National: Senate commissions approve law to regulate state of emergency


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On 28 April, the Senate approved in commission laws to reform articles 29 and 33 of the Constitution.  Article 29 regulates the process of the declaration of a state of emergency; its third clause establishes the possibility for a suspension of rights and liberties on three grounds: in case of an invasion, an attack on public peace (defined as whatever violent social phenomenon that puts at risk the stability of the country), or a natural disaster, epidemics, lack of basic goods, and so on.  Article 33 for its part regulates the process whereby the Executive can expel foreigners from Mexico.

In light of the new laws, civil organizations that form part of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest expressed their opposition and rejection: “This should be reviewed and changed, because we are concerned that there is a tendency to legalize repression and to criminalize social protest.  We Mexicans do not want an illusory democratic State.”  They indicated that human-rights organizations were at no point consulted about the suggested changes to the Constitution.

The human-rights reform of 2011 noted that the president can in certain grave cases declare a state of emergency, but the terms for such a declaration had not been defined until now.  This reform must still pass the Senate as a whole and then the House of Deputies.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comisiones del Senado avalan coartar garantías si hay perturbación a la paz(La Jornada, 29 de abril de 2014)

Comunicado: Organizaciones civiles rechazan aprobación de la ley sobre Estado de Excepción en las comisiones del Senado(OSC, 28 de abril de 2014)

Carta pública sobre Estado de Excepción: Frente por la Libertad de Expresión y la Protesta Social (Frente por la Libertad de Expresión y Protesta Social, 29 de abril de 2014)

ONG denuncian inclinación a legalizar la represión y criminalizar la protesta (La Jornada, 29 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Creation of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (26 April 2014)

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