or legally constituted society may be the owner.
- The excess over the fixed area shall be subdivided by the owner within the time fixed by
the local law, and these parcels shall be offered for sale under terms approved by the
governments, in accordance with the aforementioned laws.
- If the owner should oppose the subdivision, it shall be carried out by the local
government, by expropriation.
- The value of the parcels shall be paid by annual installments which will amortize
principal and interest, at an interest rate not exceeding 3% per annum.
- Owners shall be required to receive bonds of the local Agrarian Debt to guarantee
payment for the property expropriated. For this purpose, the Federal Congress shall enact
a law empowering the States to create their Agrarian Debt.
- No subdivision can be sanctioned which fails to satisfy the agrarian needs of
neighboring settlements (poblados inmediatos). Whenever subdivision projects are to be
executed, the agrarian claims must be settled within a fixed period.
- Local laws shall organize the family patrimony, determining what property shall
constitute it, on the basis that it shall be inalienable and shall not be subject to
attachment or encumbrance of any kind.
- All contracts and concessions made by former Governments since the year 1876, which have
resulted in the monopolization of lands, waters, and natural resources of the Nation, by a
single person or company, are declared subject to revision, and the Executive of the Union
is empowered to declare them void whenever they involve serious prejudice to the public
Article 28. In the United Mexican States there
shall be no monopolies or estancos of any kind; nor exemption from taxes; nor prohibitions
under the guise of protection to industry; excepting only those relating to the coinage of
money, the mails, telegraph, and radiotelegraphy, to the issuance of paper money by a
single bank to be controlled by the Federal Government, and to the privileges which for a
specified time are granted to authors and artists for the reproduction of their works, and
to those which, for the exclusive use of their inventions, may be granted to inventors and
those who perfect some improvement.
Consequently, the law shall punish severely and the authorities shall effectively
prosecute every concentration or cornering in one or a few hands of articles of prime
necessity for the purpose of obtaining a rise in prices; every act or proceeding which
prevents or tends to prevent free competition in production, industry or commerce, or
services to the public; every agreement or combination, in whatever manner it may be made,
of producers, industrialists, merchants, and common carriers, or those engaged in any
other service, to prevent competition among themselves and to compel consumers to pay
exaggerated prices; and in general, whatever constitutes an exclusive and undue advantage
in favor of one or more specified persons and to the prejudice of the public in general or
of any social class.
Associations of workers, formed to protect their own interests, do not constitute
Nor do cooperative associations or societies of producers constitute monopolies, which
in defense of their interests or of the general interest, sell directly in foreign markets
the domestic or industrial products which are the main source of wealth in the region in
which they are produced, and which are articles of prime necessity, provided that such
associations are under the supervision and protection of the Federal or State Governments
and that they were previously duly authorized for the purpose by the respective
legislatures, which latter of themselves or on proposal of the Executive may, when the
public need so requires, repeal the authorizations granted for the formation of the
associations in question.
Article 29. In the event of invasion, serious
disturbance of the public peace, or any other event which may place society in great
danger or conflict, only the President of the Mexican Republic, with the consent of the
Council of Ministers and with the approval of the Federal Congress, and during
adjournments of the latter, of the Permanent Committee, may suspend throughout the country
or in a determined place the guarantees which present an obstacle to a rapid and ready
combatting of the situation; but he must do so for a limited time, by means of general
preventive measures without such suspensions being limited to a specified individual. If
the suspension should occur while the Congress is in session, the latter shall grant such
authorizations that it deems necessary to enable the Executive to meet the situation. If
the suspension occurs during a period of adjournment, the Congress shall be convoked
without delay in order to grant them.
Article 30. Mexican nationality is acquired by
birth or by naturalization:
- Mexicans by birth are:
- Those born in the territory of the Republic, regardless of the nationality of their
- Those born in a foreign country of Mexican parents; of a Mexican father and a foreign
mother; or of a Mexican mother and an unknown father;
- Those born on Mexican vessels or airships, either war or merchant vessels.
- Mexicans by naturalization are:
- Foreigners who obtain letters of naturalization from the Secretariat of Foreign
- A foreign woman who marries a Mexican man and has or establishes her domicile within the
Article 31. The obligations of Mexicans are:
- To see that their children or wards, under fifteen years of age, attend public or
private schools to obtain primary, elementary and military education during the time
prescribed by the Law on Public Education in each State.
- To be present on the days and hours designated by the Ayuntamiento of the place in which
they reside, to receive civic and military instruction which will equip them for the
exercise of their rights as citizens, give them skill in the handling of arms, and
acquaint them with military discipline.
- To enlist and serve in the National Guard, according to the respective organic law, to
secure and defend the independence, the territory, the honor, the rights and interests of
the homeland, as well as domestic tranquility and order.
- To contribute to the public expenditures of the Federation, and the State and
Municipality in which they reside, in the proportional and equitable manner provided by
Article 32. (14)Mexicans
shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of
concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which
the status of citizenship is not indispensable. In time of peace no foreigner can serve in
the Army nor in the police or public security forces.
In order to belong to the National Navy or the Air Force, and to discharge any office
or commission, it is required to be a Mexican by birth. This same status is indispensable
for captains, pilots, masters, engineers, mechanics, and in general, for all personnel of
the crew of any vessel or airship protected by the Mexican merchant flag or insignia It is
also necessary to be Mexican by birth to discharge the position of captain of the port and
all services of pratique and airport commandant, as well as all functions of customs agent
in the Republic.
Article 33. Foreigners are those who do not
possess the qualifications set forth in Article 30. They are
entitled to the guarantees granted by Chapter I, Title I, of
the present Constitution; but the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to
compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national
territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action.
Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.
Article 34. Men and women who, having the
status of Mexicans, likewise meet the following requirements are citizens of the Republic:
- Having reached eighteen years of age, if married, or twenty-one years of age if
- Having an honest means of livelihood.
Article 35. The prerogatives of citizens are:
- To vote at popular elections;
- To be voted for, for all offices subject to popular election, and to be appointed to any
other employment or commission, if they have the qualifications established by law;
- To associate together to discuss the political affairs of the country;
- To bear arms in the Army or National Guard in the defense of the Republic and its
institutions, under the provisions prescribed by law;
- To exercise in all cases the right of petition.
Article 36. The obligations of citizens of the
- To register on the tax lists of the municipality, declaring the property they possess,
the industry, profession, or occupation by which they subsist; and also to register in the
electoral poll-books, according to the provisions prescribed by law;
- To enlist in the National Guard;
- To vote in popular elections in the electoral district to which they belong;
- To serve in the elective offices of the Federation or of the States, which shall in no
case be gratuitous;
- To serve in municipal council positions where they reside, and to fulfill electoral and
- Mexican nationality is lost:
- By the voluntary acquisition of a foreign nationality;
- By accepting or using titles of nobility which imply submission to a foreign state;
- By residing, if a Mexican by naturalization, for five consecutive years in the country
- By passing in any public instrument, when Mexican by naturalization, as a foreigner, or
by obtaining and using a foreign passport;
- Mexican citizenship is lost:
- By accepting or using titles of nobility which imply submission to a foreign government;
- By rendering voluntary services to a foreign government without permission of the
Federal Congress or of its Permanent Committee;
- By accepting or using foreign decorations without permission of the Federal Congress or
of its Permanent Committee;
- By accepting titles or functions from the government of another country without previous
permission of the Federal Congress or its Permanent Committee, excepting literary,
scientific, or humanitarian titles which may be freely accepted;
- By aiding a foreigner or a foreign country, against the Nation, in any diplomatic claim
or before an international tribunal;
- In other cases which the laws may specify.
Article 38. The rights or prerogatives of
citizens are suspended:
- Through failure to comply, without sufficient cause, with any of the obligations imposed
by Article 36. This suspension shall last for one year and shall
be in addition to any other penalties prescribed by law for the same offense.
- Through being subjected to criminal prosecution for an offense punishable by
imprisonment (pena corporal), the suspension to be reckoned from the date of the formal
order of commitment;
- Throughout a term of imprisonment;
- Through vagrancy or habitual drunkenness, affirmed in the manner prescribed by law;
- Through being a fugitive from justice, the suspension being reckoned from the date of
the order of arrest until the prescription of the criminal action;
- Through final sentence imposing such suspension as a penalty.
The law shall specify those cases in which civil rights may be lost or suspended and
the manner of rehabilitation.
National Sovereignty and Form of Government
Article 39. The national sovereignty resides
essentially and originally in the people All public power originates in the people and is
instituted for their benefit. The people at all times have the inalienable right to alter
or modify their form of government.
Article 40. It is the will of the Mexican
people to organize themselves into a federal' democratic, representative Republic composed
of free and sovereign States in all that concerns their internal government' but united in
a Federation established according to the principles of this fundamental law.
Article 41. The people exercise their
sovereignty through the powers of the Union in those cases within its jurisdiction, and
through those of the States, in all that relates to their internal affairs, under the
terms established by the present Federal Constitution and the individual constitutions of
the States' respectively, which latter shall in no event contravene the stipulations of
the Federal Pact.
Integral Parts of the Federation and of the National Territory
The national territory comprises:
- The integral parts of the Federation;
- The islands' including the reefs and keys in adjacent seas;
- The islands of Guadalupe and the Revillagigedos situated in the Pacific Ocean;
- The continental shelf and the submarine shelf of the islands' keys, and reefs;
- The waters of the territorial seas to the extent and under terms fixed by international
law and domestic maritime law;
- The space located above the national territory to the extent and according to rules
established by international law on the subject.
The integral parts of the Federation are the States of Aguascalientes, Baja California,
Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo,
Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro,
San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán,
Zacatecas, the Federal District, and the Territories of Baja California Sur, and Quintana
Article 44. The Federal District shall embrace
its present territory, and in the event of the removal of the federal branches to some
other place, it shall be erected into the State of Valle de México, with such boundaries
and area as the General Congress shall assign to it.
The States and Territories of the Federation shall keep their present area and boundaries
as of this day, provided no difficulties arise concerning them.
Article 46. The States having pending boundary
questions shall arrange or settle them as provided in this Constitution.
Article 47. The State of Nayarit shall have
the territorial area and boundaries which at present comprise the Territory of Tepic.
The islands, keys, and reefs of the adjacent seas which belong to the national territory,
the continental shelf, the submarine shelf of the islands, keys, and reefs, the inland
marine waters, and the space above the national territory shall depend directly on the
Government of the Federation, with the exception of those islands over which the States
have up to the present exercised jurisdiction.
Division of Powers
The supreme power of the Federation is divided, for its exercise, into legislative,
executive, and judicial branches.
Two or more of these powers shall never be united in one single person or corporation,
nor shall the legislative power be vested in one individual except in the case of
extraordinary powers granted to the Executive, in accordance with the provisions of Article 29.
The Legislative Branch
Article 50. The legislative power of the
United Mexican States is vested in a General Congress, which shall be divided into two
chambers, one of deputies and the other of senators.
Election and Installation of Congress
Article 51. The Chamber of Deputies is
composed of representatives of the Nation, all elected every three years by the Mexican
One proprietary deputy shall be elected for each two hundred thousand inhabitants or
fraction of over one hundred thousand, according to the general census of the Federal
District and of each State and Territory; but in no case shall the representation of a
State be less than two deputies, and that of a Territory whose population is less than
that fixed by this article shall be one proprietary deputy.
Article 53. For each proprietary deputy there
shall be elected one alternate.
The election of deputies shall be direct, subject to the provisions of Article 52, and will be supplemented, in addition, by party
deputies, in both cases according to the provisions of the electoral law, and in the
latter case according to the following rules:
- Every national political party, if it obtains two and one half percent of the total vote
of the country in an election, shall have the right to five deputies from among its
candidates, and to one more, up to twenty as a maximum, for each additional one half
percent of the votes cast;
- If a party obtains a majority of the votes in twenty or more electoral districts, it
will not be entitled to party deputies, but if it is successful in less than that number
of districts, as long as it obtains the two and a half percentage referred to in the
preceding paragraph, it will be entitled to twenty deputies, including those elected
directly and those by percentage.
