File No. 812.011/31

Mr. Parker, representing American interests, to the Secretary of State

No. 681

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, in compliance with the Department’s telegram No. 651 of February 5, 5 p.m., two copies of the Diario Oficial containing the entire text of the reformed Mexican Constitution.

I have [etc.]

Charles B. Parker


I, Venustiano Carranza, First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army, charged with the Executive Power of the United Mexican States, make known:

That the Constituent Congress, assembled in this city on the 1st of December 1916, by virtue of the decree of September 19 of the same year calling it, issued [Page 951] by the First Chief, as provided by Article 4 of the changes made on the 14th of said month in the decree of December 12, 1914, issued at Vera Cruz, supplementing the Plan of Guadalupe, of March 26, 1913, has seen fit to enact the following Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, revising that of February 5, 1857.

mexican constitution of 1917

Title I

chapter I

Personal Guaranties

Article 1. Every person in the United Mexican States shall enjoy all guaranties granted by this Constitution; these shall neither be abridged nor 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 the national territory shall, by this act alone, recover their freedom, and enjoy the protection of the law.

Article 3. Instruction is free; that given in public institutions of learning shall be secular. Primary instruction, whether higher or lower, given in private institutions shall likewise be secular.

No religious corporation nor minister of any religious creed shall establish or direct schools of primary instruction.

Private primary schools may be established only subject to official supervision.

Primary instruction in public institutions shall be gratuitous.

Article 4. No person shall be prevented from engaging in any profession, industrial or commercial pursuit or occupation of his liking, provided it be lawful. The exercise of this liberty shall only be forbidden by judicial order when the rights of third persons are infringed, or by executive order, issued under the conditions prescribed by law, when the rights of society are violated. No one shall be deprived of the fruit of his labor except by judicial decree.

Each State shall determine by law what professions shall require licenses, the requisites to be complied with in obtaining the same, and the authorities empowered to issue them.

Article 5. No one shall be compelled to render personal services without due compensation and without his full consent, excepting labor imposed as a penalty by judicial decree, which shall conform to 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, jury service, service in municipal and other public elective office, whether this election be direct or indirect, and service in connection with elections, which shall be obligatory and without compensation.

The State shall not permit any contract, covenant or agreement to be carried out having for its object the abridgment, loss or irrevocable sacrifice of the liberty of man, whether by reason of labor, education or religious vows. The law, therefore, does not permit the establishment of monastic orders, of whatever denomination, or for whatever purpose contemplated.

Nor shall any person legally agree to his own proscription or exile, or to the temporary or permanent renunciation of the exercise of any profession or industrial or commercial pursuit.

A contract for labor shall only be binding to render the services agreed upon for the time fixed by law and shall not exceed one year to the prejudice of the party rendering the service; nor shall it in any case whatsoever embrace the waiver, loss or abridgment of any political or civil right.

In the event of a breach of such contract on the part of the party pledging himself to render the service, the said party shall only be liable civilly for damages arising from such breach, and in no event shall coercion against his person be employed.

Article 6. The expression of ideas shall not be the subject of any judicial or executive investigation, unless it offend good morals, impair the rights of third parties, incite to crime or cause a breach of the peace.

Article 7. Freedom of writing and publishing writings on any subject is inviolable. No law or authority shall have the right to establish censorship, require [Page 952] bond from authors or printers, nor restrict the liberty of the press, which shall be limited only by the respect due to private life, morals and public peace. Under no circumstances shall a printing press be sequestrated as the corpus delicti.

The organic laws shall prescribe whatever provisions may be necessary to prevent the imprisonment, under pretext of a denunciation of offenses of the press, of the vendors, newsboys, workmen and other employees of the establishment publishing the writing denounced, unless their responsibility be previously established.

Article 8. Public officials and employees shall respect the exercise of the right of petition, provided it be in writing and in a peaceful and respectful manner; but this right may be exercised in political matters solely by citizens.

To every petition there shall be given an answer in writing by the official to whom it may be addressed, and the said official shall be bound to inform the petitioner of the decision taken within a brief period.

Article 9. The right peaceably to assemble or to come together for any lawful purpose shall not be abridged; but only citizens shall be permitted to exercise this right for the purpose of taking part in the political affairs of the country. No armed assembly shall have the right to deliberate.

No meeting or assembly shall be deemed unlawful, nor may it be dissolved, which shall have for its purpose the petitioning of any authority or the presentation of any protest against any act, provided no insults be proffered against the said authority, nor violence resorted to, nor threats used to intimidate or to compel the said 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, excepting such as are expressly prohibited by law and such as the nation may reserve for the exclusive use of the army, navy and national guard; but they shall not bear such arms within inhabited places, except subject to the police regulations thereof.

Article 11. Every one has the right to enter and leave the Republic, to travel through its territory and 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 the event of civil or criminal responsibility, and to those of the executive, in so far as relates to the limitations imposed by law in regard to emigration, immigration and the public health of the country, or in regard to undesirable foreigners resident in the country.

Article 12. No titles of nobility, prerogatives or hereditary 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 shall be tried according to private laws or by special tribunals. No person or corporation shall have privileges nor enjoy emoluments which are not in compensation for public services and established by law. Military jurisdiction shall be recognized for the trial of criminal cases having direct connection with military discipline, but the military tribunals shall in no case and for no reason extend their jurisdiction over persons not belonging to the army. Whenever a civilian shall be implicated in any military crime or offense, the cause shall be heard by the corresponding civil authorities.

Article 14. No law shall be given retroactive effect to the prejudice of any person whatsoever.

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, possessions or rights without due process of law instituted before a duly created court, in which the essential elements of procedure are observed and in accordance with previously existing laws.

In criminal cases no penalty shall be imposed by mere analogy or even by a priori evidence, but the penalty shall be decreed by 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, the general legal principles shall govern.

Article 15. No treaty shall be authorized for the extradition of political offenders, or of offenders of the common class, who have been slaves in the country where the offense was committed. Nor shall any agreement or treaty be entered into which abridges or modifies the guaranties 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 an order in writing of the competent authority setting forth the legal ground and justification for the action taken. No [Page 953] order of arrest or detention shall be issued against any person other than by competent judicial authority, nor unless preceded by a charge, accusation or complaint for a specific offense punishable by imprisonment, supported by an affidavit of a credible party or by such other evidence as shall make the guilt of the accused probable; in cases in flagrante delicto any person may arrest the offender and his accomplices, placing them without delay at the disposition of 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 the accused, placing him at the disposition of the judicial authorities. Every search warrant, which may only be issued by the 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, to which the proceeding shall be strictly limited; at the conclusion of which, a detailed written statement shall be drawn up in the presence of two witnesses proposed by the occupant of the place to be searched, or, in his absence or refusal, by the official making the search.

Administrative officials may enter private houses solely for the purpose of determining that the sanitary and police regulations have been complied with; they may likewise demand the exhibition of books and documents necessary to prove that the fiscal regulations have been obeyed, subject to the respective laws and to the formalities prescribed for cases of search.

Article 17. No one shall be imprisoned for debts of a purely civil character. No one shall take the law into his own hands, nor 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. Detention shall be exercised only for offenses meriting corporal punishment. The place of detention shall be different and completely separated from that set apart for the serving of sentences.

The Federal and State Governments shall organize in their respective territories the penal system—penal colonies or prisons—on the basis of labor as a means of regeneration.

Article 19. No detention shall exceed three days except for reasons specified in the formal order of commitment, which shall set forth the offense charged, the substance thereof, the time, place and circumstances of its commission, and the facts disclosed in the preliminary examination; these facts must always be sufficient to establish the corpus delicti and the probable guilt of the accused. All authorities ordering any detention or consenting thereto, as well as all agents, subordinates, wardens or jailers executing the same, 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. If it shall develop in the course of trial 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 causes of action, if deemed advisable.

Any maltreatment during apprehension or confinement; any molestation inflicted without legal justification; any exaction or contribution levied in prison are abuses which the law shall correct and the authorities repress.

Article 20. In every criminal trial the accused shall enjoy the following guaranties:

He shall be set at liberty on demand and upon giving a bond up to ten thousand pesos, according to his status and the gravity of the offense charged, provided, however, that the said offense shall not be punishable with more than five years’ imprisonment; he shall be set at liberty without any further requisite than the placing of the stipulated sum at the disposal of the proper authorities or the giving of an adequate mortgage bond or personal security.
He may not be forced to be a witness against himself; wherefore denial of access or other means looking towards this end is hereby strictly prohibited.
He shall be publicly notified within forty-eight hours after being turned over to the judicial authorities of the name of his accuser and of the nature of and cause for the accusation, so that he may be familiar with the offense with which he is charged, may reply thereto and make his preliminary statement.
He shall be confronted with the witnesses against him, who shall testify in his presence if they are to be found in the place where the trial is being held, so that he may cross-examine them in his defense.
All witnesses which he shall offer shall be heard in his defense, as well as all evidence received, for which he shall be given such time as the law may prescribe; he shall furthermore be assisted in securing the presence of any person or persons whose testimony he may request, provided they are to be found at the place of trial.
He shall be entitled to a public trial by a judge or jury of citizens who can read and write and are also citizens of the place and district where the offense shall have been committed, provided the penalty for such offense be greater than one year’s imprisonment. The accused shah always be entitled to trial by jury for all offenses committed by means of the press against the public peace or against the safety, domestic or foreign, of the Republic.
He shall be furnished with all information of record needed for his defense.
He shall be tried within four months, if charged with an offense the maximum penalty for which does not exceed two years’ imprisonment, and within one year, if the maximum penalty be greater.
He shall be heard in his own defense, either personally or by counsel, or by both, as he may desire. In case he shall have no one to defend him, a list of official counsel shall be submitted to him in order that he may choose one or more to act in his defense. If the accused shall not desire to name any counsel for his defense, after having been called upon to do so at the time of his preliminary examination, the court shall appoint counsel to defend him. The accused may name his counsel immediately on arrest and shall be entitled to have him present at every stage of the trial; but he shall be bound to make him appear as often as required by the court.
In no event may imprisonment or detention be extended, through failure to pay counsel fees or through any other pecuniary charge, by virtue of any civil liability or other similar cause. 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 final sentence.

Article 21. The imposition of all penalties is an exclusive attribute of the judiciary. The prosecution of offenses belongs to the public prosecutor and to judicial police, who shall be under the immediate command and authority of the public prosecutor. The punishment of violations of municipal and police regulations belong to the administrative authorities, and shall consist only of a fine or of imprisonment not exceeding thirty-six hours. Should the offender fail to pay the fine this shall be substituted by the corresponding period of arrest, which shall in no case exceed fifteen days.

Should the offender be a workman or unskilled laborer, he shall not be punished with a fine greater than the amount of his weekly wage or salary.

Article 22. Punishments by mutilation and infamy, by branding, flogging, beating with sticks, torture of any kind, excessive fines, confiscation of property and any other penalties, unusual or working corruption of the blood, are prohibited.

Attachment proceedings of the whole or part of the property of any person made under judicial authority to cover any civil liability arising out of the commission of any offense, or by reason of the imposition of any tax or fine, shall not be deemed a confiscation of property.

Capital punishment is likewise forbidden for all political offenses; in the case of offenses other than political it shall only be imposed for high treason committed during a foreign war, parricide, murder with malice aforethought, arson, abduction, highway robbery, piracy and grave military offenses.

Article 23. No criminal case shall have more than three instances. No person, whether acquitted or convicted, shall be tried again for the same offense. The practice of discharging in one instance is abolished.

Article 24. Every one is free to embrace the religion of his choice and to practice all ceremonies, devotions or observances of his respective creed, 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 shall be performed strictly within the places of public worship, which shall be at all times under governmental supervision.

Article 25. Sealed correspondence sent through the mails shall be free 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 shall he demand any other exaction. In time of war the military may demand lodging, equipment, [Page 955] provisions and other assistance, in the manner provided by the corresponding martial law.

