By JUAN DE JESÚS BREENE
Based on legislation recently changed in Mexico’s Federal Penal Code, you might now just be a little safer inside your own home in Mexico.
Until the recent unanimous change by the Mexican Senate in October, a house burglar had the same sort of rights to self defense as the home’s owner, the same as if they had been involved in a struggle on the street or in a bar fight — even if the altercation took place inside the victim’s home.
But that has changed.
With the modification in the law, should someone enter your home and you defend yourself or your property, you cannot be charged criminally.
This change means that if a thief or other delinquent breaks into your home, the concept of “legal defense” is now in play.
Before, the quite limited definition of self defense was next-to-impossible to win in Mexican courts.
But now, if violence is involved in a breaking-and-entering attack, the victim can legitimately punch, harm and even kill the delinquent and be protected from prosecution.
It is worth noting that this new Mexican form of stand-your-ground is somewhat limited compared to its U.S. counterparts, and very few civilians in Mexico have guns, while they are abundant among criminals, so the fight is probably stilted against the victim.
Also worth considering it that fact that this change in legislation only applies to private homes at this time, and not to businesses or automobiles.
Acts of self defense under those circumstances are being reviewed by the Senate for the future.
Currently, the law applies to all parts of your home, including gardens, patios, rooftops and perimeter walls.
Should a police officer be the aggressor, trying to use his uniform or authority to abuse a homeowners, the victim still has the right to defend themselves and their home. Police are not exempt.
The bottom line; Should someone enter your home with the intent to harm, you can legitimately defend and protect yourself with whatever means you have available.
A small step for safety, yet a huge legal step forward.