Censorship
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Mexico 🇲🇽 is an American country which practices Christianity. It is the world's most populous Spanish-speaking country.

General censorship[]

Mexican law provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice.

Book censorship[]

Internet censorship[]

  • Classified as "partly free" in the Freedom on the Net report from Freedom House in 2011 (score 32), 2012 (score 37), 2013 (score 38), 2014 (score 39), and 2015 (score 39).
  • Classified by ONI as no evidence of filtering in 2011.

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups can engage in the expression of views via the internet, including by e-mail. The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) found no evidence of internet filtering in 2011. Mexico was classified as "partly free" in the Freedom on the Net 2011 report from Freedom House.

Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) exercise an increasing influence over media outlets and reporters, at times directly threatening individuals who published critical views of crime groups. As citizens increasingly use social media Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook to obtain and share drug-related news, violence against the users of these sites is rising dramatically. The threats and violence lead to self-censorship in many cases.

Two states introduced new restrictions on the use of social media. In August 2011 Veracruz officials arrested Gilberto Martinez Vera and Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola for allegedly spreading rumors of violence on Twitter. They were released following protests from civil society groups, but the state created a new "public disturbance" offense for use in similar cases in the future. Similarly, the state of Tabasco outlawed telephone calls or social network postings that could provoke panic. Civil society groups feared that the laws could be used to curb freedom of expression online.

On September 24, 2011 police in Nuevo Laredo found the headless body of a female journalist who wrote on TCO activity on Primera Hora de Nuevo Laredo newspaper and as an online blogger under the pseudonym of "La Nena de Laredo" ("Laredo Girl"). Two other Nuevo Laredo-based bloggers were allegedly tortured and killed by TCOs in September and November, again in retaliation for posting comments on the internet about local drug cartels.

In May 2009, the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), asked YouTube to remove a parody of Fidel Herrera, governor of the state of Veracruz. Negative advertising in political campaigns is prohibited by present law, although the video appears to be made by a regular citizen, which would make it legal. It was the first time a Mexican institution intervened directly with the internet.

In 2014, the Mexican government proposed the new Telecommunication Law, which if approved would seriously cripple the right of users to have free uncensored internet in similar ways to the SOPA and ACTA laws. This initiative was received with public outrage.

In May 2009, the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), asked YouTube to remove a parody of Fidel Herrera, governor of the state of Veracruz. Negative advertising in political campaigns is prohibited by present law, although the video appears to be made by a regular citizen which would make it legal. It was the first time a Mexican institution intervened directly with the internet.

Journalism censorship[]

  • In 1976, the newspaper Excélsior, the second to be highly sold in Mexico, suffered a process of censorship and attack to freedom of expression against its then director, Julio Scherer Garcia, and his staff due to their criticism of the then-President of Mexico, Luis Echeverria, who planned several sabotagings, the forced dismissal of Scherer's staff from the newspaper on 8 July 1976, after Echeverria enacted a plan from the Presidency of Mexico to simulate the dismissal as a labor conflict, protagonized by Regino Diaz Redondo. Scherer's group went to found the newspaper Proceso afterwards. Echeverria's successor, José Lopez Portillo, whose management was lambasted by Proceso, particularly in the latter period, due to the severe economic crisis Mexico was living back then. Portillo determined to boycott Proceso by retiring the official advertisement from the weekly as well influencing the companies backing it to join the maneuver. On 7 June 1982, when journalist Francisco Martinez de la Vega alluded to the hostile attitude toward media in his intervention and the coercitive use of advertisement, Lopez Portillo answered:

"A mercantile company organized as a professional business, has the right that the State would give advertising to it for the sake of systematic opposition? This, gentlemen, is a perverse relationship, a morbose relationship, a sadomasochist relationship closer to many perversities that i will not mention here as form of respect to the public. I don't pay you to beat me up. So, don't mention it!".

With said statement, Portillo meant that giving official publicity from the executive power implied that the media would not criticise the president ("beat up").

During the discussions of the General Law of Social Communication in 2015, an effort promoted in order to regulate official advertising, the "No te pago para que me pegues" ("I do not pay you to beat me up") phrase would be alluded to by both non-governmental organizations and legislators in Mexico.

  • Mexico is considered to be a dangerous place for journalists. In 2021, seven journalists were killed in Mexico. This number is already matched in 2022.

Movie censorship[]

General[]

The Mexican censorship system is known for being lenient towards violence and profanity, and for being only slighted ticked off at sex and nudity. However, if Christianity and the Catholic Church are criticised, for intance, as soon a film questioning the purity of the Church or spending most of the time talking about a religion other than Christianity (as most Mexicans are Catholics), the religious and conservative groups cause quite a huge uproar all over Mexico, going even to the point of handling out pamphlets against offending films and series and many states' media authorities step in to ban these films.

