1917 Constitution of Mexico (selected articles)


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Article 1. Every person in the United Mexican States shall enjoy the guarantees granted by this Constitution, which cannot be restricted or suspended except in such cases and under such conditions as are herein provided


Article 2. Slavery is forbidden in the United Mexican States. Slaves who enter national territory from abroad shall, by this act alone, recover their freedom and enjoy the protection afforded by the laws.


Article 3.(1) 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.


I. Freedom of religious beliefs being guaranteed by Article 24, the standard which shall guide such education shall be maintained entirely apart from any religious doctrine and, based on the results of scientific progress, shall strive against ignorance and its effects, servitudes, fanaticism, and prejudices.


a. It shall be democratic, considering democracy not only as a legal structure and a political regimen, but as a system of life founded on a constant economic, social, and cultural betterment of the people;

b. It shall be national insofar as -- without hostility or exclusiveness -it shall achieve the understanding of our problems, the utilization of our resources, the defense of our political independence, the assurance of our economic independence, and the continuity and growth of our culture; and

c. It shall contribute to better human relationships, not only with the elements which it contributes toward strengthening and at the same time inculcating, together with respect for the dignity of the person and the integrity of the family, the conviction of the general interest of society, but also by the care which it devotes to the ideals of brotherhood and equality of rights of all men, avoiding privileges of race, creed, class, sex, or persons.


IV. Private persons may engage in education of all kinds and grades. But as regards elementary, secondary, and normal education (and that of any kind or grade designed for laborers and farm workers) they must previously obtain, in every case, the express authorization of the public power. Such authorization may be refused or revoked by decisions against which there can be no judicial proceedings or recourse.

V. Private institutions devoted to education of the kinds and grades specified in the preceding section must be without exception in conformity with the provisions of sections I and II of the first paragraph of this article and must also be in harmony with official plans and programs.

VI. Religious corporations, ministers of religion, stock companies which exclusively or predominantly engage in educational activities, and associations or companies devoted to propagation of any religious creed shall not in any way participate in institutions giving elementary, secondary and normal education and education for laborers or field workers.


VII. The State may in its discretion withdraw at any time the recognition of official validity of studies conducted in private institutions.


VIII. Elementary education shall be compulsory.


IX. All education given by the State shall be free.


X. The Congress of the Union, with a view to unifying and coordinating education throughout the Republic, shall issue the necessary laws for dividing the social function of education among the Federation, the States and the Municipalities, for fixing the appropriate financial allocations for this public service and for establishing the penalties applicable to officials who do not comply with or enforce the pertinent provisions, as well as the penalties applicable to all those who infringe such provisions.



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.

In the Nation is vested the direct ownership of all natural resources of the continental shelf and the submarine shelf of the islands; of all minerals or substances, which in veins, ledges, masses or ore pockets, form deposits of a nature distinct from the components of the earth itself, such as the minerals from which industrial metals and metalloids are extracted; deposits of precious stones, rock-salt and the deposits of salt formed by sea water; products derived from the decomposition of rocks, when subterranean works are required for their extraction; mineral or organic deposits of materials susceptible of utilization as fertilizers; solid mineral fuels; petroleum and all solid, liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbons; and the space above the national territory to the extent and within the terms fixed by international law.(6)

In the Nation is likewise vested the ownership of the waters of the territorial seas, within the limits and terms fixed by international law; inland marine waters; those of lagoons and estuaries permanently or intermittently connected with the sea; those of natural, inland lakes which are directly connected with streams having a constant flow; those of rivers and their direct or indirect tributaries from the point in their source where the first permanent, intermittent, or torrential waters begin, to their mouth in the sea, or a lake, lagoon, or estuary forming a part of the public domain; those of constant or intermittent streams and their direct or indirect tributaries, whenever the bed of the stream, throughout the whole or a part of its length, serves as a boundary of the national territory or of two federal divisions, or if it flows from one federal division to another or crosses the boundary line of the Republic; those of lakes, lagoons, or estuaries whose basins, zones, or shores are crossed by the boundary lines of two or more divisions or by the boundary line of the Republic and a neighboring country or when the shoreline serves as the boundary between two federal divisions or of the Republic and a neighboring country; those of springs that issue from beaches, maritime areas, the beds, basins, or shores of lakes, lagoons, or estuaries in the national domain; and waters extracted from mines and the channels, beds, or shores of interior lakes and streams in an area fixed by law. Underground waters may be brought to the surface by artificial works and utilized by the surface owner, but if the public interest so requires or use by others is affected, the Federal Executive may regulate its extraction and utilization, and even establish prohibited areas, the same as may be done with other waters in the public domain. Any other waters not included in the foregoing enumeration shall be considered an integral part of the property through which they flow or in which they are deposited, but if they are located in two or more properties, their utilization shall be deemed a matter of public use, and shall be subject to laws enacted by the States.(7)