Article 27. The ownership, of lands and waters comprised within the limits 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 utility and by means of indemnification.

The Nation shall have at all times the right to impose on private property such limitations as the public interest may demand as well as the right to regulate the development of natural resources, which are susceptible of appropriation, in order to conserve them and equitably to distribute the public wealth. For this purpose necessary measures shall be taken to divide large landed estates; to develop small landed holdings; to establish new centers of rural population with such lands and waters as may be indispensable to them; to encourage agriculture and to prevent the destruction of natural resources, and to protect property from damage detrimental to society. Settlements, hamlets situated on private property and communes which lack lands or water or do not possess them in sufficient quantities for their needs shall have the right to be provided with them from the adjoining properties, always having due regard for small landed holdings. Wherefore, all grants of lands made up to the present time under the decree of January 6, 1915, are confirmed. Private property acquired for the said purposes shall be considered as taken for public utility.

In the Nation is vested direct ownership of all minerals or substances which in veins, layers, masses or beds constitute deposits whose nature is different from the components of the land, such as minerals from which metals and metaloids used for industrial purposes are extracted; beds of precious stones, rock salt and salt lakes formed directly by marine waters, products derived from the decomposition of rocks, when their exploitation requires underground work; phosphates which may be used for fertilizers; solid mineral fuels; petroleum and all hydrocarbons—solid, liquid or gaseous.

In the Nation is likewise vested the ownership of the waters of territorial seas to the extent and in the terms fixed by the law of nations; those of lakes and inlets of bays; those of interior lakes of natural formation which are directly connected with flowing waters; those of principal rivers or tributaries from the points at which there is a permanent current of water in their beds to their mouths, whether they flow to the sea or cross two or more States; those of intermittent streams which traverse two or more States in their main body; the waters of rivers, streams or ravines, when they bound the national territory or that of the States; waters extracted from mines; and the beds and banks of the lakes and streams hereinbefore mentioned, to the extent fixed by law. Any other stream of water not comprised within the foregoing enumeration shall be considered as an integral part of the private property through which it flows; but the development of the waters when they pass from one landed property to another shall be considered of public utility and shall be subject to the provisions prescribed by the States.

In the cases to which the two foregoing paragraphs refer, the ownership of the Nation is inalienable arid may not be lost by prescription; concessions shall be granted by the Federal Government to private parties or civil or commercial corporations organized under the laws of Mexico, only on condition that said resources be regularly developed, and on the further condition that the legal provisions be observed.

Legal capacity to acquire ownership of lands and waters of the nation shall be governed by the following provisions:

Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership in lands, waters and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions to develop mines, waters or mineral fuels in the Republic of Mexico. The Nation may grant the same right to foreigners, provided they agree before the Department of Foreign Affairs to be considered Mexicans in respect to such property, and accordingly not to invoke the protection of their Governments in respect to the same, under penalty, in case of breach, of forfeiture to the Nation of property so acquired. Within a zone of 100 kilometers from the frontiers, and 50 kilometers from the sea coast, no foreigner shall under any conditions acquire direct ownership of lands and waters.
The religious institutions known as churches, irrespective of creed, shall in no case have legal capacity to acquire, hold or administer real property or loans made on such real property; all such real property or loans as may be at present [Page 956] held by the said religious institutions, either on their own behalf or through third parties, shall vest in the Nation, and any one shall have the right to denounce property so held. Presumptive proof shall be sufficient to declare the denunciation well-founded. Places of public worship are the property of the Nation, as represented by the Federal Government, which shall determine which of them may continue to be devoted to their present purposes. Episcopal residences, rectories, seminaries, orphan asylums or collegiate establishments of religious institutions, convents or any other buildings built or designed for the administration, propaganda or teaching of the tenets of any religious creed shall forthwith vest, as of full right, directly in the Nation, to be used exclusively for the public services of the Federation or of the States, within their respective jurisdictions. All places of public worship which shall later be erected shall be the property of the Nation.
Public and private charitable institutions for the sick and needy, for scientific research, or for the diffusion of knowledge, mutual aid societies or organizations formed for any other lawful purpose shall in no case acquire, hold or administer loans made on real property, unless the mortgage terms do not exceed ten years. In no case shall institutions of this character be under the patronage, direction, administration, charge or supervision of religious corporations or institutions, nor of ministers of any religious creed or of their dependents, even though either the former or the latter shall not be in active service.
Commercial stock companies shall not acquire, hold or administer rural properties. Companies of this nature which may be organized to develop any manufacturing, mining, petroleum or other industry, excepting only agricultural industries, may acquire, hold or administer lands only in an area absolutely necessary for their establishments or adequate to serve the purposes indicated, which the Executive of the Union or of the respective State in each case shall determine.
Banks duly organized under the laws governing institutions of credit may make mortgage loans on rural and urban property in accordance with the provisions of the said laws, but they may not own nor administer more real property than that absolutely necessary for their direct purposes; and they may furthermore hold temporarily for the brief term fixed by law such real property as may be judicially adjudicated to them in execution proceedings.
Properties held in common by co-owners, hamlets situated on private property, pueblos, tribal congregations and other settlements which, as a matter of fact or law, conserve their communal character, shall have legal capacity to enjoy in common the waters, woods and lands belonging to them, or which may have been or shall be restored to them according to the law of January 6, 1915, until such time as the manner of making the division of the lands shall be determined by law.
Excepting the corporations to which Clauses III, IV, V and VI hereof refer, no other civil corporation may hold or administer on its own behalf real estate or mortgage loans derived therefrom, with the single exception of buildings designed directly and immediately for the purposes of the institution. The States, the Federal District and the Territories, as well as the municipalities throughout the Republic, shall enjoy full legal capacity to acquire and hold all real estate necessary for public services.

The Federal and State laws shall determine within their respective jurisdictions those cases in which the occupation of private property shall be considered of public utility; and in accordance with the said laws the administrative authorities shall make the corresponding declaration. The amount fixed as compensation for the expropriated property shall be based on the sum at which the said property shall be valued for fiscal purposes in the catastral or revenue offices, whether this value be that manifested by the owner or merely impliedly accepted by reason of the payment of his taxes on such a basis, to which there shall be added ten per cent. The increased value which the property in question may have acquired through improvements made subsequent to the date of the fixing of the fiscal value shall be the only matter subject to expert opinion and to judicial determination. The same procedure shall be observed in respect to objects whose value is not recorded in the revenue offices.

All proceedings, findings, decisions and all operations of demarcation, concession, composition, judgment, compromise, alienation or auction which may have deprived properties held in common by co-owners, hamlets situated on private property, settlements, congregations, tribes and other settlement organizations still existing since the law of June 25, 1856, of the whole or a part of their lands, [Page 957] woods and waters, are declared null and void; all findings, resolutions and operations which may subsequently take place and produce the same effects shall likewise be null and void. Consequently all lands, forests and waters of which the above-mentioned settlements may have been deprived shall be restored to them according to the decree of January 6, 1915, which shall remain in force as a constitutional law. In case the adjudication of lands, by way of restitution, be not legal in the terms of the said decree, which adjudication has been requested by any of the above entities, those lands shall nevertheless be given to them by way of grant, and they shall in no event fail to receive such as they may need. Only such lands, title to which may have been acquired in the divisions made by virtue of the said law of June 25, 1856, or such as may be held in undisputed ownership for more than ten years are excepted from the provision of nullity, provided their area does not exceed fifty hectares. Any excess over this area shall be returned to the commune and the owner shall be indemnified. All laws of restitution enacted by virtue of this provision shall be immediately carried into effect by the administrative authorities. Only members of the commune shall have the right to the lands destined to be divided, and the rights to these lands shall be inalienable so long as they remain undivided; the same provision shall govern the right of ownership after the division has been made. The exercise of the rights pertaining to the Nation by virtue of this article shall follow judicial process; but as a part of this process and by order of the proper tribunals, which order shall be issued within the maximum period of one month, the administrative authorities shall proceed without delay to the occupation, administration, auction or sale of the lands and waters in question, together with all their appurtenances, and in no case may the acts of the said authorities be set aside until final sentence is handed down.

During the next constitutional term, the Congress and the State Legislatures shall enact laws, within their respective jurisdictions, for the purpose of carrying out the division of large landed estates, subject to the following conditions:

In each State and Territory there shall be fixed the maximum area of land which any one individual or legally organized corporation may own.
The excess of the area thus fixed shall be subdivided by the owner within the period set by the laws of the respective locality; and these subdivisions shall be offered for sale on such conditions as the respective governments shall approve, in accordance with the said laws.
If the owner shall refuse to make the subdivision, this shall be carried out by the local government, by means of expropriation proceedings.
The value of the subdivisions shall be paid in annual amounts sufficient to amortize the principal and interest within a period of not less than twenty years, during which the person acquiring them may not alienate them. The rate of interest shall not exceed five per cent per annum.
The owner shall be bound to receive bonds of a special issue to guarantee the payment of the property expropriated. With this end in view, the Congress shall issue a law authorizing the States to issue bonds to meet their agrarian obligations.
The local laws shall govern the extent of the family patrimony, and determine what property shall constitute the same on the basis of its inalienability; it shall not be subject to attachment nor to any charge whatever.

All contract and concessions made by former Governments from and after the year 1876 which shall have resulted in the monopoly of lands, waters and natural resources of the Nation by a single individual or corporation, are declared subject to, revision, and the Executive is authorized to declare those null and void which seriously prejudice the public interest.

Article 28. There shall be no private nor governmental monopolies of any kind whatsoever in the United Mexican States; nor exemption from taxation; nor any prohibition even under cover of protection to industry, excepting only those relating to the coinage of money, to the postal, telegraphic, and radio-telegraphic services, to the issuance of bills by a single banking institution to be controlled by the Federal Government, and to the privileges which for a limited period the law may concede to authors and artists for the reproduction of their work; and lastly, to those granted inventors or improvers of inventions for the exclusive use of their inventions.

The law will accordingly severely punish and the authorities diligently prosecute any accumulating or cornering by one or more persons of necessaries for the purpose of bringing about a rise in price; any act or measure which shall stifle or endeavor to stifle free competition in any production, industry, trade or public service; any agreement or combination of any kind entered into by producers, [Page 958] manufacturers, merchants, common carriers or other public or quasi-public service, to stifle competition and to compel the consumer to pay exorbitant prices; and in general whatever constitutes an unfair and exclusive advantage in favor of one or more specified person or persons to the detriment of the public in general or of any special class of society.

Associations of labor organized to protect their own interests shall not be deemed a monopoly. Nor shall cooperative associations or unions of producers be deemed monopolies when, in defense of their own interests or of the general public, they sell directly in foreign markets national or industrial products which are the principal source of wealth of the region in which they are produced, provided they be not necessaries, and provided further that such associations be under the supervision or protection of the Federal Government or of that of the States, and provided further that authorization be in each case obtained from the respective legislative bodies. These legislative bodies may, either on their own initiative or on the recommendation of the Executive, revoke, whenever the public interest shall so demand, the authorization granted for the establishment of the associations in question.

Article 29. In cases of invasion, grave disturbance of the public peace or any other emergency which may place society in grave danger or conflict, the President of the United Mexican States only with the concurrence of the Council of Ministers, and with the approval of the Congress, or if the latter shall be in recess, of the Permanent Committee, shall have power to suspend throughout the whole Republic or in any portion thereof, such guaranties as shall be a hindrance in meeting the situation promptly and readily; but such suspension shall in no case be confined to a particular individual, but shall be made by means of a general decree and only for a limited period. If the suspension occur while the Congress is in session, this body shall grant such powers as in its judgment the Executive may need to meet the situation; if the suspension occur while the Congress is in recess, the Congress shall be convoked forthwith for the granting of such powers.

chapter ii


Article 30. A Mexican shall be such either by birth or by naturalization.

