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Expat Rights to Express Political Beliefs in Mexico

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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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I will be matching along side anticipated 100’s of thousands of others to demonstrate our belief that Donald Trump was NOT elected “fair and square”, as Moscow and specifically, Putin have been proven by each and every intelligence agency in the U.S. to have been involved in swaying the results our election. Additionally, it is my belief and the belief of millions of other Americans that Trump is a bigot, racist and misogynistic, as proven by his own words, and not fit to lead our country. So, no… I’m not going to just “get over it”.

  2. Thanks for confirming what I and others understand to be the freedom we (as Ex-Pats) have to express our beliefs and concerns with regard to the incoming Administration in the U.S. Fortunately, we have the right to free speech and will exercise that right this Saturday, January 21st throughout the U.S. and in many foreign countries. As a member of Lakeside Progressives for Action, I am proud to participate in the Rally and March that starts in the Ajijic, Jalisco Plaza at 2 pm. We will have several speakers and then March to the Ajijic Malecon in solidarity with others to show not only our Mexican friends and neighbors but the entire world that we are very concerned about this incoming Administration, their proposed policies and the damaging legislation we believe will deny equality to all, strip life saving healthcare from many, damage carefully cultivated diplomatic relations with other countries, refuse to work towards renewable energy and acknowledge Global Climate Change and so much more. I will not be silenced.

  3. Thanks for attempting to clarify our opportunities. You wrote ¨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.¨

    I would encourage you, if it is possible, to further clarify by modifying the last sentence to: ¨…express your political beliefs (maybe opinions would be a better word) about any government EXCEPT any Mexican government.”

    As guests in Mexico, we still don have the right to publicly express or take actions on our opinions about Mexican politics.

    For the folks who are criticizing others for wanting to express their opinions by peacefully demonstrating: maybe you could cut these folks some slack: the right to public expression of opinions is one of the dearest freedoms we have as U.S. citizens. It won´t hurt you to stand up for their right even if you don´t agree with them. Thatś what real Americans do.

  4. Being as the topic is an expats right to assemble, comments like “cry baby liberal” and “get over it” seem like the writers didn’t read the article. This comes as no surprise and, to be helpful to them, the right to assemble is not liberal nor something you need to get over. Thanks Maria, good stuff.

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