Mexico -- Age of Sexual Consent
[Cool Teen Sites]
Legislación Federal de México
We have always found it difficult to pinpoint Mexico's laws regarding sex.
We recently found this article which explains some of the difficulties with
rape/statutory rape issues:
|In Mexican villages, rape can be called a courting ritual
Mary Jordan Tuesday, July 2, 2002
REYESHOGPAN, Mexico These gorgeous mountain slopes, blooming with black pepper plants and
golden cornstalks, camouflage the sorrow of the two silent sisters. Antonia and Isabel
Francisco Melendez, who were born deaf, are nine months pregnant, and, according to the
doctors treating them, were raped.
The sisters cannot speak. They cried and literally folded up when asked how they became
pregnant. Their babies are due at the same time, within a week or so. Do they know the
man? Did it happen in the fields on their way home from school? Isabel seemed once to try
to reply, to her grandmother, by pointing to a spot high on a mountainside. But tears
streamed down her face, and she turned away again.
Antonia is 13 years old, Isabel 16. Perhaps if they were older, the pregnancies would have
been easier to keep secret.
This is a little town 136 kilometers (85 miles) northeast of Puebla city. Fewer than 500
people live here. The church bells toll every afternoon at 5 to call everyone to say the
rosary. The girls' condition is hard to hide. Their tiny frames swell more each day.
"This is a crime, and there should be an investigation," said Juana Maria
Diego Victor, a community leader. "Someone should protect these girls."
Mexico is struggling to modernize its justice system, but when it comes to punishing
sexual violence against women, surprisingly little has changed in a century. In many parts
of the country, the sentence for stealing a cow is harsher than for rape. Although the law
calls for tough penalties for rape - up to 20 years in prison - only rarely is there an
investigation into even the most barbaric of sexual violence. Women's groups estimate that
perhaps 1 percent of rapes are ever punished. Although the two girls' medical charts say
their pregnancies were the product of rape, no police authority has looked into the case.
In recent decades, Mexico has made strides in improving women's rights and opportunities.
Women still have much lower literacy rates than men, but that is slowly changing as young
girls are staying in school longer. During the 1990s, laws that limited women's rights
were abolished, such as those that said a married woman needed her husband's permission to
hold a job outside the home.
But in the country that made the term machismo famous, where women were given the right to
vote only in 1953, women's rights advocates say rape and other acts of violence against
women are still not treated as serious crimes. And they say the police, prosecutors and
judges often show indifference or hostility toward women who report rape. The case of
Yessica Yadira Diaz Cazares is an example.
Diaz testified that three police officers raped her in 1997, when she was 16, as she was
on her way home from school in the northern city of Durango. She then did a rare thing.
She tried to punish her attackers. When she went to the police station with her
mother, she was jeered at and jailed overnight. The police required her, as is mandatory
in Mexico, to have a vaginal exam by a government doctor. They made her submit to eight
separate blood tests, telling her, falsely, that the tests would determine whether she had
been raped. But no one ever told her what the laboratory results were.
When the teenager did not back off, even after her family received death threats, a
prosecutor told her that to identify the officers who attacked her, she had to lay her
hand on them. It was not good enough to point out her attackers. She needed to touch them,
she was instructed. When she reached out and touched an officer, he taunted her and told
her she was crazy. Finally she gave up. She told her sister she was tired of seeking
justice. Three months later, the young girl killed herself with an overdose of
prescription drugs. After her burial, the national human rights commission took up her
case and helped to convict two officers of rape.
"They make the few women who dare to report rape give up," said Yessica's
mother, Maria Eugenia Cazares. After her daughter's suicide, she moved her family to
Canada. "In 90 percent of the cases of rape, the Mexican police blame the
women," she said. "In the few cases where they know the man is guilty, they let
him 'fix' it with money." She said she believed that a machismo culture,
instilled in the home, school and church, allowed many men to "believe they are
superior and dominant, and that women are an object." She said that mentality had
contributed to making many men - including policemen, prosecutors, judges and others in
positions of authority - believe that sexual violence against women was not important.
