Press Room

7 February, 2024

Ciudad de México, 6 de febrero de 2024

Constitutional reform initiatives presented by the Federal Executive

On February 5, 2024, 20 constitutional reform initiatives were presented to the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Deputies by the President of the Mexican Republic, Lic. Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

This document aims to present a detailed summary of each initiative, providing a clear vision of the proposed changes and their respective areas of focus. The initiatives cover a wide range of topics, from so-called “republican austerity” and public servant remunerations to health, social welfare, and environmental protection.

Below, we present a brief overview of the scope of each of them:

  • Initiative on austerity and public servant remunerations.
  • Its objective is to strengthen the mechanisms to enforce the constitutional limit on public servant remunerations and to establish in the Constitution a principle called “Republican Austerity” as a fundamental value in the administration of public resources, prohibiting the duplication of functions and unnecessary expenses in federal and local public entities. In the words of the initiative itself, “the measures aim to ensure a sober and efficient government, committed to the ethical and effective use of public resources and to the welfare of the people.”

  • Initiative on criminal law reform.
  • It proposes to establish mandatory pre-trial detention for crimes of extortion, small-scale drug trafficking, crimes related to the production, distribution, and illicit sale of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, as well as tax fraud, smuggling, and the issuance, alienation, purchase, or acquisition of fiscal vouchers that cover simulated or nonexistent operations. This measure aims to provide greater effectiveness and forcefulness to government actions to mitigate the consumption of synthetic drugs and combat the commission of these crimes, updating and strengthening the constitutional foundations to provide appropriate legal tools to the authorities.

  • Initiative on health reform regarding the use of toxic substances.
  • It seeks to guarantee the right to health by prohibiting the production, distribution, and sale of electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and similar electronic devices, as well as toxic substances, chemical precursors, and synthetic drugs not legally authorized, such as fentanyl. It proposes adding a fifth paragraph to Article 4 of the Constitution to ensure the protection of people’s health against these products and substances, and a second paragraph to Article 5 to prohibit the industry and trade related to them.

  • Electoral reform initiative.
  • It proposes a series of reforms to adapt the Mexican electoral system to what it calls “recent political transformations,” aiming to expand representativeness in public powers. This includes incorporating the principle of “austerity” into the electoral and party system, halving public funding to political parties, and implementing precise rules for obtaining private resources. Additionally, it proposes a new model of political communication focused on the access of parties and independent candidates to radio and television through official state times and elevating the use of information and communication technologies for voting to constitutional status. It also seeks to establish a population criterion for defining the number of representatives in local congresses, city councils, and mayoralties, and to reduce the number of members of these bodies.

    The initiative proposes that the Chamber of Deputies have 300 seats, eliminating 200 proportional representation seats, and that the Senate have 64 seats, half of the current number. Both will be elected directly by the citizenry through a relative majority system.

  • Judicial Reform Initiative.
  • The Initiative proposes significant changes to the Judiciary, focusing on three main areas: election, salaries, and discipline of its members. It suggests that no one in the Judiciary, including Ministers, Magistrates, and Judges, should earn more than the President of the Republic. It also recommends that the Senate be involved in selecting temporary replacements in case of vacancies and that short-term leaves be managed by a new judicial administrative body. Furthermore, it aims to create two new entities: one for managing administration and another for the discipline of judicial personnel. Finally, it proposes amending Article 101 of the Constitution to replace the members of the Judicial Council with members of these new bodies and specialized electoral tribunals.

  • Welfare Reform Initiative.
  • The Initiative seeks to amend Articles 4 and 27 of the Constitution to strengthen social welfare. It proposes to guarantee a fair and secure daily wage for peasants, as well as direct annual support and free fertilizers for small-scale producers and fishermen. It also aims to maintain guaranteed prices for basic products such as corn, beans, milk, rice, and wheat. Furthermore, it intends to expand the universe of beneficiaries of the so-called “Welfare Programs,” such as the pension for people with disabilities and the elderly, reducing the age to access the senior pension from 68 to 65 years.

    The initiative also emphasizes the need to allocate sufficient budgetary resources to ensure the exercise of the rights established in Article 4 and to promote conditions for comprehensive rural development.

  • Pension Reform Initiative. 
  • The Initiative seeks to amend Article 123 of the Constitution to improve the pension system and prevent a crisis in the pension regimes of 1997 and 2007. It proposes that workers aged 65 who contributed after July 1, 1997, to the Mexican Institute for Social Security (IMSS) or under the individual account regime in the ISSSTE, have the right to a fair pension. It suggests the creation of a “Welfare Pension Fund,” financed by various sources, including resources from the so-called “Institute for Returning What Was Stolen to the People” and savings generated by the elimination of autonomous bodies and duplicated public entities.

  • State Strategic Industries Reform Initiative.
  • It proposes amending Articles 25, 27, and 28 of the Constitution to increase state control over strategic industries, especially in the energy sector. The initiative aims to achieve energy sovereignty, ensuring that the state has the capacity to decide how energy resources are used in a rational and efficient manner. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining control over the generation of electric power, the exploration and extraction of oil and other hydrocarbons, as well as satellite communication and railways, as priority areas for national development.

    Furthermore, it suggests eliminating the obligation for public companies to follow the concept of “best practices,” labeling them as “neoliberal,” and focusing on a corporate governance that does not apply to public enterprises.