- These will be accredited in strict order, in accordance with the percentage of votes
they have received in relation to other candidates of the same party, throughout the
- Only national political parties that have registered in accordance with the federal
electoral law at least one year prior to election day may accredit deputies under the
terms of this article; and
- Majority deputies and party deputies, being representatives of the Nation as stated in Article 51, are of the same rank and have equal rights and
Article 55. The following are the requirements
to be a deputy:
- To be a Mexican citizen by birth, in the exercise of his rights;
- To have attained twenty-five years of age by the day of the election;
- To be a native of the State or Territory in which the election is held, or a resident
thereof with effective residence for more than six months prior to its date. Residence is
not lost by absence in the discharge of elective public office;
- Not to be in active service in the federal army nor to hold command in the police or
rural gendarmería in the district where the election is held, within at least
ninety days prior thereto;
- Not to be secretary or subsecretary of state, nor magistrate of the Supreme Court of
Justice of the Nation, unless he shall have definitively resigned from his position ninety
days before the election. The governors of the States cannot be elected in the districts
of their jurisdiction during their term of office, even though they may have definitively
resigned their position.
The secretaries of government of the States, federal magistrates and judges or those of
the States, cannot be elected in the districts of their respective jurisdictions unless
they definitively resign their position ninety days before the election;
- Not to be a minister of any religious cult; and
- Not to be subject to any of the incapacities specified in Article
Article 56. The Chamber of Senators shall be
composed of two members for each State and two for the Federal District, all directly
elected every six years.
The legislature of each State shall declare elected the person obtaining a majority of
the votes cast.
Article 57. For each proprietary senator one
alternate shall be elected.
Article 58. To be a senator the same
requisites must be met as to be a deputy except that of age, which shall be thirty-five
years of age attained by the date of the election.
Article 59. Senators and deputies to the
Congress of the Union cannot be reelected for the immediately following term.
Alternate senators and deputies may be elected for the immediately following term as
proprietaries, provided that they have not been serving (in the office of their
principals); but proprietary senators and deputies cannot be elected for the immediately
following term in the capacity of alternates.
Article 60. Each chamber shall be the judge of
the elections of its members and shall decide any questions with respect thereto. Its
decision shall be final and unimpeachable.
Article 61. Deputies and senators are
inviolable for opinions expressed by them in the discharge of their offices and shall
never be called to account for them.
Article 62. Proprietary deputies and senators,
during their terms of office, may not hold any other commission or employment of the
Federation or of the States for which they receive a salary, without prior permission from
the respective chamber; but their representative functions shall thereupon cease, while
they are holding the new position. The same rule shall apply to alternate deputies and
senators when serving (as principals). Infraction of this provision shall be punishable by
loss of the status of deputy or senator.
The chambers cannot open their sessions nor exercise their duties without the presence, in
the Senate, of two thirds, and in the Chamber of Deputies, of more than half of the total
number of members; but those present in either chamber must assemble on the day appointed
by law and compel the absentees to attend within thirty days following, with the warning
that if they do not do so it shall be understood that by that sole fact they do not accept
their office, and the alternates shall be immediately called and must present themselves
within a like period, and if they fail to do so, the postion shall be declared vacant and
a new election shall be called.
It is also understood that deputies or senators who fail to attend for ten consecutive
days, without justifiable cause or previous leave from the president of their respective
chamber, of which the chamber shall be advised, renounce their attendance until the next
period, and their alternates shall be called at once.
If there shall be no quorum to install either chamber or to exercise their functions
when once installed, the alternates shall be called immediately to present themselves
within the shortest possible time, to discharge their office until the expiration of the
thirty days above mentioned.
Anyone elected deputy or senator who does not present himself and assume the office,
without justifiable cause as determined by the respective Chamber, within the time limit
indicated in the first paragraph of this article, shall be held responsible and subject to
the sanctions prescribed by law. National political parties that have entered candidates
in an election for deputies or senators but which agree that those elected shall not
present themselves to assume office, will likewise be held responsible and punishable by
the same law.
Article 64. Deputies and senators who, without
justifiable cause or without permission of the president of the respective chamber, do not
attend a session, shall have no right to remuneration for the day on which they were
Article 65. The Congress shall meet on the
first day of September of each year in regular session, when it shall occupy itself with
the following matters:
- To audit the public accounts of the preceding year, which shall be submitted to the
Chamber of Deputies within the first ten days after the opening of the session. The audit
shall not be limited to investigation as to whether the amounts expended are or are not in
accord with the respective items of the budget, but shall extend to an examination of the
exactness and justification of the expenditures made and of any responsibilities arising
There can be no secret items other than those considered necessary because of that
character in the budget itself and which the secretaries shall employ by written order of
the President of the Republic.
- To examine, discuss, and approve the budget of the following fiscal year and to impose
the necessary taxes to cover it;
- To study, discuss, and vote on all bills which are introduced, and to decide on all
other matters which pertain to it according to this Constitution.
Article 66. The period of regular sessions
shall continue for the time necessary to dispose of all matters mentioned in the preceding
article; but it cannot be prolonged beyond December 31 of the same year.
If the two chambers are not in accord as to the termination of the sessions before the
date indicated, the President of the Republic shall decide.
Article 67. The Congress or only one of its
chambers, when a matter exclusive to it is concerned, shall meet in extraordinary sessions
whenever the Permanent Committee shall convoke them for that purpose; but in both cases
they shall occupy themselves only with the matter or matters which the said Committee
submits to their attention, which shall be stated in the respective call.
Article 68. The two chambers shall reside at
the same place and cannot remove to another unless they previously agree to the removal
and on the time and manner of so doing, designating the same place for the meeting of
both. But if the two in agreeing on removal, differ in regard to the time, manner, and
place, the Executive shall settle the difference by choosing one of the two extremes in
question. Neither chamber may suspend its sessions for more than three days without the
consent of the other.
Article 69. The President of the Republic
shall attend the opening of the regular sessions of the Congress and shall submit a
report, in writing, in which he shall indicate the general state of the administration of
the country. At the opening of extraordinary sessions of Congress, or of only one of the
chambers, the Chairman of the Permanent Committee shall report as to the motives or
reasons that led to the call.
Article 70. Every resolution of the Congress
shall have the character of a law or of a decree. The laws or decrees shall be
communicated to the Executive signed by the Presidents of both chambers and by a secretary
of each, and shall be promulgated in this form: "The Congress of the United Mexican
States decrees (Text of the law or decree)."
Introduction and Enactment of Laws
Article 71. The right to introduce laws or
- To the President of the Republic;
- To the deputies and senators of the Congress;
- To the legislatures of the States.
The bills submitted by the President of the Republic, by the legislatures of the States
or by deputations thereof shall be referred at once to Committee. Those which are
introduced by deputies or senators shall be subject to the procedure prescribed in the
regulations on debate.
Article 72. Every bill or proposed decree, the
resolution of which does not pertain exclusively to one of the chambers, shall be
discussed successively in both, the regulations on debate being observed as to form,
intervals of time, and mode of procedure in discussions and voting.
- A bill approved in the chamber of its origin shall be referred to the other for
discussion. If the latter approves it, it shall be sent to the Executive who, if he has no
objections to make, shall immediately publish it.
- Every bill shall be regarded as approved by the executive branch if it is not returned
to the chamber of its origin within ten business days; unless, during this time, the
Congress shall have adjourned or suspended its sessions, in which case the return must be
made on the first business day on which the Congress next meets.
- A bill or proposed decree rejected in whole or in part by the Executive shall be
returned, with his objections, to the chamber of origin. It must be discussed anew by the
latter, and if it is confirmed by a vote of two thirds of the total membership it shall
again be sent to the revisory chamber. If it is sanctioned by the latter by the same
majority, the bill shall become a law or decree and shall be returned to the Executive for
The voting on a law or decree shall be by roll call.
- If any bill or proposed decree is rejected in its entirety by the chamber of revision,
it shall be returned to that of its origin with the objections made by the former. If upon
examining it anew, it is approved by an absolute majority of the members present, it shall
be returned to the chamber that rejected it, which shall again consider it and if it
approves it by the same majority, it shall be sent to the Executive for the purposes of
section (a) above; but if disapproved, it cannot be again introduced in the same period of
- If a bill is rejected in part, or amended or added to by the revisory chamber, the new
discussion in the chamber of origin shall be confined to the part rejected or to the
amendments or additions, without alteration in any way of the articles approved. If the
additions or amendments made by the revisory chamber are approved by an absolute majority
of votes present in the chamber of origin, the entire bill is sent to the Executive for
the purposes indicated in section (a). If the additions or amendments made by the revisory
chamber are disapproved by a majority of the votes in the chamber of origin, they shall be
returned to the former for consideration of the reasons of the latter, and if the
amendments or additions are rejected in this second revision by an absolute majority of
votes present, the bill, insofar as it has been approved by both chambers, shall be sent
to the Executive for the purposes indicated in section (a). If the revisory chamber
insists, by an absolute majority of votes present, upon such amendments or additions, the
entire bill shall not be again presented until the following period of sessions unless
both chambers agree, by an absolute majority of their members present, that the law or
decree be issued only with the approved articles, and those added or amended shall be
reserved for examination and vote at the following sessions.
- In the interpretation, amendment, or repeal of laws or decrees, the same procedure shall
be followed as that established for their enactment.
- Every bill or proposed decree which is rejected in the chamber of its origin, cannot be
again introduced in the sessions of that year.
- The enactment of laws or decrees may commence in either of the two chambers, without
distinction, with the exception of bills dealing with loans, taxes, or imposts, or with
the recruiting of troops, all of which must be discussed first in the Chamber of Deputies.
- Bills or proposed decrees shall preferentially be discussed in the chamber in which they
are introduced, unless one month elapses since they were sent to the reporting committee
without a report being made, in which case the bill may be discussed in the other chamber.
- The Federal Executive cannot offer objections to the resolutions of the Congress or of
either chamber, when they exercise functions of an electoral body or of a jury, nor when
the Chamber of Deputies declares that a high functionary of the Federation should be
impeached for official crimes.
Neither may he do so in regard to a decree of convocation to extraordinary sessions
issued by the Permanent Committee.
Powers of Congress
Article 73. The Congress has the power:
- To admit new States and Territories into the Federal Union;
- To erect the Territories into States when they shall have a population of eighty
thousand inhabitants and the resources necessary to provide for their political existence;
- To form new States within the boundaries of existing ones, for which purpose it shall be
- That the section or sections seeking to be made a State shall have a population of at
least one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants.
- That it be proven before Congress that they possess the resources necessary to provide
for their political existence.
- That the legislatures of the States involved be heard as to the feasibility or
infeasibility of the formation of the new State, and they shall be required to render
their report within six months from the date that the respective communication was
submitted to them.
- That the Executive of the Federation likewise be heard, who shall transmit his report
within seven days from the date on which it was requested of him.
- That the creation of the new State be adopted by a vote of two thirds of the deputies
and senators present in their respective chambers.
- That the resolution of the Congress be ratified by a majority of the legislatures of the
States, with a copy of the record before them, provided that the legislatures of the
States whose territory is involved have given their consent.
- If the legislatures of the States whose territory is involved have not given their
consent, the ratification mentioned in the foregoing section must be given by two thirds
of the legislatures of the other States.
- To arrange permanently the boundaries of the States, settling any differences that may
arise between them in regard to the demarcation of their respective territories, except
when these differences may be of a contentious character.
- To change the seat of the supreme powers of the Federation.
- To legislate on all matters concerning the Federal District and Territories, subject to
the following bases:
- The government of the Federal District shall be entrusted to the President of the
Republic, who shall exercise it through the organ or organs that are prescribed by law.
- The government of the Territories shall be entrusted to governors who shall depend
directly on the President of the Republic, who shall freely appoint and remove them.
The Territories shall be divided into Municipalities, which shall have a land area and
number of inhabitants sufficient to be able maintain themselves on their own resources and
contribute to their ordinary expenditures. Each Municipality in the Territories shall be
entrusted to an ayuntamiento elected by direct popular vote.
- The governors of the Territories shall communicate with the President of the Republic
through such channels as are specified by law.
