14 September, 2019

Adventures in Mazatlán: Today’s topic: Article 33.

Since I’ve been in the United States of America for the last two weeks, I’ve been sucked back into US politics. Thankfully medications keep my blood pressure in check as having to go through another election cycle would otherwise do me in.

Watching debates, listening to political commentary, just seeing the evening news has me thinking that I’m very thankful for the Constitution of México. Specifically Article 33. This is the one that says, in no uncertain words (when translated to English), “Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.” It also defines who a foreigner is and what may happen to those who violates this article: ” Foreigners are those who do not possess the qualifications set forth in Article 30. They are entitled to the guarantees granted by Chapter I, Title I, of the present Constitution; but the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action. “

“Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.” Not a whole lot of wiggle room here. Yet each and every year I will see posts from ex-pats and snowbirds asking people to sign some petition they’ve become enamored with. Or someone will give details of attending a political rally. Or they’ll discuss the merits of this candidate for mayor/governor/president. “Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.” I really don’t want to jeopardize my residency because I like that a local candidate for office supports animal rights and I’ve been attending rallies. I really don’t want to jeopardize my residency because my street is too loud, and I circulated a petition to ask the mayor to deal with it. Do you? Do you really? And before you say otherwise, I’m certain many could provide a winning argument that a petition is a political instrument. And as a non-citizen of a country gracious enough to allow me to live here, why would I ever want to do something contrary to their most basic governing document?

I am not saying that México doesn’t have problems. I’m not saying that I’m not concerned, privately, about some issues. I’m also not saying that the President of México is going to eject me from the country because I signed a pro-spay/neuter petition. I am saying that until the day I’m a Méxican citizen, my mouth is shut and my hands are in my pockets. It’s a matter of respect for the laws of the country that provides me with a much happier existence than I’d have elsewhere.

An English version of the Constitution of México is available to read here: https://www.oas.org/juridico/mla/en/mex/en_mex-int-text-const.pdf

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