"The thinking is, 'She's a woman, so she deserved it,' or 'He's a man, so what do you
expect?'" said Cazares.
Rape is prosecuted at the state level, and state laws vary. A review of criminal
laws in all 31 states showed that many required that if, for example, a 12-year-old girl
accused an adult of statutory rape, she had first to prove she was "chaste and
pure." Nineteen of the states required that statutory rape charges be dropped if the
rapist agreed to marry his victim.
"What message is this? That the crime is not serious," said Elena Azaola, author
of a book called "The Crime of Being a Woman."
For a woman to file a criminal complaint of rape, she must submit to an examination by a
doctor assigned by the prosecutor's office. Patricia Duarte, president of the Mexican
Association Against Violence Against Women, said these exams, routinely conducted in the
prosecutor's office, are often carried out with little sensitivity or privacy.
Whatever problems women face in the cities and towns are compounded in the villages, where
the only real law is customary law. Ten million Mexicans are indigenous, as are most
people in these highlands of the Sierra Madre.
In many of the thousands of indigenous communities, by custom, women are essentially
servants of their fathers, brothers and husbands. In many villages around Reyeshogpan, a
woman is forbidden to go out after dusk without her husband or her husband's permission.
After 7 p.m., streets in village after village are populated only by men, many of them
drunk. Alcoholism is another problem that contributes to violence against women.
Town elders, who act as judges in local criminal matters, are invariably men. In one
village in Guerrero state, elders were recently asked how they punished rape. The six men
looked confused, as if they did not know what the term meant. When it was explained to
them, they all laughed and said it sounded more like a courting ritual than a crime.
When they stopped laughing, they said a rapist would probably get a few hours in the local
jail, or he might have to pay the victim's family a $10 or $20 fine, but that all would be
forgotten if he and the victim married.
In the case of a cattle thief, they said, he would be jailed. And, unlike the rapist, a
cattle thief would be brought before the elders for a lecture about the severity of the
In the southern state of Oaxaca last summer, the government-funded Oaxacan Women's
Institute persuaded the legislature to pass heavy criminal penalties against a practice
known as "rapto." Laws in most states define rapto as a case in which a man
kidnaps a woman not for ransom but with the intent of marrying her or to satisfy his
"erotic sexual desire." The new law championed by the women's group established
penalties of at least 10 years in prison.
But in March, the state legislature reversed itself and again made the practice a minor
infraction. A key legislator - a man - argued for the reduction, calling the practice
harmless and "romantic."
The attorney general's office said there had been 137 criminal complaints of rapto in the
state of Puebla since January 2000. Complete statistics are impossible to find, because
most cases are settled between the families involved and never reported. Because rapto
implies that the girl was taken away for sex, her parents want to avoid the shame
associated with making a public complaint to the police.
In some cases, the girls voluntarily go with the man as a way to elope to avoid wedding
expenses. But Gabriela Gutierrez Kleman, a lawyer with the Oaxacan Women's Institute, says
that in many cases the women are taken against their will.
Gutierrez said it was hard to ask girls to complain about rapto, a custom that has changed
little since their great-grandmothers' time. If they complain, she said, the family or the
community often "treats them as outcasts."
MEXICO LAWS: 1. Has no sodomy laws, the age of sexual consent is 18.
Imprisonment of 3 to 8 years applies to anyone "who facilitates or procures" the
corruption of a minor under 18 years of age, education about sexuality or sexually
transmitted diseases cannot be considered as corruption of minors.
2. Mexico City has a gay rights law that bans some anti-gay discrimination.The law
prohibits provocation or incitement of hate or violence, and bans bias in employment and
public accommodations and services. The penalty for violation of the law will be one
to three years in prison and/or a fine equal to 50 to 200 days salary and/or 25 to
100 days of community service.