- (23) Appointments of the magistrates of the superior
court of justice of the Federal District and of the Territories shall be made by the
President of the Republic and submitted for the approval of the Chamber of Deputies, which
shall grant or refuse such approval within a period of ten days, without extension. If the
Chamber does not act within such time, the appointments shall be considered approved.
Without the approval of the Chamber, the magistrates appointed by the President of the
Republic cannot take possession. In the event that the Chamber of Deputies does not
approve two successive appointments with respect to the same vacancy, the President of the
Republic shall make a third appointment) which shall be effective at once, as provisional,
and which shall be submitted to the approval of the Chamber at the following regular
period of sessions. At this period of sessions, within the first ten days' the Chamber
must approve or disapprove the appointment, and if it approved it, or makes no decision,
the magistrate appointed provisionally shall continue to serve permanently. If the Chamber
rejects the appointment, the provisional magistrate shall cease to function at once, and
the President of the Republic shall submit a new appointment for the approval of the
Chamber, under the terms indicated.
In cases of temporary inability of magistrates to act for more than three months, they
shall be replaced by appointments which the President of the Republic shall submit to the
approval of the Chamber of Deputies, and during its adjournment, to that of the Permanent
Committee, in either instance by observing the provisions of the preceding clauses.
In cases of temporary inability which do not exceed three months, the Organic Law shall
determine the manner of making the substitution. If a magistrate should cease to act
because of death, resignation, or incapacity, the President of the Republic shall submit a
new appointment for the approval of the Chamber of Deputies. If the Chamber is not in
session, the Permanent Committee shall give provisional approval, until the Chamber meets
and gives final approval.
The judges of first instance, and the minor and correctional judges of the Federal
District and the Territories, shall be appointed by the supreme court of justice of the
Federal District; they must have the qualifications which the law prescribes and shall be
replaced during their temporary inability to act, in the manner provided by law.
The remuneration which magistrates and judges receive for their services cannot be
decreased during their terms of office.
The magistrates and judges to whom this basis refers, shall continue in office for six
years; but they may be removed from their positions when guilty of bad conduct, in
accordance with the final part of Article 111 or after
corresponding action for responsibility.(24)
- The public ministry in the Federal District and in the Territories shall be in charge of
an attorney general (Procurador General), who shall reside in Mexico City, and such number
of agents as shall be determined by law; and he shall depend directly on the President of
the Republic, who may freely appoint and remove him.
- To levy the necessary taxes to cover the Budget.
- (25) To fix the bases upon which the President of the
Republic may borrow on the credit of the Nation; to approve such loans and to acknowledge
and order payment of the national debt. No loan may be effected except for the
construction of works which directly produce an increase in the public revenues unless for
purposes of currency regulation, conversion operations or loans contracted during some
emergency declared by the President of the Republic within the terms of Article 29.
- (26) To prevent the establishment of restrictions on
commerce from State to State.
- (27) To legislate throughout the Republic on
hydrocarbons, mining, the motion picture industry, commerce, games of chance and
lotteries, credit institutions, and electric power, to establish a single bank of issue
under the provisions of Article 28 of the Constitution and to
enact labor laws regulating Article 123 of this Constitution.
- To create and abolish public offices of the Federation and to fix, increase, or decrease
- To declare war, in the light of information submitted by the Executive.
- (28) To enact laws pursuant to which captures on sea and
land must be declared good or bad; and to enact maritime laws applicable in peace and war.
- To raise and maintain the armed forces of the Union, to wit: army, navy and air force,
and to regulate their organization and service.
- To prescribe regulations for the purpose of organizing, arming, and disciplining the
national guard, reserving to the citizens who compose it the appointment of their
respective commanders and officers, and to the States the power of training them in
accordance with the discipline prescribed by such regulations.
- To enact laws in regard to nationality, the legal status of foreigners, citizenship,
naturalization, colonization, emigration and immigration, and the general health of the
- The General Health Council shall depend directly upon the President of the Republic,
without the intervention of any Secretariat of State, and its general provisions shall be
compulsory throughout the country.
- In case of serious epidemics or danger of invasion of the country by exotic diseases,
the Department of Health shall be required to dictate immediately the necessary preventive
measures, subject to subsequent approval by the President of the Republic.
- The health authority shall be executive and its provisions shall be obeyed by the
administrative authorities of the country.
- The measures which the Council shall have put into effect in the campaign against
alcoholism and the sale of substances which poison the individual and degenerate the race
shall afterwards be examined by the Congress of the Union, in cases within its competency.
- To enact laws concerning general means of communication, and in regard to posts and post
offices; to enact laws on the use and utilization of waters under federal jurisdiction.
- To establish mints, fix the standards of coins and coinage, to determine the value of
foreign currencies, and to adopt a general system of weights and measures.
- To establish rules for the occupation and alienation of vacant lands and fix their
- To enact laws for the organization of the Mexican Diplomatic Corps and Consular Corps.
- To define crimes and offenses against the Federation and to prescribe the punishments to
be imposed for them.
- To grant amnesties for crimes within the jurisdiction of the federal courts.
- To prescribe its own rules and adopt necessary measures to enforce the attendance of
absent deputies and senators, and to correct the offenses or omissions of those present.
- To enact the organic law governing the Auditor General's Office (Contaduría Mayor).
- (29)To establish, organize, end maintain throughout the
Republic rural, elementary, superior, secondary, and professional schools, and schools for
scientific research, of fine arts, and of technical training; practical schools of
agriculture and mining, of arts and crafts, museums, libraries, observatories, and other
institutions concerning the general culture of the inhabitants of the Nation, and to
legislate on all matters relating to such institutions; to legislate on matters concerning
archeological, artistic, and historic monuments, the conservation of which is of national
interest; and also to enact laws designed to distribute feasibly between the Federation,
the States, and Municipalities the exercise of the educative function and the
appropriations corresponding to this public service, seeking to unify and coordinate
education throughout the Republic. The diplomas issued by the aforementioned
establishments shall be valid throughout the Republic.
- To grant leave of absence to the President of the Republic, and to constitute itself as
an electoral college and designate the citizen who is to replace the President of the
Republic, as either an interim or provisional substitute, under the terms of Articles 84 and 85 of this Constitution.
- To accept the resignation from office of the President of the Republic .
- To examine the account which the executive branch must submit to it annually, which
examination must include not only conformity of the items expended within the budget of
expenditures, but also the correctness and justification of such items
- (30) To levy taxes:
- On foreign commerce.
- On the utilization and exploitation of natural resources included in paragraphs 4 and 5
of Article 27.
- On institutions of credit and insurance companies.
- On public services under concession or operated directly by the Federation.
- Special taxes on:
- Electric power
- Production and consumption of processed tobacco
- Gasoline and other products derived from petroleum
- Matches and "cerillos"
- Maguey and its fermented products
- Forestry exploitation
- Production and consumption of beer(31)
Federal entitites shall share in the revenues from these special taxes in the
proportion fixed by secondary federal law. The local legislatures shall fix the percentage
corresponding to the Municipalities from revenues obtained from the tax on electric power.
- To enact all laws that may be necessary to enforce the foregoing powers, and all others
granted by this Constitution to the branches of the Union.
Article 74. The exclusive powers of the
Chamber of Deputies are:
- To constitute itself as an electoral college in order to exercise the powers assigned to
it by law with respect to the election of the President of the Republic .
- To supervise, through a committee drawn from its body, the correct performance of the
functions of the Auditor General's Office.
- To appoint the chiefs and other employees of that office.
- To approve the annual budget of expenditures, after first discussing the taxes which, in
its judgment, must be levied to cover it.
- To take cognizance of accusations against public officials mentioned in this
Constitution, for official crimes, and in proper cases to present impeachment before the
Chamber of Senators; and to constitute itself as a grand jury in order to decide whether
or not to proceed against any of the public officials who enjoy constitutional
prerogative, when they are accused of common crimes.
- To grant or refuse its approval of appointments of magistrates of the superior court of
justice of the Federal District and of the Territories, submitted to it by the President
of the Republic.
- To declare justified or unjustified the petitions for removal of judicial authorities
made by the President of the Republic, under the terms of the final part of Article 111.
- Any others which this Constitution expressly confers upon it.
Article 75. The Chamber of Deputies, upon
approving the budget of expenditures, may not fail to fix the remuneration which
corresponds to an office which is established by law; and in the event that for any reason
it fails to fix such remuneration, the amount fixed in the previous budget or in the law
which established the office shall be understood to be designated.
Article 76. The exclusive powers of the Senate
- To approve the treaties and diplomatic conventions made by the President of the Republic
with foreign powers.
- To ratify the appointments which said official makes of ministers, diplomatic agents,
consuls general, superior employees of the Treasury, colonels and other superior chiefs of
the national army, navy and air force, in accordance with provisions of law.(32)
- To authorize him also to permit the departure of national troops beyond the borders of
the country, the passage of foreign troops through the national territory, and the sojourn
of squadrons of other powers for more than one month in Mexican waters.
- To give its consent for the President of the Republic to order the national guard
outside of its respective States or Territories, fixing the necessary force.
- To declare, whenever the constitutional powers of a State have disappeared, that the
condition has arisen for appointing a provisional governor, who shall call elections in
accordance with the constitutional laws of the said State. The appointment of a governor
shall be made by the Senate from a list of three proposed by the President of the
Republic, with the approval of two thirds of the members present, and during adjournments,
by the Permanent Committee, according to the same rules. The official thus appointed
cannot be elected constitutional governor in the elections held pursuant to the call which
he issues. This provision shall govern whenever the constitution of a State does not make
provision for such cases.
- To settle political questions which may arise between the powers of a State, whenever
any of them shall apply to the Senate for the purpose, or whenever, by reason of such
questions, the constitutional order shall be interrupted through a conflict of arms. In
this event the Senate shall declare its decision, subjecting itself to the general
Constitution of the Republic and to that of the State.
The law shall regulate the exercise of this and of the foregoing powers.
- To constitute itself as a grand jury to take cognizance of official crimes of the
officials which this Constitution expressly designates.
- To grant or deny its approval of the appointments of ministers of the Supreme Court of
Justice of the Nation, and of requests for leaves of absence and of the resignations of
these officials, which the President of the Republic may submit to it.
- To declare justified or not justified petitions for removal of judicial authorities made
by the President of the Republic, under the provisions of the final part of Article 111.
- Any others which this Constitution may assign to it.
Article 77. Each of the chambers, without the
intervention of the other, may:
- Dictate economic resolutions relating to its internal organization.
- Communicate with the co-legislative chamber and with the Executive of the Union, through
committees of its own body.
- Appoint the employees of its secretariat and prescribe the internal regulations thereof.
- Issue a call for extraordinary elections for the purpose of filling vacancies of its
The Permanent Committee
Article 78. During the adjournment of Congress
there shall be a Permanent Committee composed of twenty-nine members, of whom fifteen
shall be deputies and fourteen senators, named by their respective chambers on the eve of
the close of the sessions.
Article 79. The Permanent Committee, in
addition to the powers which this Constitution expressly confers upon it, shall have the
- To give its consent for the use of the national guard, in the cases mentioned in Article 76, section IV.
- To administer the affirmation or oath of office (protesta) of the President of the
Republic, the members of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, and of the
magistrates of the Federal District and Territories, if the latter officials should be in
- (33) To decide on matters within its competence; during
the adjournment of the Congress of the Union, to receive the bills introduced and
proposals addressed to the chambers and turn them over for action in the committees of the
chamber to which they are addressed, so that they may be acted upon at the next period of
- To issue on its own motion or on the proposal of the Executive, the convocation of the
Congress or of a single chamber to extraordinary sessions, in both cases the vote of two
thirds of the individuals present being necessary. The call shall set forth the purpose or
purposes of the extraordinary sessions.
- To grant or deny its approval of appointments of ministers of the Supreme Court and
magistrates of the superior court of justice of the Federal District and of the
territories, and also of requests for leaves of absence of the ministers of the court
which the President of the Republic may submit to it.
- To grant a leave of absence for thirty days to the President of the Republic and to
appoint a President ad interim during such absence.
- (34) To ratify the appointments made by the President of
the Republic as ministers, diplomatic agents, consuls general, higher employees of the
Treasury, colonels and other higher ranks of the national army, navy, and air force, in
accordance with provisions of law.
