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Until 2023, the Penal Code of Nayarit contained a number of provisions which criminalised perceived ‘exposure’ to and actual transmission of diseases.

Article 219 criminalised anyone who knew they carried a venereal or serious and easily transmitted disease and who put the health of another in “danger of contagion” through sexual intercourse. The penalty for this offence was three months to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of one to ten days, as well as confinement in hospital during the “infectious period”.

The same penalty applied to a woman who was living with a disease as above and breastfed a child which is not her own without the parents or guardian being aware of her health condition. The Penal Code also contained similar offences relating to those living with syphilis.

Article 221 stated that knowledge of the illness was presumed when the accused or breastfed child presented discernible external manifestations of the illness.

In the case of partners, criminal sanction could only proceed following an individual complaint.

Article 222 imposed a more severe penalty where the disease is incurable. It stated that anyone who knew they were suffering from an incurable venereal disease and infected another person through sexual or other means was liable for a penalty of ten to twenty years’ imprisonment and a fine of one hundred to four hundred days. The same sanction was imposed on anyone who was not living with the disease but who infected another person by another means and in a fraudulent manner.

In March 2023, the Congress of Nayarit approved the repeal of these provisions from the Penal Code following efforts by local advocates. This means that the transmission of diseases can now only be penalised under general injury provisions. Article 346 imposes a prison sentence of four to twelve years and a fine of one hundred to two hundred days on anyone who inflicts an injury which causes an incurable illness.


Código Penal para el Estado de Nayarit

General disease law (repealed)
Relevant text of the law

Article 219

He who knowing that he is ill with a venereal disease in a period of infection or a serious and easily transmittable, has sexual intercourse and thus put the health of another in simple danger of contagion, will be punished with imprisonment from three months to two years and a fine of one to ten days, without prejudice to being confined in a hospital until the infective period ceases .

The same sanctions and the same imprisonment shall be imposed on women who suffering from one of the diseases mentioned in the previous paragraph, breastfeed a strange child, except in the case that the breastfed minor suffers from the same disease before and the parents or guardians who, knowing that their child or ward suffers from any of the aforementioned diseases in an infectious period, give it to a nurse so that breastfeed them. The mother who, being ill with syphilis due to postpartum infection, breastfeeds her own child, if she can give him artificial or nurse feeding, the same sanctions referred to in the first paragraph of this article will be applied.

Article 220

Non-syphilitic women who, knowing that a minor is finds a patient with congenital syphilis, breastfeed him, if she is also breastfeeding another or other minors, the same
sanctions indicated in the previous article.

Article 221

If contagion occurs in any of the cases of the two previous articles, the sanction will also be imposed corresponding to the resulting crime. Knowledge of the disease will be presumed when the agent or the children who are breastfed have easily visible injuries or external manifestations of it. In the case of spouses or cohabiting persons, only will proceed by complaint of the offended.

Article 222

Anyone who, knowing that he suffers from incurable venereal disease, infects another through sexual intercourse or any other means, shall be punished with a prison term of ten to twenty years and a fine of one hundred to four hundred days, without prejudice to the security measures that may be decreed, in order to avoid subsequent infections.

The same sanction will be imposed on whoever without suffering it, by any means and maliciously infects another.

Código Penal para el Estado de Nayarit

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law

Article 346

From four to twelve years in prison and a fine of one hundred to two hundred days shall be imposed on the person who causes an injury resulting in a certain or probably incurable disease, the complete disablement or the loss of an eye, an arm, of a hand, of a leg or of a foot, or of any other organ; when any organic function is impaired forever or when the offended person is deaf or with an incorrigible deformity.

Five to fifteen years in prison and a fine of two hundred to three hundred days shall be imposed on anyone who causes an injury as a result of which permanent incapacity to work, mental derangement, loss of sight or speech or sexual functions results. (REFORMED, P.O. NOVEMBER 8, 2016)


This information was last reviewed in June 2023