3. By a decision of the city council of Aguascalientes, capital of the state of
Aguascalientes, the Ojo Caliente water park prohibits access "to dogs and
homosexuals,". The city's Director of Regulations Jorge Alvarez Medina said that as
long as he holds his post, he "will not allow access to homosexuals."
NOTE: 1. Pedro Joaquin-Coldwell, Ambassador to Cuba, is openly bisexual.
2. Patria Jimenez (PRT), is an openly lesbian member of the Chamber of Deputies.
Mexico - Mexique - México
I. Mayorías de edad
Mayoría de edad simple
Artículo 646 del Código civil : " La mayor edad comienza a los dieciocho años
Edad de consentimiento para actividad sexual
Artículo 262 del Código Penal : " Al que tenga cópula con persona mayor de doce
años y menor de
dieciocho, obteniendo su consentimiento por medio de engaño, se le aplicará de tres
meses a cuatro
años de prisión. "
Edad de consentimiento para contraer matrimonio
Artículo 148 del Código civil : " Para contraer matrimonio, el hombre necesita
dieciséis años y la mujer catorce. El jefe del departamento del distrito federal, o los
segúnel caso, pueden conceder dispensas de edad por causas graves y justificadas. "
Art. 265 relación sexual con un niño del Código Penal
" Al que por medio de la violencia física o moral realice cópula con persona de
cualquier sexo, se
le impondrà prisión de ocho a catorce años.
Para los efectos de este articulo, se entiende por cópula, la introducción del miembro
viril en el
cuerpo de la víctima por via vaginal, anal u oral, independientemente de su sexo. "
Art. 266 relación con uso de violencia del Código Penal
" Se equipara a la violación y se sancionarà con la misma pena:
I.- AI que sin violencia malice cópula con persona menor de doce años de edad.
Il.- AI que sin violencia realice cópula con persona que no tenga la capacidad de
comprender el significado del hecho o por cualquier causa no pueda resistirla; y
III.- AI que sin violencia y con fines lascivos introduzca por vía anal o vaginal
cualquier elemento o instrumento distinto del miembro viril en una persona menor
de doce años de edad o persona que no tenga capacidad de comprender el
significado del hecho, o por cualquier causa no pueda resistirlo, sea cual fuere el
sexo de la victima. "
III. Otras formas de abuso sexual de menores
" Las penas previstas para el abuso sexual y la violación se aumentaràn hasta en
una mitad en su
mínimo y màximo, cuando:
Il.- El delito fuere cometido por un ascendiente contra su descendiente, éste contra
hermano contra su colateral, el tutor contra su pupilo, o por el padrastro o amasio de la
del ofendido en contra del hijastro. Ademàs de la pena de prisión, el culpable perderà
potestad o la tutela en los casos en que la ejerciere sobre la víctima. "
" Se impondrà la pena de uno a seis años de prisión a los ascendientes que tengan
sexuales con sus descendientes.
La pena aplicable a estos ùltimos serà de seis meses a tres años de prisión. Se
aplicarà esta misma
sanción en caso de incesto entre hermanos. "
" AI que con fines lascivos asedie reiteradamente a personas de cualquier sexo,
aliéndose de su
posición jeràrquica derivada de sus relaciones laborales, docentes, domésticas, o
que implique subordinación, se le impondrà sanción hasta de cuarenta dias multa. Si el
fuese servidor pùblico y utilizace los medios o circunstancias que el encargo le
proporcione, se le
destituirà de su cargo. "
IV. Prostitución infantil
" Al que procure o facilite la corrupción de un menor de dieciséis afios de edad o
de quien no tenga
capacidad para comprender elsignificado del hecho, mediante actos de exhibicionismo
lascivos o sexuales, o Io induzca a la pràctica de la mendicidad, la ebriedad, al consumo
narcóticos, a la prostituci6n, al homosexualismo, a formar parte de una asociaci6n
delictuosa, o a
cometer cualquier delito, se le aplicaràn de tres a ocho ahos de prisi6n y de cincuenta a
Cuando de la pràctica reiterada de los actos de corrupción el menor o incapaz adquiera
hàbitos del alcoholismo, farmaco dependencia, se dedique a la prostitución, a pràcticas
o a formar parte de una asociación delictuosa, la pena serà de cinco a diez años de
prisión y de
cien a cuatrocientos días multa.
