Comparative law and justice/Mexico

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Flag of Mexico
Flag of Mexico

Basic Information[edit | edit source]

Mexico has a large Spanish speaking country, as well as a large population in Central America. Many are starting to move to urban areas in search of jobs. It has one of the larges populations in its hemisphere. Cities that border the U.S. have had a jump in numbers.

They have improved their literacy and education rates; there was a rise in children receiving primary education. Although, they have been improving they low “but low compared with other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)”.[1]

Population[edit | edit source]

111,211,789 0-14 years: 29.1% (male 16,544,223/female 15,861,141) 15-64 years: 64.6% (male 34,734,571/female 37,129,793) 65 years and over: 6.2% (male 3,130,518/female 3,811,543)[2]

People[edit | edit source]

Nationality[edit | edit source]

Noun and adjective--Mexican(s).

Annual growth rate[edit | edit source]

1.13%. [3]

Ethnic groups[edit | edit source]

Indian-Spanish (mestizo) 60%, Indian 30%, Caucasian 9%, other 1%.[4]

Religion[edit | edit source]

Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6%, other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1%.[5]

Language[edit | edit source]

Although the official language is Spanish and almost all public education is conducted in Spanish, there is a growing interest and respect for the indigenous (non-Spanish) languages spoken in Mexico. According to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Mexico has 291 living languages and 7 languages of which no living speakers are known[6]. The Mexican government recognizes 68 language groupings[7]. Indigenous languages in Mexico are cataloged, studied and protected by agencies of the federal government, under a 2003 law known as the General Law for the Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.[8]


Work force[edit | edit source]

(2008 est., 45.5 million): Agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing--21.0%; services--32.2%; commerce--16.9%; manufacturing--16.7%; construction--5.6%; transportation and communication--4.5%; mining and quarrying--1.0%. [9]

Brief History[edit | edit source]

A once proud group of Native American civilizations, the nation today known as Mexico is the product of Spanish conquest and independence. After some economic problems and a recession, Mexico has been having a recovery until recently they were hit with a financial crisis. Along with social and economic inequalities among class and races batter the people. Aside from the negative they’ve had some good stride in government.[10]


Economic Development, Health, and Education[edit | edit source]

Ecomony[edit | edit source]

Mexico’s economic market is a combination of old and new industries and increasing in other areas. Also they have expansions in transportation, seaports and utilities. Mexico’s trade has tripled with countries like U.S and Canada, Mexico has trade agreements with forty countries. They are still trying to reform infrastructure, make labor law modern and changes in private investments. Mexican leaders are still dealing with the lack of jobs and poverty.[12]

Education[edit | edit source]

They have improved their literacy and education rates; there was a rise in children receiving primary education. Although, they have been improving they low “but low compared with other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)”.[13] Male education expectancy for primary to tertiary education is 14 year; for women it is 13 years. 91 percent of Mexicans age 15 and over can read and write.92.4% of men can read and write,89.6% of women can read and write. [14]

Population[edit | edit source]

111,211,789 0-14 years: 29.1% (male 16,544,223/female 15,861,141) 15-64 years: 64.6% (male 34,734,571/female 37,129,793) 65 years and over: 6.2% (male 3,130,518/female 3,811,543)[15]

Health[edit | edit source]

Infant Mortality Rate total: 18.42 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 113 male: 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births female: 16.44 deaths/1,000 live births

Life Expectancy at Birth total population: 76.06 years country comparison to the world: 71 male: 73.25 years female: 79 years

Major Infectious Diseases degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne disease: dengue fever water contact disease: leptospirosis[16]

Governance[edit | edit source]

Mexico has 31 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Colima, Distrito Federal*, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro de Arteaga, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz-Llave, Yucatan, Zacatecas[17]

Government[edit | edit source]

Mexico has a Federal Republic and a three branch government, Executive, legislative and Judicial. The branches are not equally distributed, the executive branch has controlled law making. They have a congress and there presence has been increasing in importance. The president’s term is six years without ability to be reelection. There is no position of vice president in the instance of death or removal of office the congress elects the new president. The Congress consisted of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. The senate has 128 seats, which is made of direct-election and proportional representation. The judiciary is divided into federal and state court systems. The federal courts system has jurisdiction over most civil cases and those involving major felonies. [18]

Elections[edit | edit source]

Mexico has an electoral process for the executive and Legislative branches of government. The election of the current President, Congress, several state governors, and the mayor of Mexico City, are a representation of a major milestone in Mexico's difficult path toward democracy. The ruling state party of Mexico is The Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) had ruled Mexico at the federal level for over 70 years.[19]

Judicial Review[edit | edit source]

A judicial reform in 1994 has increased the independence and judicial review powers of the judicial branch, the creation of a judiciary’s ability to checking the power of the president. Although, the ruling PRI appears to counter political logic. “PRI politicians, newly unable to control political outcomes at state and local levels and unsure if they would continue to dominate the national government in the future, opted to empower the Mexican Supreme Court as a hedge against the loss of office”.[20]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit | edit source]

Legal Personnel[edit | edit source]