In those cases to which the two preceding paragraphs refer, 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. The Federal Government has the power to establish national reserves and to abolish them. The declarations pertaining thereto shall be made by the Executive in those cases and conditions prescribed by law. 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.(8)


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.(9) (Note: A transitory provision of the amendment adding the foregoing paragraph to Article 27 states:


"A regulatory law shall establish the rules to which concessions granted prior to the enactment of the present law (amendment) shall be subject".)


Legal capacity to acquire ownership of lands and waters of the Nation shall be governed by the following provisions:


I. 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. Under no circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores of the country.


The State, in accordance with its internal public interests and with principles of reciprocity, may in the discretion of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs authorize foreign states to acquire, at the permanent sites of the Federal Powers, private ownership of real property necessary for the direct services of their embassies or legations.(10)

II. Religious institutions known as churches, regardless of creed, may in no case acquire, hold, or administer real property or hold mortgages thereon; 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.

III. Public or private charitable institutions for the rendering of assistance to the needy, for scientific research, the diffusion of knowledge, mutual aid to members, or for any other lawful purpose, may not acquire more real property than actually needed for their purpose and immediately and directly devoted thereto; but they may acquire, hold, or administer mortgages on real property provided the term thereof does not exceed ten years. Under no circumstances may institutions of this kind be under the patronage, direction, administration, charge, or supervision of religious orders or institutions, or of ministers of any religious sect or of their followers, even though the former or the latter may not be in active service.

IV. Commercial stock companies may not acquire, hold, or administer rural properties. Companies of this kind that are organized to operate any manufacturing, mining, or petroleum industry or for any other purpose that is not agricultural, may acquire, hold, or administer lands only of an area that is strictly necessary for their buildings or services, and this area shall be fixed in each particular case by the Federal or State Executive.

V. Banks duly authorized to operate in accordance with the laws on credit institutions may hold mortgages on urban and rural property in conformity with the provisions of such laws but they may not own or administer more real property than is actually necessary for their direct purpose.

VI. With the exception of the corporate entities referred to in clauses III, IV, and V hereof, and the centers of population which by law or in fact possess a communal status or centers that have received grants or restitutions or have been organized as centers of agricultural population, no other civil corporate entity may hold or administer real property or hold mortgages thereon, with the sole exception of the buildings intended immediately and directly for the purposes of the institution. The States, the Federal District, and the Territories, and all Municipalities in the Republic, shall have full legal capacity to acquire and hold all the real property needed to render public services.


The federal and state laws, within their respective jurisdictions, shall determine in what cases the occupation of private property shall be considered to be of public utility; and in accordance with such laws, the administrative authorities shall issue the respective declaration. The amount fixed as compensation for the expropriated property shall be based on the value recorded in assessment or tax offices for tax purposes, whether this value had been declared by the owner or tacitly accepted by him by having paid taxes on that basis. The increased or decreased value of such private property due to improvements or depreciation which occurred after such assessment is the only portion of the value that shall be subject to the decision of experts and judicial proceedings. This same procedure shall be followed in the case of property whose value is not recorded in the tax offices.


The exercise of actions pertaining to the Nation by virtue of the provisions of this article shall be made effective by judicial procedure, but during these proceedings and by order of the proper courts, which must render a decision within a maximum of one month, the administrative authorities shall proceed without delay to occupy, administer, auction, or sell the lands and waters in question and all their appurtenances, and in no case may the acts of such authorities be set aside until a final decision has been rendered.