The Executive Branch
Article 80. The exercise of the supreme
executive power of the Union is vested in a single individual who is designated
"President of the United Mexican States."
Article 81. The election of the President
shall be direct and under the terms prescribed by the Electoral Law.
Article 82. In order to be President it is
- To be a Mexican citizen by birth, in the full enjoyment of his rights, and the son of
Mexican parents by birth.
- To have attained 35 years of age at the time of the election.
- To have resided in the country during the entire year prior to the day of the election.
- Not to possess ecclesiastic status nor be a minister of any cult.
- Not to be in active service, in case of belonging to the army, within six months prior
to the day of the election.(35)
- Not to be a Secretary or Subsecretary of State, chief or secretary general of an
administrative department, Attorney General of the Republic, nor the governor of any State
or Territory, unless he shall have resigned such position six months prior to the day of
- Not to be included within any of the grounds for incapacity indicated in Article 83.
Article 83. The President shall assume the
duties of office on the first of December for a term of six years. A citizen who has held
the office of President of the Republic, by popular election or by appointment as ad
interim, provisional, or substitute President, can in no case and for no reason again hold
Article 84. In the event of the absolute
disability of the President of the Republic, occurring during the first two years of his
term, if the Congress is in session, it shall immediately constitute itself as an
electoral college, and if there is at least two thirds of the total membership present, it
shall name by secret ballot, and by an absolute majority of votes, an interim President;
the same Congress shall issue, within ten days following the designation of the interim
President, a call for the election of a President to complete the respective term; between
the date of the call and that designated for holding the election, there must be an
interval of not less than fourteen months nor more than eighteen.
If the Congress is not in session, the Permanent Committee shall immediately name a
provisional President and shall call Congress in extraordinary session in order that it,
in turn, may designate an interim President and issue the call for presidential elections
as indicated in the preceding paragraph.
When the disability of the President occurs within the last four years of his term, if
the Congress is in session, it shall designate a substitute President to complete the
term; if the Congress is not in session, the Permanent Committee shall name a provisional
President and shall convoke the Congress in extraordinary session in order that it may
constitute itself into an electoral college and elect the s ub stitute Pr e s ident.
Article 85. If at the commencement of a
constitutional period the President-elect does not present himself, or if the elections
have not been held and the results declared on December first, the President whose term
has ended shall nevertheless cease to function, and at once the executive power shall be
entrusted to an individual whom the Congress shall designate as interim President, or if
Congress is not in session, to an individual whom the Permanent Committee shall designate
as provisional President; proceeding according to the provisions of the preceding article.
When the disability of the President is temporary, the Congress, if in session, or if
not, the Permanent Committee, shall designate an interim President to function during the
period of the disability.
When the disability is for more than thirty days and the Congress is not in session,
the Permanent Committee shall convoke an extraordinary session of the Congress in order
that it may decide upon the leave of absence, or as the case may be, name an interim
If the temporary disability becomes absolute, the procedure described in the preceding
article shall be observed.
Article 86. The office of President of the
Republic can be resigned only for grave cause, which shall be passed upon by the Congress
of the Union, to which the resignation must be presented.
Article 87. The President, upon taking
possession of his office, shall make before the Congress of the Union, or if in
adjournment before the Permanent Committee, the following affirmation: "I solemnly
promise that I will observe and enforce the Political Constitution of the United Mexican
States and the laws enacted in pursuance thereof, and that I will discharge loyally and
patriotically the office of President of the Republic which the people have conferred upon
me, in all ways looking to the welfare and prosperity of the Union; and if I do not do so
may the Nation demand it of me."
The President of the Republic may not absent himself from the national territory without
the permission of the Congress of the Union or of the Permanent Committee, as the case may
Article 89. The powers and duties of the
President are the following:
- To promulgate and execute the laws enacted by the Congress of the Union, providing for
their exact enforcement in the administrative sphere.
- To appoint and remove freely the secretaries of the Government, the Attorney General of
the Republic, the governor of the Federal District and the governors of the Territories,
the attorney general of the Federal District and Territories, to remove diplomatic agents
and superior employees of the Treasury, and to appoint and remove freely all other
employees of the Union whose appointment or removal is not otherwise provided for in the
Constitution or by law.
- To appoint ministers, diplomatic agents, and consuls general, with the approval of the
- To appoint, with the approval of the Senate, the colonels and other superior officers of
the army, navy, and air force, and the superior employees of the Treasury.
- To appoint the other officers of the army, navy, and air force, as provided by law.
- (37) To dispose of the permanent armed forces, including
the land army, the marine navy and the air force for internal security and exterior
defense of the Federation.
- To dispose of the national guard for the same purposes, under the terms indicated in
section IV of Article 76.
- To declare war in the name of the United Mexican States, pursuant to a previous law of
the Congress of the Union.
- (38) Deleted.
- To direct diplomatic negotiations and make treaties with foreign powers, submitting them
to the ratification of the federal Congress.
- To convoke the Congress in extraordinary session when the Permanent Committee so
- To give to the judicial branch whatever assistance it may need for the expeditious
exercise of its functions.
- To open all classes of ports, establish maritime and frontier custom houses, and
designate their location.
- To grant, according to law, pardons to criminals convicted of crimes within the
jurisdiction of the federal courts, and to those convicted of common crimes in the Federal
District and Territories.
- To grant exclusive privileges, for a limited time, in accordance with the respective
law, to discoverers, inventors, or improvers in any branch of industry.
- (39) When the Chamber of Senators is not in session, the
President of the Republic may make the appointments mentioned in sections III and IV, with
the approval of the Permanent Committee.
- To appoint magistrates of the Superior Court of Justice of the Federal District and of
the Territories and submit the appointments to the approval of the Chamber of Deputies, or
to the Permanent Committee, as the case may be.
- To appoint the ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice and submit such appointments,
leaves of absence, and resignations, to the approval of the Chamber of Senators, or to the
Permanent Committee, as the case may be.
- To request the removal, for bad conduct, of the judicial authorities referred to in the
final part of Article 111.
- And all other expressly conferred on him by this Constitution.
Article 90. For the dispatch of the
administrative business of the Federations there shall be the number of secretaries that
the Congress shall establish by law, which shall distribute the business to be entrusted
to each Secretariat.
Article 91. To be a secretary it is required
to be a Mexican citizen by birth, to be in exercise of his rights, and be at least thirty
years of age.
Article 92. All regulations, decrees, and
orders of the President must be signed by the secretary (Secretario del Despacho) in
charge of the branch (of administration) to which the matter pertains, and without this
requisite they shall not be obeyed. The regulations, decrees, and orders of the President
relating to the government of the Federal District and to the administrative departments,
shall be sent directly by the President to the governor of the District and to the chief
of the respective department.
Article 93. The secretaries (del Despacho), as
soon as the regular period of sessions is opened, shall give a report to the Congress on
the state of their respective branches. Either of the Chambers may summon the secretaries
of state for information, whenever a law is under discussion or a matter is being studied
relating to their secretariat.
The Judicial Branch
The judicial power of the Federation is vested in a Supreme Court of Justice, in circuit
courts, as a body in matters of amparo and as single judges in matters of appeal,
and in district courts. The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation shall consist of
twenty-one ministers and shall function as a full court (en tribunal pleno) or divided
into sections (salas). There shall also be five supernumerary ministers. Hearings of the
full court or of the sections shall be public, with the exception of cases in which morals
or the public interest require secrecy. The terms of sessions of the Supreme Court, as a
full court or in sections, the powers and duties of the supernumerary ministers, and the
number and jurisdiction of the circuit courts and district judges shall be governed by
this Constitution and by provisions of law. In no case shall the supernumerary ministers
sit in the full court. The remuneration received for their services by the ministers of
the Supreme Court, by the circuit magistrates and by the district judges may not be
reduced during their term of office.
The ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice may be removed from office whenever they
are guilty of bad conduct, in accordance with the final part of Article
111, after judgment of their corresponding liability.
Article 95. To be elected minister of the
Supreme Court of Justice, it is necessary:
- To be a Mexican citizen by birth, in full exercise of political and civil rights.
- Not to be over sixty-five nor less than thirty-five years of age on the day of the
- To have held on the day of the election the professional degree of lawyer for a minimum
of five years, issued by an authority or corporation legally empowered to do so.
- To enjoy a good reputation and not to have been convicted of a crime punishable by
imprisonment of more than one year; but if it concerned robbery, fraud, forgery, abuse of
confidence or other crime which seriously injures good fame as conceived by the public, he
shall be disqualified for the office whatever the penalty may have been.
- To have resided in the country during the last five years, except in case of absence in
the service of the Republic for a period of less than six months.
Article 96. Appointments of the ministers of
the Supreme Court shall be made by the President of the Republic and submitted to the
approval of the Chamber of Senators, which shall grant or deny approval within the
unalterable period of ten days. If the Chamber fails to decide within that time, the
appointments shall be considered as approved Without the approval of the Senate, the
magistrates of the Supreme Court named by the President of the Republic cannot take
office. In the event that the Chamber of Senators does not approve two successive
nominations for the same vacancy, the President of the Republic shall make a third
appointment, which shall become effective at once as provisional, and which shall be
submitted to the said Chamber at the following regular period of sessions At such period
of sessions, within the first ten days, the Senate must approve or disapprove the
appointment, and if it approves it, or takes no decision, the magistrate appointed
provisionally shall continue in office permanently. If the Senate rejects the appointment,
the provisional minister shall cease to act and the President of the Republic shall submit
a new appointment to the approval of the Senate, in the manner indicated.
Article 97. The circuit magistrates and
district judges shall be appointed by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, shall
have the qualifications which the law requires' and shall hold office for four years, at
the expiration of which, if they are reelected or elevated to a higher position, they may
be removed from office only if guilty of bad conduct, in accordance with the final part of
Article 111 or after judgment of their corresponding liability.
The Supreme Court of Justice may also change the seat of the district judges,
transferring them from one district to another, or fixing their residence in another town,
as it may deem convenient for better public service. The same may be done with respect to
The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation may also appoint supernumerary circuit
magistrates and district judges to assist in the work of the courts and tribunals where
there is an excess of business, in order to provide for prompt and expeditious
administration of justice; and it shall appoint one or more of its members, or some
district judge or circuit magistrate, or designate one or more special commissioners, when
deemed advisable, or if the federal Executive, or one of the chambers of Congress, or the
governor of a State so requests, solely to investigate the conduct of any federal judge or
magistrate, or any act or acts which may constitute a violation of any individual
guarantee, or the violation of the public election, or some other crime punishable by
The circuit courts and district courts shall be distributed among the ministers of the
Supreme Court, who shall visit them periodically, observe the conduct of the magistrates
and judges presiding over them, hear complaints presented against such officials, and
perform any other duties prescribed by law. The Supreme Court of Justice may freely
appoint and remove its clerk and any other employees serving it, with strict observance of
the appropriate law. In the same way, the circuit magistrates and district judges shall
appoint and remove their respective clerks and employees.
The Supreme Court of Justice shall designate each year one of its members as president,
with the right of reelection.
Each minister of the Supreme Court of Justice' on assuming office, shall affirm before
the Senate, or before the Permanent Committee if the former is in adjournment, in the
President: "Do you solemnly promise that you will discharge loyally and
patriotically the office of Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation which
has been conferred upon you, and that you will observe and enforce the Political
Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws enacted in pursuance thereof, in
all ways looking to the welfare and prosperity of the Union?"
Minister: "Yes, I promise. "
President: "If you fail to do so, may the Nation call you to account. "
The circuit magistrates and district judges shall make their affirmation before the
Supreme Court or before an authority designated by law.
A minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation who is temporarily absent from
office, for a period not exceeding one month, shall be replaced in the corresponding
section by a supernumerary. If the absence exceeds that period, the President of the
Republic shall submit the appointment of a provisional minister to the approval of the
Senate, or if adjourned, to the Permanent Committee, observing in each case the provisions
of the final part of Article 96.
In the event of the death, resignation, or incapacity of a minister, the President of
the Republic shall submit a new appointment to the approval of the Senate. If the Senate
is not in session, the Permanent Committee shall give its approval, until the former meets
to give definitive approval.
