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1917 Constitution of Mexico (As Amended)
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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
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.
Article 3.(1) 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.
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 issue it.
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 commercial pursuit.
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 period.
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 decision.
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.
Article 18.(3) 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 federal executive.
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 provision.
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 advisable.
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:
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)
Nor shall detention be extended beyond the time set by law as the maximum for the offense charged.
The period of detention shall be reckoned as a part of the term of imprisonment imposed by sentence.
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 property.
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) is prohibited.
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 martial law.
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 27 states:
"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:
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)
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.
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 shall conform.
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 fifty hectares.
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)
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 Executive.
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 deems appropriate.
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 admissible.
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)
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 cultivation.
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.
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 monopolies.
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:
Article 31. The obligations of Mexicans are:
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:
Article 35. The prerogatives of citizens are:
Article 36. The obligations of citizens of the Republic are:
Article 38. The rights or prerogatives of citizens are suspended:
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
Article 42.(15) The national territory comprises:
Article 43.(16) 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 Roo.
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.
Article 45.(17) 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.
Article 48.(18) 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
Article 49.(19) 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 citizens.
Article 52.(20) 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.
Article 54.(21) 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:
Article 55. The following are the requirements to be a deputy:
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;
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.
Article 63.(22) 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 absent.
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:
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.
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 decrees belongs:
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.
The voting on a law or decree shall be by roll call.
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:
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.
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)
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.
Article 74. The exclusive powers of the Chamber of Deputies are:
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 are:
The law shall regulate the exercise of this and of the foregoing powers.
Article 77. Each of the chambers, without the intervention of the other, may:
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 following:
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 required:
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 that office.
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 President.
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."
Article 88.(36) 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 be.
Article 89. The powers and duties of the President are the following:
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
Article 94.(40) 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:
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 circuit magistrates.
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 federal law.
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 following form:
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 office.
Article 102.(41) 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 Justice.
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:
Article 104. The federal courts shall have jurisdiction over:
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)
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.
Article 107.(43) All controversies mentioned in Article 103 shall be subject to the legal forms and procedure prescribed by law, on the following bases:
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)
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.
In all other cases the review will be made by a full circuit court and their decisions may not be appealed.
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.
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 resulting damages.
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.
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.
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 such law.
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 be final.
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 appointment.
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:
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.
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:
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 immediately following.
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:
States and municipalities may not negotiate loans except for the construction of works intended to produce directly an increase in their revenues.(48)
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:
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:
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;
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 assembled.
Labor and Social Security
Article 123.(50) The Congress of the Union, without contravening the following basic principles, shall formulate labor laws which shall apply to:
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.
In no case may wages be lower than the minimum for workers in general in the Federal District and in agencies of the Republic.
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.
Disputes between the federal judicial branch and its employees shall be settled by the plenary Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.
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 to hold.
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 towns.
Article 130.(58) 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 purposes.
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 this Constitution.
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 necessary
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
Article 135.(59) 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 approved.
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 the Republic.
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 Republic.
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 hereby abolished.
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 Government.
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 renumbered XXX.
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 Diario
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.