Mexico: Treatment of individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) by society and authorities, including legislation; access to housing, employment, education, health care, and support services, particularly in Mérida, Monterrey, and Mexico City; state protection (2020–March 2022) [MEX200969.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Legislation – Federal

According to sources, same-sex sexual relations are not criminalized in Mexico (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 327; Stonewall [Aug.] 2018; OutRight n.d.), and were decriminalized in 1872 (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 327).

The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States provides the following:

Article 1

Any discrimination motivated by ethnic or national origin, gender, age, disabilities, social status, conditions of health, religion, opinions, preferences, civil estate or any other that infringes on human dignity and has for [its] object to annul or diminish the rights and freedoms of persons will be prohibited. (Mexico 1917, Art. 1)

The Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination (Ley Federal para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminación) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 1.- The provisions of this Law are of public order and social interest. The purpose of this Law is to prevent and eliminate all forms of discrimination against any person under the terms of Article 1 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, as well as to promote equality of opportunity and treatment.

For the purposes of this law, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

III. Discrimination: For the purposes of this law, discrimination shall be understood as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference that, by action or omission, intentionally or unintentionally, is not objective, rational or proportional, and has the purpose or result of hindering, restricting, impeding, impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and freedoms, when it is based on one or more of the following grounds: ethnic or national origin, skin colour, culture, gender, sex, age, disability, social, economic, health or legal status, religion, physical appearance, genetic characteristics, immigration status, pregnancy, language, opinions, sexual preferences, political identity or affiliation, marital status, family situation, family responsibilities, language, criminal record or any other reason;

Discrimination shall also be understood as homophobia, misogyny, any manifestation of xenophobia, racial segregation, anti-Semitism, as well as racial discrimination and other related forms of intolerance. forms of intolerance;

… (Mexico 2003, Art. 1)

The Federal Penal Code (Código Penal Federal) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 149 Ter. There will be a penalty of one to three years imprisonment or one hundred and fifty to three hundred days of community service and up to two hundred days fine to anyone who for reasons of ethnic or national origin, race, skin colour, language, gender, sex, sexual preference, age, marital status, national or social origin, social or economic status, health status, pregnancy, political opinions or any other type of conduct violating human dignity or nullifying or undermining the rights and freedoms of persons through the exhibition of any of the following behaviours:

  1. Deny a person a service or benefit to which he or she is entitled;
  2. Deny or restrict labour rights, primarily on the basis of gender or pregnancy; or limit a health service, primarily to women in connection with pregnancy; or
  3. Deny or restrict educational rights.

… (Mexico 1931, Art. 149 Ter.)

However, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA World) reports that "[t]here are no provisions aggravating penalties for crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation at the federal level" (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 243). The same source further notes that "[t]here is no federal law on same-sex marriage" (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 280).

1.1 Legislation – Yucatán

The Political Constitution of the State of Yucatán (Constitución Política del Estado de Yucatán) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 2.-

Any discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, nationality, gender and gender identity, age, disability, health, social, economic or linguistic conditions, sexual preference, sexual identity, affiliation, education, religion, political ideology, or any other reason that violates human dignity and has the purpose of nullifying or impairing the rights and freedoms of individuals is prohibited; …

(Yucatán 1918, Art. 2)

The Penal Code for the State of Yucatán (Código Penal del Estado de Yucatán) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 243 Ter.- The crime of discrimination is committed by anyone who, on the basis of ethnic, social, national or regional origin, colour or any other genetic characteristic, sex, language, religion or beliefs, opinions or political ideology, social or economic or socio-cultural status, age, disability, health status, pregnancy, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, occupation or activity, or any other act that:

  1. Provokes or incites hatred or physical or psychological violence;
  2. Denies a person a service or benefit to which he or she is entitled;
  3. Slanders or excludes any person or group of persons, or
  4. Denies or restricts the exercise of any right.

… (Yucatán 2000, Art. 243 Ter.)

1.2 Legislation – Nuevo Léon

The Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in the State of Nuevo Léon (Ley para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminación en el Estado de Nuevo Léon) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 5.- Any form of discrimination is prohibited, meaning the denial, exclusion, distinction, impairment, impediment or restriction of any or some of the human rights of individuals, groups and/or communities, whether or not they are in a situation of discrimination attributable to individuals or legal entities or Public Entities, intentionally or unintentionally, maliciously or culpably, by act or omission, on the basis of their ethnic origin, nationality, race, language, sex, gender, indigenous identity, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, legal status, social or economic status, physical appearance, health conditions, genetic characteristics, pregnancy, religion, political, academic or philosophical opinions, political identity or affiliation, sexual orientation or sexual preference, marital status, way of thinking, dressing, acting, gesturing, having tattoos or body piercings, consuming psychoactive substances or any other substance that has the effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as the equality of persons in the exercise of rights. Biphobia, homophobia, lesbophobia, transphobia, misogyny, xenophobia, racial segregation and other related forms of intolerance, and anti-Semitism in any of its manifestations will also be considered discrimination. (Nuevo Léon 2017, Art. 5)

1.3 Legislation – Mexico City

The Political Constitution of Mexico City (Constitución Política de la Ciudad de México) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 4

Principles of interpretation and application of human rights

C. Equality and Non-Discrimination

2. Any form of discrimination, formal or de facto, that violates human dignity or has as its object or result the denial, exclusion, distinction, impairment, impediment or restriction of the rights of individuals, groups and communities, motivated by ethnic or national origin, physical appearance, skin colour, language, gender, age, disabilities, social status, migratory status, health conditions, pregnancy, religion, opinions, sexual preference, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sexual characteristics, marital status or any other category shall be prohibited.

