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Expat Rights to Express Political Beliefs in Mexico

Palacio Nacional (National Palace) in Mexico City
Credit: Dario Ricardo | Fotolia
Maria O'Connor blogs for Expats In Mexico from Puerto Vallarta
Maria O’Connor

This week of the U.S. presidential inauguration, I want to make all of our readers aware of expat rights to express political beliefs in Mexico.

I am helping some local expat friends of mine organize a Sister March to the Women’s March on Washington this coming weekend, so today’s blog will be about what we as expats can legally do in Mexico.

Here is a brief introduction to the Mexican Constitution, which was initially adopted in 1917 but has been modified over the years to reflect the evolution in ideas, technology and events.

The first paragraph of Article 1 of the Constitution of the United Mexican states reads:

“In the United Mexican States, all people shall enjoy the human rights recognized in this Constitution and in those international treaties to which the Mexican State is a party, as well as the guarantees for their protection, whose exercise cannot be restricted nor suspended except in the cases and under the conditions established by this Constitution.”

The Constitution here refers to all people, not just citizens, regarding human rights and certain constitutional guarantees. The first twenty-nine articles of the Constitution form what are known as the “Individual Guarantees” and could be compared to the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States. Article 6, for example, describes the freedom of manifestation of ideas and the right to information while Article 7 describes freedom of the press.

Our issue at hand right now is our planned Sister March, which is to take place on Saturday, January 21.

The first paragraph of Article 9 of the Constitution speaks to this: “The right to associate or unite peacefully for any licit objective cannot be stifled; but only those citizens of the Republic may take part in the country’s political matters.”

As does Article 33: “Persons are considered as foreign if they do not possess those qualities determined in Article 30 of the Constitution and they shall enjoy the human rights and guaranties that are recognized by this Constitution.”

“The Executive of the Union (the President), with a prior hearing, may expel foreigners from national territory with basis in the law, which shall be governed under the administrative procedure as well as the place and time of the duration of the detention.”

“Foreigners may not in any way, involve themselves in the political matters of the country.”

In a nutshell, we expats as foreigners enjoy all of the rights to peacefully organize and assemble as well as to manifest our ideas, as long as they do not have anything to do with the politics of Mexico.

So, if you are motivated to do so, you have the right to express your political beliefs under the Mexican Constitution.