VII. (11)The centers of population which, by law or in fact, possess a communal status shall have legal capacity to enjoy common possession of the lands, forests, and waters belonging to them or which have been or may be restored to them.


All questions, regardless of their origin, concerning the boundaries of communal lands, which are now pending or that may arise hereafter between two or more centers of population, are matters of federal jurisdiction. The Federal Executive shall take cognizance of such controversies and propose a solution to the interested parties. If the latter agree thereto, the proposal of the Executive shall take full effect as a final decision and shall be irrevocable; should they not be in conformity, the party or parties may appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, without prejudice to immediate enforcement of the presidential proposal.


The law shall specify the brief procedure to which the settling of such controversies shall conform.


VIII. The following are declared null and void:


a. All transfers of the lands, waters, and forests of villages, rancherías, groups, or communities made by local officials (jefes políticos), state governors, or other local authorities in violation of the provisions of the Law of June 25, 1856, and other related laws and rulings.

b. All concessions, deals or sales of lands, waters, and forests made by the Secretariat of Development, the Secretariat of Finance, or any other federal authority from December 1, 1876 to date, which encroach upon or illegally occupy communal lands (ejidos), lands allotted in common, or lands of any other kind belonging to villages, rancherias, groups or communities, and centers of population.

c. All survey or demarcation-of-boundary proceedings, transfers, alienations, or auction sales effected during the period of time referred to in the preceding sub-clause, by companies, judges, or other federal or state authorities entailing encroachments on or illegal occupation of the lands, waters, or forests of communal holdings (ejidos), lands held in common, or other holdings belonging to centers of population.


The sole exception to the aforesaid nullification shall be the lands to which title has been granted in allotments made in conformity with the Law of June 25, 1856, held by persons in their own name for more than ten years and having an area of not more than fifty hectares.

IV. Divisions or allotments of land among the inhabitants of a given center of population which, although apparently legitimate are not so, due to a mistake or defect, may be annulled at the request of three fourths of the residents holding one fourth so divided, or one fourth of such residents holding three fourths of the lands.

V. Centers of population which lack communal lands (ejidos) 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.


The area or individual unit of the grant shall hereafter be not less than ten hectares of moist or irrigated land, or in default of such land its equivalent in other types of land in accordance with the third paragraph of section XV of this article.(12)

VI. For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this article and of regulating laws that may be enacted, the following are established:

a. A direct agency of the Federal Executive entrusted with the application and enforcement of the agrarian laws;

b. An advisory board composed of five persons to be appointed by the President of the Republic and who shall perform the functions specified in the organic laws;

c. A mixed commission composed of an equal number of representatives of the Federal Government, the local governments, and a representative of the peasants, to be appointed in the manner set forth in the respective regulating law, to function in each State, Territory, and the Federal District, with the powers and duties set forth in the organic and regulatory laws;

d. Private executive committees for each of the centers of population that are concerned with agrarian cases;

e. A communal office (comisariado ejidal) for each of the centers of population that possess communal lands (ejidos).


VI. Petitions for a restitution or grant of lands or waters shall be submitted directly to the state and territorial governors.


The governors shall refer the petitions to the mixed commissions, which shall study the cases during a fixed period of time and render a report; the State governors shall approve or modify the report of the mixed commission and issue orders that immediate possession be given to areas which they deem proper. The case shall then be turned over to the Federal Executive for decision.


Whenever the governors fail to comply with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, within the peremptory period of time fixed by law, the report of the mixed commission shall be deemed rejected and the case shall be referred immediately to the Federal Executive.


Inversely, whenever a mixed commission fails to render a report during the peremptory time limit, the Governor shall be empowered to grant possession of the area of land he deems appropriate.

VII. The agency of the Executive and the Agrarian Advisory Board shall report on the approval, rectification, or modification of the reports submitted by the mixed commissions, containing the changes made therein by the local governments, and so notify the President of the Republic, who as the supreme agrarian authority will render a decision.