Article 6

Community of freedoms and rights

E. Sexual Rights

Every person has the right to sexuality; to decide about it and with whom to share it; to exercise it in a free, responsible and informed manner, without discrimination, with respect for sexual preference, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sexual characteristics, without coercion or violence; as well as to education on sexuality and comprehensive health services, with complete, scientific, non-stereotyped, diverse and secular information. The progressive autonomy of children and adolescents will be respected.

Article 11

Inclusive community

H. Rights of LGBTTTI persons

  1. This Constitution recognizes and protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transvestite, transsexual and intersex persons to live a life free of violence and discrimination.
  2. Equal rights are recognized for families formed by LGBTTTI couples, with or without children, under civil marriage, cohabitation or any other civil union.
  3. The authorities shall establish public policies and adopt the necessary measures to address and eradicate behaviours and attitudes of exclusion or discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, gender identity, gender expression or sexual characteristics.

(Mexico City 2017, Art. 4, 6, 11)

The Penal Code for the Federal District of Mexico City (Código Penal para el Distrito Federal) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 138. Homicide and injuries are ranked when they are committed for gain, with treachery, with malice aforethought or for compensation, exhibiting depravity in a state of wilful attitude or hatred.

VIII. Hate exists when the agent commits it because of the victim's social or economic status; connection, membership or relationship with a defined social group; ethnic or social origin; nationality or place of origin; colour or any other genetic characteristic; sex; language; gender; religion; age; opinions; disability; health conditions; physical appearance; sexual orientation; gender identity; marital status; occupation or activity.

Article 206. One to three years of imprisonment or twenty-five to one hundred days of community service and a fine of fifty to two hundred days shall be imposed on anyone who, on the basis of age, sex, marital status, pregnancy, race, ethnic origin, language, religion, ideology, sexual orientation, skin colour, nationality, origin or social position, work or profession, economic position, physical characteristics, disability or state of health, or any other characteristic that violates human dignity and has the purpose of nullifying or impairing the rights and freedoms of individuals, and that:

  1. Provoke or incite hatred or violence;
  2. Deny a person a service or benefit to which he/she is entitled. For the purposes of this section, it is considered that every person is entitled to the services or benefits offered to the general public;
  3. Slander or exclude any person or group of persons; or
  4. Deny or restrict labour rights.

… (Mexico City 2002, Art. 138, 206)

2. State Protection

According to sources, the federal law in Mexico "bans discrimination" based on sexual orientation (Freedom House 3 Mar. 2021, Sec. F4) or "prohibits discrimination against LGBTI individuals" (US 30 Mar. 2021, 36). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also indicates that Mexico "performs well regarding the protection of LGBTI people against discrimination and violence" (OECD June 2020, 2).

However, the same source further notes that "the progress made by Mexico has been more modest regarding legal provisions addressing barriers to the inclusion of same-sex couples and transgender individuals more specifically" (OECD June 2020, 2). Noticias Telemundo, an international broadcaster, reports that [translation] "only 14" states in Mexico "consider hate crimes due to 'sexual orientation' as an aggravating factor" in case of homicide, "but the Mexican Federal Criminal Code still does not include it, nor does it mention the term 'gender identity'" (Noticias Telemundo 17 May 2021). Similarly, Freedom House notes that while LGBT+ individuals "have strong legal protections," "they are not uniformly enforced" (Freedom House 3 Mar. 2021, Sec. F4). The US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2020 notes that "[t]here were reports the government did not always investigate and punish those complicit in abuses" against LGBTI individuals, "especially outside of Mexico City" (US 30 Mar. 2021, 36). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer from Identity, Diversity, Legality (IDL), a legal bureau that specializes in SOGIESC matters in Mexico (IDL n.d.a), noted that [translation] "progress regarding sexual diversity has been slow" and the issue considered "taboo," meaning that it is "absent in the legislative and executive agendas" (IDL 23 Feb. 2022).

2.1 Conversion Therapy

According to the Senate Gazette (Gaceta del Senado), the [translation] "official information organ" of the Mexican Senate (Mexico n.d.a), the Initiative with Draft Decree Adding Various Provisions to the Federal Penal Code and to the General Health Law (Iniciativa con Proyecto de Decreto por el que Adiciona Diversas Disposiciones al Código Penal Federal y a la Ley General de Salud) [translation] "proposes to prohibit and punish any practice that promotes or imparts, in order to correct the sexual orientation and gender identity of persons," as "'it is considered an attack on the right to the free construction of personality'" (Mexico 15 Aug. 2018).