A Mexican lawyer is highly educated and many of their lawyers speak English. Law students have to complete formal education and a minimum of three years of Law school which includes a liberal arts and theoretical in scope and focus than is law school in the U.S. In order to graduate, law students need to do community service for 480 hours and a minimum of 6 months at a government office. Students may work for a municipal, state or federal government agency as a clerk. Then depending on the school there are a few methods by which they can finish and get their degree such as having a GPA over 9.5, studying a masters degree, taking a multiple choice exam on the law (CENEVAL), taking exams on 5 specific subjects after completing a seminar, or others. Lawyers in Mexico are licensed to practice throughout Mexico, there are no integrated bar or requirement to join a bar association although some states like Jalisco are modifying their Professions Law to mandate contunuing education and having not only the federal license or "cedula" but also a state one in order to litigate. “Some Mexican lawyers continue to study after becoming licensed and obtain their Masters in Law or Doctor of Law Degree. Like in the U.S. Mexican lawyers are slowly becoming more specialized as the volume and complexity of Mexican law grows”.[21]

Punishment[edit | edit source]

In Mexico the trial process is different and procedures may vary from state to state. The penalties may be less severe than the U.S for breaking similar offenses. A person, who violates the Mexican laws, even if they are unknowingly, can be expected to be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. For example, “penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Mexico are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines”.[22]

Sexual Offenses[edit | edit source]

A person, who decides to engaging in sexual conduct with children and or spreading child pornography in a foreign country, is a crime. The Solicitation of the services of a minor for sexual purposes is illegal, and is punishable by imprisonment. The Mexican government has an aggressive program to discourage sexual tourism.[23]

Prison Facilities/Prisoner Treatment/Interrogations[edit | edit source]

The prison conditions in Mexico vary, but can be extremely poor. Many prison facilities the food is insufficient in quantity and quality, and prisoners must pay for better nutrition. In addition to poor diet most Mexican prisons have poor medical care, and even urgent medical conditions receive only a minimum of attention. “U.S. citizens who are incarcerated in Mexico are sometimes forced to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars in “protection money” to fellow prisoners”.[24]

The Mexican Constitution and Mexican law prohibit torture; even though the Mexican police obtain information through the regular use of torture, and courts admit confessions extracted under torture as evidence. Officials are hardly ever punished for the use of torture, “which continues to occur in large part because confessions are the primary evidence in many criminal convictions”.[25]

Rights[edit | edit source]

Human Rights[edit | edit source]

There have been some human rights concerns, predominantly at the state level. Violence engulfs local elections and misuse of the judicial system is commonly used. The federal efforts to combat violence against women have limited success. In addition, human rights defenders have been threatened and journalists have been killed despite proposed legislation to strengthen human rights protection laws.[26]

Criminal Law[edit | edit source]

In Mexican criminal law, one is guilty until proven innocent. There are no death penalty exists in Mexico. The act of fraud is a criminal offense, which is usually considered a civil matter. In virtually all Mexican prisons, a prisoner is allowed regular conjugal visits. Mexican law doesn’t allow parole or bail on personal recognizance. “An individual charged with a criminal offense must post a financial bond to be released on bail, which may not be available if the potential sentence in years surpasses a certain limit under a formula set forth in Mexico's Constitution.”[27]

Family Law[edit | edit source]

Adoption[edit | edit source]

The requirements of adoption include a one to three week pre-adoption trial period. During this time the child will live with his prospective parents in Mexico. Due to the amount of paperwork in the Mexican processes, “the State System for the Full Development of the Family (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, or DIF) suggests adoptive parents be prepared to spend at least three months in Mexico including the pre-adoption trial period”.[28] There is an age requirements for adoption the prospective has to be 25 years old and at least 17 years older than the child. If the couple is married, only one parent must meet the age requirement for adoption. There are no real marriage requirements for those prospective parents may be married or single, male or female. The only income requirements for prospective adoptive parents are they have to be able to support the Childs’ physically and provide them with an education. [29]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

The legal requirements to get married in Mexico, people under the age of 18 may not get married in Mexico without parental consent. For those with parental consent, boys have to be at least 16 and girls need to be at least 14 years of age. You don't have to be resident of Mexico to get married there; all that is needed is a passport and your tourist permit, plus some other paperwork. If you plan to get married to a Mexican in Mexico, you will need some additional documentation.[30]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

“The requirements are that an alien be a legal resident of Mexico before he may apply for a Mexican divorce. He must obtain a certificate from the Secretaria de Gobernacion (Interior Department) stating that he has legal residence in Mexico and is therefore entitled to institute divorce proceedings. Becoming a legal resident (inmigrante) is a rather complicated, time-consuming process. Application for a resident visa must be made at the Mexican Consulate nearest to the prospective immigrant's abode in the U.S. Numerous documents are required, including proof of income (a minimum of $1500.00 per month for a single person and $500.00 for each accompanying dependent is required.) Work permits are extremely difficult to obtain in Mexico and the inmigrante is not permitted to work without a permit until he becomes an emigrado after five years. During the five-year period he cannot be absent from Mexico more than twelve weeks of each year or he loses his immigrant status”.[31]

Works Cited[edit | edit source]