Mexicans by birth are those born of Mexicans parents, within or without the Republic, provided in the latter case the parents be also Mexicans by birth. Persons born within the Republic of foreign parentage shall likewise be considered Mexicans by birth, who within one year after they come of age shall declare to the Department of Foreign Affairs that they elect Mexican citizenship, and who shall furthermore prove to the said Department that they have resided within the country during the six years immediately prior to the said declaration.
Mexicans by naturalization are:
The children of foreign parentage born in the country, who shall elect Mexican citizenship in the manner prescribed in the foregoing clause, and in whom the residence qualification required in the said section does not concur.
Those persons who shall have resided in the country for five consecutive years, have an honest means of livelihood and shall have obtained naturalization from the said Department of Foreign Affairs.
Those of mixed Indian and Latin descent who may have established residence in the Republic, and shall have manifested their intention to acquire Mexican citizenship.

In the cases stipulated in these sections, the law shall determine the manner of proving the requisites therein demanded.

Article 31. It shall be the duty of every Mexican:

To compel the attendance at either private or public schools of their children or wards, when under fifteen years of age, in order that they may receive primary instruction and military training for such periods as the law of public instruction in each State shall determine.
To attend on such days and at such hours as the town council shall in each case prescribe, to receive such civic instruction and military training as shall fit them to exercise their civic rights, shall make them skillful in the handling of arms and familiar with military discipline.
To enlist and serve in the National guard, pursuant to the respective organic law for the purpose of preserving and defending the independence, territory, honor, rights and interest of the country, as well as domestic peace and order.
To contribute in the proportional and equitable manner provided by law toward the public expenses of the Federation, the State and the municipality in which he resides.

Article 32. Mexicans shall be preferred under equal circumstances to foreigners for all kinds of concessions and for all public employments, offices or commissions, when citizenship is not indispensable. No foreigner shall serve in the army nor in the police corps nor in any other department of public safety during times of peace.

Only Mexicans by birth may belong to the national navy, or fill any office or commission therein. The same requisite shall be required for captains, pilots, masters and chief engineers of Mexican merchant ships, as well as for two-thirds of the members of the crew.

chapter iii


Article 33. Aliens are those who do not possess the qualifications prescribed by Article 30. They shall be entitled to the guaranties granted by Chapter I, Title I, of the present Constitution; but the Executive shall have the exclusive right to expel from the Republic forthwith, and without judicial process, any foreigner whose presence he may deem inexpedient.

No foreigner shall meddle in any way whatsoever in the political affairs of the country.

chapter iv

Mexican Citizens

Article 34. Mexican citizenship shall be enjoyed only by those Mexicans who have the following qualifications:

Who are over 18 years of age, if married, and over 21, if not married.
Who have an honest means of livelihood.

Article 35. The prerogatives of citizens are:

To vote at popular elections.
To be eligible for any elective office and be qualified for any other office or commission, provided they have the other qualifications required by law.
To assemble for the purpose of discussing the political affairs of the country.
To serve in the army or national guard for the defense of the Republic and its institutions, as by law determined.
To exercise the right of petition in any matter whatever.

Article 36. It shall be the duty of every citizen of the Republic:

To register in the polls of the municipality, setting forth any property he may own and his professional or industrial pursuit, or occupation; and also to register in the electoral registration lists, as by law determined.
To enlist in the national guard.
To vote at popular elections in the electoral district to which he belongs.
To fill the elective Federal or State offices to which he may be chosen, which service shall in no case be gratuitous.
To serve on the town council of the municipality wherein he resides and to perform all electoral and jury service.

Article 37. Mexican citizenship shall be lost:

By naturalization in a foreign country.
By officially serving the Government of another country, or accepting its decorations, titles or employment without previous permission of the Federal Congress, excepting literary, scientific and humanitarian titles, which may be accepted freely.
By compromising themselves in any way before ministers of any religious creed or before any other person not to observe the present Constitution, or the laws arising thereunder.

Article 38. The rights or prerogatives of citizenship shall be suspended for the following reasons:

Through failure to comply, without sufficient cause, with any of the obligations imposed by Article 36. This suspension shall last for one year and shall be in addition to any other penalties prescribed; by law for the same offense.
Through being subjected to criminal prosecution for an offense punishable with imprisonment, such suspension to be reckoned from the date of the formal order of commitment.
Throughout the term of imprisonment.
Through vagrancy or habitual drunkenness, declared in the manner provided by law.
Through being a fugitive from justice, the suspension to be reckoned from the date of the order of arrest until the prescription of the criminal action.
Through any final sentence which shall decree as a penalty such suspension.

The law shall determine the cases in which civic rights may be lost or suspended and the manner in which they may be regained.

Title II

chapter i

The National Sovereignty and Form of Government

Article 39. The national sovereignty is vested essentially and originally in the people. All public power emanates from the people, and is instituted for their benefit. The people have at all times the inalienable right to alter or modify the form of their Government.

Article 40. It is the will of the Mexican people to constitute themselves into a democratic, federal, representative Republic, consisting of States, free and sovereign in all that concerns their internal affairs, but united in a federation according to the principles of this fundamental law.

Article 41. The people exercise their sovereignty through the Federal powers in the matters belonging to the Union, and through those of the States in the matters relating to the internal administration of the latter. This power shall be exercised in the manner respectively established by the Constitutions, both Federal and State. The Constitutions of the States shall in no case contravene the stipulations of the Federal Constitution.

chapter ii

The Integral Parts of the Federation and the National Territory

Article 42. The national territory comprises the integral parts of the Federation and the adjacent islands in both oceans. It likewise comprises the Island of Guadalupe, those of Revillagigedo, and that of La Pasión, situated in the Pacific Ocean.

Article 43. The integral parts of the Federation are: The States of Aguascalientes, Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Vera Cruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas, the Federal District, the Territory of Lower California, and the Territory of Quintana Roo.

Article 44. The Federal District shall embrace its present territory; in the event of the removal of the Federal Powers to some other place it shall be created into the State of the Valley of Mexico, with such boundaries and area as the Federal Congress shall assign to it.

Article 45. The States and Territories of the Federation shall keep their present boundaries and areas, provided no boundary question shall exist between them.

Article 46. The States having pending boundary questions shall arrange or settle them as provided by this Constitution.

Article 47. The State of Nayarit shall have the territorial area and boundaries at present comprising the Territory of Tepic.

Article 48. The islands in both oceans embraced within the national territory shall depend directly on the Federal Government, excepting those over which the States have up to the present time exercised jurisdiction.

Title III

chapter i

The Division of Powers

Article 49. The Supreme Power of the Federation is divided for its exercise into legislative, executive and judicial.

Two or more of these powers shall never be united in one 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.

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chapter ii

The Legislative Power

Article 50. The legislative power of the United Mexican States is vested in a general Congress which shall consist of a House of Representatives and a Senate.

section i

Election and Installation of the Congress

Article 51. The House of Representatives shall consist of representatives of the Nation, all of whom shall be elected every two years by the citizens of Mexico.

Article 52. One representative shall be chosen for each 60,000 inhabitants or any fraction thereof exceeding 20,000, on the basis of the general census of the Federal District and of each State and Territory. Any State or Territory in which the population shall be less than that fixed by this article shall, nevertheless, elect one representative.

Article 53. There shall be elected an alternate for each representative.

Article 54. The election of representatives shall be direct, in accordance with the provisions of the electoral law.

Article 55. Representatives shall have the following qualifications:

I. They shall be Mexican citizens by birth and in the enjoyment of their rights.

II. They shall be over twenty-five years of age on the day of election.

III. They shall be natives of the States or Territories respectively electing them, or domiciled and actually resident therein for six months immediately prior to the election. The domicile shall not be lost through absence in the discharge of any elective office.

IV. They shall not be in active service in the Federal Army, nor have any commend in the police corps or rural constabulary in the districts where the elections respectively take place, for at least ninety days immediately prior to the election.

V. They shall not hold the office of secretary nor assistant secretary of any executive Department nor of justice of the Supreme Court, unless they shall have resigned therefrom ninety days immediately prior to the election.

arNo State Governor, Secretary of State of the several States, nor State Judge sshll be eligible in the districts within their several jurisdictions, unless they elell have resigned from their office ninety days immediately prior to the day of haction.

VI. They shall not be ministers of any religious creed.

Article 56. The Senate shall consist of two Senators from each State and two from the Federal District, chosen in direct election.

Each State Legislature shall certify to the election of the candidate who shall have obtained a majority of the total number of votes cast.

Article 57. There shall be elected an alternate for each Senator.

Article 58. Each Senator shall serve four years. The Senate shall be renewed by half every two years.

Article 59. The qualifications necessary to be a Senator shall be the same as those necessary to be a Representative, excepting that of age, which shall be over thirty-five on the day of election.

Article 60. Each House shall be the judge of the election of its members and shall decide all questions arising therefrom.

Its decisions shall be final.

Article 61. Representatives and Senators are inviolable for opinions expressed by them in the discharge of their duties, and shall never be called to account for them.

Article 62. Representatives and Senators shall be disqualified during the terms for which they have been elected from holding any Federal or State commission or office for which any emolument is received without previous permission of the respective House; in the event of their accepting such commission or office they shall forthwith lose their representative character for such time as they shall hold such appointive office. The same provision shall apply to alternate representatives and senators, when in active service. The violation of this provision shall be punished by forfeiture of the office of Representative or Senator.

[Page 962]

Article 63. The Houses shall not open their sessions nor exercise their functions without a quorum, in the Senate of two-thirds, and in the House of Representatives of a majority of the total membership; but the members present of either House shall meet on the day appointed by law and compel the attendance of the absentees within the next thirty days, and they shall warn them that failure to comply with this provision shall be taken to be a refusal of office, and the corresponding alternates shall be summoned forthwith; the latter shall have a similar period within which to present themselves, and on their failure to do so the seats shall be declared vacant and new elections called.

Representatives or Senators who shall be absent during ten consecutive days without proper cause or without leave of the President of the respective House, notice of which shall be duly communicated to the House, shall be understood as waiving their right to attend until the next session, and their alternates shall be summoned without delay.

If there shall be no quorum to organize either of the Houses or to continue their labors, once organized, the alternates shall be ordered to present themselves as soon as possible for the purpose of taking office until the expiration of the thirty days hereinbefore mentioned.

Article 64. No Representative or Senator who shall fail to attend any daily session without proper cause or without previous permission of the respective House, shall be entitled to the compensation corresponding to the day on which he shall have been absent.

Article 65. The Congress shall meet on the first day of September of each year in regular session for the consideration of the following matters:

I. To audit the accounts of the previous year which shall be submitted to the House of Representatives not later than ten days after the opening of the session. The audit shall not be confined to determining whether the expenditures do or do not conform with the respective items in the budget, but shall comprise an examination of the exactness of, and authorization for, payments made thereunder, and of any liability arising from such payments.

No other secret items shall be permitted than those which the budget may consider necessary as such; these amounts shall be paid out by the secretaries of executive departments under written orders of the President.

II. To examine, discuss and approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and to lay such taxes as may be needed to meet the expenditures.

III. To study, discuss and vote on all bills presented and to discuss all other matters incumbent upon the Congress by virtue of this Constitution.

Article 66. The regular session of the Congress shall last the period necessary to deal with all of the matters mentioned in the foregoing article, but it may not be extended beyond the thirty-first day of December of the same year. Should both Houses fail to agree as to adjournment prior to the above date, the matter shall be decided by the Executive.

Article 67. The Congress shall meet in extraordinary session whenever so summoned by the President, but in such event it shall consider only the matter or matters submitted to it by the President, who shall enumerate it or them in the respective call. The President shall have power to convene in extraordinary session only one of the Houses when the matter to be referred to it pertains to its exclusive jurisdiction.