However, Infobae, a Spanish-language news website from Argentina (The Washington Post 8 June 2016), reports that there is no law that bans conversion therapy at the federal level (Infobae 2 Aug. 2021). As of March 2022, Capital, a newspaper in Mexico, reports that the Senate is [translation] "promoting the approval of a ruling to reform the Federal Penal Code and the General Health Law, with the aim of punishing practices that purport to correct people's sexual orientation" (Capital 2 Mar. 2022). According to El Sol de Puebla, a Mexican newspaper, as of 2020–2021, seven states [translation] "have begun to approve reforms to prohibit" conversion therapy practices, including Baja California Sur, Colima, México, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, and Zacatecas (El Sol de Puebla 19 Oct. 2021).

ILGA World indicates that as of December 2020, "roughly 20.6% of the Mexican population" lives in "jurisdictions" with conversion therapy bans (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 265). GQ México y Latinoamérica, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for men, notes that Efforts to Correct Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (Esfuerzos para Corregir la Orientación Sexual e Identidad de Género, ECOSIG) centres still exist (GQ México y Latinoamérica 19 June 2020). Infobae also notes that ECOSIG centres operate in Mexico (Infobae 2 Aug. 2021). According to sources, treatment in ECOSIGs may include electroshocks, exorcisms, and corrective rapes (Infobae 2 Aug. 2021; GQ México y Latinoamérica 19 June 2020).

2.2 Same-Sex Marriage

ILGA World states that Supreme Court decisions that "declared that bans on marriage equality were unconstitutional and states must recognise the marriage of same-sex couples conducted in other states" "did not translate to the legalisation of same-sex marriages in the whole country. Rather, same-sex marriages have been celebrated on a case-by-case basis (generally after a judicial decision) in States where legislation still does not provide for such unions" (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 280). The same source notes that as of December 2020, 19 jurisdictions have adopted same-sex marriage legislation (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 280). The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), a US-based organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights in the US and across the world (HRC n.d.), notes that "some states have enacted marriage equality while, in other states, same-sex couples must seek an amparo [legal recourse to protection] from a federal court to obtain a license" (HRC [2021], italics added).

Sources indicate that 20 states have legalized same-sex marriage (IDL n.d.b; HRW 13 Jan. 2021, 459), while in the remaining 12, "same-sex couples must petition for an injunction (amparo) to be allowed to marry" (HRW 13 Jan. 2021, 8). According to IDL, same-sex marriage is legal in Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Léon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, and Tlaxcala (IDL n.d.b). The same source notes that Tamaulipas and Sinaloa allow for a "[j]udicial resolution that requires legalization by the state government," while Durango, the State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Querétaro, Sonora, Tabasco, Veracruz, Yucatán, and Zacatecas allow for "marriage only through amparo" (IDL n.d.b).

Sources indicate that as of August 2021, same-sex marriage is legal in 22 states (El País 25 Aug. 2021) or [translation] "20 or so" (Diario de Yucatán 15 June 2021) states as Sinaloa [translated] "accept[ed]" same-sex marriage in June 2021 (El País 25 Aug. 2021; Diario de Yucatán 15 June 2021), while Yucatán "approved it" in August 2021 (El País 25 Aug. 2021).

According to sources, the Foreign Affairs Secretary of Mexico (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 37) or Secretary of State (AQ 18 May 2020) announced that Mexican consulates around the world would start [conducting (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 37) or "recogniz[ing]" (AQ 18 May 2020)] same-sex marriages (AQ 18 May 2020; Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 37).

2.3 Transgender Individuals

A press release by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación) states that

[translation]

the change of name[,] and in general the adjustment of public records and identity documents so that they conform to self-perceived gender identities[,] constitutes a right protected both by the American Convention on Human Rights and by the Constitution, since the adjustment of gender identity allows guaranteeing the free development of personality, the right to identity, the right to privacy, the recognition of legal personality and the right to a name; therefore, the States have the obligation to recognize, regulate and establish appropriate procedures for such purpose. (Mexico 17 Oct. 2018)

However, Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that 12 states "allow transgender people to change their names and gender markers on birth certificates through a simple administrative process before the state Civil Registry" (HRW 13 Jan. 2021, 8). A report on public opinion on transgender rights in Mexico by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, a research centre that focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy (Williams Institute n.d.), indicates that 10 states—Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, and Tlaxcala—"allow any person to change their legal documents to align with their chosen name and gender identity" (Williams Institute Dec. 2020, 1). El Financiero, a financial newspaper in Mexico, reports that 13 states—Coahuila, Colima, Chihuahua, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, and Tlaxcala—have laws that recognize gender identity and [translation] "allow [individuals] to amend the gender and name on their birth certificates" (El Financiero 4 Jan. 2021). The same source further notes that Jalisco and Oaxaca [translation] "are the only [states] that include minors under 18 years of age," while in the remaining states, "this administrative procedure" is only allowed "for people over 18 years of age" (El Financiero 4 Jan. 2021). In an interview with the Research Directorate, a representative from the Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV (Programa Especial de Sexualidad, Salud y VIH) within the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH), a government body tasked with the protection and defense of human rights in Mexico (Mexico n.d.b), noted that while Mexico City legally recognizes changes in gender identity, Monterrey and Mérida do not (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022). The representative noted that the information they shared was based on the area of specialization of their program and that they were not speaking on behalf of the CNDH as a whole (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

