MEXICO CITY – Mexico City’s first constitution was officially published on Sunday, a move that authorities called historic and which is a significant step towards transforming the national capital into this country’s 32nd state.
The city “has always been on a constant search for improvement and to consolidate the rights of the (Mexican) Revolution and reform,” said Mexico City government chief Miguel Angel Mancera upon signing the decree ordering publication of the city’s constitution.
Surrounded by constituents, capital lawmakers and federal legislators, among others, Mancera signed the document at the Old City Hall and noted that the city was founded almost 700 years ago.
During those seven centuries, he said, the city “has transformed itself, has evolved, in terms of building ideas, revolutions, improving its infrastructure,” with a “very broad” political life.
Approving the capital’s Magna Carta is a seminal step toward implementing the January 2016 political reform ordering the city to establish the groundwork for becoming the 32nd Mexican state, thanks to a change in the national Constitution giving the capital greater autonomy in crafting its policies and administration.
The document, which will enter into force on Sept. 17, 2018, is comprised of 70 articles and 39 temporary articles and, starting Sunday, it may be downloaded from the official Mexico City Web page.
In the coming days, the document will also be published in the capital’s Official Gazette.
According to the capital’s government, the city’s Constitution is the newest in Latin America, along with being the most progressive and innovative.
For example, it acknowledges the therapeutic use of marijuana, a right which will be established as per general law, and the right to personal self-determination, stating that “a dignified life implicitly contains the right to a dignified death.”
In addition, it establishes Mexico City as a federative entity and sets forth its structure, government and organization.
However, local media have also said that several of the more progressive ideas proposed by Mancera were sensibly scaled back.
Mexican Government Minister Miguel Angel Osorio said at an official ceremony that Sunday, when the nation will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Constitution, is an “historic day” for the city and the country.
“Just as Feb. 5, 1917, signified a before and an after for Mexico, Feb. 5, 2017, will be remembered as a watershed for the country’s capital,” he said, adding that it is the start of “a new era.”
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was scheduled to head an official ceremony around midday to commemorate the signing of the Mexican Constitution in the city of Queretaro.