Mexico Civics Lesson – Government Organization

Here’s a quick “cheat sheet” about how Mexico’s government is organized.

First,  Mexico is a democracy just like the United States of America. It’s  a federal democratic republic and is divided into 31 states plus the Federal District, which is the seat of government. (Corresponds to our District of Columbia).

The Mexican Constitution is the basic, supreme set of laws on which the country’s overall organization is based.  (Again, corresponds to the United States Constitution.) The constitution governs the people of Mexico. The people of Mexico are holders of national sovereignty and they elect their own officials.

The executive branch of power is headed by the President of the Republic, who is elected through universal, secret vote for a term of six years. By law, there is no possibility of re-election.

The legislative branch of power is exercised by a general congress, known as the Congress of the Union, which consists of a Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Senators. Both Chambers are responsible for drafting, adopting and issuing laws, and for supervising public accounts. (Pretty much like ours).

The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 400 representatives elected through universal suffrage for a term of three years: 300 are elected through relative majority, while the other 100 are elected on the basis of proportional represenation, ensuring the participation of all registered political parties in the Chamber.

The Senate is made up of two representatives from each state and another two representing the Federal District.

The administrative structure of the Judiciary branch of government is centered on the circuit system. There are 21 circuits with a total of 128 district courts.

The government is divided into three main branches:

1. Federal branch, which exercises power over the states,

2. State branch for when state matters are involved, and

3. Municipal branch, which oversees the political and administrative units that make up the states.

The Constitution establishes the municipality as the basis of the territorial division and of the political and administrative organization of the states of the Republic.

A multi-party system forms the basis of democratic coexistence in Mexico.

The main political parties are the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

All registered political parties may nominate candidates for local and federal elections.


Sure Graft – Mordita – goes on in Mexico…But, if your vehicle is stopped by an officer for no reason and he tries to collect a fine, take the officer’s number and ask to speak to his jefe (HE-feh) – boss – or ask to be taken to the nearest delegacion de policia – police station – to explain the situation.For unfair traffic accusations call 91 98000 90-392 or contact the appropriate State Tourism Department.Report any unfair treatment to your U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest Mexican consulate office when you return home.

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