Estrada Doctrine

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The Estrada Doctrine is the name of Mexico's core foreign policy ideal from 1930 to the early 2000s. Its name derives from Genaro Estrada, Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the presidency of Pascual Ortiz Rubio (1930–1932).[1]

The doctrine was the most influential and representative instrument in the country's foreign policy for seventy years, it claims that foreign governments should not judge, positively or negatively, the governments or changes in government of other states, in that such action would imply a breach of state sovereignty.[1] This policy was said to be based on the principles of non-intervention, peaceful resolution of disputes and self-determination of all nations.[2]


On September 12, 1931, Mexico was admitted to the League of Nations. This was a significant event as it had not been invited since the creation of the inter-governmental organization once the First World War ended, which can be mainly attributed to some unsolved problems between Mexico and the United States. In the heart of the forum, Mexico established its position in favor of the international law and the principles of non-intervention and self-determination. The Mexican government always supported the peaceful resolution of disputes, and rejected the use of force in international relations. All of this gave the country a major international prestige. As for its southern neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico returned to the International Conference of American States, where it had been previously excluded due to lack of recognition from the U.S. The country gained an outstanding prestige in the conferences that took place in Havana (1928) and Montevideo (1933), whose posture was in favor of the Latin American union and international law.[3]

During this period, Mexico had the opportunity to spread its position towards the international practice of recognition. Which is known as the Estrada Doctrine, the then-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Genaro Estrada, pointed out on September 27, 1930 that:[2]


The Estrada Doctrine suggests that under the establishment of de facto governments in other countries, Mexico is not in favor of giving recognition because it is considered a degrading practice. By hurting the sovereignty of other states, it puts them in a vulnerable position because their internal affairs can be judged by other governments, that in fact assume a critical attitude when deciding about the legality and legitimacy of foreign governments.[2] Hence Mexico was itself hurt because of the practice, as it was difficult to obtain recognition of its independence. The most extended use of the Estrada Doctrine was in the 1970s, when Mexico did not withdraw its recognition of any South American government which was formed through a coup d'état, the only measure Mexico could use against such governments was withdrawing its diplomatic mission.[1]

In other words, the Estrada Doctrine claims that Mexico should not judge, positively or negatively, the governments or changes in government of other nations, in that such action would imply a breach to their sovereignty.[1] In addition, this doctrine is based on the universally recognized principles of self-determination and non-intervention, which are considered essential for mutual respect and cooperation amongst nations.[2]

Current status[edit]

During the Fox Administration (2000–2006), both Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Castañeda and Luis Ernesto Derbez, tried to discontinue this Doctrine.[4] The result is called the Castañeda Doctrine, but the doctrine became effectively discontinued under President Felipe Calderón.


Most of the critics of the doctrine were directed toward whether it was morally and politically valid or not that the Mexican government stayed "neutral" in the presence of governments categorized as dictatorships.[1]

Jorge Castañeda, who would later serve a two-year term as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the Fox Administration, criticized Mexico's foreign policy in 1987. He stated that:[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rodríguez, Itzel. "De Actualidad Política: ¿Qué dice la Doctrina Estrada?" (in Spanish). Se Piensa. Archived from the original on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d Palacios Treviño, Jorge. "La Doctrina Estrada y el Principio de la No-Intervención" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  3. ^ Vázquez Flores (2007), p. 132
  4. ^ Ramírez, Carlos (September 28, 2001). "Doctrina Estrada; Doctrina Castañeda" (in Spanish). Yahoo! GeoCities. Archived from the original on 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  5. ^ Pereña-Gracía (2001), p. 36


  • Pereña-García, Mercedes (2001). Las Relaciones Diplomáticas de México. Plaza y Valdés, p. 94. ISBN 968-856-917-8.
  • Velázquez Flores, Rafael (2007). Factores, Bases y Fundamentos de la Política Exterior de México. Plaza y Valdés, p. 331. ISBN 970-722-473-8.
  • Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (2005) La Política Exterior Mexicana en la Transición. FCE, SRE, p. 281. ISBN 968-16-7745-5.