  • Housing System Creation Initiative for All Workers.
  • The initiative proposes to amend and add Section XII of subsection A of Article 123 of the Constitution to establish a Housing System aimed at all working people. This reform seeks to guarantee the right to social housing as a right of the working class, expanding and strengthening the role of the National Workers’ Housing Fund Institute (INFONAVIT).

    The initiative aims to transform the financing system managed by INFONAVIT into a more inclusive and accessible system, which not only offers affordable and sufficient credit for the acquisition or improvement of homes but also allows workers to access rental housing. It seeks to implement an operational efficiency program to reduce INFONAVIT costs and reclaim its social orientation, serving the working class that does not own a home.

  • Comprehensive, Universal, and Free Healthcare Reform Initiative.
  • It seeks to amend Article 4 of the Constitution to guarantee comprehensive, universal, and free healthcare, emphasizing a government commitment to consolidate a transformation in the health system that ultimately provides protection and legal certainty to the entire population and ensures access to medical studies, surgical interventions, and medications. The initiative aims to strengthen health services with an approach that prioritizes prevention, health risk awareness, and timely treatment and control of diseases.

  • Reform Initiative to the Law of the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE)
  • It seeks to add a new article to the ISSSTE Law to facilitate the total reduction of interest, updates, and surcharges on outstanding debts from dues and contributions not paid by the end of 2023. This measure will only apply during the fiscal year 2024. Payments made under this initiative will be allocated to the Welfare Pension Fund. Additionally, the revenue obtained from the sale of ISSSTE properties will also be allocated to this fund.

  • National Guard Reform Initiative.
  • It proposes reforms to empower the National Guard as a permanent police force, assigned to the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena). It seeks to recognize the National Guard as an essential institution for achieving citizen security, public order, and respect for human rights. The reform aims to consolidate the National Guard as an armed force with military training, responsible for executing the National Public Security Strategy.

    It emphasizes the importance of the National Guard acting with respect for human rights and following principles such as legality, necessity, proportionality, caution, gradualness, and accountability in the use of force.

  • Autonomous Constitutional Bodies Extinction Initiative.
  • It proposes a significant restructuring of the public administration by eliminating several Autonomous Constitutional Bodies and Coordinated Regulatory Agencies in the energy sector, suggesting the absorption of their functions by the Federal Public Administration (FPA). The initiative also proposes adding a paragraph to Article 134 of the Constitution to prevent the creation of new public entities, aiming to centralize functions within the FPA and reduce independent and specialized oversight.

  • Initiative on the Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples and Communities.
  • The Initiative seeks to amend Article 2 of the Constitution to strengthen the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples and communities. The proposal aims to recognize these groups as public law subjects with legal personality and their own assets, improving their legal situation and acknowledging their cultural and social importance.

  • • Economic Support Reform Initiative for Unemployed Youth.
  • It proposes adding a second paragraph to Article 123 of the Constitution to establish the state’s obligation to provide monthly financial support to young people aged 18 to 29 who are not working or studying.

  • Federal Public Administration Organic Simplification Reform Initiative.
  • Its goal is to rationalize the organic structure of the FPA to reduce the use of public resources. The proposal includes the suppression, relocation, integration, conversion, contraction, or merger of administrative units, decentralized administrative bodies, and decentralized public organizations into departments or entities of the FPA. Additionally, it proposes modifications to various laws to adjust them to the new organizational structure, promising more effective and coherent public policy management.

  • • Salary Reform Initiative.
  • It proposes to amend and add various provisions to Article 123 of the Constitution to improve the working conditions of Mexican workers through more dignified salaries. The initiative seeks to ensure that minimum wages are sufficient to meet the normal needs of a family head in material, social, and cultural terms, and to provide for the compulsory education of children. It focuses on ensuring that the salaries of state workers, such as elementary school teachers, police officers, National Guard members, Armed Forces members, doctors, and nurses, are not lower than the average salary of workers registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute. The proposal emphasizes the need to annually update these salaries according to estimated inflation.

  • Animal Protection and Care Reform Initiative.
  • The Initiative proposes amending Articles 3, 4, and 73 of the Constitution to establish the protection and care of animals as a constitutional principle. It aims to include animal protection and care in educational plans and programs, prohibit animal abuse, and obligate the Mexican state to guarantee the protection, proper treatment, conservation, and care of animals. Additionally, it proposes granting the Congress of the Union the authority to issue a general law regulating the concurrence of the Federal Government, the governments of the federative entities, municipalities, and, where applicable, the territorial demarcations of Mexico City, in matters of animal protection. The initiative also emphasizes the importance of recognizing animals as sentient beings that are an integral part of the country’s biological diversity and seeks to promote a more respectful relationship with them.

  • Reform Initiative on the Right to Food, Healthy Environment, and Right to Water. 
  • The initiative aims to declare Mexico free of genetically modified corn for planting and human consumption, recognizing corn as a staple food and a national identity element. It proposes to guarantee personal consumption and domestic use of water, prohibiting concessions in water-scarce areas and prioritizing personal and domestic use over other purposes. It also seeks to prevent harmful practices to the environment and public health, such as open-pit mining and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for hydrocarbon extraction.

  • Reform Initiative on Railway Transportation.
  • The initiative proposes amending and adding to Article 28 of the Constitution to revitalize passenger railway transportation in the country. It aims to recognize railway transportation as a safe, efficient, sustainable, and competitive means of transport that contributes to social welfare, job creation, improved mobility, decongestion of roads and internal routes, and accessibility for the public. It suggests granting the Federal Executive the authority to allocate assignments to public companies or concessions to private entities for passenger railway transportation services, while respecting existing concessions for freight transportation.