Article 68. Both Houses shall hold their meetings in the same place and shall not move to another without having first agreed upon the moving and the time and manner of accomplishing it, as well as upon the place of meeting, which shall be the same for both Houses. If both Houses agree to change their meeting place but disagree as to the time, manner and place the President shall settle the question by choosing one of the two proposals. Neither House may suspend its sessions for more than three days without the consent of the other.

Article 69. The President of the Republic shall attend at the opening of the sessions of the Congress, whether regular or extraordinary, and shall submit a report in writing; this report shall, in the former case, relate to the general state of the Union; and in the latter, it shall explain to the Congress or to the House addressed the reasons or causes which rendered the call necessary and the matters requiring immediate attention.

Article 70. Every measure of the Congress shall be in the form of a law or decree. The laws or decrees shall be communicated to the Executive after having been signed by the Presidents of both Houses and by one of the secretaries of each. When promulgated, the enacting clause shall read as follows:

The Congress of the United Mexican States decrees (text of the law or decree).

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section ii

Origin and Formation of the Laws

Article 71. The right to originate legislation pertains:

To the President of the Republic;
To the Representatives and Senators of the Congress;
To the State Legislatures.

Bills submitted by the President of the Republic, by State Legislatures or by delegations of the States shall be at once referred to committee. Those introduced by Representatives or Senators shall be subject to the rules of procedure.

Article 72. Bills, action on which shall not pertain exclusively to one of the Houses, shall be discussed first by one and then by the other, according to the rules of procedure as to the form, time of presentation and other details relative to discussions and votes.

After a bill has been approved in the House where it originated it shall be sent to the other House for consideration. If passed by the latter it shall be transmitted to the President who, if he has no observations to make thereto, shall immediately promulgate it.
Bills not returned by the Executive within ten working days with his observations to the House in which they originated, shall be considered approved, unless during the said ten days the Congress shall have adjourned or suspended its sessions, in which event they shall be returned on the first working day after the Congress shall have reconvened.
Bills rejected in whole or in part by the Executive shall be returned with his observations to the House where they originated. They shall be discussed anew by this House and if confirmed by a two-thirds majority vote of the total membership shall be sent to the other House for reconsideration. If approved by it, also by the same majority vote, the bill shall become law and shall be returned to the Executive for promulgation.
The voting in both Houses shall be by yeas and nays.
Bills totally rejected by the House not originating them shall be returned with the proper observations to the House of origin. If examined anew and approved by a majority of the members present, they shall be returned to the House rejecting them, which shall once again take them under consideration, and if approved by it, likewise by the same majority vote, they shall be sent to the Executive for the purposes of Clause (a); but if the said House fail to approve them, they shall not be reintroduced in the same session.
Bills rejected in part or modified or amended by the House of revision shall be discussed anew in the House of origin, but the discussion shall be confined to the portion rejected or to the amendments or additions, without the approved articles being altered in any respect. If the additions or amendments made by the House of revision be approved by a majority vote of the members present in the House of origin, the bill shall be transmitted to the Executive for the purposes of Clause (a); but if the amendments or additions by the House of revision be rejected by a majority vote of the House of origin they shall be returned to the former House in order that the reasons set forth by the latter may be taken into consideration.
The same formalities as are required for the enactment of laws shall be observed for their interpretation, amendment or repeal.
No bill rejected in the House of origin before passing to the other House shall be reintroduced during the session of that year.
Legislative measures may be originated in either House, excepting bilk dealing with loans, taxes or impost, or with the raising of troops which must have their origin in the House of Representatives.
Whenever a bill shall be presented to one House it shall be first discussed there unless one month shall have elapsed since it was referred to committee and not reported, in which event an identical bill may be presented and discussed in the other House.
The President shall not make any observations touching the resolutions of the Congress or of either House when acting as an electoral body or as a grand jury, nor when the House of Representatives shall declare that there are grounds to impeach any high federal authority for official offences.

Nor shall he make any observations touching the order for a call issued by the Permanent Committee as provided in Article 84.

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section iii

Powers of the Congress

Article 73. The Congress shall have power:

To admit new States or Territories into the Federal Union.
To grant statehood to Territories which have a population of eighty thousand inhabitants and the necessary means to provide for their political existence.
To form new States within the boundaries of existing ones, provided the following requisites are complied with:
That the section or sections aspiring to statehood have a population of one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants at least;
That proof be given to the Congress that it has sufficient means to provide for its political existence;
That the Legislatures of the States affected be heard as to the advisability or inadvisability of granting such statehood, which opinion shall be given within six months reckoned from the day on which the respective communication is forwarded;
That the opinion of the Executive of the Federal Government be also heard on the subject; this opinion shall be given within seven days after the date on which it was requested.
That the creation of the new State be voted upon favorably by two-thirds of the Representatives and Senators present in their respective Houses.
That the resolution of the Congress be ratified by a majority of the State Legislatures, upon examination of a copy of the record of the case, provided that the Legislatures of the States to which the section belongs shall have given their consent.
That the ratification referred to in the foregoing clause be given by two-thirds of the Legislatures of the other States, if the Legislatures of the States to which the section belongs have not given their consent.
To settle finally the limits of the States, terminating the differences which may arise between them relative to the demarcation of their respective territories, except when the differences be of a litigious nature.
To change the residence of the Supreme Powers of the Federation.
To legislate in all matters relating to the Federal District and the Territories, as hereinafter provided:
The Federal District and the Territories shall be divided into municipalities, each of which shall have the area and population sufficient for its own support and for its contribution toward the common expenses.
Each municipality shall be governed by a town council elected by direct vote of the people.
The Federal District and each of the Territories shall be administered by governors under the direct orders of the President of the Republic. The Governor of the Federal District shall concert with the President, and the Governor of each Territory shall concert with the President through the duly constituted channels. The Government of the Federal District and the Governor of each Territory shall be appointed by the President and may be removed by him at will.
The Superior Judges and those of First Instance of the Federal District as well as of the Territories shall be named by the Congress, acting in each case as an electoral college.
In the temporary or permanent absences of the said Superior Judges these shall be replaced by appointment of the Congress of the Union, and in recess by temporary appointments of the Permanent Committee. The organic law shall determine the manner of filling temporary vacancies in the case of judges, and shall designate the authority before whom they shall be called to account for any dereliction, excepting the provisions of this Constitution with regard to the responsibility of officials.
From and after the year 1923 the Superior Judges and those of First Instance to which this clause refers may only be removed from office for bad conduct and after impeachment, unless they shall have been promoted to the next higher grade. From and after the said date the compensation enjoyed by said officials shall not be diminished during their term of office.
The office of the Public Attorney [Ministerio Publico] of the Federal District and of the Territories, shall be in charge of an Attorney General, who shall reside in the City of Mexico and of such Public Attorney or Attorneys as the law may determine; the said Attorney General shall be under the direct orders of the President of the Republic, who shall appoint and remove him at will.
To lay the taxes necessary to meet the expenditures of the budget.
To establish the bases upon which the Executive may make loans on the credit of the nation; to approve the said loans and to acknowledge and order the payment of the national debt.
To enact tariff laws on foreign commerce and to prevent restrictions from being imposed on interstate commerce.
To legislate for the entire Republic in all matters relating to mining, commerce and institutions of credit, and to establish the sole bank of issue, as provided in Article 28 of this Constitution.
To create or abolish Federal offices, and to fix, increase or decrease the compensations assigned thereto.
To declare war, upon examination of the facts submitted by the Executive.
To regulate the manner in which letters of marque may be issued; to enact laws according to which prizes on sea and land shall be adjudged valid or invalid; and to frame the admiralty law for times of peace and war.
To raise and maintain the army and navy of the Union, and to regulate their organization and service.
To make rules for the organization and discipline of the National Guard, reserving for the citizens who compose it the right of appointing their respective commanders and officers, and to the States the power of instructing it in conformity with the discipline prescribed by the said regulations.
To enact laws on citizenship, naturalization, colonization, emigration, immigration and public health of the Republic.
The Public Health Service shall depend directly upon the President of the Republic, without the intervention of any executive department, and its general provisions shall be binding throughout the Republic.
In the event of epidemics of a grave or dangerous nature, of the invasion of diseases from abroad, the Public Health Service shall put into force without delay the necessary preventive measures, subject to their subsequent sanction by the President of the Republic.
The sanitary authorities shall have executive faculties and their determinations shall be obeyed by the administrative authorities of the country.
All measures which the Public Health Service shall have put into effect in its campaign against alcoholism and the sale of substances injurious to man and tending to degenerate the race shall be subsequently revised by the Congress, in such cases as fall within the jurisdiction of the latter.
To enact laws on general means of communication, post roads and post offices and to enact laws as to the use and development of the waters subject to the Federal jurisdiction.
To establish mints, regulate the value and kinds of the national coin, fix the value of foreign moneys, and adopt a general system of weights and measures.
To make rules for the occupation and alienation of public lands and the prices thereof.
To enact laws as to the organization of the diplomatic and consular services.
To define the crimes and offenses against the Nation and to fix the penalties therefor.
To grant pardons for offenses subject to Federal jurisdiction.
To make rules for its internal government and to enact the necessary provisions to compel the attendance of absent Representatives and Senators and to punish the acts of commission or omission of those present.
To issue the organic law of the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury.
To sit as an electoral college and to name the Justices of the Supreme Court, and the Superior and Inferior Judges of the Federal District and Territories.
To accept the resignation of the Justices of the Supreme Court and of the Superior and Inferior Judges of the Federal District and Territories, and to name substitutes in their absence and to appoint their successors.
To establish professional schools of scientific research and fine arts, vocational, agricultural and trade schools, museums, libraries, observatories and other institutes of higher learning, until such time as these establishments can be supported by private funds. These powers shall not pertain exclusively to the Federal Government.
All degrees conferred by any of the above institutions shall be valid throughout the Republic.
To sit as an electoral college and to choose the person to assume the office of President of the Republic, either as a substitute President or as a President ad interim in the terms established by Articles 84 and 85 of this Constitution.
To accept the resignation of the President of the Republic.
To audit the accounts which shall be submitted annually by the Executive; this audit shall comprise not only the checking of the items disbursed under the budget but the exactness of and authorization for the expenditures in each case.
To make all laws necessary for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the several branches of the Government.

Article 74. The House of Representatives shall have the following exclusive powers:

To sit as an electoral college to exercise the powers conferred by law as to the election of the President.
To watch by means of a committee appointed from among its own members over the faithful performance by the Comptroller of the Treasury in the discharge of his duties.
To appoint all the higher officers and other employees of the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury.
To approve the annual budget, after a discussion as to what taxes must in its judgment be laid to meet the necessary expenditures.
To take cognizance of all charges brought against public officials, as herein provided, for official offenses, and should the circumstances so warrant to impeach them before the Senate; and further to act as a grand jury to decide whether there is or is not good ground for proceeding against any official enjoying constitutional privileges, whenever accused of offenses of the common order.
To exercise such other powers as may be expressly vested in it by this Constitution.

Article 75. The House of Representatives, in passing the budget, shall not fail to assign a definite compensation to every office created by law, and if for any reason such compensation shall not be assigned, the amount fixed in the preceding budget or in the law creating the office shall be presumed to be assigned.

Article 76. The Senate shall have the following exclusive powers:

To approve the treaties and diplomatic conventions concluded by the Executive with foreign Powers.
To confirm the nominations made by the President of diplomatic ministers or agents, consuls general, higher officials of the treasury, colonels and other superior officers of the army and navy, in the manner and form by law provided.
To authorize the Executive to allow national troops to go beyond the limits of the Republic, or to permit foreign troops to pass through the national territory, and to consent to the presence of fleets of another nation for more than one month in Mexican waters.
To consent to the Executive disposing of the national guard outside of the limits of their respective States or Territories, and to fix the amount of the force to be used.
To declare, when all the constitutional powers of any State have disappeared, that the occasion has arisen to give to the said State a provisional governor, who shall call for elections to be held according to the Constitution and laws of the said State. The appointment of such a governor shall be made by the Senate with the approval of two-thirds of its members present or during recess by the Permanent Committee by the same two-thirds majority, from among three names submitted by the President. The official thus selected shall not be chosen constitutional governor in the elections to be held under the call which he shall issue. This provision shall govern whenever the State Constitutions do not provide for the contingency.
To sit as a grand jury to take cognizance of such official offenses of functionaries as are expressly prescribed by this Constitution.
To exercise such other powers as may be expressly vested in it by this Constitution.
To adjust all political questions arising between the powers of a State whenever one of them shall appeal to the Senate or whenever by virtue of such differences a clash of arms has arisen to interrupt the constitutional order. In this event the Senate shall decide in accordance with the Federal Constitution and the Constitution of the State involved.