The Williams Institute indicates that "Mexico is second only to Brazil in the number of known homicides against transgender people worldwide" (Williams Institute Dec. 2020, 2). The Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) project [1] reports that 57 "trans and gender-diverse people" were killed between October 2019 and September 2020 (TGEU 11 Nov. 2020). Freedom House states that "in particular," transgender women in Mexico "face discrimination and violence" (Freedom House 3 Mar. 2021, Sec. F4). According to Letra S, Sida, Cultura y Vida Cotidiana AC (Letra S), a non-profit organization based in Mexico City that provides information and support on issues related to health and sexuality and advocates for the rights of LGBTI individuals and people living with HIV (Letra S n.d.), [translation] "[t]rans women continue to be the most numerous [homicide] victims" in Mexico, reflecting 54.5 percent of the total number of cases involving LGBTI+ individuals in 2020, or 43 of 79 victims (Letra S May 2021, 8, 11).

Al Jazeera states that "Mexico does not have a legal framework for transfemicides, meaning that they are prosecuted as homicides and not as hate crimes" (Al Jazeera 31 Mar. 2020). According to the BBC, authorities in Mexico "often show little inclination to investigate the killings of transgender women" (BBC 1 Feb. 2021).

2.4 Intersex Individuals

The Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative stated that there is no regulation at the federal level that specifies at what age an intersex individual can make decisions about their own body, instead of with parental consent (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

3. Treatment of Individuals of Diverse SOGIESC by Society and Authorities

Information on the treatment of individuals of diverse SOGIESC by authorities was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. US Country Reports 2020 states that "[c]ivil society groups claimed police routinely subjected LGBTI persons to mistreatment while in custody" (US 30 Mar. 2021, 36).

The information in the following paragraph was provided by the National Survey on Discrimination (Encuesta Nacional Sobre Discriminación, ENADIS) conducted in 2017 [2]:

72 percent of individuals 18 years of age and older feel that the rights of transgender individuals are "little or not at all respected" in Mexico, while 66 percent feel that the rights of gay or lesbian individuals are "little or not at all respected." At the national level, 64.4 percent of individuals aged 18 years or older feel that there is "little or no justification for two people of the same sex to live as a couple," while in Mexico City, Nuevo Léon, and Yucatán the figures are 40.5, 72.2, and 64.3 percent, respectively (Mexico 2017, 12, 15, 17).

Letra S states in its annual report for 2020 on the violent deaths of LGBTI+ individuals, that in 2020 [translation] "at least" 79 LGBTI+ individuals were killed in Mexico (Letra S May 2021, 8). The same source notes that this represents a 32 percent decrease in the number of LGBTI+ individuals killed compared to 2019, with Veracruz and Chihuahua at the top of the list with the highest number of LGBTI+ homicides (Letra S May 2021, 8). However, the same source notes that the decrease is [translation] "in line" with a general reported decrease in homicides in 2020 compared to 2019, and that "this drop in numbers is owed more to the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic than to the implementation of public crime prevention and law enforcement policies" (Letra S May 2021, 8).

The Senate Gazette stated in August 2018 that [translation] "[d]espite some advances" in Mexico's legislation to recognize equality, "discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as gender identity and expression, is a structural phenomenon rooted in Mexican society," and "occurs on a daily basis, at multiple levels: in family, work and institutional environments" (Mexico 15 Aug. 2018). According to an article by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, "the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely and fairly," access to LGBT+ rights is "uneven and dozens are killed in hate crimes each year as gay and trans people still face prejudice" in Mexico (Thomson Reuters Foundation 16 June 2021). US Country Reports 2020 indicates that according to public opinion surveys, "[d]iscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was prevalent, despite a gradual increase in public acceptance of LGBTI individuals" (US 30 Mar. 2021, 36).

The Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative indicated that while there is no discrimination towards LGBTQ+ individuals at the legislative level, there [translation] "can be discrimination at the social level," particularly towards transgender individuals who are "more exposed" to violence, discrimination, and rejection (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

The IDL lawyer provided the information in the following paragraph:

There is a [translation] "crisis" regarding the treatment of individuals of diverse SOGIESC by society and authorities as well as law enforcement agencies in Mérida, Monterrey, and Mexico City. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, "it is estimated that 70 percent of trans women experienced economic losses in the first year of confinement, and 40 percent report having been let go from their jobs just because of their identity." Hate crimes against the trans community "have been exacerbated," with "more than" 30 hate crimes in the above-mentioned cities "so far this year." In Mexico, a trans individual has a life expectancy of 35 years (IDL 23 Feb. 2022).

Sources describe the following incidents involving individuals of diverse SOGIESC in Mexico:

  • Sources state that a gay couple (The Yucatan Times 26 Feb. 2021) or two men (LGBTQ Nation 25 Feb. 2021) were arrested by police for kissing on the beach (LGBTQ Nation 25 Feb. 2021; The Yucatan Times 26 Feb. 2021) in Quintana Roo (The Yucatan Times 26 Feb. 2021).
  • Sources report that a lesbian couple was murdered and [translation] "dismembered" (El Diario 18 Jan. 2022) or "mutilated" (El Paso Times 24 Jan. 2022) along a road in the Valley of Juárez (El Paso Times 24 Jan. 2022; El Diario 18 Jan. 2022) in Chihuahua (El Paso Times 24 Jan. 2022).
  • Sources indicate that a transgender rights activist was stabbed in Aquiles Serdan, a town located outside Chihuahua City (El Paso Times 18 Sept. 2020; Them 16 Sept. 2020).