VIII. Landowners affected by decisions granting or restoring communal lands and waters to villages, or who may be affected by future decisions, shall have no ordinary legal right or recourse and cannot institute amparo proceedings.


Persons affected by such decisions shall have solely the right to apply to the Federal Government for payment of the corresponding indemnity. This right must be exercised by the interested parties within one year counting from the date of publication of the respective resolution in the Diario Oficial. After this period has elapsed, no claim is admissible.


Owners or occupants of agricultural or stock raising properties in operation who have been issued or to whom there may be issued in the future certificates of non-affectability may institute amparo proceedings against any illegal deprivation or agrarian claims on their lands or water.(13)

IX. The mixed commissions, the local governments and any other authorities charged with agrarian proceedings cannot in any case affect small agricultural or livestock properties in operation and they shall incur liability for violations of the Constitution if they make grants which affect them.


Small agricultural property is that which does not exceed one hundred hectares of first-class moist or irrigated land or its equivalent in other classes of land, under cultivation.


To determine this equivalence one hectare of irrigated land shall be computed as two hectares of seasonal land; as four of good quality pasturage (agostadero) and as eight as monte (scrub land) or arid pasturage.


Also to be considered as small holdings are areas not exceeding two hundred hectares of seasonal lands or pasturage susceptible of cultivation; or one hundred fifty hectares of land used for cotton growing if irrigated from fluvial canals or by pumping; or three hundred, under cultivation, when used for growing bananas, sugar cane, coffee, henequen, rubber, coconuts, grapes, olives, quinine, vanilla, cacao, or fruit trees.


Small holdings for stock raising are lands not exceeding the area necessary to maintain up to five hundred head of cattle (ganado mayor) or their equivalent in smaller animals (ganado menor - sheep, goats, pigs) under provisions of law, in accordance with the forage capacity of the lands.


Whenever, due to irrigation or drainage works or any other works executed by the owners or occupants of a small holding to whom a certificate of non-affectability has been issued, the quality of the land is improved for agricultural or stock raising operations, such holding shall not be subject to agrarian appropriation even if, by virtue of the improvements made, the maximums indicated in this section are lowered, provided that the requirements fixed by law are met.

X. Lands which are subject to individual adjudication must be partitioned precisely at the time the presidential order is executed, according to regulatory laws.


XI. The Federal Congress and the State Legislature, within their respective jurisdictions, shall enact laws to fix the maximum area of rural property, and to carry out the subdivision of the excess lands, in accordance with the following bases:


a. In each State, Territory, or the Federal District, there shall be fixed a maximum area of land of which a single individual or legally constituted society may be the owner.

b. The excess over the fixed area shall be subdivided by the owner within the time fixed by the local law, and these parcels shall be offered for sale under terms approved by the governments, in accordance with the aforementioned laws.

c. If the owner should oppose the subdivision, it shall be carried out by the local government, by expropriation.

d. The value of the parcels shall be paid by annual installments which will amortize principal and interest, at an interest rate not exceeding 3% per annum.

e. Owners shall be required to receive bonds of the local Agrarian Debt to guarantee payment for the property expropriated. For this purpose, the Federal Congress shall enact a law empowering the States to create their Agrarian Debt.

f. No subdivision can be sanctioned which fails to satisfy the agrarian needs of neighboring settlements (poblados inmediatos). Whenever subdivision projects are to be executed, the agrarian claims must be settled within a fixed period.

g. Local laws shall organize the family patrimony, determining what property shall constitute it, on the basis that it shall be inalienable and shall not be subject to attachment or encumbrance of any kind.


VIII. 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.


Article 123. The Congress of the Union, without contravening the following basic principles, shall formulate labor laws which shall apply to:


A. Workers, day laborers, domestic servants, artisans (obreros, jornaleros, empleados domésticos, artesanos) and in a general way to all labor contracts:


I. The maximum duration of work for one day shall be eight hours.

II. (51) The maximum duration of night work shall be seven hours. The following are prohibited: unhealthful or dangerous work by women and by minors under sixteen years of age; industrial night work by either of these classes; work by women in commercial establishments after ten o'clock at night and work (of any kind) by persons under sixteen after ten o'clock at night.