However, since piracy in Mexico is a whole social institution, said censorship is almost pointless, as anyone wiht a DVD player can buy a bootleg DVD from a tianguis (a street market) to watch the film anyway to find out what the issue with the film is about.

Ratings[]

In Mexico, films are rated by the General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography (in Spanish, Dirección General de Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía), an agency of the Secretariat of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación). It has its own classification system, The ratings are as follows:

Rating Preferential audience Preferred timetable Treated topic Descriptive
 AA  All audiences; Understandable for children under 7 years Any time General
  • Informative programs.
  • Assigned to productions easy to understand.
  • Plots and themes of particular interest for children under 7 years old are chosen.
  • Does not affect the integral development of a child under 7 years.
  • Previous TV message; audible or visible: «[This program is] suitable for children»
  • Most Common Uses: Educational cartoons or soft productions.
Violence
  • May be minimal, as long as it is not encouraged.
  • It should not be shocking or traumatic.
Sex
  • The naked human body is not shown.
  • Kisses, hugs or pats are presented in loving, family or friendly tone.
Language
  • Forbidden for this category.
Drugs
  • Forbidden for this category.
 A  All ages Any Time General
  • Informative programs.
  • May have complex themes depending on the profile of the story.
  • Some programs require parental supervision.
  • Must be easy to distinguish the exaggeration from the reality.
  • Previous TV message; audible or visible, or both ones: «[This program is] suitable for all ages» (in Spanish, Apto para todo público).
  • Most Common Uses: Documentary, musical, infantile, family films and those where there are deaths without psychologically shocking violence (whether natural, spontaneous, fantastic, discreet, scientifically irreal or mild, among others) are used in this category.
Violence
  • Minimal aggression is allowed on the characters, as long as it is not promoted.
  • It should not be displayed as the only method for solving problems between individuals.
Sex
  • Nudes can be presented as long as they are brief, not frequent or detailed.
  • Sexual or erotic scenes are not permitted, unless they are used for scientific, educational or documentary purposes.
Language
  • May contain some bold expressions, as long as their use is justified.
  • Only those that are culturally non-offensive are allowed.
Drugs
  • Cartoons and children's series: There should be no scenes of drug use or mention of them.
  • Series: Tobacco and alcohol consumption are occasional and justified by the plot of history. It is obligatory to show their negative consequences.
 B  Teens 12 years old and older From 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. General
  • Informative programs.
  • In some plots, on the subject, there may have some degree of complexity and require the use of viewers' judgment.
  • Previous TV message; audible or visible: «This program may contain scenes of violence, addictions, sexuality or language not suitable for audiences under 12 years old.»
  • Most Common Uses: This category includes films with horror, suspense and fear of minimal impact; As well as non-extreme violence. It includes infidelities, death threats, explosions, racism, deaths from natural disaster, domestic violence and elder abuse; war or violent scenes, including mutilations without blood in contexts whether historical, fantasy, epic or comic; and varied action scenes. Films that are not attractive to children under 12 can be classified. Depending on the plot, decapitated corpses or heads may be shown.
Violence
  • It should not be the main plot.
  • There may be implied scenes of violence.
  • Some violent scenes can be shown, as long as the causes are justified and should not be executed for sexual reasons.
  • It is mandatory to show the consequences.
Sex
  • There may be nudity, but not frequent.
  • Sexual scenes can be suggested but not shown.
  • Sexual behavior is not part of the plot or the main plot.
Language
  • Double entendre is permissible, but these should not be continuous or offensive and should not be part of the personality of the character.
  • There can be no scenes of extreme verbal violence.
  • Can not be used for discriminatory and/or degrading purposes.
  • In Mexican or foreign films (with Mexican characters), curses common to Mexican Spanish may be used.
Drugs
  • Topics such as addiction and drugs may be mentioned, but not their consumption.
  • Occasional consumption of tobacco and/or alcohol.
  • It is mandatory to show the consequences of abuse.
 B-15  15 years old or older From 9:00 p.m.to 5:00 a.m. General
  • Informative programs, with some complexity depending on the subject.
  • Some plots are not suitable for people under 15 years.
  • Due to the content, one must have judgment and common sense to differentiate fantasy from reality.
  • Previous TV message; audible or visible: «This program may contain scenes of violence, addictions, sexuality or language not suitable for audiences under 15 years old.»
  • Most Common Uses: This category covers films that deal with topics such as drug addiction, homosexuality, displayed murder, implicit suicide and paranormal horror. Films with controversial themes are rated B-15.
Violence
  • There may be scenes of physical violence; While it is not the main plot and is justified by the argument.
  • Violent scenes can not be detailed.
  • Any other profile of violence, with or without details, should show the negative consequences.
Sex
  • Erotic and sexual scenes can be performed, as long as they are implicit and not performed in degrading and/or humiliating contexts.
  • Occasional partial and full nudity in the background is permissible, without specifically showing genitals.
Language
  • Indecent words and expressions are permitted, but they should not be part of the profile of the character nor present as a positive attribute.
  • Can not be used for discriminatory and/or degrading purposes.
Drugs
  • Drug use may be explicit or constant, but this is minimal and discouraged, and its negative consequences are shown.
  • Programs cannot encourage drug consumption or show their preparation.
 C  18 years old or older From 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. General
  • A restricted rating.
  • Previous TV message; audible or visible: «This program may contain scenes of violence, addictions, sexuality or language not suitable for audiences under 18 years old.»
  • Several of the issues may be more explicit or less censored.
  • Most Common Uses: Assassinations by dismemberment or incineration; pedophilia; incest; cannibalism.
Violence
  • All horror, even detailed, is authorized.
  • Programs can not advocate violence or crimes.
Sex
  • There may be erotic nudity without genital presentation.
  • There may be sexual intercourse (discreetly, implicitly or veiled).
Language
  • Any language can be used.
  • Can not be used for discriminatory and/or degrading purposes.
Drugs
  • Consumption of drugs is authorized.
  • Programs cannot defend or promote their consumption or trafficking.
  • Negative consequences should be shown.
 D  Adults only From midnight to 5:00 a. m. General
  • The most restrictive rating.
  • Previous TV message; audible or visible: «This program is intended exclusively for audiences over 18 years of age; may contain scenes of extreme violence, addictions, explicit sexuality and/or violent rude language.»
Sex
  • There may be scenes, implicit or direct, of sexual and nude relationships.
  • Sex may be erotic without being considered pornography.
Drugs
  • Scenes of drug use are presented.
  • There may be mention of drug trafficking, narcotics and related lifestyles.
Violence
  • Violence and profanity are fully authorized, even if they are not part of the plot.
Language

