Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 10:56 GMT

Mexico: Whether a Mexican citizen is still subject to the military service draft despite having already left the army with an honourable discharge

Publisher Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 23 October 2002
Citation / Document Symbol MEX39970.E
Reference 5
Cite as Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Mexico: Whether a Mexican citizen is still subject to the military service draft despite having already left the army with an honourable discharge, 23 October 2002, MEX39970.E, available at: [accessed 24 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Please find attached the article "Military service: Worthwhile activity or worthless duty?" for a background on military service in Mexico.

The following information was provided by a General at the Military and Air Attaché Office of the Embassy of Mexico in Canada in telephone interviews on 16 and 22 October 2002.

The General stated that all men who complete their military service in Mexico receive a certificate stating that they have fulfilled their duty. Upon authorized completion, a Mexican citizen is no longer required to participate in military service, unless Mexico enters a war with another country. If there is a war, all Mexican males can be called upon to take part in military service.

In the case of an honourable discharge, the General noted that there are possibilities for citizens to be exempt from military service. The General referred to this as an exception to the rule of compulsory service (excepcion de servicio), and stated that these exceptions are granted for reasons such as medical problems, employment, and educational opportunities. In all such cases, a Mexican citizen is given an authorized certificate exempting him from military service.

If a Mexican citizen does not complete the one-year mandatory military service, he does not receive the certificate of completion. He must serve for one entire year without interruption. If, for example, a citizen serves for three months or six months and then leaves Mexico, when he returns, he must fulfil (from start to finish) one entire year of military service.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Mexico. Embassy of Mexico in Canada, Ottawa. 16 and 22 October 2002. Telephone interviews with a General at the Military and Air Attaché Office.


Guadalajara Colony Reporter. 23 September 2002. Tovin Lapan. "Military Service: Worthwhile Activity or Worthless Duty?"

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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