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A Constitution Corrupted

By: 
Gavin O'Toole

It is easy to understand scholarly and progressive interest in this year’s centennial of the Russian revolution, but harder to explain why there is little apparent enthusiasm for an anniversary that is arguably more important – that of Mexico’s 1917 constitution, signed on February 5, 1917. In fact, Mexico’s constitution provided the model for the first Soviet constitution. Its failure to inspire global interest may reside in an uncomfortable question facing the country: whether it should be celebrating or mourning.

The Constitution has been revered by constitutional scholars for being the first to enshrine social rights. But relentless revisions by politicians have culminated in an assault on the last vestiges of its progressive content by President Enrique Peña Nieto, leaving it all but moribund.