Authoritarian Constitutionalism in the Health Emergency: Ineffectiveness and Omission in the Mexican Experience

In Mexico, there were two possibilities to face the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. To deploy the effects of the suspension of rights, or to install the so-called General Health Council for cases of “epidemics of a serious nature.” The federal government excluded the first. However, this paper argues that it was possible to think of a different solution: a) formally declare a constitutional state of emergency, with the identification of rights and freedoms with reinforced protection; and b) to bring together both mechanisms with a constitutionally adequate understanding of the health crisis. The declaration of exception was strategically treated in the official discourse as a route to suspend rights indiscriminately and for military actions, to generate a social rejection of the suspension. The said dual course of action would have limited government authorities to submit to exceptional controls, with the participation of the three branches of the Union.