Defamation Laws In Mexico

As of 2007, Mexico became the second country in Latin America to repeal defamation, libel and slander as a criminal offense based on the report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.  Defamation, libel, and slander are now civil offenses under new articles 1916 and 1916a of the federal civil code. However, this reform does not offer Mexican journalists complete protection from criminal defamation complaints because many Mexican states continue to carry criminal libel laws on their books.

In Mexico, federal laws do not supersede state laws. In most Mexican states, defamation, libel, and slander are still punishable by prison sentences of up to four years. Crimes of calumny, defamation and slanderous allegation (injurias) have been abolished already in the 16 states of Mexico.  Article IX hopes that the remaining states with criminal libel laws will follow suit.

Nevertheless, Article IX further reports in 2009 that Mexico has the lowest number of defamation cases comparative to population.

In September 2011, a bill was proposed to punish anyone who defames a candidate or political party with six years in jail, but the bill was later withdrawn in order to address criticisms.