Article 99. Resignations of ministers of the
Supreme Court of Justice may be submitted only for serious reasons; they shall be
submitted to the Executive, and if he accepts them they shall be sent to the Senate for
approval, or if adjourned to the Permanent Committee.
Article 100. Leaves of absence of ministers,
when they do not exceed one month, shall be granted by the Supreme Court of Justice of the
Nation; those that exceed that time shall be granted by the President of the Republic,
with the approval of the Senate, or during its adjournment, of the Permanent Committee.
Article 101. The ministers of the Supreme
Court of Justice, the circuit magistrates, the district judges, and their respective
clerks may not in any case accept and hold employment or office of the Federation, the
States, or of a private nature, except honorary positions in scientific, literary, or
charitable associations. Violation of this provision shall be punishable by loss of
The law shall organize a public ministry of the Federation, the officials of which shall
be appointed and removed by the Executive, in accordance with the respective law, and
which shall be presided over by an attorney general (Procurador General) who shall have
the same qualifications as those required to be a magistrate of the Supreme Court of
The prosecution before the courts of all federal offenses shall be the duty of the
public ministry of the Federation; and, therefore, it shall request orders of arrest for
offenders; procure and present evidence as to their liability; see that trials are
conducted with due regularity in order that the administration of justice may be prompt
and efficient; request the imposition of sentence; and intervene in all matters that the
law may determine.
The Attorney General of the Republic shall personally intervene in all matters in which
the Federation is a party; in cases affecting ministers, diplomats, and consuls general,
and in those that arise between two or more States of the Union, between one State and the
Federation, or between the powers of one State. The Attorney General may intervene in
person or through one of his agents in other cases where the intervention of the public
ministry of the Federation is necessary.
The Attorney General shall be the legal counselor of the Government. Both he and his
agents shall strictly obey the provisions of law, being responsible for every offense,
omission, or violation that they may incur in the discharge of their duties.
Article 103. The federal courts shall decide
all controversies that arise:
- Out of law or acts of the authorities that violate individual guarantees.
- Because of laws or acts of the federal authority restricting or encroaching on the
sovereignty of the States.
- Because of laws or acts of State authorities that invade the sphere of federal
Article 104. The federal courts shall have
- All controversies of a civil or criminal nature that arise from the enforcement and
application of federal laws or from treaties made with foreign powers. Whenever such
controversies affect only the interests of private parties, the regular local judges and
courts of the States, or the Federal District and Territories may also assume
jurisdiction, at the election of the plaintiff. Judgments of the courts of first instance
may be appealed to the next higher court above that in which the case was first heard.
In cases in which the Federation is interested, the laws may provide for appeals to the
Supreme Court of Justice against judgments in second instance or against those of
administrative courts created by federal law, provided that such courts are granted full
autonomy to render their decisions.(42)
- All controversies that involve admiralty law.
- Those in which the Federation is a party.
- Those that arise between two or more States, or one State and the Federation, and those
that arise between courts of the Federal District and those of the Federation or a State.
- Those that arise between a State and one or more residents of another State.
- All cases that involve members of the diplomatic and consular corps.
Article 105. The Supreme Court of Justice of
the Nation has exclusive jurisdiction in all controversies that arise between two or more
States, between the powers of one State concerning the constitutionality of their acts,
and in disputes between the Federation and one or more States, and all those in which the
Federation is a party.
Article 106. The Supreme Court of Justice
shall likewise have the power to settle questions of jurisdiction that arise between
courts of the Federation, between the latter and State courts, or between the courts of
one State and those of another.
All controversies mentioned in Article 103 shall be subject to
the legal forms and procedure prescribed by law, on the following bases:
- A trial in amparo shall always be held at the instance of the injured party.
- The judgment shall always be such that it affects only private individuals, being
limited to affording them redress and protection in the special case to which the
complaint refers, without making any general declaration as to the law or act on which the
complaint is based.
A defect in the complaint may be corrected, whenever the act complained of is based on
laws declared unconstitutional by previous decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice.
A defect in the complaint may also be corrected in criminal matters and in behalf of
workers in labor disputes, when it is found that there has been a manifest violation of
the law against the injured party who is left without defense, and in criminal matters,
likewise, when the trial has been based on a law not precisely applicable to the case.
In trials in amparo which contest acts that resulted or could result in
depriving ejidos or population groups, or members of an ejido or
communal holders having a de facto or de jure communal status, from ownership or
possession and enjoyment of their lands, waters, pastures, and woodlands, defects in the
complaint must be corrected as provided in regulations; and there shall be no abandonment,
discontinuance due to inactivity, or lapse of the legal action, if the rights of ejidos
or communal population groups are affected.(44)
- In judicial civil, criminal, or labor matters a writ of amparo shall be granted
- Against final judgments or awards against which no ordinary recourse is available by
virtue of which these judgments can be modified or amended, whether the violation of the
law is committed in the judgments or awards, or whether, if committed during the course of
the trial, the violation prejudices the petitioner's defense to the extent of affecting
the judgment; provided that in civil or criminal judicial matters opportune objection and
protest were made against it because of refusal to rectify the wrong and that if (the
violation) was committed in first instance, it was urged in second instance as a
- Against acts at the trial, the execution of which would be irreparable out of court, or
at the conclusion of the trial once all available recourses have been exhausted.
- Against acts that affect persons who are strangers to the trial.
- In administrative matters, amparo may be invoked against decisions which cause
an injury that cannot be remedied through any legal recourse, trial, or defense. It shall
not be necessary to exhaust these remedies when the law that established them, in
authorizing the suspension of the contested act, demand greater requirements than the
regulatory law for trials in amparo requires as a condition for ordering such
- Except as provided in the following section, a writ of amparo against final
decisions or awards, for violations committed therein shall be applied for directly to the
Supreme Court of Justice, which shall render its decision without other evidence than the
original complaint, a certified copy of the claims of the aggrieved party, which shall be
added to those made by the third party affected, the latter's complaint submitted either
by the Attorney General of the Republic or his designated agent, and that of the
- A writ of amparo against final decision or awards shall be applied for directly
to the Full Circuit Court (Tribunal Colegiado de Circuito) within whose jurisdiction is
the domicile of the authority who pronounced the decision or award, whenever the complaint
is based on substantial violations committed during the course of the trial or on civil or
criminal judgments against which there is no recourse of appeal, regardless of what such
alleged violations may be.
Whenever a writ of amparo is sought against final civil or criminal judgments
or awards relating to labor matters, based on alleged substantial violations committed
during the course of the trial or violations contained in the judgment or award, it must
be invoked jointly for all such allegations, submitting the writ to the appropriate full
circuit court, which shall render a decision solely with respect to the substantial
violations during the trial, and if the judgment is unfavorable to the aggrieved party,
shall remit the case to the Supreme Court of Justice to decide on the violations committed
in the judgment or award.
As to the application and procedure in amparo cases before the full circuit
court, the provisions of the preceding section shall be observed. When this procedure has
been completed, a judgment shall be rendered according to the procedure prescribed by law.
- When a writ of amparo is sought against acts at the trial, outside the trial or
after its conclusion, or if persons foreign to the case are affected, against laws or
against acts of administrative authorities, application shall be made to the district
judge in whose jurisdiction is located the place in which the act in question was
performed or was to be performed, and the procedure shall be limited to the report from
the authority in question, to a hearing to which a single summons will include the order
for submission of the report and for evidence to be presented by the interested parties
and their allegations, the judgment to be rendered at this same hearing.
- Judgments in amparo rendered by district judges are subject to review. The
Supreme Court of Justice will review such judgments in the following cases:
- When a law is impugned as unconstitutional or if any of the cases included in sections
II and III of Article 103 are concerned.
- Whenever the responsible authority against whom amparo is granted is a federal
- Whenever, in criminal cases, merely the violation of Article 22
of this Constitution is alleged.
In all other cases the review will be made by a full circuit court and their decisions
may not be appealed.
- Decisions in direct amparo rendered by a full circuit court may not be appealed
unless the decision involves the unconstitutionality of a law or establishes a direct
interpretation of a provision of the Constitution, in which case it may be appealed to the
Supreme Court of Justice, limited exclusively to the decision of actual constitutional
A decision of a full circuit court may not be appealed if it is based on a precedent
established by the Supreme Court of Justice as to the constitutionality of a law or the
direct interpretation of a provision of the Constitution.
- Contested acts may be subject to suspension in those cases and under conditions and
guarantees specified by law, with respect to which account shall be taken of the nature of
the alleged violation, the difficulty of remedying the damages that might be incurred by
the aggrieved party by its performance, and damages that the suspension might cause to
third parties and the public interest.
A suspension must be granted with respect to final judgments in criminal matters at the
time notice is given of the application for a writ of amparo, and in civil
matters when bond is posted by the complainant to cover liability for damages occasioned
by the suspension, but this is waived if the other party gives bond (contrafianza) to
ensure restoration of things as they were if amparo is granted and to pay
- The suspension shall be requested from the responsible authority, in the case of direct amparo
before the Supreme Court of Justice or the full circuit court, in which case the aggrieved
party shall notify the responsible authority, within the period fixed by law and under
affirmation to tell the truth, of the claim for amparo, accompanied by two
copies, one for use in the case and the other to be transmitted to the opposing party. In
other cases, decisions as to suspension shall be made by the district courts.
- Violation of the guarantees set forth in Article 16, in
criminal matters, and Articles 19 and 20
may be taken before the court above the one where it was committed, or before the
appropriate district judge, and in either case the decision shall be rendered in
accordance with the terms prescribed in section VIII.
If the district judge resides in the same place as the responsible authority, the law
shall specify the judge before whom the writ of amparo is to be presented, and
that judge may provisionally suspend the act in question, in those cases and under the
terms established in the same law.
- The law shall specify the terms and cases in which the precedents of the courts of the
federal judicial branch are binding, as well as the requirements for their modification.
If the full circuit courts sustain contradictory opinions in amparo cases
within their jurisdiction, the ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Attorney
General of the Republic, or those courts, may denounce the contradiction before the
appropriate section, to decide which opinion shall prevail.
When the sections of the Supreme Court of Justice sustain contradictory opinions in
cases of amparo within their jurisdiction, any one section or the Attorney
General of the Republic may denounce the contradiction before the Supreme Court of
Justice, which, sitting as a full court, shall decide which opinion shall prevail. Both in
this instance and in the case provided for in the preceding paragraph, the decision
rendered shall be solely for the effect of fixing the precedent and shall not affect the
concrete juridical situation deriving from contradictory judgments in the case in which
they were rendered.
- When the contested act originated with civil or administrative authorities, and provided
that the constitutionality of a law is not involved, proceedings will be discontinued by
inactivity of the aggrieved party in those cases and according to terms indicated in the
law regulating this article.
- The Attorney General of the Republic or an agent of the federal public ministry
appointed for the purpose, shall be a party in all suits in amparo, but they may
abstain from intervening in such cases, if the matter in question lacks public interest,
in their opinion.
- If after amparo is granted, the responsible official persists in repetition of
the contested act or attempts to evade the decision of the federal authority, he shall be
immediately removed from office and taken before the appropriate District Judge.
- The responsible authority will be taken before the appropriate authority whenever he
fails to suspend the act when bound to do so, and when he posts bond that is invalid or
insufficient, and in such cases the responsible authority and bondsman are jointly and
- Bailiffs and jailers who do not receive an authorized copy of the order of imprisonment
of an arrested person within the seventy-two hours prescribed by Article
19, counted from the day the party was at the disposal of the judge, must notify the
judge of this fact at the end of such period, and if the order is not received within
three hours' the prisoner shall be released.
Anyone violating the article cited in this provision will be immediately turned over to
a competent authority.
Likewise, anyone who, after an arrest, does not take the arrested person before a judge
within twenty-four hours, shall himself be turned over to such authority or his agent.
If the detention takes place outside the locality in which the judge resides,
sufficient time is to be added to the above period to cover the distance involved.
Responsibilities of Public Officials
Article 108. Senators and deputies of the
Congress of the Union, magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,
secretaries of the Cabinet, and the Attorney General of the Republic are liable for common
crimes that they may commit during their term of office, and also for crimes, offenses, or
omissions that they incur in the exercise of their office.