3.1 Mérida – State of Yucatán

Information on the treatment of individuals of diverse SOGIESC by society and authorities in Mérida was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Diario de Yucatán, a Yucatán-based newspaper, indicates that the third district court of Yucatán did not approve an amparo request because the individuals had not [translation] "'provided evidence of'" their LGBTQ+ identity (Diario de Yucatán 3 Feb. 2020).

PorEsto, a Yucatán based newspaper, reports that the Municipal Palace of Mérida was illuminated with the colors of the LGBTQ+ flag on the International Day for Sexual Diversity and that the mayor stated that it was done [translation] "'as a sign of our commitment to make Mérida an inclusive city, where the rights of all are respected'" (PorEsto 28 June 2020).

However, La Jornada Maya, a Spanish- and Mayan-language newspaper in Yucatán, reports that a promoter of an initiative to paint a crosswalk in La Mejorada Park in downtown Mérida with rainbow colours to represent the LGBTQI+ community stated that Mérida is [translation] a "'homophobic'" and "conservative" city (La Jornada Maya 26 June 2021). According to another article from the same source, a representative from Alter Int, a civil association in Mérida, indicated that [translation] "'Mérida is a very stigmatizing community'" due to its "'culture, beliefs and a lack of information'" which "'leads to discriminatory behavior, sometimes so subtle that it goes unnoticed'" (La Jornada Maya 18 Feb. 2020).

3.2 Monterrey – State of Nuevo León

Information on the treatment of individuals of diverse SOGIESC by society and authorities in Monterrey was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Hora Cero, a newspaper from Nuevo León, reports that the transgender community in Monterrey held [translation] "their first 'trans march'" in March 2021 (Hora Cero 14 Apr. 2021). However, the same source states that a trans woman who participated in the march indicated that she [translation] "'had an incident'" at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Léon "'with a professor who criticized and made fun of a trans woman, whom he called who was sick'" (Hora Cero 14 Apr. 2021).

3.3 Mexico City

According to sources, Mexico City is "by far the most progressive" city in Mexico (Al Jazeera 31 Mar. 2020) or is [translation] "very progressive" (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022) "with respect to LGBTQ rights" (Al Jazeera 31 Mar. 2020). However, Al Jazeera also notes that "[e]ven in Mexico City, though, hurdles remain" and according to the founder of the Centro de Apoyo a las Identidades Trans, a Mexico City-based NGO that advocates for the rights of transgender individuals, stated that "the city has a long way to go to guarantee full inclusion" (Al Jazeera 31 Mar. 2020). Sources note that Mexico City "passed a local law to ban LGBTI conversion therapy" (US 30 Mar. 2021, 36) or was [translation] "the first state in the country to outlaw" conversion therapies "and punish them with sentences of two to five years in prison" (AFP 21 Aug. 2020). Sources indicate that ECOSIG centers were "banned" in July 2020 (AFP 21 Aug. 2020; Al Día 27 July 2020) "by the Mexico City Congress after years of struggle by LGBT+ organizations" (AFP 21 Aug. 2020). ILGA World states that Mexico City was also "the first jurisdiction in the country to legalise same-sex marriages" (ILGA World Dec. 2020, 281). Sources report that in March 2020, 140 LGBTQ (NBC 17 Mar. 2020) or same-sex (Agencia EFE 15 Mar. 2020) couples were married (Agencia EFE 15 Mar. 2020; NBC 17 Mar. 2020) in a "collective wedding organized by Rainbow Caravan, a Mexico City government campaign aimed at eliminating discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people" (NBC 17 Mar. 2020). According to Agencia EFE, a Spanish international news agency, "[t]he festivities also commemorated the fifth anniversary of the approval of the gender identity law, which allows transgender people to change their gender on official documents, as was done by 31 individuals on Equal Marriage and Gender Identity Day" (Agencia EFE 15 Mar. 2020).

However, the Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative indicated that there is violence towards LGB individuals, and [translation] "even more" so towards transgender individuals [in Mexico City] (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

The following statistics were provided by a survey on discrimination in Mexico City conducted by the Government of Mexico City, the Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination of Mexico City (Consejo para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminacion de la Ciudad de Mexico, COPRED), and Mitofsky in 2021 [3]:

The percentage of respondents who consider that discrimination exists towards different groups of individuals is as follows:

[translation]

Gays 81.8%
Persons with HIV/AIDS 75.7%
Transvestites 71.7%
Lesbians 70.2%
Transgende[r] or transexua[l] [individuals] 70%
Bisexuals 65.9%
Intersexuals 55.9%

(COPRED of Mexico City and Mitofsky Aug. 2021, 20, 22, 25)

The Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative noted that while transgender sex workers [translated] "have a slightly better reality" in Mexico City than in other cities, they are "still harassed" by police officers and organized crime groups who ask for money to allow them to work (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022). Animal Político, a Mexican digital media website (Animal Político n.d.), reports that in September 2021, Mexico City police [translation] "kettled a protest" of LGBT+ individuals protesting "hate-motivated attacks" against members of the LGBT+ community (Animal Político 24 Sept. 2021). The same source reports that demonstrators also [translation] "denounced the police for not intervening during the attack [that was the subject of the protest], despite the proximity of the facilities of the agency" (Animal Político 24 Sept. 2021).