III. The use of labor of minors under fourteen years of age is prohibited. Persons above that age and less than sixteen shall have a maximum work day of six hours.

IV. For every six days of work a worker must have at least one day of rest.

V. During the three months prior to childbirth, women shall not perform physical labor that requires excessive material effort. In the month following childbirth they shall necessarily enjoy the benefit of rest and shall receive their full wages and retain their employment and the rights acquired under their labor contract. During the nursing period they shall have two special rest periods each day, of a half hour each, for nursing their infants.

VI. The minimum wage to be received by a worker shall be general or according to occupation. The former shall govern in one or more economic zones; the latter shall be applicable to specified branches of industry or commerce or to special occupations, trades, or labor.


The general minimum wage must be sufficient to satisfy the normal material, social, and cultural needs of the head of a family and to provide for the compulsory education of his children. The occupational minimum wage shall be fixed by also taking into consideration the conditions of different industrial and commercial activities


Farm workers shall be entitled to a minimum wage adequate to their needs.


The minimum wage is to be fixed by regional committees, composed of representatives of the workers, employers, and the Government, and will be subject to approval by a national committee, organized in the same manner as the regional committees.

VII. Equal wages shall be paid for equal work, regardless of sex or nationality.

VIII. The minimum wage shall be exempt from attachment, compensation, or deduction.

IX. (52) Workers shall be entitled to a participation in the profits of enterprises, regulated in conformity with the following rules:


a. A national committee, composed of representatives of workers, employers, and the Government, shall fix the percentage of profits to be distributed among workers.

b. The national committee shall undertake research and make necessary and appropriate studies in order to become acquainted with the general conditions of the national economy. It shall also take into consideration the need to promote the industrial development of the country, the reasonable return that should be obtained by capital, and the necessary reinvestment of capital.

c. The committee may revise the fixed percentage whenever new studies and research so justify.

d. The law may exempt newly established enterprises from the obligation of sharing profits for a specified and limited number of years for exploration work and other activities so justified by their nature or peculiar conditions.


e. To determine the amount of the profits of each enterprise the basis to be taken is the taxable income according to the provisions of the income tax law. Workers may submit to the appropriate office of the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit any objections they may deem pertinent, in accordance with procedure indicated in the law.

f. The right of workers to participate in profits does not imply the power to intervene in the direction or administration of an enterprise.


VII. Wages must necessarily be paid in money of legal tender and cannot be paid in goods, promissory notes, or any other token intended as a substitute for money.

VIII. Whenever, due to extraordinary circumstances, the regular working hours of a day must be increased, one hundred percent shall be added to the amount for normal hours of work as remuneration for the overtime. Overtime work may never exceed three hours a day nor three times consecutively. Persons under sixteen years of age and women of any age may not be admitted to this kind of labor.

IX. In any agricultural, industrial, or mining enterprise or in any other kind of work, employers shall be obliged to furnish workmen comfortable and hygienic living quarters for which they may collect rent that shall not exceed one half percent monthly of the assessed valuation of the property. They also must establish schools, hospitals, and any other services necessary to the community. If the enterprise is situated within a town and employs more than one hundred workers, it shall be responsible for the first of the above obligations.

X. In addition, in these same work centers, when the population exceeds 200 inhabitants, a tract of land of not less than five thousand square meters must be reserved for the establishment of public markets, the erection of buildings destined for municipal services, and recreation centers. Establishments for the sale of intoxicating liquors and houses for games of chance are prohibited in all work centers.

XI. Employers shall be responsible for labor accidents and for occupational diseases of workers, contracted because of or in the performance of their work or occupation; therefore, employers shall pay the corresponding indemnification whether death or only temporary or permanent incapacity to work has resulted, in accordance with what the law prescribes. This responsibility shall exist even if the employer contracts for the work through an intermediary.

XII. An employer shall be required to observe, in the installation of his establishments, the legal regulations on hygiene and health, and to adopt adequate measures for the prevention of accidents in the use of machines, instruments, and materials of labor, as well as to organize the same in such a way as to ensure the greatest possible guarantee for the health and safety of workers as is compatible with the nature of the work, under the penalties established by law in this respect.