Governors of the States and deputies of the local legislatures are liable for
violations of the federal Constitution and laws.
The President of the Republic, during his term of office, may be impeached only for
treason to the country and serious common crimes.
Article 109. If the offense is of a common
order, the Chamber of Deputies acting as a grand jury shall determine, by an absolute
majority of votes of its total membership, whether or not there are grounds for proceeding
against the accused.
If the finding is negative, there shall be no grounds for any further proceedings; but
such decision shall not be an obstacle to continuing the prosecution of the charge,
whenever the accused has relinquished his immunity, since the decision of the Chamber in
no way prejudges the merits of the charge.
If the finding is affirmative, the accused shall thereby be suspended from office and
is immediately subject to action by the ordinary courts, excepting the case of the
President of the Republic, who may be impeached only before the Chamber of Senators, as in
the case of an official offense.
Article 110. Constitutional immunity shall
not be enjoyed by high officials of the Federation with respect to official crimes,
offenses or omissions incurred in the discharge of any office, employment or public
commission which they have accepted during the period in which, according to law, they
enjoy constitutional immunity. The same shall apply with respect to common crimes which
they may commit during the performance of such office, employment, or commission. The
procedure to be followed to institute proceedings against a high official who has resumed
the exercise of his own functions is that prescribed in the preceding article
Article 111. The Senate, constituted as a
grand jury, shall take cognizance of all official offenses; but it may not open the
pertinent investigation without a previous bill of impeachment by the Chamber of Deputies.
If after conducting such proceedings as it deems advisable and hearing the accused, the
Chamber of Senators shall decide by a two-thirds majority of all its members that he is
guilty, the latter shall be removed from office by virtue of such decision and
disqualified from holding any other office for a period determined by law.
Whenever the law provides another penalty for the same act, the accused shall be placed
at the disposal of the regular authorities, who shall judge and punish him according to
In the cases governed by this article and those referred to in Article
109, the decisions of the grand jury and the findings of the Chamber of Deputies shall
Any person has the right to denounce before the Chamber of Deputies the common or
official offenses of high officials of the Federation Whenever the aforesaid Chamber finds
that there are grounds for impeachment, it shall appoint a committee from among its
members to sustain before the Senate the charges brought.
As soon as possible, the Congress of the Union shall enact a law covering the
responsibilities of all officials and employees of the Federation and of the Federal
District and Territories, defining as official offenses or misdemeanors all acts or
omissions that may result in injury to public interests or to the proper conduct of
business, even though they have not been considered previously as wrongful acts These
offenses or misdemeanors shall always be tried before a jury of the people, in the manner
established by Article 20 for offenses of the press.
The President of the Republic may request from the Chamber of Deputies the removal, for
bad conduct, of any ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice, of circuit magistrates, of
district judges, of the magistrates of the superior court of justice of the Federal
District and of the Territories, and of the judges of common rank in the Federal District
and Territories. In these cases, if the Chamber of Deputies first and the Senators
thereafter decide by an absolute majority of votes that the request is justified, the
accused official shall be removed from office immediately, independently of the legal
liability that may have been incurred, and the Executive shall proceed with a new
The President of the Republic, before asking the chambers for the removal of any
judicial official, shall grant a hearing to the latter privately in order to
conscientiously appraise the justification of such request.(45)
Article 112. The offender cannot be pardoned
after a verdict of guilty is pronounced for official offenses.
Article 113. Responsibility for official
offenses or misdemeanors may be exacted only during the term of office of the official in
question, and within one year thereafter.
Article 114. There are no privileges or
immunities for any public official with respect to claims of a civil character.
The States of the Federation
Article 115. For their internal government,
the States shall adopt the popular, representative, republican form of government, with
the free Municipality as the basis of their territorial division and political and
administrative organization, in accordance with the following principles:
- Each Municipality shall be administered by a council (Ayuntamiento), elected by direct
popular vote, and there shall be no intermediate authority between this body and the
government of the State.
Municipal presidents, aldermen (regidores), and syndics (síndicos), chosen by direct
popular election, may not be reelected for the term immediately following. Persons who
discharge the functions of those offices either by indirect election, appointment or
designation by any authority, no matter what title they may be given, likewise may not be
reelected for the term immediately following. None of the above-mentioned officials, when
holding office as incumbents, may be elected for the term immediately following as
alternates, but persons designated as alternates may be elected for the term immediately
following as incumbents, unless they have performed such duties during the preceding term.
- Municipalities shall freely administer their finances, which shall be composed of the
taxes imposed by the legislatures of the States, and which, in all cases, shall be
sufficient to meet the municipal needs.
- Municipalities shall be invested with juridical personality for all legal purposes.
The federal Executive and the governors of the States shall command the public forces
in the municipalities where they customarily or temporarily reside.
Governors of the States may not hold office for more than six years.(46)
The election of governors of the States and the local legislatures shall be direct and
in the manner prescribed by their respective electoral laws.
Governors of the States who hold office by regular or special election may not, in any
case or for any reason, again occupy that office in an interim, provisional or substitute
character, or be in charge of that office in any capacity.
The following may never be reelected for the immediately following term:
- A substitute constitutional governor or a governor designated to complete a term in case
of the permanent absence of the constitutional governor, even when he has a different
- An interim or provisional governor or a citizen who, under any title, replaces the
governor during temporary absences, provided he held the office during the last two years
of the term.
The constitutional governor of a State must be a Mexican citizen by birth and a native
of the State or with actual residence therein for not less than five years immediately
preceding the day of the election.
The number of representatives in the state legislatures shall be proportional to the
inhabitants of each State; but in no case shall there be fewer than seven deputies in
States having a population of less than 4000, 000 inhabitants; or nine in those in which
the population exceeds that number but does not reach 800, 000; and eleven in States
having a population greater than the latter figure.
Deputies to the legislatures of the States may not be reelected for the term
immediately following. Alternate deputies may be elected for the term immediately
following in the capacity of incumbents, provided they have not performed the duties of an
incumbent deputy, but incumbent deputies may not be elected as alternates in the term
Article 116. The States have the power to fix
their respective boundaries among themselves, by amicable agreements; but such agreements
will not be put into effect without the approval of the Congress of the Union.
Article 117. The States may not in any case:
- Make any alliance, treaty or coalition with another State, or with foreign powers.
- (47) Deleted.
- Coin money, issue paper money, stamps, or stamped paper.
- Levy duty on persons or goods passing through their territory.
- Prohibit or levy duty upon, directly or indirectly, the entrance into or exit from their
territory of any domestic or foreign goods.
- Tax the circulation of domestic or foreign goods by imposts or duties, the exemption of
which is made by local customhouses, requiring inspection or registration of packages or
documentation to accompany the goods.
- Enact or maintain in force fiscal laws or provisions that relate to differences in
duties or requirements by reason of the origin of domestic or foreign goods, whether this
difference is established because of similar production in the locality or because, among
such similar production there is a different place or origin.
- Issue bonds of public debt payable in foreign currency or outside the national
territory; contract loans directly or indirectly with the Governments of other nations, or
contract obligations in favor of foreign companies or individuals, when the bonds or
securities are payable to bearer or are transmissible by endorsement.
States and municipalities may not negotiate loans except for the construction of works
intended to produce directly an increase in their revenues.(48)
- Levy duties on the production, storage, or sale of tobacco in a manner distinct from or
with quotas greater than those authorized by the Congress of the Union.(49)
The Congress of the Union and the state legislatures shall immediately enact laws
designed to combat alcoholism.
Article 118. Nor shall the States, without
the consent of the Congress of the Union:
- Establish ship tonnage dues or any other port charges, or levy imposts or taxes on
imports or exports.
- Have at any time permanent troops or ships of war.
- Make war themselves on any foreign power, except in cases of invasion and of danger so
imminent that it does not admit of delay. In such cases, a report shall be made
immediately to the President of the Republic.
Article 119. Each State has the obligation to
deliver without delay the criminals of another State or of a foreign State to the
authorities who claim them.
In such cases, the writ of the judge who orders the certificate of extradition shall be
sufficient to cause detention of the accused for one month in the case of extradition
between States and for two months if it is international.
Article 120. The governors of the States are
required to publish and enforce federal laws.
Article 121. Complete faith and credence
shall be given in each State of the Federation to the public acts, registries, and
judicial proceedings of all the others. The Congress of the Union, through general laws,
shall prescribe the manner of proving such acts, registries, and proceedings, and their
effect, by subjecting them to the following principles:
- The laws of a State shall have effect only within its own territory and consequently are
not binding outside of that State;
- Real and personal property shall be subject to the laws of the place in which they are
- Judgments pronounced by the courts of one State on real rights or real property located
in another State shall have executory effect in the latter only if its own laws so
Judgments on personal rights shall be executed in another State only when the defendant
has expressly or by reason of domicile submitted to the court that pronounced it and
provided he has been personally cited to appear at the judicial hearing;
- Acts of a civil nature done in accordance with the laws of one State shall have validity
in the others;
- Professional degrees issued by the authorities of one State, subject to its laws, shall
be respected in the others.
Article 122. The powers of the Union have the
duty of protecting the States against all foreign invasion or violence. In any case of
internal uprising or disturbance, they shall give equal protection, provided it is
requested by the legislature of the State or by its Executive if the former is not
Labor and Social Security
The Congress of the Union, without contravening the following basic principles, shall
formulate labor laws which shall apply to:
- Workers, day laborers, domestic servants, artisans (obreros, jornaleros, empleados
domésticos, artesanos) and in a general way to all labor contracts:
- The maximum duration of work for one day shall be eight hours.
- (51) The maximum duration of nightwork shall be seven
hours. The following are prohibited: unhealthful or dangerous work by women and by minors
under sixteen years of age; industrial nightwork by either of these classes; work by women
in commercial establishments after ten o'clock at night and work (of any kind) by persons
under sixteen after ten o'clock at night.
- The use of labor of minors under fourteen years of age is prohibited. Persons above that
age and less than sixteen shall have a maximum work day of six hours.
- For every six days of work a worker must have at least one day of rest.
- During the three months prior to childbirth, women shall not perform physical labor that
requires excessive material effort. In the month following childbirth they shall
necessarily enjoy the benefit of rest and shall receive their full wages and retain their
employment and the rights acquired under their labor contract. During the nursing period
they shall have two special rest periods each day, of a half hour each, for nursing their
- The minimum wage to be received by a worker shall be general or according to occupation.
The former shall govern in one or more economic zones; the latter shall be applicable to
specified branches of industry or commerce or to special occupations, trades, or labor.
The general minimum wage must be sufficient to satisfy the normal material, social, and
cultural needs of the head of a family and to provide for the compulsory education of his
children. The occupational minimum wage shall be fixed by also taking into consideration
the conditions of different industrial and commercial activities
Farm workers shall be entitled to a minimum wage adequate to their needs.
The minimum wage is to be fixed by regional committees, composed of representatives of
the workers, employers, and the Government, and will be subject to approval by a national
committee, organized in the same manner as the regional committees.
- Equal wages shall be paid for equal work, regardless of sex or nationality.
- The minimum wage shall be exempt from attachment, compensation, or deduction.
- (52) Workers shall be entitled to a participation in the
profits of enterprises, regulated in conformity with the following rules:
- A national committee, composed of representatives of workers, employers, and the
Government, shall fix the percentage of profits to be distributed among workers.
- The national committee shall undertake research and make necessary and appropriate
studies in order to become acquainted with the general conditions of the national economy.
It shall also take into consideration the need to promote the industrial development of
the country, the reasonable return that should be obtained by capital, and the necessary
reinvestment of capital.
- The committee may revise the fixed percentage whenever new studies and research so
- The law may exempt newly established enterprises from the obligation of sharing profits
for a specified and limited number of years for exploration work and other activities so
justified by their nature or peculiar conditions.
- To determine the amount of the profits of each enterprise the basis to be taken is the
taxable income according to the provisions of the income tax law. Workers may submit to
the appropriate office of the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit any objections they
may deem pertinent, in accordance with procedure indicated in the law.
- The right of workers to participate in profits does not imply the power to intervene in
the direction or administration of an enterprise.
- Wages must necessarily be paid in money of legal tender and cannot be paid in goods,
promissory notes, or any other token intended as a substitute for money.