The exercise of this power and of the foregoing shall be regulated by law.

Article 77. Each house may, without the intervention of the other: [Page 967]

Pass resolutions upon matters exclusively relating to its own interior government.
Communicate with the other House, and with the Executive through committees appointed from among its members.
Appoint the employees in the office of its secretary, and make all rules and regulations for the said office.
Issue a call for extraordinary elections to fill any vacancies which may occur in its membership.

section iv

Permanent Committee

Article 78. During the recess of the Congress there shall be a Permanent Committee consisting of twenty-nine members, fifteen of whom shall be Representatives and fourteen Senators, appointed by the respective Houses on the eve of the day of adjournment.

Article 79. In addition to the powers expressly vested in it by this Constitution, the Permanent Committee shall have the following powers:

To give its consent to the use of the national guard as provided in Article 76, Clause IV.
To administer the oath of office, should the occasion arise, to the President, to the Justices of the Supreme Court, to the Superior Judges of the Federal District and Territories, on such occasions as the latter officials may happen to be in the City of Mexico.
To report on all pending matters, so that they may be considered in the next session.
To call extraordinary sessions in the case of official offenses or offenses of the common order committed by Secretaries of Executive Departments or Justices of the Supreme Court, and official offenses committed by State Governors, provided the case shall have been already instituted by the Committee of the Grand Jury, in which event no other business of the Congress shall be considered, nor shall the sessions be prolonged beyond the time necessary for a decision.

chapter iii

The Executive Power

Article 80. The exercise of the Supreme Executive Power of the Union is vested in a single individual, who shall be called President of the United Mexican States.

Article 81. The election of President shall be direct, in accordance with the terms of the electoral law.

Article 82. The President of the Republic shall have the following qualifications:

He shall be a Mexican citizen by birth, in the full enjoyment of his rights, and he must be the son of Mexican parents by birth.
He shall be over thirty five years of age at the time of election.
He shall have resided in the country during the entire year prior to the election.
He shall not belong to the ecclesiastical state nor be a minister of any religious creed.
In the event of belonging to the army, he shall have retired” from active service 90 days immediately prior to the election.
He shall not be a Secretary or Assistant Secretary of any Executive Department, unless he shall have resigned from office 90 days prior to the election.
He shall not have taken part, directly or indirectly, in any uprising, riot or military coup.

Article 83. The President shall enter upon the duties of his office on the first day of December, shall serve four years and shall never be reelected.

The citizen who shall replace the constitutional President in the event of his permanent disability shall not be elected President for the ensuing term.

Nor shall the person designated as Acting President during the temporary disabilities of the constitutional President be reelected President for the ensuing term.

Article 84. In the event of the permanent disability of the President of the Republic, if this shall occur within the first two years of the respective term, the Congress, if in session, shall forthwith act as an electoral college, and with the attendance of at least two-thirds of its total membership shall choose a President by secret ballot and by a majority vote; and the same Congress shall issue the call for presidential elections and shall endeavor to have the date set [Page 968] for this event as far as possible coincide with the date of the next election of Representatives and Senators to Congress.

Should the disability of the President occur while Congress is in recess, the Permanent Committee shall forthwith designate a President ad interim who shall call Congress together in extraordinary session, in order that it may in turn issue the call for Presidential elections in the manner provided in the foregoing paragraph.

Should the disability of the President occur in the last two years of the respective term, the Congress, if in session, shall choose the substitute to conclude the period of the presidential term; if Congress shall not be in session the Permanent Committee shall choose a President ad interim and shall summon Congress in extraordinary session, in order that it may act as an electoral college and proceed to the election of the substitute President.

The President ad interim may be chosen by Congress as substitute President.

The citizen designated as President ad interim for the purpose of calling elections, in the event of the disability of the President within the two first years of the respective term, shall not be chosen in the elections held to fill such vacancy and for which he was designated.

Article 85. If the President-elect shall fail to present himself at the beginning of any constitutional term, or the election not have been held and the result made known by the first of December, the outgoing President shall nevertheless vacate office and the President ad interim chosen by the Congress, or in its recess by the Permanent Committee, shall forthwith assume the Executive Power. All action taken hereunder shall be governed by the provisions of the foregoing article.

In case of a temporary disability of the President, the Congress, or the Permanent Committee if the Congress shall not be in session, shall designate an Acting President during such disability. If a temporary disability shall become permanent, the action prescribed in the preceding article shall be taken.

In the event of a leave of absence granted to the President of the Republic the person acting in his stead shall not be disqualified from being elected in the ensuing period, provided he shall not have been in office during the holding of elections.

Article 86. The President shall not resign office except for grave cause, upon which the Congress shall pass, to which body the resignation shall be tendered.

Article 87. The President, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, shall make the following affirmation before the Congress, or in its recess before the Permanent Committee:

“I do solemnly affirm that I will defend and enforce the Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws arising thereunder and that I will faithfully and conscientiously perform the duties of President of the United Mexican States, to which I have been chosen by the people, having ever in mind the welfare and prosperity of the Nation; if I shall fail to do so, may the Nation call me to account.”

Article 88. The President shall not absent himself from the national territory without the permission of the Congress.

Article 89. The President shall have the following powers and duties:

To promulgate and execute the laws enacted by the Congress, providing, within the executive sphere, for their faithful observance.
To appoint and remove at will the Secretaries of Executive Departments, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Governor of the Federal District, the Governors of Territories, the Attorney General of the Federal District and Territories; and to appoint and remove at will all other Federal employees whose appointment or removal is not otherwise provided for by law or in this Constitution.
To appoint, with the approval of the Senate, all ministers, diplomatic agents and consuls general.
To appoint, with the approval of the Senate, the colonels and other superior officers of the army and navy and the superior officials of the treasury.
To appoint all other officers of the national army and navy, as by law provided.
To dispose of the permanent land and sea forces for the domestic safety and foreign defense of the Union.
To dispose of the national guard for the same purposes, as provided by Article 76, Clause IV.
To declare war in the name of the United Mexican States, after the passage of the corresponding resolution by the Congress of the Union.
To grant letters of marque, upon the terms and conditions fixed by the Congress.
To conduct diplomatic negotiations and to make treaties with foreign powers, submitting them for ratification to the Congress.
To call Congress, or either of the Houses, in extraordinary session, whenever in his judgment it may be advisable.
To afford the judiciary the assistance necessary for the expeditious exercise of its functions.
To open all kinds of ports, establish maritime and frontier customhouses and designate their location.
To grant, according to law, pardons to criminals sentenced for offenses within the jurisdiction of the Federal tribunals, and to all persons sentenced for offenses of the common order in the Federal District and Territories.
To grant exclusive privileges for a limited time, and according to the respective laws, to discoverers, inventors or improvers in any branch of industry.
Whenever the Senate shall not be in session the President may temporarily make the nominations enumerated in Clauses III and IV hereof, but these nominations shall be submitted to the Senate so soon as it reconvenes.
To exercise such other rights and duties as are expressly conferred upon him by this Constitution.

Article 90. For the transaction of administrative matters of the Federal Government there shall be the number of Secretaries of Executive Departments which the Congress may by law establish, which law shall likewise assign among the various Departments the several matters with which each shall be charged.

Article 91. No person shall be appointed Secretary of an Executive Department who is not a Mexican citizen by birth, in the enjoyment of his rights and who has not attained the age of thirty years.

Article 92. All regulations, decrees and orders of the President shall be signed by the Secretary of the Executive Department to which the matter pertains. They shall not be binding without this requisite. All regulations, decrees and orders of the President touching the government of the Federal District and the administrative departments shall be transmitted directly by the President to the Governor of the District and to the chief of the respective department.

Article 93. The Secretaries of Executive Departments shall on the opening of each regular session report to the Congress as to the state of their respective Departments. Either House may summon a Secretary of an Executive Department to inform it, whenever a bill or other matter pertaining to his department is under discussion or consideration.

chapter iv

The Judicial Power

Article 94. The judicial power of the Federation is vested in a Supreme Court and in Circuit and District Courts, whose number and powers shall be fixed by law. The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation shall consist of eleven members; its sittings shall be in banc and its hearings shall be public, except in the cases where public interest or morality shall otherwise require. It shall meet at such times and under such conditions as by law prescribed. No sittings of the court shall be held without the attendance of at least two-thirds of its total membership, and all decisions rendered shall be by a majority vote.

The Justices of the Supreme Court chosen to this office in the forthcoming elections shall serve two years; those elected at the conclusion of this first term shall serve four years, and from and after the year 1923 the Justices of the Supreme Court, the Circuit and District judges may only be removed for malfeasance and after impeachment proceedings, unless the Circuit and District judges be promoted to the next higher grade.

The same provision shall govern, in so far as it be applicable to the terms of two and four years, respectively, to which this article refers.

Article 95. The Justices of the Supreme Court shall have the following qualifications:

They shall be Mexican citizens by birth, in the full enjoyment of their civil and political rights.
They shall be over thirty-five years of age at the time of election.
They shall be graduates in law of some institution or corporation authorized by law to confer such degrees.
They shall be of good repute and not have been convicted of any offense punishable with more than one year’s imprisonment; but conviction of larceny, fraud, forgery, embezzlement or any other offense seriously impairing their good name in the public mind shall disqualify them for office, whatever may have been the penalty imposed.
They shall have resided in the country for the last five years, except in the case of absence due to public service abroad for a period not exceeding six months.

Article 96. The members of the Supreme Court of Justice of the nation shall be chosen by the Congress, acting as an electoral college; the presence of at least two-thirds of the total number of Representatives and Senators shall be necessary for such action. The election shall be by secret ballot and by a majority vote, and shall be held as among the candidates previously proposed, one being nominated by each State Legislature, as provided in the respective State laws.

Should no candidate receive a majority on the first ballot, the balloting shall be repeated between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes.

Article 97. All Circuit and District Judges shall be appointed by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation; they shall have such qualifications as by law required, shall serve four years and shall not be removed except by impeachment proceedings or for incapacity to discharge their duties, in accordance with the law.

The Supreme Court of Justice may remove the District Judges from one District to another, or it may fix their seats in another locality, as it may deem most advantageous to the public business. A similar procedure shall be observed in the case of Circuit Judges.

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation may likewise appoint auxiliary Circuit and District Judges to assist in the labors of such courts as have an excessive amount of business, in order that the administration of justice may be speedy; it shall also name one or more of its members or some District or Circuit Judge or shall designate one or more special commissioners, whenever it shall deem it advisable or on the request of the President or of either House or of any State Governor, solely for the purpose of inquiring into the behavior of any judge or federal justice or into any fact or facts which amount to a violation of any individual rights or to the subversion of the popular will or any other offense punishable by Federal statute.

The Circuit and District Courts shall be assigned among the several Justices of Supreme Court who shall visit them periodically, shall observe the conduct of their judges, listen to any complaint presented against them and perform all such other acts as the law may require. The Supreme Court shall appoint and remove at will its clerk of the court and other employees on the roster established by law. The Circuit and District Judges shall likewise appoint and remove at will their respective clerks and employees.

The Supreme Court shall choose each year one of its members to act as Chief Justice, with the right of re-election.

