State of Mexico

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Overview

Estado de México not only criminalises perceived ‘exposure’ but allows for enhanced sentencing for the offence of injury where caused by the transmission of an illness.

Article 252 of the Penal Code states that anyone who, knowing that they are living with a serious disease, puts themselves at “risk of infecting another”, is liable for a penalty of six months to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of thirty to sixty days.

The offence is prosecuted by means of individual complaint.

Article 238 states that the transmission of an incurable illness is taken as an aggravating offence for the crime of injury, which raises the penalty to two to eight years’ imprisonment and a fine of 120 to 250 days.

Under Article 241, a person who knows they are living with a serious, incurable and fatal disease and who transmits the condition to another causing them to die, is liable for homicide.

Laws

Código Penal del Estado de México

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law

SUBTITLE TWO CRIMES OF DANGER AGAINST PERSONS

CHAPTER I DANGER OF CONTAGION

Article 252: Any person who, knowing that he suffers from a serious disease during the infectious period, places himself in danger of infecting another person by any means of transmission shall be sentenced to six months to two years imprisonment and a fine of thirty to sixty days. (The third paragraph was repealed by decree number 201 of the “LIII” Legislature, published in the Government Gazette on September 1, 2000).

TITLE THREE CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS

SUBTITLE ONE CRIMES AGAINST LIFE AND BODY

CHAPTER I INJURIES

Article 238: Circumstances that aggravate the penalty for the crime of bodily harm shall be punished, in addition to the penalties indicated in the previous article, with the following:

….V. When the injuries produce an incurable illness, mental derangement, definitive loss of a limb or of any organic function or cause a permanent incapacity to work, two to eight years imprisonment and a fine of one hundred and twenty to two hundred and fifty days shall be applied;

CHAPTER II HOMICIDE

Article 241.– The crime of homicide is committed by anyone who deprives another of his life. Anyone who, knowing that he suffers from a serious, incurable and fatal illness, infects another person or causes his death shall be punished as a homicide (Reformed by decree number 201 of the “LIII” Legislature, published in the Government Gazette on September 1, 2000).

Acknowledgements

Our thanks to la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones contra la criminalización del VIH for their research assistance to confirm current relevant legislation.

This information was last reviewed in January 2021