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The Penal Code of Puebla criminalises perceived ‘exposure’ and actual transmission of disease.

Article 213 criminalises anyone who knows they are living with a venereal disease or other transmissible chronic or serious illness and who “endangers the health of another” with a penalty of thirty days to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of twenty to one thousand days.

Article 214 states that knowledge of the illness is presumed where there are perceptible injuries or external manifestations.

Prosecution can occur only by means of complaint in the case of partners.

Article 306 criminalises the infliction of non-life threatening injuries which result in an incurable disease with a penalty of five to eight years’ imprisonment and a fine of thirty to three hundred days’ salary.

Article 325, which outlines the penalties for premeditated injuries and homicide, states that premeditation is presumed to exist where caused by a venereal or communicable disease.

In June 2023, it was reported that a man living with HIV was challenging the validity of Articles 213 and 325 of the Penal Code as part of a wider legal action related to workplace discrimination on account of his HIV status and sexual orientation.

In November 2023, a proposal was put forward by Morena deputy Carlos Evangelista Aniceto, which would have increased the penalty available under Article 213 to up to ten years’ imprisonment. This was met with strong criticism by human rights and activists, who highlighted that the initiative promotes stigma and discrimination. The deputy asked for his proposal to be withdrawn the following day.

The following month, another Morena deputy, Jocelyn Olivares López, introduced a motion to repeal Articles 213 and 214. The motion was turned over to the Commission for the Procuration and Administration of Justice for consideration.


Código Penal del Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla

General disease law (active)
Relevant text of the law

Chapter Six. Risk of spread of disease

Article 213

Anyone who, knowing that he or she suffers from a venereal disease or any other chronic or serious disease that is transmitted sexually or by any other direct means, puts the health of another person in danger of contagion, will be imprisoned from thirty days to two years and fine of twenty to one thousand days of salary.

(Article amended on 02 / Sep / 2006)

Article 214

In the cases provided for in the previous article, the following provisions are applicable:

I. Knowledge of the disease will be presumed when the agent has injuries or external manifestations of easily perceptible disorders; (Section amended on 02 / Sep / 1998)

II. In the case of spouses or common-law partners, it may only proceed by complaint of the offended party; (Section amended on 02 / Sep /1998)

III. The penalty will be imposed, without prejudice to the corresponding sanctions if contagion or any other damage or injury is caused, or those that result from the transmission of a disease. (Section amended on 02 / Sep / 1998)

Código Penal del Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law

Article 306

Anyone who causes an injury that does not endanger the life of the victim, will be sentenced:

I. From fifteen days to eight months in prison or a fine of five to twenty days of salary or both sanctions, in the judgment of the judicial authority, when the injury will take less than fifteen days to heal, (Section amended on September 2, 1998 )

II. From six months to two years in prison and a fine of ten to fifty days’ salary, if the injury takes fifteen days or more to heal (Section amended on September 2, 1998)

In both cases, the aggressor will be prosecuted by complaint of the offended party and ex officio if the injuries are inferred during a health emergency, epidemic or pandemic to people working in health services; doctors, nursing staff, other similar professionals and auxiliaries in the health sector, private or public. In these cases, the penalties provided for in sections I and II will be doubled. (Paragraph added on September 2, 1998 and amended on October 2, 2020)

If the injuries provided for in this article constitute the means for the commission of the crimes provided for by the Fourth Section of the Twelfth Chapter of the Second Book of this Code, the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply.

Article 325

Premeditation will be presumed when the injuries or homicide are committed by flood, fire, mines, bombs or explosives; by means of poisons or any other substance harmful to health; for venereal contagion or some other easily transmissible disease, as provided in article 213, for asphyxia or drugs, for retribution given or promised, for 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.

This information was last reviewed in December 2023