The criminal law of Yucatán criminalises perceived ‘exposure’ and actual transmission of diseases.
Article 189 criminalises anyone who knows they are living with a venereal disease or serious transmissible illness and who maliciously “endangers the health” of others, with a penalty of imprisonment for three months to three years, increased to three months to eight years if the disease is incurable, and up to fifteen years if it is fatal. The provision also allows for hospital confinement.
Prosecution can only proceed by complaint in the case of partners.
Articles 313 and 315, which criminalise forced violent rape, allow for enhanced sentencing where the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases occurs. In the former provision, the base penalty of eight to twenty years’ imprisonment and one thousand to three thousand days’ fine is raised by half. In the latter, the penalty of eight to thirty years and three thousand to five thousand days’ fine is increased by half.
Article 379 allows for enhanced sentencing for the infliction of injuries where there is premeditation, which is presumed to exist where committed by venereal contagion.
Código Penal del Estado de Yucatán
Chapter I – Danger of Contagion
Whoever, knowing that he is sick with a venereal disease or with any serious illness that can be transmitted during the infectious period and that through sex or by any other direct means puts the health of other persons in danger of contagion, shall be sentenced to a prison term of three months to three years and may also be confined to a hospital. If the contagious disease is incurable, the sanction will be from three months to eight years in prison and if it is fatal, the sanction may be up to fifteen years. In the case of spouses, concubines or partners, the offender may only proceed by complaint.
Código Penal del Estado de Yucatán
Chapter IV – Rape
Any person who, by means of physical or moral violence, has sex with a person of either sex shall be sentenced to eight to twenty years’ imprisonment and one thousand to three thousand days’ imprisonment. For the purposes of this Chapter, copulation is understood to be the introduction of the virile member into the body of the victim by vaginal, anal, or oral means, regardless of his or her sex. The same sanction shall be applied to the person who introduces via the vaginal or anal route any object or instrument other than the virile member, by means of physical or moral violence, regardless of the sex of the offended party. If, in addition to all of the above, it results in pregnancy and/or the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease, the sanction shall be increased by half.
Anyone who, without violence and for lewd purposes, engages in copulation or introduces any object or instrument other than a male member into the vagina or anus of a person under fifteen years of age or of a person deprived of reason or sense, or when due to illness or any other cause he is unable to resist, shall be deemed to have committed rape and shall be punished by imprisonment of eight to thirty years and three thousand to five thousand days-in prison. If, in addition, physical or moral violence is exercised, and if applicable, it results in pregnancy and/or in the infection of a sexually transmitted disease, the minimum and maximum penalties shall be increased by half.
Chapter IV – Common Rules for Injuries and Homicide
There is premeditation whenever the accused acts with malice aforethought, after having reflected on the crime he is going to commit. Premeditation shall be presumed when the injuries or homicide are committed by flood, fire, mines, bombs, or explosives; by means of poison or any other substance harmful to health, venereal contagion, or any other easily transmissible disease under the terms of Article 189 of this Code, by asphyxiation, enervating, retribution given or promised, torment, depraved motives, or brutal ferocity.
Our thanks to la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones contra la criminalización del VIH for their research assistance to confirm current relevant legislation.