XIII. Both employers and workers shall have the right to organize for the defense of their respective interests, by forming unions, professional associations, etc.

XIV. The laws shall recognize strikes and lockouts as rights of workmen and employers.

XV. Strikes shall be legal when they have as their purpose the attaining of an equilibrium among the various factors of production, by harmonizing the rights of labor with those of capital. In public services it shall be obligatory for workers to give notice ten days in advance to the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration as to the date agreed upon for the suspension of work. Strikes shall be considered illegal only when the majority of strikers engage in acts of violence against persons or property, or in the event of war, when the workers belong to establishments or services of the Government.

XVI. Lockout shall be legal only when an excess of production makes it necessary to suspend work to maintain prices at a level with costs, and with prior approval of the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration.

XVII. Differences or disputes between capital and labor shall be subject to the decisions of a Board of Conciliation and Arbitration, consisting of an equal number of workmen and employers, with one from the Government.

XVIII. (53) If an employer refuses to submit his differences to arbitration or to accept the decision rendered by the Board, the labor contract shall be considered terminated and he shall be obliged to indemnify the worker to the amount of three months' wages and shall incur any liability resulting from the dispute. This provision shall not be applicable in the case of actions covered in the following section. If the refusal is made by workers, the labor contract shall be considered terminated.


XIX. (54) An employer who dismisses a worker without justifiable cause or because he has entered an association or union, or for having taken part in a lawful strike, shall be required, at the election of the worker, either to fulfill the contract or to indemnify him to the amount of three months' wages. The law shall specify those cases in which the employer may be exempted from the obligation of fulfilling the contract by payment of an indemnity. He shall also have the obligation to indemnify a worker to the amount of three months' wages, if the worker leaves his employment due to lack of honesty on the part of the employer or because of ill treatment from him, either to himself or to his wife, parents, children, or brothers and sisters. An employer may not relieve himself of this responsibility when the ill treatment is attributable to his subordinates or members of his family acting with his consent or tolerance.

XX. Credits in favor of workers for wages or salary earned within the last year, and for indemnity compensation, shall have priority over all other obligations in the event of receivership or bankruptcy.

XXI. A worker alone shall be responsible for debts contracted by himself and payable to his employer, his associates, members of his family, or dependents, and in no case and for no purpose may payment be exacted from members of the worker's family, nor are these debts demandable for an amount exceeding the wages of the worker for one month.

XXII. Services of employment placement for workers shall be gratuitous, whether such service is performed by a municipal office, labor exchange, or any other official or private institution.

XXIII. Every labor contract made between a Mexican and a foreign employer must be notarized by a competent municipal authority and countersigned by the consul of the nation to which the worker intends to go, because, in addition to the ordinary stipulations, it shall be clearly specified that the expenses of repatriation shall be borne by the contracting employer.

XXIV. The following conditions shall be considered null and void and not binding on the contracting parties, even if expressed in the contract:


a. Those that stipulate a day's work that is inhuman because it is obviously excessive, considering the kind of work;

b. Those that fix wages that are not remunerative, in the judgment of Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration;

c. Those stipulating a period of more than one week before payment of a day's wages;

d. Those indicating as the place of payment of wages a place of recreation, an inn, café, tavern, bar, or store, except for the payment of employees of such establishments;

e. Those that include the direct or indirect obligation of acquiring consumer goods in specified stores or places;

f. Those that permit the retention of wages as a fine;

g. Those that constitute a waiver by the worker of indemnification to which he is entitled due to labor accidents or occupational diseases, damages occasioned by the nonfulfillment of the contract, or by being discharged;

h. All other stipulations that imply waiver of any right designed to favor the worker in the laws of protection and assistance for workmen;


IX. The laws shall determine what property constitutes the family patrimony, property that shall be inalienable, not subject to encumbrances of attachment, and that shall be transmissible by inheritance with simplification of the formalities of succession.

