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Mexico: Treaty Obligations
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > National Security Concerns > Treaty Obligations


Mexico is a signatory to the principal defense-related multilateral treaties and agreements in the Western Hemisphere but has refrained from entering into alliances or collective security arrangements that could be viewed as inconsistent with its principles of nonintervention and self-determination. In early 1945, Mexico, along with nineteen other nations of the hemisphere, signed the Act of Chapultepec. Under the act, the first hemispheric defense agreement, signatory nations agreed that if any aggression across treaty-established boundaries occurred or was threatened, a meeting would be convened to determine what steps, up to and including the use of armed force, should be taken to prevent or repel such aggression.

Mexico signed the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, also known as the Rio Treaty, in September 1947. The Rio Treaty, which expanded the responsibilities of nations under the Act of Chapultepec, emphasized the peaceful settlement of disputes among Western Hemisphere nations and provided for collective defense should any signatory be subject to external aggression. Although the treaty was conceived as a means to protect the nations of the hemisphere from possible communist aggression, Mexico chose to interpret it as a juridical association of states, not as a military alliance. Each time that the treaty has been invoked, Mexico has voted against the adoption of collective security measures.

Upon formation of the Organization of American States (OAS) in April 1948, Mexico actively opposed proposals to create a standing military force under OAS supervision. Mexico insisted on limiting the newly created OAS defense body -- now known as the Inter-American Defense Board -- to serving in a consultative capacity to OAS member nations. Subsequent amendments to the charter have underscored the goal of peaceful resolution of disputes among member states.

Mexico initially proposed and then became a signatory to the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco, which prohibits the introduction of nuclear weapons into Latin America. Similarly, it is a signatory to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which limits the application of nuclear technology to peaceful purposes. Mexico has accepted the safeguard agreements of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which include the accounting and control of nuclear reactor by-products that could be used to make weapons, but has refused to permit on-site inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Data as of June 1996

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 187 of 213


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