header by Emerson Taymor, 2005
2. The Conquest
Mexican Constitution, Articles 3, 27, 123 and 130
Article 3. The education imparted by the Federal State shall be designed to develop harmoniously all the faculties of the human being and shall foster in him at the same time a love of country and a consciousness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.
Article 27. Ownership of the lands and waters within the boundaries of the national territory is vested originally in the Nation, which has had, and has, the right to transmit title thereof to private persons, thereby constituting private property.
Private property shall not be expropriated except for reasons of public use and subject to payment of indemnity.
The Nation shall at all times have the right to impose on private property such limitations as the public interest may demand, as well as the right to regulate the utilization of natural resources which are susceptible of appropriation, in order to conserve them and to ensure a more equitable distribution of public wealth. With this end in view, necessary measures shall be taken to divide up large landed estates; to develop small landed holdings in operation; to create new agricultural centers, with necessary lands and waters; to encourage agriculture in general and to prevent the destruction of natural resources, and to protect property from damage to the detriment of society. Centers of population which at present either have no lands or water or which do not possess them in sufficient quantities for the needs of their inhabitants, shall be entitled to grants thereof, which shall be taken from adjacent properties, the rights of small landed holdings in operation being respected at all times.
...Ownership by the Nation is inalienable and imprescriptible, and the exploitation, use, or appropriation of the resources concerned, by private persons or by companies organized according to Mexican laws, may not be undertaken except through concessions granted by the Federal Executive, in accordance with rules and conditions established by law. The legal rules relating to the working or exploitation of the minerals and substances referred to in the fourth paragraph shall govern the execution and proofs of what is carried out or should be carried out after they go into effect, independent of the date of granting the concessions, and their nonobservance will be grounds for cancellation thereof....In the case of petroleum, and solid, liquid, or gaseous hydrocarbons no concessions or contracts will be granted nor may those that have been granted continue, and the Nation shall carry out the exploitation of these products, in accordance with the provisions indicated in the respective regulatory law.
It is exclusively a function of the general Nation to conduct, transform, distribute, and supply electric power which is to be used for public service. No concessions for this purpose will be granted to private persons and the Nation will make use of the property and natural resources which are required for these ends.
Legal capacity to acquire ownership of lands and waters of the Nation shall be governed by the following provisions:
1. Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters. The State may grant the same right to foreigners, provided they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as nationals in respect to such property, and bind themselves not to invoke the protection of their governments in matters relating thereto; under penalty, in case of noncompliance with this agreement, of forfeiture of the property acquired to the Nation....
2. Religious institutions known as churches, regardless of creed, may
in no case acquire, hold, or administer real property or hold mortgages
such property held at present either directly or through an intermediary
shall revert to the Nation, any person whosoever being authorized to denounce
any property so held. Presumptive evidence 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. Bishoprics,
rectories, seminaries, asylums, and schools belonging to religious orders,
convents, or any other buildings built or intended for the administration,
propagation, or teaching of a religious creed shall at once become the
property of the Nation by inherent right, to be used exclusively for the
public services of the Federal or State Governments, within their respective
jurisdictions. All places of public worship hereafter erected shall be
the property of the Nation.
10. Centers of population which lack communal lands (ejídos) or which are unable to have them restored to them due to lack of titles, impossibility of identification, or because they had been legally transferred, shall be granted sufficient lands and waters to constitute them, in accordance with the needs of the population; but in no case shall they fail to be granted the area needed, and for this purpose the land needed shall be expropriated, at the expense of the Federal Government, to be taken from lands adjoining the villages in question...
18. All contracts and concessions made by former Governments since the year 1876, which have resulted in the monopolization of lands, waters, and natural resources of the Nation, by a single person or company, are declared subject to revision, and the Executive of the Union is empowered to declare them void whenever they involve serious prejudice to the public interest.
The Congress of the Union, without contravening the following basic principles, shall formulate labor laws which shall apply to:
1. Workers, day laborers, domestic servants, artisans (obreros, jornaleros,
empleados domésticos, artesanos) and in a general way to all labor
Article 130. The federal powers shall exercise the supervision required by law in matters relating to religious worship and outward ecclesiastical forms. Other authorities shall act as auxiliaries of the Federation. Congress cannot enact laws establishing or prohibiting any religion.
Marriage is a civil contract. This and other acts of a civil nature concerning persons are within the exclusive competence of civil officials and authorities, in the manner prescribed by law, and shall have the force and validity defined by said law....The law does not recognize any personality in religious groups called churches. Ministers of denominations shall be considered as persons who practice a profession and shall be directly subject to the laws enacted on such matters. Only the legislatures of the States shall have the power to determine the maximum number of ministers of denominations necessary for local needs.
To practice the ministry of any denomination in the United Mexican States it is necessary to be a Mexican by birth. Ministers of denominations may never, in a public or private meeting constituting an assembly, or in acts of worship or religious propaganda, criticize the fundamental laws of the country or the authorities of the Government, specifically or generally. They shall not have an active or passive vote nor the right to form associations for religious purposes.
Permission to dedicate new places of worship open to the public must be obtained from the Secretariat of Government, with previous consent of the government of the State. There must be in every church building a representative who is responsible to the authorities for compliance with the laws on religious worship in such building, and for the objects pertaining to the worship.Periodical publications of a religious character, whether they be such because of their program, title, or merely because of their general tendencies, may not comment on national political matters or public information on acts of the authorities of the country or of private persons directly related to the functioning of public institutions.
The formation of any kind of political group, the name of which contains any word or indication whatever that it is related to any religious denomination, is strictly prohibited. Meetings of a political character may not be held in places of worship.The acquisition by private parties of personal or real property owned by the clergy or by religious organizations shall be governed by Article 27 of this Constitution.
Trials for violation of the above provisions shall never be heard before a jury.