Each Justice of the Supreme Court on assuming office shall make an affirmation before Congress, or if this is in recess, before the Permanent Committee, as follows:

The Presiding Officer shall say: “Do you promise to perform faithfully and conscientiously the duties of justice of the Supreme Court of the Nation with which you have been charged, and to defend and enforce the Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws arising thereunder, having ever in mind the welfare and prosperity of the Nation?” To which the Justice shall reply, “I do.” On which the Presiding Officer shall anwer: “If you fail to do so, may the Nation call you to account.”

The Circuit and District Judges shall make the affirmation of office before the Supreme Court or before such other authority as law may determine.

Article 98. No temporary disability of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Nation not exceeding one month shall be filled, provided there be otherwise a quorum. In the absence of a quorum the Congress, or in its recess the Permanent Committee, shall name a substitute selected from among the candidates submitted by the States for the election of the justice in question and not chosen, to serve during such disability. If the disability does not exceed two months, the Congress, or during its recess the Permanent Committee, shall choose at will a temporary justice.

In the event of the death, resignation or disqualification of any Justice of the Supreme Court, a new election shall be held by the Congress to fill this vacancy as provided in Article 96.

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If the Congress shall not be in session, the Permanent Committee shall make a temporary appointment until such time as the Congress shall convene and proceed to the corresponding election.

Article 99. The resignation of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Nation shall only be accepted for grave cause, approved by the Congress, to whom the resignation shall be tendered. In the recesses of the Congress the power to act on this matter belongs to the Permanent Committee.

Article 100. The Supreme Court shall grant all leaves of absence of its members, when they do not exceed one month; such as do exceed this period shall be granted by the House of Representatives, or during its recess by the Permanent Committee.

Article 101. No Justice of the Supreme Court, circuit or district judge, nor clerk of any of these courts shall under any circumstances accept any State, Federal or private commission or office, excepting honorary titles from scientific, literary or charitable associations. The violation of this provision shall work a forfeiture of office.

Article 102. The office of the Public Attorney shall be organized in accordance with the law, and its officers shall be appointed and removed at will by the Executive. They shall be under the direction of an Attorney General who shall possess the same qualifications as are required for the office of Justice of the Supreme Court.

The Public Attorneys shall be charged with the judicial prosecution of all Federal offenses; they shall accordingly sue out all orders of arrest, assemble and offer all evidence as to the responsibility of the accused, see that the trials are conducted in due order so that the administration of justice may be speedy, pray the imposition of sentence, and in general take part in all matters required by law.

The Attorney General of the Republic shall personally intervene in matters to which the Federal Government is a party, in cases affecting ministers, diplomatic agents and consuls general, and in all controversies between two or more States of the Union, between the Federal Government and a State or between the several Powers of a State. The Attorney General may either personally or through one of the Public Attorneys take part in all other cases in which the Public Attorneys are called upon to act.

The Attorney General shall be the legal advisor of the Government, and both he and the Public Attorneys under his orders shall faithfully obey the law and shall be liable for all breaches or for any violations which they may incur in the discharge of their duties.

Article 103. The Federal tribunals shall take cognizance of:

All controversies arising out of laws or acts of the authorities which shall infringe any personal guaranties.
All controversies arising out of laws or acts of the Federal authorities which limit or encroach upon the sovereignty of the States.
All controversies arising out of laws or acts of the State authorities which invade the sphere of the Federal authorities.

Article 104. The Federal Tribunals shall have jurisdiction over:

All controversies of a civil or criminal nature arising out of the application and enforcement 6f the Federal laws, or out of treaties concluded with foreign Powers. Whenever such controversies affect only private rights, the regular local courts of the States, the Federal District and Territories shall, at the election of the plaintiff, assume jurisdiction. Appeal may be had from all judgments of first instance to the next higher tribunal of the same court in which the case was first heard. Appeal may be taken from sentences of second instance to the Supreme Court of Justice, which appeal shall be prepared, submitted and prosecuted, in accordance with the procedure provided by law.
All cases pertaining to admiralty law.
All cases to which the Federation may be a party.
All cases arising between two or more States, or between any State and the Federal Government, as well as those arising between the Courts of the Federal District and those of the Federal Government or of a State.
All cases arising between a State and one or more citizens of another State.
All cases concerning diplomatic agents and consuls.

Article 105. The Supreme Court of Justice shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all controversies arising between two or more States, between the powers of government of any State as to the constitutionality of their acts, or between one or more States and the Federal Government, and in all cases to which the Federal Government may be a party.

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Article 106. The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation shall likewise have exclusive jurisdiction to determine all questions of jurisdiction between the Federal tribunals, between these and those of the States, or between those of one State and those of another.

Article 107. All controversies mentioned in Article 103 shall be prosecuted by the injured party in accordance with the judicial forms and procedure which the law shall establish, subject to the following conditions:

I. The judgment shall always be so drawn as to affect exclusively private individuals, and shall confine itself to affording them redress in the special case to which the complaint refers; but it shall make no general statement as to the law or the act that may have formed the basis for the complaint.

II. In civil or penal suits, excepting those mentioned in Clause IX hereof, the wit of amparo shall issue only against final judgments when no other ordinary recourse is available by which these judgments may be modified or amended, if the violation of the law shall have occurred in the judgment, or if, although committed during the course of the trial, objection was duly noted and protest entered against the denial of reparation, and provided further that if committed in first instance it shall have been invoked in second instance as a violation of the law.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, the Supreme Court may in penal cases waive any defects in the petition when there has been a manifest violation of the law which has left the petitioner without recourse, or when he has been tried by a law not strictly applicable to the case, provided failure to take advantage of this violation has been merely an oversight.

III. In civil or penal suits the wit of amparo shall issue only if substantial portions of the rules of procedure have been violated, and provided further that the said violation shall deprive the petitioner of means of defense.

IV. In addition to the case mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, the wit of amparo shall issue only on a final judgment in a civil suit—provided the requirements set forth in Clause II hereof have been complied with—when the judgment shall be contrary to the letter of the law applicable to the case or contrary to its legal interpretation, when it includes persons, actions, defenses or things which have not been the object of the suit, or finally when all these have not been included either through omission or express refusal.

When the wit of amparo is sought against mesne judgments, in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing clause, these rules shall be observed, as far as applicable.

V. In penal suits, the authorities responsible for the violation shall stay the execution of final judgment against which the wit of amparo has been sought; for this purpose the petitioner shall, within the period set by law, give notice, under oath, to the said authorities of the interposition of this recourse, accompanying it with two copies of the petition, one of which shall be delivered to the opposing party and the other filed.

VI. The execution of a final judgment in civil suits shall only be stayed when the petitioner shall give bond to cover damages occasioned thereby, unless the other party shall give a counter bond (1) to guarantee that the normal conditions and relations previously existing be restored, and (2) to pay the corresponding damages, in the event of the granting of the amparo. In such event the interposition of the recourse amparo shall be communicated as provided in the foregoing clause.

VII. If a wit of amparo be sought against a final judgment, a certified copy of such portions of the record as the petitioner may desire shall be requested from the authority responsible for the violation; to this there shall be added such portions as the other party may desire and a clear and succinct statement by the said authority of the justification of the act protested; note shall be made of this on the record.

VIII. When a wit of amparo is sought against a final judgment, the petition shall be brought before the Supreme Court; this petition, together with the copy required by Clause VII, shall be either presented to the Supreme Court or sent through the authority responsible for the violation or through the District Court of the corresponding State. The Supreme Court shall render judgment without any other formality or procedure than the petition, the document presented by the other party and that of the Attorney General or the Public Attorney he may name in his stead, and shall comprise no other legal question than that contained in the complaint.

IX. When the acts of an authority other than the judicial are involved or the acts of the judiciary exercised outside of the suit or after the termination thereof, or acts committed during the suit whose execution is of impossible reparation, or [Page 973] which affect persons not parties to the suit, the wit of amparo shall be sought before the District Court within whose jurisdiction is located the place where the act protested was committed or attempted; the procedure in this case shall be confined to the report of the authority and to a hearing, the call for which shall be issued in the same order of the court as that calling for the report. This hearing shall be held at as early a date as possible, the testimony of both parties offered, arguments heard which shall not exceed one hour for each side, and finally the judgment which shall be pronounced at the same hearing. The judgment of the District Court shall be final, if the interested parties do not appeal to the Supreme Court within the period set by law and in the manner prescribed by Clause VIII.

In case of a violation of the guaranties of Articles 16, 19 and 20, recourse shall be had through the appellate court of the court committing the breach or to the corresponding District Court. An appeal against the decision of any of these courts may be taken to the Supreme Court.

If the District Judge shall not reside in the same locality as the official guilty of the violation, the judge before whom the petition of amparo shall be submitted shall be determined by law; this judge shall be authorized to suspend temporarily the execution of the act protested, in accordance with the terms established by law.

X. Any official failing to suspend the execution of the act protested, when in duty bound to do so, or when he admits an insufficient or improper bond, shall be turned over to the proper authorities; the civil and penal liability of the official shall in these cases be a joint liability with the person offering the bond and his surety.

XI. If after the granting of an amparo, the guilty official shall persist in the act or acts against which the petition of amparo was filed, or shall seek to render of no effect the judgment of the Federal authority, he shall be forthwith removed from office and turned over for trial to the corresponding District Court.

XII. Wardens and jailers who fail to receive a duly certified copy of the formal order of commitment within the seventy-two hours granted by Article 19, reckoned from the time the accused is placed at the disposal of the court, shall bring this fact to the attention of the court, immediately upon expiration of this period; and if the proper order be not received within the next three hours the accused shall be set at liberty.

Any official who shall violate this provision and the article referred to in the foregoing paragraph shall be immediately turned over to the proper authorities. Any official or agent thereof who, after an arrest has been made, shall fail to place the accused at the disposition of the court within the next twenty-four hours shall himself be turned over to the proper authority.

If the detention be effected outside the locality in which the court is situated, there shall be added to the period mentioned in the preceding sentence the time necessary to travel from the said locality to that where the detention took place

Title IV

Responsibility of Officials

Article 108. Senators and Representatives of Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, Secretaries of Executive Departments and the Attorney General of the Republic shall be liable for all common offenses committed during their term of office, as well as for all official offenses or acts of commission or omission which they may incur in the discharge of their duties.

Governors of States and members of State Legislatures shall be liable for violation of the Constitution and the Federal laws.

The President of the Republic may only be impeached during his term of office for high treason and common offenses of a serious character.

Article 109. If the offense belongs to the common order the House of Representatives, acting as a grand jury, shall determine by a majority vote of its total membership whether there is or is not any ground for proceeding against the accused.

If the finding be favorable to the accused, no further action shall be taken; but such finding shall not be a bar to the prosecution of the charge so soon as the constitutional privilege shall cease, since the finding of the House does not in any way determine the merits of the charge.

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If the finding be adverse, the accused shall ipso facto be removed from office and be placed at the disposition of the ordinary courts of justice, except in the case of the President of the Republic, who may only be impeached before the Senate, as in the case of an official offense.

Article 110. No constitutional privilege shall be extended to any high Federal functionary when tried for official offenses, misdemeanors or omissions committed by him in the discharge of any public function or commission, during the time in which, according to law, the privilege is enjoyed. This provision shall be applicable to cases of common offenses committed under the same circumstances. In order that the proceedings may be instituted when the functionary returns to the exercise of his own functions, the rules set forth in Article 104 of the Constitution shall be observed.

Article 111. The Senate acting as a grand jury shall try all cases of impeachment; but it may not institute such proceedings without a previous accusation brought by the House of Representatives.

If the Senate should, after hearing the accused and conducting such proceedings as it may deem advisable, determine by a majority vote of two-thirds of its total membership that the accused is guilty, the latter shall be forthwith removed from office by virtue of such decision, or be disqualified from holding any other office for such time as the law may determine.

When the same offense is punishable with an additional penalty, the accused shall be placed at the disposition of the regular authorities who shall judge and sentence him in accordance with the law.