Si ademàs de los delitos previstos en este capítulo resultase cometido otro, se
aplicaràn las reglas
de acumulación. "
" Al que promueva, facilite, consiga o entregue a una persona. para que ejerza la
o fuera del país, se le impondrà prisión de dos a nueve años y de cien a quinientos
días multa. Si se
emplease violencia o el agente se valiese de una función pùblica que tuviere, la pena se
hasta en una mitad mas. "
" El lenocinio se sancionarà con prisión de dos a nueve años de y de cincuenta a
" El delito de lenocinio:
I.- Toda persona que habitual o accidentalmente explote el cuerpo de otra por
medio del comercio carnal, se mantenga de este comercio u obtenga de él un lucro
Il.- AI que induzca o solicite a una persona para que con otra comercie
sexualmente con su cuerpo o le facilite los medios para que se entregue a la
III.- AI que regentee, administre o sostenga directa o indirectamente prostíbulos,
casos de cita o lugares de concurrencia expresamente dedicados a explotar la
prostitución, u obtenga cualquier beneficio con sus productos. "
" Cuando la persona cuyo cuerpo sea explotado por medio del comercio carnal, sea
edad, se aplicarà al que encubra, concierte o permita dicho comercio, pena seis a diez
prisión y de diez a veinte dias multa. "
V. Pornografía infantil
EN PROYECTO DE LEGISLACION
Updates 07/2000: Thank you to the two people
who have supplied info on Mexico. We appreciate all the
help we can get in confirming the legal environment for sexual ages.
Here are the real Mexico laws. These are the laws in Distrito Federal
(Mexico City). Other states may have different laws, but they are probably similar.
The source is provided, and a brief interpretation. (I am not a lawyer.)
Any sexual act involving a child under 12 is punishible by 2 to 5 years in prison.
For sexual activity involving teens between 12 and 18 years,
only copulation (definition follows) is punishible, and only when consent was obtained by
deceit. (DECEIT - such as promise to marry, etc.)
Prosecution of the foregoing cannot proceed unless a complaint is filed by the victim or
Copulation is defined as the introduction of the male phallus into the body of a minor of
either sex, by way of the vagina, anus, or mouth. (THIS is interesting.
Fellatio is punishable, but cunninglingus is not).
So I think you should list the age of consent in Mexico as 12 (with explanation), not 18.
And the second email from a different person
confirms the first:
First would like to say thanks for having a good site with this kind of
Second the laws in mexico are like this "what ever is not said its legal" an
would be: The law for murder says; if you kill anyone of any age using a gun with any
type of bullets or you use a rope, in any way or, a blunt object in any way, or you
use any kind of knife wether its long or small you commit the felony of murder, the
penalty for such an act is 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to 500 minimum salaries.
Then if you kill a person using a handkerchief you would not be comitting murder.
(this was an example there is no such law like this everything is pretty much covered)
In Mexico there are no juries so the law is pretty much on what it is written.
You should also take a look at the Penal Code, Title 15 Chapter (felonys Against the
Liberty and Normal Psycosexual Development), Chapter 1 ( Sexual Herassment, Sexual Abuse
and Rape), Article 261 Which states that if you do any sexual act with any person that
has less than 12 or any person that can not have the capabilities of understanding the
act or the meaning of the act or if there was no reason that the person couldnt resist
or the person is being obilgated in any way there is punishment. On this article it
doesnt state any thing about consent from a person that has 12 years or more. It states
12 years or less.
