Future of Mexico’s democracy uncertain, say constitutional scholars

Panelists at ASU event analyze impact, future of Mexico’s constitution

Arizona State University’s Center for Constitutional Design hosted three distinguished scholars in the areas of Mexico’s constitution and politics for an event on the Downtown Phoenix campus. The scholars provided a history of the nation’s guiding document and weighed in on the current developments spearheaded by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Enacted in 1917, Mexico’s constitution has been amended 729 times, making it the third most amended in history after the 1874 Swiss constitution and New Zealand’s “flexible” constitution of 1852, Pozas-Loyo said. In contrast, the U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times.

The continuous amendments, or hyper-reformism, obstructed the development and execution of constitutional mandates and made it difficult to build “judicial interpretation,” she said.

“It’s paradoxical that constitutional reform enabled constitutional transitions, but it blocked constitutional and democratic consolidation,” Pozas-Loyo said. “This is where we were in 2018. The country had gone almost two decades of democracy and we had been able to construct a constitutional framework that enabled checks and balances in power.

Jerry Gonzalez Assistant Director , ASU Media Relations and Strategic Communications