In all cases embraced by this article and in those included by the preceding both the decisions of the Grand Jury and the findings of the House of Representatives shall be final.

Any person shall have the right to denounce before the House of Representatives offenses of a common order or of an official character committed by high Federal functionaries; and whenever the said House of Representatives shall determine that there exist good grounds for impeachment proceedings before the Senate, it shall name a committee from among its own members to sustain the charges brought.

The Congress shall as soon as possible enact a law as to the responsibility of all Federal officials and employees which shall fix as official offenses all acts of commission or omission which may prejudice the public interest and efficient administration, even though such acts may not heretofore have been considered offenses. These officials shall be tried by a jury in the same manner as provided for trials by jury in Article 20.

Article 112. No pardon shall be granted the offender in cases of impeachment.

Article 113. The responsibility for official breaches and offenses may only be enforced during such time as the functionary shall remain in office and for one year thereafter.

Article 114. In civil cases no privilege or immunity in favor of any public functionary shall be recognized.

Title V

The States of the Federation

Article 115. The States shall adopt for their internal government the popular representative, republican form of government; they shall have as the basis of their territorial division and political and administrative organization the free municipality, in accordance with the following provisions:

Each municipality shall be administered by a town council chosen by direct vote of the people, and no authority shall intervene between the municipality and the State Government.
The municipalities shall freely administer their own revenues which shall be derived from the taxes fixed by the State Legislatures which shall at all times be sufficient to meet their needs.
The municipalities shall be regarded as enjoying corporate existence for all legal purposes.

The Federal Executive and the State Governors shall have command over all public forces of the municipalities wherein they may permanently or temporarily reside.

Constitutional State Governors shall not be re-elected, nor shall their term of office exceed four years.

The prohibitions of Article 83 are applicable to substitute or ad interim governors.

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The number of Representatives in the State Legislatures shall be in proportion to the inhabitants of each State, but in no case shall the number of representatives in any State Legislature be less than fifteen.

Each electoral district of the States shall choose a Representative and an alternate to the State Legislature.

Every State Governor shall be a Mexican citizen by birth and a native thereof, or resident therein not less than five years immediately prior to the day of election.

Article 116. The States shall have power to fix among themselves, by friendly agreements, their respective boundaries; but these agreements shall not be carried into effect without the approval of the Congress.

Article 117. No State shall—

Enter into alliances, treaties or coalitions with another State or with foreign Powers.
Grant letters of marque or reprisal.
Coin money, issue paper money, stamps or stamped paper.
Levy taxes on persons or property passing through its territory.
Prohibit or tax, directly or indirectly, the entry into its territory, or the withdrawal therefrom, of any merchandise, foreign or domestic.
Burden the circulation or consumption of domestic or foreign merchandise with taxes or duties to be collected by local custom houses or subject to inspection the said merchandise or require it to be accompanied by documents.
Enact or maintain in force laws or fiscal regulations discriminating, by taxation or otherwise, between merchandise, foreign or domestic, on account of its origin, whether this discrimination be established with regard to similar local products or to similar products of foreign origin.
Issue bonds of the public debt payable in foreign coin or outside the Federal territory; contract loans, directly or indirectly, with any foreign government, or assume any obligation in favor of any foreign corporation or individual, requiring the issuance of certificates or bonds payable to bearer or negotiable by endorsement.

The Federal Congress and the State Legislatures shall forthwith enact laws against alcoholism.

Article 118. No State shall, without the consent of the Congress:

Establish tonnage dues or other port charges, or impose taxes or other duties upon imports or exports.
Keep at any time permanent troops or vessels of war.

Article 119. Every State shall be bound to deliver without delay to the demanding authorities the fugitives from justice from other States or from foreign nations.

In such cases the wit of the court granting the extradition shall operate as a sufficient warrant for the detention of the accused for one month, in case of extradition from one State to another, and for two months in the case of international extradition.

Article 120. The State Governors are bound to publish and enforce the Federal laws.

Article 121. Full faith and credit shall be given in each State of the Federation to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of all the other States. The Congress shall by general laws prescribe the manner of proving the said acts, records and proceedings and the effect thereof.

I. The laws of a State shall only be binding within its own confines, and shall therefore have no extra-territorial force.

II. Movable and immovable property shall be governed by the lex sitae.

III. Judgments of a State court as to property and property rights situated in another State shall only be binding when expressly so provided by the law of the latter State.

Judgments relating to personal rights shall only be binding in another State provided the person shall have expressly, or impliedly by reason of domicile, submitted to the jurisdiction of the court rendering such judgment, and provided further that personal service shall have been secured.

IV. All acts of civil status performed in accordance with the laws of one State shall be binding in all other States.

V. All professional licenses issued by the authorities of one State in accordance with its laws shall be valid in all other States.

Article 122. The Powers of the Union are bound to protect the States against all invasions or external violence. In case of insurrection or internal disturbance they shall give them the same protection, provided the Legislature of the State, or the Executive thereof if the Legislature is not in session, shall so request.

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Title VI

Labor and Social Welfare

Article 123. The Congress and the State Legislatures shall make laws relative to labor with due regard for the needs of each region of the Republic, and in conformity with the following principles, and these principles and laws shall govern the labor of skilled and unskilled workmen, employees, domestic servants and artisans, and in general every contract of labor.

Eight hours shall be the maximum limit of a day’s work.
The maximum limit of night work shall be seven hours. Unhealthy and dangerous occupations are forbidden to all women and to children under sixteen years of age. Night work in factories is likewise forbidden to women and to children under sixteen years of age; nor shall they be employed in commercial establishments after ten o’clock at night.
The maximum limit of a day’s work for children over twelve and under sixteen years of age shall be six hours. The work of children under twelve years of age shall not be made the subject of a contract.
Every workman shall enjoy at least one day’s rest for every six days’ work.
Women shall not perform any physical work requiring considerable physical effort during the three months immediately preceding parturition; during the month following parturition they shall necessarily enjoy a period of rest and shall receive their salaries or wages in full and retain their employment and the rights they may have acquired under their contracts. During the period of lactation they shall enjoy two extraordinary daily periods of rest of one-half hour each, in order to nurse their children.
The minimum wage to be received by a workman shall be that considered sufficient, according to the conditions prevailing in the respective region of the country, to satisfy the normal needs of the life of the workman, his education and his lawful pleasures, considering him as the head of the family. In all agricultural, commercial, manufacturing or mining enterprises the workmen shall have the right to participate in the profits in the manner fixed in Clause IX of this article.
The same compensation shall be paid for the same work, without regard to sex or nationality.
The minimum wage shall be exempt from attachment, set-off or discount.
The determination of the minimum wage and of the rate of profit-sharing described in Clause VI shall be made by special commissions to be appointed in each municipality and to be subordinated to the Central Board of Conciliation to be established in each state.
All wages shall be paid in legal currency and shall not be paid in merchandise, orders, counters or any other representative token with which it is sought to substitute money.
When owing to special circumstances it becomes necessary to increase the working hours, there shall be paid as wages for the overtime one hundred per cent more than those fixed for regular time. In no case shall the overtime exceed three hours nor continue for more than three consecutive days; and no women of whatever age nor boys under sixteen years of age may engage in overtime work.
In every agricultural, industrial, mining or other class of work employers are bound to furnish their workmen comfortable and sanitary dwelling-places, for which they may charge rents not exceeding one-half of one per cent per month of the assessed value of the properties. They shall likewise establish schools, dispensaries and other services necessary to the community. If the factories are located within inhabited places and more than one hundred persons are employed therein, the first of the above-mentioned conditions shall be complied with.
Furthermore, there shall be set aside in these labor centers, whenever their population exceeds two hundred inhabitants, a space of land not less than five thousand square meters for the establishment of public markets, and the construction of buildings designed for municipal services and places of amusement. No saloons nor gambling houses shall be permitted in such labor centers.
Employers shall be liable for labor accidents and occupational diseases arising from work; therefore, employers shall pay the proper indemnity, according to whether death or merely temporary or permanent disability has ensued, in accordance with the provisions of law. This liability shall remain in force even though the employer contract for the work through an agent.
Employers shall be bound to observe in the installation of their establishments all the provisions of law regarding hygiene and sanitation and to adopt adequate measures to prevent accidents due to the use of machinery, tools and working materials, as well as to organize work in such a manner as to assure the greatest guaranties possible for the health and lives of workmen compatible with the nature of the work, under penalties which the law shall determine.
Workmen and employers shall have the right to unite for the defense of their respective interests, by forming syndicates, unions, etc.
The law shall recognize the right of workmen and employers to strike and to lockout.
Strikes shall be lawful when by the employment of peaceful means they shall aim to bring about a balance between the various factors of production, and to harmonize the rights of capital and labor. In the case of public services, the workmen shall be obliged to give notice ten days in advance to the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration of the date set for the suspension of work. Strikes shall only be considered unlawful when the majority of the strikers shall resort to acts of violence against persons or property, or in case of war when the strikers belong to establishments and services dependent on the government. Employees of military manufacturing establishments of the Federal Government shall not be included in the provisions of this clause, inasmuch as they are a dependency of the national army.
Lockouts shall only be lawful when the excess of production shall render it necessary to shut down in order to maintain prices reasonably above the cost of production, subject to the approval of the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration.
Differences or disputes between capital and labor shall be submitted for settlement to a board of conciliation and arbitration to consist of an equal number of representatives of the workmen and of the employers and of one representative of the Government.
If the employer shall refuse to submit his differences to arbitration or to accept the award rendered by the Board, the labor contract shall be considered as terminated, and the employer shall be bound to indemnify the workman by the payment to him of three months’ wages, in addition to the liability which he may have incurred by reason of the dispute. If the workman reject the award, the contract will be held to have terminated.
An employer who discharges a workman without proper cause or for having joined a union or syndicate or for having taken part in a lawful strike shall be bound, at the option of the workman, either to perform the contract or to indemnify him by the payment of three months’ wages. He shall incur the same liability if the workman shall leave his service on account of the lack of good faith on the part of the employer or of maltreatment either as to his own person or that of his wife, parents, children or brothers or sisters. The employer cannot evade this liability when the maltreatment is inflicted by subordinates or agents acting with his consent or knowledge.
Claims of workmen for salaries or wages accrued during the past year and other indemnity claims shall be preferred over any other claims, in cases of bankruptcy or composition.
Debts contracted by workmen in favor of their employers or their employers’ associates, subordinates or agents, may only be charged against the workmen themselves and in no case and for no reason collected from the members of his family. Nor shall such debts be paid by the taking of more than the entire wages of the workman for any one month.
No fee shall be charged for finding work for workmen by municipal offices, employment bureaus or other public or private agencies.
Every contract of labor between a Mexican citizen and a foreign principal shall be legalized before the competent municipal authority and viséed by the consul of the nation to which the workman is undertaking to go, on the understanding that, in addition to the usual clauses, special and clear provisions shall be inserted for the payment by the foreign principal making the contract of the cost to the laborer of repatriation.
The following stipulations shall be null and void and shall not bind the contracting parties, even though embodied in the contract:
Stipulations providing for inhuman day’s work an account of its notorious excessiveness, in view of the nature of the work.
Stipulations providing for a wage rate which in the judgment of the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration is not remunerative.
Stipulations providing for a term of more than one week before the payment of wages.
Stipulations providing for the assigning of places of amusement, eating places, cafes, taverns, saloons or shops for the payment of wages, when employees of such establishments are not involved.
Stipulations involving a direct or indirect obligation to purchase articles of consumption in specified shops or places.
Stipulations permitting the retention of wages by way of fines.
Stipulations constituting a waiver on the part of the workman of the indemnities to which he may become entitled by reason of labor accidents or occupational diseases, damages for breach of contract, or for discharge from work.
All other stipulations implying the waiver of any right vested in the workman by labor laws.
The law shall decide what property constitutes the family patrimony. These goods shall be inalienable and shall not be mortgaged, nor attached, and may be bequeathed with simplified formalities in the succession proceedings.
Institutions of popular insurance established for old age, sickness, life, unemployment, accident and others of a similar character, are considered of social utility; the Federal and State Governments shall therefore encourage the organization of institutions of this character in order to instill and inculcate popular habits of thrift.
Cooperative associations for the construction of cheap and sanitary dwelling houses for workmen shall likewise be considered of social utility whenever these properties are designed to be acquired in ownership by the workmen within specified periods.