On the Penal Code, Title 15 Chapter (felonys Against the Liberty and Normal Psycosexual
Development), Chapter 1 ( Sexual Herassment, Sexual Abuse and Rape), Article 262 It
states that if any one has "intercourse" with a person 12 to 18 years old with
consent if deceit was used to obtain consent then you would go to jail but only if you
are deceitfull to obtain consent to have intercourse it doesnt state if you have any other
kind of sex so it is permitted on this article but if we go to article 260 in which it
states that it is a felony to have any kind of sex with a person with out theyre consent.
If we look at this three articles we can safely say that the age of consent is 12 years
Miscellaneous Info we have gathered:
The legal working age in Mexico is 14, but children as young as 7 and 8
working on farms and in factories, often in place of attending school. The dependency on
children stems from the fact that the children usually come from poor- and poorly
where the parents are often ill or deceased, which leaves the child as the primary source
Because poverty is very high in Mexico, many hundreds of thousands of children are forced
out of school and enter the workforce. Even those children who stay in school work
The estimate of the number of child workers ranges from 400,000 (government estimate) to
million (UNICEF estimate). Mexico is the only developing country in NAFTA with an
that makes failure to enforce child labor laws a punishable offense. Despite this, laws
are not being
enforced because of the small amount of light that has been shed on the child laborers.
Legislation against child sex tourism
Ley Federal contra la Delincuencia Organizada (MEXPOST guía de
depósito Nº EE29583453 8MX) Federal Law Against Organized Crime
Nature, Object, and Application of the Law
Article 1- The object of the law is to establish rules for the
investigation, prosecution, processing, sanctioning and execution of the penalties for
crimes committed by any member of organized crime. The dispositions are of public order
and apply to all of the national territory.
Article 2- When three or more people agree to organize or organize to
carry out, permanently or withdrawn, acts with themselves or others, with the purpose or
result of committing one or more of the following crimes, they will be penalized for those
which are committed, like members of organized crime.
Clause 5. Assault, listed in articles 286 and 287; kidnapping, listed
in article 366; trafficking of minors, listed in article 366 third, and vehicle robbing,
listed in article 381 of the Penal Code for the Federal District in Matters of Federal
Jurisdiction, or in the corresponding dispositions of the states penal legislation.
For the Federal District in Community Matters, and for the Republic in
Title Eight- Crimes Against Public Morals and Good Customs
Chapter Two- Corruption of Minors and Incapacitated People
Article 201- Whoever procures or facilitates the corruption of a person
under the age of sixteen, or who does not have the capacity to understand the significance
of the act, by means of corporal exhibition acts, lascivious or sexual, or who induces the
practice of begging, the inebriation by consumption of narcotics, prostitution,
homosexuality, or forming part of a criminal association, or to commit whatever crime, is
subject to three to eight years in prison and fifty to two hundred days fine.
When the practices of the corruption of a minor or
incapacitated person cause the victim to become alcoholic, drug addicted, or
dedicated to prostitution or homosexuality, or part of a criminal
association, the penalty will be five to ten years imprisonment and one hundred to four
hundred days fine.
If more crimes, in addition to those listed in this chapter, become
committed, the rules of accumulation apply.
Article 202- It is prohibited to employ people under the age of
eighteen in bars, taverns, and places of vice. The contravention of this disposition will
be punished with imprisonment of three days to one year, a fine of twenty-five to fifty
pesos and, moreover, closing of the establishment in the case of reoccurrence. Parents of
guardians who accept that their children or minors, respectively, under their care, are
employed in these establishments, will be subject to the same penalties.
For the effect of this precept, it will be considered how the minor is
employed in the bar, tavern or place of vice; for a salary, only for food, commission of
whatever nature, other stipend, wage or payment, or freely, giving their services to the
Article 203- The sanctions listed in the previous articles duplicate
when the delinquent is an ascendant, paternally or maternally, of the minor, depriving the
offender of all the possessions which caused offence and of the native power over all of
Article 204- The delinquents who behave in this way remain unable to be
guardians or caretakers.
Article 205- Whoever promotes, facilitates, consigns, or entreaties, a
person for prostitution within or outside of the country, is subject to imprisonment of
two to nine years and one hundred to five hundred days fine.