4. Access to Housing, Employment, Education, and Health Care

Information on access to housing, employment, education, and healthcare in Mérida, Monterrey, and Mexico City was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The ENADIS indicates that 33 percent of women respondents and 41 percent of men [translation] "would not rent a room in their home" to a transgender individual; 30 percent of women and 35 percent of men "would not rent a room in their home" to a gay or lesbian individual, while 33 percent of women and 39 percent of men "would not rent a room in their home" to an individual living with HIV/AIDS (Mexico 2017, 14).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Alliance for Diversity and Workplace Inclusion (Alianza por la Diversidad e Inclusión Laboral, ADIL), a private company that offers consulting services to help promote inclusion and respect for all individuals in the workplace (ADIL n.d.), noted that LGBTQ+ individuals [translation] "in general" have access to employment, but that it is necessary to "train [a] large number of people" "in inclusion and non-discrimination [practices] for [individuals of] sexual and gender diversity" (ADIL 14 Feb. 2022).

The IDL lawyer provided the information in the following paragraph:

Individuals from the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community [translation] "only have access" to a bachelor's degree and [only if] "they are middle class and behave in a discreet manner" or are not "openly gay or out of the closet." Individuals from the transgender community have "almost no access" to employment that could provide them with social security," and can only access employment in domains such as sex work, burlesque, drag, and as estheticians (working on hair, nails, makeup, or eyebrows). It is also "very difficult" for LGBTQ+ individuals to access housing, "even in terms of renting," and if an individual mentions that they are LGBTQ+ "they are prohibited or denied access to it without any other reason." In terms of education, "there is no access to it" as "most teachers and professors" are homophobic [and] transphobic (IDL 23 Feb. 2022).

4.1 Mérida – State of Yucatán

Information on access to housing, employment, education, and healthcare for individuals of diverse SOGIESC in Mérida could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

4.2 Monterrey – State of Nuevo León

The Associated Press (AP) reports that Nuevo León "passed a 'conscience objection' law that would allow medical personnel to refuse to perform procedures that violate their religious or ethical convictions" (AP 22 Oct. 2019). The same source notes that CNDH warned that "'[m]edical personnel and nurses could deny services based on health reasons, including HIV and AIDS, or based on gender or sexual preferences'" (AP 22 Oct. 2019).

According to Hora Cero, [translation] "'most trans women'" [in Monterrey] are sex workers despite being very educated because "'they have no other way out'" (Hora Cero 14 Apr. 2021). However, another article by the same source indicates that in September 2021 in Monterrey, a [translation] "new city council" was sworn in and includes "the first transsexual councillor in Nuevo Léon," "the first openly lesbian councillor," and "the first openly gay Secretary of the City Council" (Hora Cero 8 Sept. 2021).

4.3 Mexico City
4.3.1 Housing

Information on access to housing for individuals of diverse SOGIESC in Mexico City could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

4.3.2 Employment

According to the Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative, LGB individuals have access to employment in Mexico City, but face discrimination when they share their sexual orientation or when it is [translation] "discovered" (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022). The same source noted that [translation] "most" transgender individuals are hairdressers or sex workers, as it is difficult for them to access other types of employment (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

4.3.3 Education

The Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative stated that there have been cases in which transgender children have been expelled or [translation] "marginalized" in schools (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

4.3.4 Healthcare

The information in the following paragraph was provided by the Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative:

While LGB individuals have access to healthcare in Mexico City, there is [translation] "still discrimination" in public health institutions. For example, homosexual individuals face issues when attempting to donate blood, because homosexuality is perceived as a "high-risk sexual activity." Transgender individuals have access to free hormonal changes if they do not have access to social security health insurance (seguridad social); however, those who do have access to social security do not have free access, because the social security agency says that they do not have the budget, specialized staff, or regulations to allow it (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

Eje Central, an online news portal in Mexico, reports that in October 2021, the Integral Health Unit for Trans People (Unidad de Salud Integral para Personas Trans) [translation] "began to operate" in Mexico City and "will be" staffed by transgender individuals and includes two consultation rooms for "general medicine," and one consultation room each for gynecology, urology, psychiatry, and endocrinology (Eje Central 1 Oct. 2021). The Condesa Specialized Clinics (Clínica Condesa en Benjamín Hill de la Alcaldía Cuauhtémoc y Clínica Condesa Iztapalapa en la Alcaldía de Iztapalapa) in Mexico City indicate on their website that they provide [translation] "comprehensive treatment" for "people diagnosed with HIV through an outpatient medical care model" (Mexico City n.d.a). According to the Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV representative, while HIV is treated free of charge—whether an individual has access to social security or not—there is [translation] "still discrimination, or violence and stigma" (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022). The same source noted that transgender individuals face [translation] "more" problems and are "marginalized" and "sometimes" denied care, and that transgender men who go to the gynecologist also face "a lot of" discrimination (Mexico 14 Feb. 2022).

