U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Human Rights, Civil Disobedience, and Political Crimes

NCJ Number
A P Carrillo
Date Published
224 pages
This book examines criminal justice norms with respect to political crimes, asserting that in a democratic country some acts considered political crimes are in reality a form of protest which, while dangerous politically, pose no danger to the country in a criminal sense.
Among other forms of protest, the author alludes to civil disobedience whose chief value is its challenge to state decisions and actions. A democratic country is responsible for paying attention to what people who engage in civil disobedience and other forms of protest are trying to say. Support for the right to protest is a corollary of democratic principles, one of whose premises is liberty. The book regards obedience as a way for the state to ensure conformity, which is harmful to the development of individuals. Mexican criminal law has adopted this attitude despite the guarantee of human rights and individual freedoms in the Mexican constitution. The author notes historical examples of protest in Mexico's political life and asserts the necessity of considering legalizing various forms of civil protest that are now considered political crimes. Other political crimes discussed are sedition, rebellion, riot, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. The author analyzes their relation to constitutional rights and the criminal law and distinguishes civil disobedience from other political crimes in the sense that civil disobedience is a step in protesting and changing laws considered harmful by some citizens.