Title VII

General Provisions

Article 124. All powers not expressly vested by this Constitution in the Federal authorities are understood to be reserved to the States.

Article 125. No person shall hold at the same time two Federal offices or one Federal and one State elective office, if elected to two, he shall choose between them.

Article 126. No payment shall be made which is not included in the budget or authorized by a law subsequent to the same.

Article 127. The President of the Republic, the Justices of the Supreme Court, Representatives and Senators and other public officials of the Federation who are chosen by popular election shall receive a compensation for their services, which shall be paid by the Federal Treasury and determined by law. This compensation may not be waived, and any law increasing or decreasing it shall have no effect during the period for which the functionary holds office.

Article 128. Every public official, without exception, shall, before entering on the discharge of his duties, make an affirmation to maintain this Constitution and the laws arising thereunder.

Article 129. In time of peace no military authorities shall exercise other functions than those bearing direct relation to military discipline. No permanent military posts shall be established other than in castles, forts and arsenals depending directly upon the Federal Government, or in camps, barracks, or depots, established outside of inhabited places for the stationing of troops.

Article 130. The Federal authorities shall have power to exercise in matters of religious worship and outward ecclesiastical forms such intervention as by law authorized. All other officials shall act as auxiliaries to the Federal authorities.

The Congress shall not enact any law establishing or forbidding any religion whatsoever.

Marriage is a civil contract. Marriage and all other acts relating to the civil status of individuals shall appertain to the exclusive jurisdiction of the civil authorities in the manner and form by law provided, and they shall have the force and validity given them by said laws.

A simple promise to tell the truth and to comply with obligations contracted shall subject the promisor, in the event of a breach, to the penalties established therefore by law.

The law recognizes no juridical personality in the religious institutions known as churches.

Ministers of religious creeds shall be considered as persons exercising a profession, and shall be directly subject to the laws enacted on the matter.

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The State Legislatures shall have the exclusive power of determining the maximum number of ministers of religious creeds, according to the needs of each locality. Only a Mexican by birth may be a minister of any religious creed in Mexico.

No ministers of religious creeds shall, either in public or private meetings, or in acts of worship or religious propaganda, criticise the fundamental laws of the country, the authorities in particular or the Government in general; they shall have no vote, nor be eligible to office, nor shall they be entitled to assemble for political purposes.

Before dedicating new temples of worship for public use, permission shall be obtained from the Department of the Interior (Gobernación); the opinion of the Governor of the respective State shall be previously heard on the subject. Every place of worship shall have a person charged with its care and maintenance, who shall be legally responsible for the faithful performance of the laws on religious observances within the said place of worship, and for all the objects used for purposes of worship.

The caretaker of each place of public worship, together with ten citizens of the place, shall promptly advise the municipal authorities as to the person charged with the care of the said place of worship. The outgoing minister shall in every instance give notice of any change, for which purpose he shall be accompanied by the incoming minister and ten other citizens of the place. The municipal authorities, under penalty of dismissal and fine, not exceeding 1,000 pesos for each breach, shall be responsible for the exact performance of this provision; they shall keep a register of the places of worship and another of the caretakers thereof, subject to the same penalty as above provided. The municipal authorities shall likewise give notice to the Department of the Interior through the State Governor, of any permission to open to the public use a new place of worship, as well as of any change in the caretakers. Gifts of personalty may be received in the interior of places of public worship.

Under no conditions shall studies carried on in institutions devoted to the professional training of ministers of religious creeds be given credit or granted any other dispensation of privilege which shall have for its purpose the accrediting of the said studies in official institutions. Any authority violating this provision shall be punished criminally, and all such dispensation of privilege be null and void, and shall invalidate wholly and entirely the professional degree toward the obtaining of which the infraction of this provision may in any way have contributed.

No periodical publication which either by reason of its program, its title or merely by its general tendencies, is of a religious character, shall comment upon any political affairs of the nation, nor publish any information regarding the acts of the authorities of the country or of private individuals, in so far as the latter have to do with public affairs.

Every kind of political association whose name shall bear any word or any indication relating to any religious belief is hereby strictly forbidden. No assemblies of any political character shall be held within places of public worship.

No minister of any religious creed may inherit, either on his own behalf or by means of a trustee or otherwise, any real property occupied by any association of religious propaganda or religious or charitable purposes. Ministers of religious creeds are incapable legally of inheriting by will from ministers of the same religious creed or from any private individual to whom they are not related by blood within the fourth degree.

All real and personal property pertaining to the clergy or to religious institutions shall be governed, in so far as their acquisition by private parties is concerned, in conformity with Article 27 of this Constitution.

No trial by jury shall ever be granted for the infraction of any of the preceding provisions.

Article 131. The Federal Government shall have exclusive power to levy duties on merchandise imported, exported or passing in transit through the national territory, as well as to regulate at all times, and if necessary to forbid for the sake of public safety or for police reasons, the circulation in the interior of the Republic of all kinds of goods, regardless of their origin; but the Federal Government shall have no power to establish or decree in the Federal District and Territories the taxes and laws to which Clauses VI and VII of Article 117 refer.

Article 132. All forts, barracks, warehouses and other real property, destined by the Federal Government for public service or common use, shall be under the jurisdiction of the Federal authorities, in accordance with the law which the Congress shall issue on the subject; any of these establishments which may subsequently be acquired within the territory of any State shall likewise be subject [Page 980] to Federal jurisdiction, provided consent thereto shall have been obtained from the respective State legislature.

Article 133. This Constitution and the laws of the United Mexican States which shall be made in pursuance hereof and all treaties made or which shall be made under the Authority of the President of the Republic, with the approval of the Congress, shall be the supreme law of the land. And the judges in every State shall be bound by this Constitution and by these laws and treaties, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Article 134. Bids shall be called for on all contracts which the Government may have occasion to enter into for the execution of any public works; these bids shall be submitted under seal and shall only be opened publicly.

Title VIII

Amendments to the Constitution

Article 135. The present Constitution may be added to or amended. No amendment or addition shall become part of the Constitution until agreed to by the Congress of the Union by a two-thirds vote of the members present and approved by a majority of the State Legislatures. The Congress shall count the votes of the Legislatures and make the declaration that the amendments or additions have been adopted.

Title IX

Inviolability of the Constitution

Article 136. This Constitution shall not lose its force and vigor, even though its observance be interrupted by rebellion. In case that through any public disturbance a Government contrary to the principles which it sanctions be established, its force shall be restored so soon as the people shall regain their liberty, and those who have participated in the Government emanating from the rebellion or have cooperated with it shall be tried in accordance with its provisions and with the laws arising under it.

Transitory Articles

Article 1. This Constitution shall be published at once and a solemn affirmation made to defend and enforce it throughout the Republic; but its provisions, except those relating to the election of the supreme powers, Federal and State, shall not go into effect until the first day of May, 1917, at which time the Constitutional Congress shall be solemnly convened and the oath of office taken by the citizen chosen at the forthcoming elections to discharge the duties of President of the Republic.

The provisions of Clause V of Article 82 shall not be applicable in the elections to be called in accordance with Article 2 of the Transitory Articles, nor shall active service in the army act as a disqualification for the office of Representative or Senator, provided the candidate shall not have active command of troops in the respective electoral district.

Nor shall the Secretaries nor Assistant Secretaries of Executive Departments be disqualified from election to the next Federal Congress, provided they shall definitively resign from office on or before the day on which the respective call is issued.

Article 2. The person charged with the Executive Power of the Nation shall immediately, upon the publication of this Constitution, call for elections to fill the Federal offices; he shall see that these elections be held so that Congress may be constituted within a reasonable time, in order that it may count the votes, cast in the presidential elections and make known the name of the person who has been elected President of the Republic; this shall be done in order that the provisions of the foregoing article may be complied with.

Article 3. The next constitutional term shall be computed, in the case of Senators and Representatives, from the first of September last, and in the case of the President of the Republic, from the first of December, 1916.

Article 4. Senators who in the coming election shall be classified as even shall serve only two years, in order that the Senate may be renewed by half every two years.

Article 5. The Congress shall in the month of May next choose the Justices of the Supreme Court in order that this tribunal may be constituted on the first day of June, 1917.

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In these elections, Article 96 shall not govern in so far as the candidates proposed by the State Legislatures are concerned; but those chosen shall be designated for the first term of two years prescribed by Article 94.

Article 6. The Congress shall meet in extraordinary session on the fifteenth day of April, 1917, to act as an electoral college, for the computing of the ballots and the determination of the election of President of the Republic, at which time it shall make known the results; it shall likewise enact the organic law of the Circuit and District Courts, the organic law of the Tribunals of the Federal District and Territories, in order that the Supreme Court of Justice may immediately appoint the Inferior and Superior District and Circuit Judges; at the same session the Congress shall choose the Superior Judges and Judges of First Instance of the Federal District and Territories, and shall also enact all laws submitted by the Executive. The Circuit and District Judges and the Superior and Inferior Judges of the Federal District and Territories shall take office not later than the first day of July, 1917, at which time such as shall have been temporarily appointed by the person now charged with the Executive Power of the nation shall cease to act.

Article 7. For this occasion only, the votes for the office of Senator shall be counted by the Board of the First Electoral District of each State or of the Federal District which shall be instituted for the counting of the votes of Representatives. This Board shall issue the respective credentials to the Senators-elect.

Article 8. The Supreme Court shall decide all pending petitions of amparo, in accordance with the laws at present in force.

Article 9. The First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army, charged with the Executive Power of the Nation, is hereby authorized to issue the electoral law according to which, on this occasion, the elections to fill the various Federal offices shall be held.

Article 10. All persons who shall have taken part in the Government emanating from the rebellion against the legitimate Government of the Republic, or who may have given aid to the said rebellion and later taken up arms or field any office or commission of the factions which have opposed the Constitutionalist Government, shall be tried in accordance with the laws at present in force, unless they shall have been previously pardoned by the said Constitutionalist Government.

Article 11. Until such time as the Congress of the Union and the State Legislatures shall legislate on the agrarian and labor problems, the bases established by this Constitution for the said laws shall be put into force throughout the Republic.

Article 12. All Mexicans who shall have fought in the ranks of the Constitutionalist Army and their children and widows and all other persons who shall have rendered service to the cause of the revolution, or to public instruction, shall be preferred in the acquisition of lots to which Article 27 refers, and shall be entitled to such rebates as the law shall determine.

Article 13. All debts contracted by working men on account of work up to the date of this Constitution with masters, their subordinates and agents, are hereby declared wholly and entirely discharged.

Article 14. The Departments of Justice and of Public Instruction and Fine Arts are hereby abolished.

Article 15. The citizen at present charged with the Executive Power is hereby authorized to issue the law of civil responsibility applicable to all promoters, accomplices and abettors of the offenses committed against the constitutional order in the month of February, 1913, and against the Constitutionalist Government.

Article 16. The Constitutional Congress in the regular period of sessions, to begin on the first day of September of the present year, shall issue all the organic laws of the Constitution which may not have been already issued in the extraordinary session to which Transitory Article number 6 refers; and it shall give preference to the laws relating to personal guaranties and to Articles 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, 107 and the latter part of Article 111 of this Constitution.

Signed at Querétaro de Arteaga, January 31, 1917.

[Signatures of delegates not printed]

I therefore order it printed, circulated and published by solemn proclamation and public crier throughout the Republic for its due operation.

V. Carranza