While there are strong protections for freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in the Mexican constitution, moderate to severe FoRB violations are regular occurrences in many parts of the country. The majority of these violations are the result of local authorities attempting to enforce religious conformity at the village or town level.
While it is the state government’s responsibility to address these cases, they rarely take action to intervene; similarly, the federal government does virtually nothing to ensure that the constitutional rights of the victims are upheld. This has allowed a culture of impunity to develop in at least 14 states, and especially in Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Oaxaca and Puebla. In these states the majority religious group often believes it is their right to enforce religious belief and practice at the local level.