- Whenever, due to extraordinary circumstances, the regular working hours of a day must be
increased, one hundred percent shall be added to the amount for normal hours of work as
remuneration for the overtime. Overtime work may never exceed three hours a day nor three
times consecutively. Persons under sixteen years of age and women of any age may not be
admitted to this kind of labor.
- In any agricultural, industrial, or mining enterprise or in any other kind of work,
employers shall be obliged to furnish workmen comfortable and hygienic living quarters for
which they may collect rent that shall not exceed one half percent monthly of the assessed
valuation of the property. They also must establish schools, hospitals, and any other
services necessary to the community. If the enterprise is situated within a town and
employs more than one hundred workers, it shall be responsible for the first of the above
- In addition, in these same work centers, when the population exceeds 200 inhabitants, a
tract of land of not less than five thousand square meters must be reserved for the
establishment of public markets, the erection of buildings destined for municipal
services, and recreation centers. Establishments for the sale of intoxicating liquors and
houses for games of chance are prohibited in all work centers.
- Employers shall be responsible for labor accidents and for occupational diseases of
workers, contracted because of or in the performance of their work or occupation;
therefore, employers shall pay the corresponding indemnification whether death or only
temporary or permanent incapacity to work has resulted, in accordance with what the law
prescribes. This responsibility shall exist even if the employer contracts for the work
through an intermediary.
- An employer shall be required to observe, in the installation of his establishments, the
legal regulations on hygiene and health, and to adopt adequate measures for the prevention
of accidents in the use of machines, instruments, and materials of labor, as well as to
organize the same in such a way as to ensure the greatest possible guarantee for the
health and safety of workers as is compatible with the nature of the work, under the
penalties established by law in this respect.
- Both employers and workers shall have the right to organize for the defense of their
respective interests, by forming unions, professional associations, etc.
- The laws shall recognize strikes and lockouts as rights of workmen and employers.
- Strikes shall be legal when they have as their purpose the attaining of an equilibrium
among the various factors of production, by harmonizing the rights of labor with those of
capital. In public services it shall be obligatory for workers to give notice ten days in
advance to the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration as to the date agreed upon for the
suspension of work. Strikes shall be considered illegal only when the majority of strikers
engage in acts of violence against persons or property, or in the event of war, when the
workers belong to establishments or services of the Government.
- Lockout shall be legal only when an excess of production makes it necessary to suspend
work to maintain prices at a level with costs, and with prior approval of the Board of
Conciliation and Arbitration.
- Differences or disputes between capital and labor shall be subject to the decisions of a
Board of Conciliation and Arbitration, consisting of an equal number of workmen and
employers, with one from the Government.
- (53) If an employer refuses to submit his differences to
arbitration or to accept the decision rendered by the Board, the labor contract shall be
considered terminated and he shall be obliged to indemnify the worker to the amount of
three months' wages and shall incur any liability resulting from the dispute. This
provision shall not be applicable in the case of actions covered in the following section.
If the refusal is made by workers, the labor contract shall be considered terminated.
- (54) An employer who dismisses a worker without
justifiable cause or because he has entered an association or union, or for having taken
part in a lawful strike, shall be required, at the election of the worker, either to
fulfill the contract or to indemnify him to the amount of three months' wages. The law
shall specify those cases in which the employer may be exempted from the obligation of
fulfilling the contract by payment of an indemnity. He shall also have the obligation to
indemnify a worker to the amount of three months' wages, if the worker leaves his
employment due to lack of honesty on the part of the employer or because of ill treatment
from him, either to himself or to his wife, parents, children, or brothers and sisters. An
employer may not relieve himself of this responsibility when the ill treatment is
attributable to his subordinates or members of his family acting with his consent or
- Credits in favor of workers for wages or salary earned within the last year, and for
indemnity compensation, shall have priority over all other obligations in the event of
receivership or bankruptcy.
- A worker alone shall be responsible for debts contracted by himself and payable to his
employer, his associates, members of his family, or dependents, and in no case and for no
purpose may payment be exacted from members of the worker's family, nor are these debts
demandable for an amount exceeding the wages of the worker for one month.
- Services of employment placement for workers shall be gratuitous, whether such service
is performed by a municipal office, labor exchange, or any other official or private
- Every labor contract made between a Mexican and a foreign employer must be notarized by
a competent municipal authority and countersigned by the consul of the nation to which the
worker intends to go, because, in addition to the ordinary stipulations, it shall be
clearly specified that the expenses of repatriation shall be borne by the contracting
- The following conditions shall be considered null and void and not binding on the
contracting parties, even if expressed in the contract:
- Those that stipulate a day's work that is inhuman because it is obviously excessive,
considering the kind of work;
- Those that fix wages that are not remunerative, in the judgment of Boards of
Conciliation and Arbitration;
- Those stipulating a period of more than one week before payment of a day's wages;
- Those indicating as the place of payment of wages a place of recreation, an inn, café,
tavern, bar, or store, except for the payment of employees of such establishments;
- Those that include the direct or indirect obligation of acquiring consumer goods in
specified stores or places;
- Those that permit the retention of wages as a fine;
- Those that constitute a waiver by the worker of indemnification to which he is entitled
due to labor accidents or occupational diseases, damages occasioned by the nonfulfillment
of the contract, or by being discharged;
- All other stipulations that imply waiver of any right designed to favor the worker in
the laws of protection and assistance for workmen;
- The laws shall determine what property constitutes the family patrimony, property that
shall be inalienable, not subject to encumbrances of attachment, and that shall be
transmissible by inheritance with simplification of the formalities of succession.
- Enactment of a social security law shall be considered of public interest and it shall
include insurance against disability, on life, against involuntary work stoppage, against
sickness and accidents, and other forms for similar purposes;
- Likewise, cooperative societies established for the construction of low-cost and
hygienic houses to be purchased on installments by workers, shall be considered of social
- (55) Enforcement of the labor laws belongs to the
authorities of the States, in their respective jurisdictions, but it is the exclusive
jurisdiction of the federal authorities in matters relating to the textile, electrical,
motion picture, rubber, sugar, mining, petrochemical, metallurgical, and steel industries,
including the exploitation of basic minerals, their processing and smeltering, as well as
the production of iron and steel in all their forms and alloys and rolled products,
hydrocarbons, cement, railroads, and enterprises that are administered directly or in
decentralized form by the federal Government; enterprises that operate by virtue of a
federal contract or concession, and connected industries; enterprises that carry on work
in federal zones and territorial waters; disputes that affect two or more federal
entities; collective contracts that have been declared obligatory in more than one federal
entity, and finally, obligations that in educational matters belong to employers in the
manner and form fixed by the respective law.
- (56) The branches of the Union, the governments of the
Federal District and of the federal Territories and their workers:
- The maximum working day for day and nightwork shall be eight and seven hours
respectively. Those in excess will be overtime and will be paid by a one hundred percent
addition to the remuneration fixed for regular service. In no case may overtime exceed
three hours a day or three consecutive times.
- For every six days of work a worker shall be entitled to one day of rest, at least, with
- Workers shall be entitled to vacations of not less than twenty days a year.
- (57) Wages shall be fixed in the respective budgets, and
their amount may not be decreased while a given budget is in effect.
In no case may wages be lower than the minimum for workers in general in the Federal
District and in agencies of the Republic.
- Equal wages shall be paid for equal work, without regard to sex.
- Withholdings, discounts, deductions, or attachments from wages may be made only in those
cases provided by law.
- The appointment of personnel shall be made by systems which permit a determination of
the skills and aptitudes of applicants. The State shall organize schools of public
- Workers shall be entitled to the rights of a classification scale so that promotions may
be made on the basis of skills, aptitudes, and seniority.
- Workers may be suspended or discharged only on justifiable grounds, for reasons
prescribed by law.
In the event of unjustifiable discharge, a worker has the right to choose between
reinstatement in his work or to appropriate indemnity, determined by legal proceedings. In
case of abolishment of positions, the affected workers shall have the right to another
position equivalent to the one abolished or to an indemnity.
- Workers shall have the right to associate together for the protection of their common
interests. They may also make use of the right to strike after first complying with
requirements prescribed by law, with respect to one or more offices of the public powers,
whenever the rights affirmed by this article are generally and systematically violated.
- Social security shall be organized on the following minimum bases:
- It shall cover work accidents and occupational diseases, nonoccupational illness and
maternity; and retirement, disability, old age, and death.
- In case of accident or illness, the right to work shall be retained for the time
specified by law.
- Women shall be entitled to one month's leave prior to the approximate date indicated for
childbirth and to two months' leave after such date. During the nursing period, they shall
have two extra rest periods a day, of a half hour each, for nursing their children. In
addition, they are entitled to medical and obstetrical attention' medicines, nursing aid,
and infant care services.
- Members of a worker's family shall be entitled to medical attention and medicines, in
those cases and in the proportions specified by law.
- Centers are to be established for vacations and convalescence, as well as economy stores
for the benefit of workers and their families.
- Workers will be allotted low-cost housing for rent or sale, in accordance with
previously approved programs.
- Individual, collective, and interunion disputes shall be submitted to a federal tribunal
of conciliation and arbitration to be organized as provided in the regulatory law.
Disputes between the federal judicial branch and its employees shall be settled by the
plenary Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.
- Military and naval personnel and members of the public security corps, and personnel of
the foreign service, shall be governed by their own laws.
- The law shall determine what positions are to be regarded as those of personal trust (de
confianza). Persons who hold such positions shall be entitled to the benefits of measures
for the protection of wages and social security. (Note: A transitory article of the
amendment states that until the respective regulatory law is enacted, the Statute for
Workers in the Service of the Powers of the Union shall remain in effect insofar as it is
not contrary to the present amendment.)
Article 124. The powers not expressly granted
by this Constitution to federal officials are understood to be reserved to the States.
Article 125. No individual may fill two
popularly elected federal offices at the same time, nor one federal and one state office,
also by popular election; but an elected candidate may choose which of the two he desires
Article 126. No payment may be made that is
not included in the budget or provided for by a subsequent law.
Article 127. The President of the Republic,
the members of the Supreme Court of Justice, the deputies and senators, and other elective
public officials of the Federation shall receive a compensation for their services that
shall be specified by law and paid by the federal Treasury. This compensation cannot be
refused and any law that increases or decreases it shall not take effect during the term
in which an official holds office.
Article 128. Every public official, without
exception of any kind, before taking possession of his office, shall take an affirmation
to uphold the Constitution and the laws emanating therefrom.
Article 129. No military authority may, in
time of peace, perform any functions other than those that are directly connected with
military affairs. There shall be fixed and permanent military commands only in the
castles, forts, and warehouses immediately subordinate to the Government of the Union; or
in encampments, barracks, or arsenals established for the quartering of troops outside
The federal powers shall exercise the supervision required by law in matters relating to
religious worship and outward ecclesiastical forms. Other authorities shall act as
auxiliaries of the Federation.
Congress cannot enact laws establishing or prohibiting any religion.
Marriage is a civil contract. This and other acts of a civil nature concerning persons
are within the exclusive competence of civil officials and authorities, in the manner
prescribed by law, and shall have the force and validity defined by said law.
A simple promise to tell the truth and to fulfill obligations that are contracted is
binding on the one who so promises, and in the event of failure to do so, he shall be
subject to the penalties that the law prescribes for this purpose.
The law does not recognize any personality in religious groups called churches.
Ministers of denominations shall be considered as persons who practice a profession and
shall be directly subject to the laws enacted on such matters.
Only the legislatures of the States shall have the power to determine the maximum
number of ministers of denominations necessary for local needs.
To practice the ministry of any denomination in the United Mexican States it is
necessary to be a Mexican by birth.
Ministers of denominations may never, in a public or private meeting constituting an
assembly, or in acts of worship or religious propaganda, criticize the fundamental laws of
the country or the authorities of the Government, specifically or generally. They shall
not have an active or passive vote nor the right to form associations for religious
Permission to dedicate new places of worship open to the public must be obtained from
the Secretariat of Government, with previous consent of the government of the State. There
must be in every church building a representative who is responsible to the authorities
for compliance with the laws on religious worship in such building, and for the objects
pertaining to the worship.