5. Support Services
5.1 Mérida – State of Yucatán

Information on government-funded support services for individuals of diverse SOGIESC in Mérida could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The Unit for Psychological, Sexological, and Educational Care for Personal Growth (Unidad de Atención Sicológica, Sexológica y Educativa para el Crecimiento Personal, UNASSE) is a non-profit organization that promotes sexual and reproductive rights, and promotes changes in public policy to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services in Yucatán (UNASSE n.d.).

5.2 Monterrey – State of Nuevo León

Information on government-funded support services for individuals of diverse SOGIESC in Monterrey could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

GayMonterrey, a Spanish-language website that provides information on LGBTI entertainment, culture, and services in Monterrey (GayMonterrey n.d.a), indicates that the following NGOs provide support to the LGBTI community in Monterrey:

  • Acción Colectiva por los Derechos de las Minorías Sexuales (ACODEMIS AC)
  • Asociación por la Integración, Respeto y Equidad, Tec de Monterrey (AIRE)
  • Centro Regiomontano en Sexología AC (CreSex AC)
  • Colectivo por el Amor e Inclusión (COAM+)
  • Colectivo Trans Monterrey
  • Comunidad de Representación de la Diversidad Sexual (CREDS)
  • Comunidad Metropolitana AC (COMAC)
  • El Clóset LGBT, AC
  • ExploraT AC
  • Género, Ética y Salud Sexual AC (GESS)
  • Instituto Familia Sociedad y Sexualidad AC
  • Litiga AC
  • Movimiento por la Igualdad en Nuevo León
  • Pro Salud Sexual y Reproductiva, AC (PRO SSER)
  • Voces de Mujeres en Acción AC (GayMonterrey n.d.b).

5.3 Mexico City

COPRED states on its website that it works to prevent and eliminate discrimination "of all people who live in or transit through Mexico City and, in particular, population groups potentially vulnerable to being victims of discrimination such as Indigenous peoples, women, the elderly, young people, [and the] LGBTTTI population, among others" (Mexico City n.d.b). However, the IDL lawyer noted that for the last two years, COPRED has been leaderless and its executive has not made any declarations or advanced a policy of inclusion and diversity for the LGBTQ+ community (IDL 23 Feb. 2022).

The Special Program on Sexuality, Health, and HIV within the CNDH indicates on its website that it [translation] "combat[s] discriminatory practices and other forms of human rights violations against people living with HIV" in Mexico through the following objectives:

  • To provide personalized advice and guidance and immediate attention to concerns related to HIV or AIDS and sexual diversity.
  • To train public servants, people living with HIV, people from the LGBTI community and the general public, in order to promote a culture of respect and defense of human rights and contribute to the reduction of the number of rights violations related to sexuality, HIV and sexual diversity.
  • Carry out liaison activities and joint work with different institutions and NGOs to promote the human rights of LGBTI people and people living with HIV.
  • Develop, update and distribute materials on the rights of people living with HIV and about sexual diversity. (Mexico n.d.c)

The following NGOs provide services to individuals of diverse SOGIESC in Mexico City:

  • Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos AC (ASILEGAL) (ASILEGAL n.d.)
  • Asociación por las Infancias Transgénero (Asociación por las Infancias Transgénero n.d.)
  • Casa de día para Mayores LGBTTTIQ+ (Vida Alegre) (Vida Alegre n.d.)
  • Casa Hogar Paola Buenrostro (Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias n.d.a)
  • Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias AC (Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias n.d.b)
  • Casa Frida (Refugio Casa Frida n.d.)
  • Centro de Apoyo a las Identidades Trans (NSWP n.d.)
  • Cuenta Conmigo Diversidad Sexual Incluyente (Cuenta Conmigo) (Cuenta Conmigo n.d.)
  • Investigaciones Queer AC (IQ) (IQ n.d.)
  • Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos A.C. (LEDESER) (LEDESER n.d.)
  • Letra Ese (Letra Ese n.d.)
  • Musas de Metal Grupo de Mujeres Gay (Musas de Metal) (Musas de Metal n.d.)
  • Yaaj México (Yaaj Mexico n.d.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) is an "ongoing, comparative qualitative-quantitative research project initiated by Transgender Europe (TGEU)" (TGEU n.d.a), an organization that aims to reduce discrimination for the trans community (TGEU n.d.b), that collects and analyzes information on "reported killings of gender-diverse/trans people worldwide" (TGEU n.d.a).

[2] The National Survey on Discrimination in Mexico (Encuesta nacional sobre discriminación en México, ENADIS) was a joint project between the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI) and the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, CONAPRED), with the support of the National Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, CONACYT), the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH), and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) (Mexico 2017, 2). It was conducted between August and October 2017 and 39,101 households (102,245 individuals) were surveyed via face-to-face interviews and electronic questionnaires (Mexico 2017, 4).

