Ten Weird Laws In Mexico

In Mexico City it is illegal to say to anyone “Have a nice day.”

If a Mexican enters the USA illegally it then becomes illegal for him to return to Mexico.

Women who work for the government of the city may not wear sexy mini skirts or any other “provocative” garment during office hours.

If on the off-chance you were thinking about having a baby in the Mexican state of Sonora, you’d be faced with a list of illegal baby names. The government has prohibited numerous weird names (like Lady Di, Rolling Stone or Cesárea), that are deemed “derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning”. OK, so you won’t be arrested for it, but you’ll definitely get some funny looks if you try and use one of these banned baby names in Sonora.

This is an offense that the Mexican authorities delight in fining and arresting people for, particularly foreigners who think they can get away with sneaky public urination instead of finding a toilet. Either hold it in or face the consequences.

If you’re a man in Mexico, it technically remains illegal to wear anything but trousers according to one antiquated law. It’s said that Mexico was trying to prove itself to be as modern as other nations and wanted to enforce that with a bizarre male dress code. It’s pretty (read: very) unlikely you’ll be arrested for it nowadays, but you are still technically a law breaker if you go bare-legged.

Whether you’re a citizen or not, able to vote in the election or not, drinking in the 72-hour period leading up to either a state or national Mexican election is banned. Along these lines, you’ll find it tough to get your hands on alcohol from corner shops during the Holy Week period too.

Another bizarre Mexican law that could technically (but probably not really) see you arrested is the one about removing your feet from your bike pedals. Yes, you read that right. Cyclists are not allowed to remove their feet from their bike pedals for fear they could lose control and crash. This was a law passed in the late 19th century after an accident between a coach and a cyclist and, unlike the shorts rule, it does sort of make sense.

Despite being the city which is home to the famed Callejón del Beso (Kissing Alley), a law passed in 2009 prohibited kissing in public in Guanajuato…for a few days at least. One of Mexico’s most notoriously conservative states, this so-called anti-obscenity law (which also banned “vulgar” language, begging and buying from street sellers) was put in place by the then-mayor Eduardo Romero Hicks of the right-wing PAN party. Naturally, the law provoked outrage and protests and was frozen a few days later.

Narcocorridos are popular “drug ballads” which detail the explicit exploits of known drug dealers, runners and cartel heads and draw from the norteño genre. However, despite originating in the north of the country which is well-known for its illegal narcotic enterprise, narcocorridos were banned in public concerts a few years back in the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Coahuila after a shooting at a narcocorrido concert. This effort to stem “narco culture” was thwarted in 2016 though, when the law was overturned in Sinaloa.

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