The representative of each church building, jointly with ten other residents of the
vicinity, shall inform the municipal authorities immediately who is the person in charge
of the church in question. Any change of ministry must be reported by the departing
minister in person, accompanied by the new incumbent and ten other residents. The
municipal authority, under penalty of removal from office and a fine of up to one thousand
pesos for each violation, shall see that this provision is complied with; under the same
penalty, he shall keep one registry book of church buildings and another of the
representatives in charge. The municipal authority shall give notice to the Secretariat of
Government, through the governor of the State, of every permit to open a new church
building to the public, or of any changes among representatives in charge. Donations in
the form of movable objects shall be kept in the interior of church buildings.
No privilege shall be granted or confirmed, nor shall any other step be taken which has
for its purpose the validation in official courses of study, of courses pursued in
establishments devoted to the professional training of ministers of religion. Any
authority who violates this provision shall be criminally liable, and the privilege or
step referred to shall be void and shall thereby cause the voidance of the professional
degree for the attainment of which the violation of this provision was made.
Periodical publications of a religious character, whether they be such because of their
program, title, or merely because of their general tendencies, may not comment on national
political matters or public information on acts of the authorities of the country or of
private persons directly related to the functioning of public institutions .
The formation of any kind of political group, the name of which contains any word or
indication whatever that it is related to any religious denomination, is strictly
prohibited. Meetings of a political character may not be held in places of worship.
A minister of any denomination may not himself or through an intermediary inherit or
receive any real property occupied by any association for religious propaganda or for
religious or charitable purposes. Ministers of denominations are legally incapacitated as
testamentary heirs of ministers of the same denomination or of any private person who is
not related to them within the fourth degree.
The acquisition by private parties of personal or real property owned by the clergy or
by religious organizations shall be governed by Article 27 of
Trials for violation of the above provisions shall never be heard before a jury.
Article 131. The Federation has exclusive
power to levy duties on goods that are imported or exported or that pass in transit
through the national territory, as well as to regulate at all times, and even to prohibit,
for police or security reasons, the circulation in the interior of the Republic of all
classes of goods, regardless of origin; however, the Federation itself may not establish
or enact, in the Federal District and the Territories, those taxes and laws mentioned in
sections VI and VII of Article 117.
The Executive may be empowered by the Congress of the Union to increase, decrease, or
abolish tariff rates on imports and exports, that were imposed by the Congress itself, and
to establish others; likewise to restrict and to prohibit the importation, exportation, or
transit of articles, products, and goods, when he deems this expedient for the purpose of
regulating foreign commerce, the economy of the country, the stability of domestic
production, or for accomplishing any other purpose to the benefit of the country The
Executive himself, in submitting the fiscal budget to Congress each year, shall submit for
its approval the use that he has made of this power.
Article 132. The forts, barracks, storage
warehouses, and other buildings used by the Government of the Union for public service or
for common use, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the federal powers in accordance
with provisions to be established in a law enacted by the Congress of the Union; but, in
order that property acquired in the future within the territory of any State shall
likewise be under federal jurisdiction, the consent of the respective legislature shall be
Article 133. This Constitution, the laws of
the Congress of the Union that emanate therefrom, and all treaties that have been made and
shall be made in accordance therewith by the President of the Republic, with the approval
of the Senate, shall be the supreme law of the whole Union. The judges of each State shall
conform to the said Constitution, the laws, and treaties, in spite of any contradictory
provisions that may appear in the constitutions or laws of the States
Article 134. All contracts that the
Government may negotiate for the execution of public works shall be awarded by auction,
after a call for bids to be submitted under seal and opened in public meeting.
Amendments to the Constitution
The present Constitution may be added to or amended. In order that the additions or
amendments shall become a part thereof, it shall be required that the Congress of the
Union, by a vote of two thirds of the individuals present, agree to the amendments or
additions and that they be approved by a majority of the legislatures of the States. The
Congress of the Union or the Permanent Committee, as the case may be, shall count the
votes of the legislatures and shall announce those additions or amendments that have been
The Inviolability of the Constitution
Article 136. This Constitution shall not lose
its force and effect, even it its observance is interrupted by rebellion. In the event
that a government whose principles are contrary to those that are sanctioned herein should
become established through any public disturbance, as soon as the people recover their
liberty, its observance shall be reestablished, and those who have taken part in the
government emanating from the rebellion, as well as those who have cooperated with such
persons, shall be judged in accordance with this Constitution and the laws that have been
enacted by virtue thereof.
Article 1. This Constitution shall be published at once and with the
greatest solemnity affirmation shall be made to preserve it and
cause it to be preserved throughout the Republic; but with exception of the provisions
relating to the election of the supreme federal and state powers) which shall enter into
force at once, it shall not take effect until the first day of May 1917, on which date the
Constitutional Congress shall be formally installed and the citizen elected in the next
elections shall make the affirmation of law so as to exercise the office of President of
In the elections that must be called in accordance with the following article, section
V of Article 82 shall not apply, nor shall it be an impediment to
being a deputy or senator to be in active service in the army, provided such service is
not command of forces in the electoral district in question; neither shall secretaries and
subsecretaries of state be barred from election to the next Congress of the Union,
provided that they have been definitely separated from their position on the day that the
respective call is issued.
Article 2. As soon as this Constitution is
published, the citizen entrusted with the executive branch of the Nation shall call for
elections of the federal powers, endeavoring to do this in such a way that the Congress
shall be organized promptly in order that following the count of the votes cast in the
presidential election it may declare who has been elected President of the Republic, so
that he may comply with the provisions of the preceding article.
Article 3. The next constitutional term for
deputies and senators shall begin to run as of last September first, and for the President
of the Republic from December 1, 1916.
Article 4. Senators bearing even numbers at the
next election shall hold office for two years only, in order that thereafter one half of
the Chamber of Senators shall be renewed every two years.
Article 5. The Congress of the Union shall
elect the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation next May in order that
this august body shall be installed by June first.
At this election Article 96 shall not govern with respect to
the proposals of candidates by the local legislatures; but candidates shall be so proposed
for the first two-year term provided for in Article 94.
Article 6. The Congress of the Union shall have
an extraordinary session period which will begin April 15, 1917, in order to organize the
electoral college, to count the votes and approve the election of a President of the
Republic, by appropriate declaration; and also to enact the Organic Law for the circuit
and district courts and the Organic Law for the Federal District and territorial courts,
in order that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation may immediately appoint the
circuit magistrates and district judges, and the Congress of the Union may select the
judges of first instance for the Federal District and Territories; it shall also enact all
laws requested by the executive branch of the Nation. The circuit magistrates and district
judges and the magistrates and judges of the Federal District and Territories must assume
office before July 1, 1917, at which time those persons who had been appointed by the
official in charge of the executive branch of the Nation shall cease to function.
Article 7. This once, the count of the votes
for Senators shall be made by the counting board of the first electoral district in each
State or the Federal District, as organized for counting the votes for deputies, and these
boards shall issue appropriate credentials to the senators elected.
Article 8. The Supreme Court of Justice of the
Nation shall rule on pending cases in amparo, subject to laws in effect.
Article 9. The citizen in command of the
constitutionalist army, entrusted with the executive power of the Union, is empowered to
issue the Electoral Law, under which, this once, the elections shall be held to fill the
powers of the Union.
Article 10. Persons who have taken part in the
government formed by the rebellion against the legitimate Government of the Republic, or
those who cooperated with it, afterwards taking up arms or holding office or employment
with the factions that attacked the constitutionalist Government, shall be tried under
laws in force, unless pardoned by such Government.
Article 11. Until the Congress of the Union
and the State legislatures enact laws governing the agrarian and labor problems, the bases
established in this Constitution for these laws shall be put into effect throughout the
Article 12. Mexicans who have fought in the
constitutionalist army, and their children and widows, and other persons who rendered
services to the cause of the Revolution or to public education, shall have priority in the
acquisition of parcels of land referred to in Article 27 and the
right to discounts specified by law.
Article 13. All debts contracted by workers,
by reason of their labor, up to the date of this Constitution, with employers, their
families, or intermediaries are hereby extinguished in full.
Article 14. The Secretariat of Justice is
Article 15. The citizen entrusted with the
executive power of the Nation is empowered to issue a law on civil liability applicable to
the principals, accomplices, and concealers of crimes perpetrated against the
constitutional order during the month of February 1913 and against the constitutionalist
Article 16. The constitutionalist Congress, in
its regular period of sessions, beginning September 1 this year, shall enact all organic
laws of the Constitution that have not already been enacted in the extraordinary period
referred to in transitory Article 6, and shall give priority to
laws relating to individual guarantees and to Articles 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, 107 and
the final part of Article 111 of this Constitution.
(Original text signed at Querétaro on January 31, 1917.)
1. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial of
December 30, 1946.
2. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial of
November 17, 1942.
3. As amended on December 28, 1964, published in the Diario
Oficial of February 23, 1965.
4. As amended November 22, 1948.
5. In Spanish law, when the evidence was inconclusive, the matter
could be disposed of by an order of absolución de la instancia, which operated
as a dismissal but not as a judgment for or against either party in a civil case, or as an
acquittal or conviction in a criminal case. Hence, upon discovery of more evidence the
case might be revived. Similar to the Scotch verdict of not proved, and to the Roman non
liquet (it does not appear clear). Escriche Diccionario.
6. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial of
January 20, 1960.
7. As amended on November 9, 1940, and by decree published in the Diario
Oficial of January 20, 1960.
8. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial of
January 20, 1960.
9. Paragraph added by decree of December 23, published in the Diario
Oficial of December 29, 1960.
10. Paragraph added on November 9, 1940.
11. Amended by decree dated November 24, 1937 and published in the Diario
Oficial of December 6, 1937.
12. This paragraph added on February 12, 1947.
13. As amended on February 12, 1947.
14. As amended on February 10, 1944.
15. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of January 20, 1960.
16. As amended on December 31, 1951, Diario Oficial of
January 16, 1952.
17. As amended on December 31, 1951.
18. Amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial of
January 30, 1960.
19. As amended on December 30, 1950.
20. As amended on February 28, 1951, and by decree published in the
Diario Oficial of December 20, 1960.
21. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of June 22, 1963.
22. Paragraph added by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of June 22, 1963.
23. As amended on December 31, 1950.
24. As amended on September 21, 1944.
25. As amended on December 30, 1946.
26. As amended on October 24, 1942.
27. As amended on November 18, 1942 and December 29, 1947.
28. As amended on October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
29. As amended on December 21, 1965, published in the Diario
Oficial of January 13, 1966.
30. Added on October 24,1942, the former section XXIX being
31. Added on January 31, 1949.
32. As amended on February 10, 1944.
33. As amended on October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
34. Added by amendment of October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
35. As amended on January 8, 1943.
36. As amended on October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
37. As amended on February 10, 1944.
38. Deleted by amendment of October 11, 1966, published in the
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
39. As amended on October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
40. As amended on September 21, 1944.
41. As amended on September 11, 1940.
42. Added on December 30, 1946.
43. As amended on December 30, 1950.
44. Paragraph added by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of November 2,
45. Paragraph added on September 21, 1944.
46. As amended on January 8, 1943.
47. Deleted by amendment of October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
48. Paragraph added on December 30, 1946.
49. This section added on October 24, 1942.
50. Amended by decree of October 21, 1960, published in the Diario
Oficial of December 5, 1960.
51. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of November 21, 1962.
52. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of November 21, 1962.
53. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of November 21, 1962.
54. As amended by decree published in the Diario Oficial
of November 21, 1962.
55. This section added on November 18, 1942, and amended by decree
published in the Diario Oficial of November 21, 1962.
56. Added by decree of October 21, 1960, Diario Oficial of
December 5, 1960.
57. Amended in accordance with decree published in the Diario
Oficial of November 27, 1961.
58. As amended on December 30, 1950.
59. As amended on October 11, 1966, published in the Diario
Oficial of October 21, 1966.
Text translated from Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos,
Trigésima Quinta Edición, 1967, Editorial Porrua, S. A., México, D. F. Originally
published by the Pan American Union, General Secretariat, Organization of American States,
Washington, D.C., 1968.