[3] The Household Survey on Discrimination in Mexico City (Encuesta sobre discriminación en la Ciudad de México) was a joint project between the Government of the City of Mexico, the Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination of Mexico City (Consejo para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminacion de la Ciudad de Mexico, COPRED), and Mitofsky (COPRED of Mexico City and Mitofsky Aug. 2021, 1). Mitofsky is a public opinion research company based in Mexico City that conducts research in Mexico, the US, and Central and South America (Mitofsky n.d.). The survey was conducted from 6 to 15 August 2021 using face-to-face surveys [translation] "in private homes" of residents of Mexico City and "at points of affluence for people in transit" among 5,200 individuals (COPRED of Mexico City and Mitofsky Aug. 2021, 68, 69).

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Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Acción Colectiva por los Derechos de las Minorías Sexuales; Al Otro Lado; Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos AC (ASILEGAL); Asociación por la Integración, Respeto y Equidad; Asociación por las Infancias Transgénero; Brújula Intersexual; Casa de día para Mayores LGBTTTIQ+ Vida Alegre Laetus Vitae AC; Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias AC; Centro de Apoyo a las Identidades Trans AC; Centro de Servicio SER; Centro Regiomontano en Sexología; Cohesión de Diversidades para la Sustentabilidad AC; Colectivo León Gay AC; Colectivo por el Amor e Inclusión; Colectivo Trans Monterrey; Comisión Nacional de Diversidad Sexual del Partido de la Revolución Democrática; Comité Lésbico Gay de Occidente AC; Comunicación e Información de la Mujer; Comunidad de Representación de la Diversidad Sexual; Comunidad Metropolitana AC; Cuenta Conmigo Diversidad Sexual Incluyente; El Clóset LGBT; ExploraT AC; Familia Sociedad y Sexualidad; Federación Estatal de Lesbianas Gais, Trans, Bisexuales, Intersexuales y Más; Fundación Arcoíris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual AC; Fundación Zentro de Amor México AC; GayMonterrey; Género, Ética y Salud Sexual AC; The Global Center; Investigaciones Queer AC; Las Reinas Chulas; law firm in Mexico; Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos AC; Letra S, Sida, Cultura y Vida Cotidiana AC; Litiga AC; Mexico – Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación; Mexico City – Consejo para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminación de la Ciudad de Mexico; Movimiento por la Igualdad en Nuevo León; Musas de Metal Grupo de Mujeres Gay AC; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; OutRight Action International; Pro Salud Sexual y Reproductiva AC; professor at a Mexican university who researches masculinity, homophobia and violence; professor at Mexican university who researches violence against women, gender equality, and femicide; professor at a Mexican university who researches gender equality, LGBT groups, women's rights and violence against women in Mexico; professor at a Mexican university who researches sociology of health, sexual health, and violence in Mexico; researcher and professor at a Mexican university who researches women's rights, feminism, homophobia, sexual orientation, and sexual diversity; Unidad de Atención Sicológica, Sexológica y Educativa para el Crecimiento Personal AC; Universitarios por la Equidad y una Sociedad Íntegra e Incluyente; Voces de Mujeres en Acción AC; Yaaj México.

Internet sites, including: Acción Colectiva por los Derechos de las Minorías Sexuales; Al Otro Lado; American Broadcasting Company; Amnesty International; Aristegui Noticias; Asociación por la Integración, Respeto y Equidad; Asociación TRANS; Australia – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Belgium – Commissariat général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides; The Borgen Project; Brújula Intersexual; Association for the Prevention of Torture; Centro de Apoyo a las Identidades Trans AC; Centro de Servicio SER; Centro Regiomontano en Sexología; Colectivo por el Amor e Inclusión; Colectivo Trans Monterrey; Comunidad de Representación de la Diversidad Sexual; Comunidad Metropolitana AC; ecoi.net; El Clóset LGBT; El Informador; El Norte; El Porvenir; El Regio; El Sol de México; El Universal; EU – EU Agency for Asylum; ExploraT AC; Familia Sociedad y Sexualidad; Forbes; Fundación Arcoíris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual AC; Fundación Trans Amor; Fundación Zentro de Amor México AC. Género, Ética y Salud Sexual AC; Global Americans; The Global Center; Grupo Reforma; Human Rights First; It Gets Better Project – It Gets Better México; La Jornada; La Prensa; La Revista Peninsular; La Vanguardia; Litiga AC; Máspormás; Mexico – Comisión Ejecutiva de Atención a Víctimas, Comité Especializado en Violencia Sexual; Mexico Daily Post; Milenio; Minority Rights Group International; Movimiento por la Igualdad en Nuevo León; National Public Radio; Netherlands – Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Norway – Landinfo; Organization of American States – Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; OutRight Action International; Pew Research Center; Pro Salud Sexual y Reproductiva AC; Proceso; ProgresoHoy; Publimetro; Punto Medio; Reporteros Hoy; Siempre!; Transgender Law Center; UK – Home Office; UN – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office on Drugs and Crime, Refworld; Unomásuno; Unidad de Atención Sicológica, Sexológica y Educativa para el Crecimiento Personal AC; Universitarios por la Equidad y una Sociedad Íntegra e Incluyente; Voces de Mujeres en Acción AC; Washington Blade; Washington Office on Latin America; Wilson Center.