X. Enactment of a social security law shall be considered of public interest and it shall include insurance against disability, on life, against involuntary work stoppage, against sickness and accidents, and other forms for similar purposes;

XI. Likewise, cooperative societies established for the construction of low-cost and hygienic houses to be purchased on installments by workers, shall be considered of social utility;

XII. (55) Enforcement of the labor laws belongs to the authorities of the States, in their respective jurisdictions, but it is the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal authorities in matters relating to the textile, electrical, motion picture, rubber, sugar, mining, petrochemical, metallurgical, and steel industries, including the exploitation of basic minerals, their processing and smeltering, as well as the production of iron and steel in all their forms and alloys and rolled products, hydrocarbons, cement, railroads, and enterprises that are administered directly or in decentralized form by the federal Government; enterprises that operate by virtue of a federal contract or concession, and connected industries; enterprises that carry on work in federal zones and territorial waters; disputes that affect two or more federal entities; collective contracts that have been declared obligatory in more than one federal entity, and finally, obligations that in educational matters belong to employers in the manner and form fixed by the respective law.


M. (56) The branches of the Union, the governments of the Federal District and of the federal Territories and their workers:


I. The maximum working day for day and night work shall be eight and seven hours respectively. Those in excess will be overtime and will be paid by a one hundred percent addition to the remuneration fixed for regular service. In no case may overtime exceed three hours a day or three consecutive times.

II. For every six days of work a worker shall be entitled to one day of rest, at least, with full wages.

III. Workers shall be entitled to vacations of not less than twenty days a year.

IV. (57) Wages shall be fixed in the respective budgets, and their amount may not be decreased while a given budget is in effect.


In no case may wages be lower than the minimum for workers in general in the Federal District and in agencies of the Republic.

V. Equal wages shall be paid for equal work, without regard to sex.

VI. Withholdings, discounts, deductions, or attachments from wages may be made only in those cases provided by law.

VII. The appointment of personnel shall be made by systems which permit a determination of the skills and aptitudes of applicants. The State shall organize schools of public administration.

VIII. Workers shall be entitled to the rights of a classification scale so that promotions may be made on the basis of skills, aptitudes, and seniority.

IX. Workers may be suspended or discharged only on justifiable grounds, for reasons prescribed by law.


In the event of unjustifiable discharge, a worker has the right to choose between reinstatement in his work or to appropriate indemnity, determined by legal proceedings. In case of abolishment of positions, the affected workers shall have the right to another position equivalent to the one abolished or to an indemnity.

X. Workers shall have the right to associate together for the protection of their common interests. They may also make use of the right to strike after first complying with requirements prescribed by law, with respect to one or more offices of the public powers, whenever the rights affirmed by this article are generally and systematically violated.

XI. Social security shall be organized on the following minimum bases:


a. It shall cover work accidents and occupational diseases, nonoccupational illness and maternity; and retirement, disability, old age, and death.

b. In case of accident or illness, the right to work shall be retained for the time specified by law.

c. Women shall be entitled to one month's leave prior to the approximate date indicated for childbirth and to two months' leave after such date. During the nursing period, they shall have two extra rest periods a day, of a half hour each, for nursing their children. In addition, they are entitled to medical and obstetrical attention' medicines, nursing aid, and infant care services.

d. Members of a worker's family shall be entitled to medical attention and medicines, in those cases and in the proportions specified by law.


e. Centers are to be established for vacations and convalescence, as well as economy stores for the benefit of workers and their families.

f. Workers will be allotted low-cost housing for rent or sale, in accordance with previously approved programs.


VII. Individual, collective, and inter union disputes shall be submitted to a federal tribunal of conciliation and arbitration to be organized as provided in the regulatory law.


Disputes between the federal judicial branch and its employees shall be settled by the plenary Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.

VIII. Military and naval personnel and members of the public security corps, and personnel of the foreign service, shall be governed by their own laws.

IX. The law shall determine what positions are to be regarded as those of personal trust (de confianza). Persons who hold such positions shall be entitled to the benefits of measures for the protection of wages and social security. (Note: A transitory article of the amendment states that until the respective regulatory law is enacted, the Statute for Workers in the Service of the Powers of the Union shall remain in effect insofar as it is not contrary to the present amendment.)