Instances of movie censorship[]

  • As a rule of thumb, any film that depicts the American military killing Mexicans in any context, while not always banned, is normally edited out in dubbed versions, due to the Mexican-American war. Oddly enough, subbed versions do not follow this for some bizarre reason.
  • Between 1960 and 1971, any film starring Elvis Presley was banned in Mexico after riots broke in Las Americas cinema in Mexico City during screenings of King Creole and GI Blues.
  • Fando y Lis - This film had its screening forbidden after a riot caused during its premiere at the 1968 Acapulco Film Festival, But it would not be released in Mexico until July 1972.[1]
  • Santo en el tesoro de Drácula - this film starring the legendary wrestler El Santo had two versions shot: one version R7 rated, which debuted in 1968; and a 18 rated version, which could not be seen until 2011, screened on a vampire films selected by Guillermo del Toro, during the International Film Festival of Guadalajara. However, the premiere of this version was cancelled due to conflicts of rights between the productor's family and wrestler El Hijo Del Santo, who wanted as well to avoid that the film would tarnish his father's image.
  • A Clockwork Orange - this film was rated "D".
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom - this film was rated "D".
  • Tintorera - this film was rated "D".
  • Caligula - this film was rated "D".
  • Cannibal Holocaust - this film was rated "D".
  • Blue Velvet - this film directed by David Lynch was rated "D".
  • Hostel - this horror film was rated "D".
  • Wolf Creek - this film was rated "D".
  • The Hills Have Eyes (2006) - this horror film, which was a remake of the 1970 film of the same name directed by Wes Craven, was rated "D".
  • The Last Temptation of Christ - this film was banned between 1988 (its US premiere) and 2005. The then-ruling PRI (Institutional Revolution Party) government back then had a huge influence on media content, although the contributing factor to the ban were the fundamentalist media watchdogs who were afraid of what "superstitious viewers" would do after watching a film that depicted Jesus Christ as a flawed human.
  • Frontière(s) - this film was rated "D".

Television censorship[]

  • South Park: The episode "Pinewood Derby" was scheduled to be broadcast on MTV Latin America on8 February 2010, but the network pulled the episode out of air, replacing it with the episode "The Ring", allegedly due to its depiction of the then-President of Mexico Felipe Calderón irritating the international community and frivolously spending the space cash on water parks, which differed was said to differ from the image Mexico's Ministry of the Interior sought to present of Calderón, whom they dubbed the "Employment president", as well as the South Park creators did not get a special permit needed to broadcast an image of Mexico's flag. The Mexican South Park fans were skeptical about the explanation and some of them accused the network of unfair censorship.
    • "The Last of Meheecans" was banned as Comedy Central Latinoamérica considered offensive, particularly the scene when Cartman appears to kill a bunch of Mexicans with his taser.

Video game censorship[]

  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - This game was on the target of several right-wing groups who tried to ban it in some parts of Mexico because the bad guys depicted are Mexican, even though they are rebels to the Mexican government.

External links[]

  1. ↑ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named jodBox67
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