If violence is employed or the offender uses public facilities, the
penalty increases by fifty percent.
Trade or trafficking of persons and procuring
Article 206- Procuring is punishable by imprisonment of two to nine
years and fifty to five hundred days fine.
Article 207- Committing the crime of procurement:
I. Everyone who habitually or accidentally exploits the body of another
by means of carnal commerce, continues in this business or obtains from this any profit;
II. Whoever induces or solicits a person for another sexual business
with their body or facilitates the means by which one surrenders to prostitution;
III. Whoever regenerates, administers, or directly or indirectly
supports date houses, brothels, or places dedicated expressly to the exploitation of
prostitution, or obtains any benefit from these products.
Article 208- When a person whose body has been exploited for a carnal
business is a minor, whoever covers up, incites, or permits said business, is subject to
imprisonment of six to ten years and ten to twenty days fine.
Title Fifteen -- Crimes against the liberty and normal psychosexual
Chapter 1 -- Sexual harassment, sexual abuse, rape, and violation
Article 261- Whoever commits, without the intention of copulation, a
sexual act on a person under twelve years of age or who does not have the capacity to
understand the significance of the act or for whatever cause is not able to resist, or is
obliged to perform the act, is subject to imprisonment for six months to three years or
treatment in liberty or semi-liberty for the same time.
If the offender uses physical or moral violence, the penalty will be
two to six years in prison.
Article 262- Whoever fornicates with a person over twelve and
under eighteen years of age, and has obtained their consent by means of deception, is
subject to three months to four years in prison.
Article 263- In the case of the previous article, it is not possible to
proceed against the active subject without the complaint of the offended or their
It is also important to cite the international limit of dispositions
applicable to this theme.
In the International Pact of Civil Rights and Excellent Politics by the
Senate on December 18, 1980 and published in the Official Diary of the Federation on May
20, 1981, article 24 was established, point one is the following:
"All children have the right, without discrimination based on
race, color, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, birth or economic
position, to the measures of protection that their age requires, as much for part of their
family as society and the State."
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was
ratified in Mexico on September 21, 1991 and published in the Official Diary of the
Federation on January 25, 1991, established:
State Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass
media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a
diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion
of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health. To
this end, States Parties shall:
encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of
social and cultural benefit to the child and in accordance with the spirit of Article 29;
encourage international co-operation in the production, exchange and
dissemination of such information and material from a diversity of cultural, national and
encourage the production and dissemination of childrens books;
encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic
needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;
encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection
of the child from information and material injurious to his or her well-being, bearing in
mind the provisions of Articles 13 and 18.
States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of
international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to
States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons
who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not
attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those
persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of
eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest.
In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian
law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all
feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed
States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and
multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for
any purpose or in any form.
"Lastly, it is important to mention that in our country, not only
has legislation and programs been implemented that protect minors from the sexual
exploitation industry through the penalization of delinquents who are involved in this
action, but moreover, personal services have also been established to support minor
victims. The program, "Nacional Acción en Favor de la Infancia 1995-2000" ,
establishes, under the title Minors in Especially Difficult Circumstances, a remote place
for mistreated minors and victims of abuse.
Access to and provision of the services of health, education,
recreation, and a good environment to minors in danger of sexual exploitation, including
the minors of and in the street, immigrants, and those without a birth certificate, have
been established through this Program, maximizing education on the rights of children and
incorporating the Convention on the Rights of the Child into the formal and informal
This program defines the mistreated minor as whoever is the object of
physical or emotional violence and sexual abuse, because of the action or intentional
omission by the parents or guardians of the child, the production of physical or mental
scars, death or whatever other personal harm causing the loss of life before the child
The mistreatment of minors is one of the gravest social problems in all
of the countries of the world that is observed in every social, cultural, and economic
class. Still, realizing that this is a problem that occurs very frequently, it is not
possible to establish exact devices to combat it and there are many cases that remain
anonymous or are not denounced."