State of siege

With the main objective of being able to face extraordinary and serious situations that a country may face, exception regimes can be decreed . There are several of these regimes, one of them is known by the name of a state of siege , which can only be declared by the executive branch of the country, and it is the President who has the necessary permission for it to be executed.

What is the state of siege?

The state of siege is a type of emergency regime that occurs in some parts of the world that live under war . It is a state that can only be imposed by the head of state or president with the due approval of the legislative cabinet .

  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of the state of siege
  • Causes
  • Consequences of the state of siege
  • State of siege by country
  • How it differs from the alarm state
  • Importance
  • Examples of state of siege

What does it consist of

This type of emergency rule is a type of mechanism through which a country can cope with different types of exceptional situations that require a series of extreme measures including the cooperation of the forces armed to solve the problems and this includes limiting many of the rights and duties of citizens.

The state of siege can be established throughout the nation’s territory or it can also be applied in specific places . This type of state supposes an event of a temporary nature whose main purpose is to be able to sustain the survival of the inhabitants as well as the different political forms of the nation, in addition to maintaining public order .

Characteristics of the state of siege

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in a state of siege are the following:

  • The constitutional guarantees of individuals are totally suspended.
  • It is foreseen within the Political Constitution of the countries.
  • It is used mainly when there are wars or when external attacks caused by military forces are received .
  • For it to occur, the nation’s democracy must be at imminent risk.
  • When violated, the person may be exposed to arrest which will be in charge of competent judges.
  • It cannot be declared unconstitutional .
  • Your time is limited as it can only last until the situation has been controlled.
  • Two of the rights that cannot be violated are the right to life and liberty , religion , nationality or the rights of children .


For a country and a government to be able to dictate a state of siege, two different types of causes must be presented. The first one is the external commotion , this involves a great variety of situations that have the capacity to affect or endanger the peace of the country as well as to significantly affect public order . The second cause is due to attacks on the country that are perpetrated by foreign countries , this may or may not occur through invasion . Just because there is the possibility of an attack, a state of siege can be enacted quickly.

Consequences of the state of siege

When a state of siege occurs in a country, the consequences are important and generally affect the entire population as many of the individual guarantees are suspended as well as some rights such as assembly, freedom of movement and even demonstration. People will not be able to go out because there will be a curfew , they will not be able to meet or go to work.

With this, not intended to increase the disturbances that may be appearing but rather tries to ensure the safety for citizens, the peace and harmony of the nation. In this regard, it is very important to understand that, although freedoms are restricted, the measure seeks above all to prevent a greater evil from occurring.

State of siege by country

  • Spain : here, the declaration of a state of siege is in the hands of the Congress of Deputies and must first be proposed by the government. For it to be approved, it must have a majority of the votes and it also dictates the crimes that may be submitted to themilitary jurisdiction .
  • Mexico : in the country, this type of state of siege is regulated by means of article 29 of the Constitution and it is the President who has the ability to temporarily suspend the guarantees and rights of the inhabitants, already throughout region or specific locations.
  • Chile : in Chile, the state of siege is regulated by the Chilean Constitution in its articles 39 to 45 and in law 18,415 . It can be enacted when there are serious states that cause commotion in the country or when faced with a civil war.
  • Bolivia : here it is known by the name of a state of exception and is regulated by the Political Constitution in the articles that go from 137 to 140 . It is the President who has the power to declare this type of state but it depends on the Assembly if it is approved or not.
  • Colombia : this type of state operates based on the Constitution in those cases when there is an external war or a significant degree of internal commotion . It is dictated by the President after having held a hearing with the Council of State and all the ministers have signed it.
  • Argentina : in the country it is regulated by the National Constitution which gives the power to the executive power to rule it in the case of an attack that comes from abroad and gives the power to the legislature in case the cause is internal.

How it differs from the alarm state

The state of alarm is the state which can be established when there are health crises or when there are conflicts in the labor field that produce strikes that significantly affect the public services of the country, or when a natural catastrophe occurs in this state. , the movement of individuals , vehicles , the use of services and basic items is limited in order to avoid shortages. In the state of siege, for its part, it is considered one of the most serious and dangerous exceptional states and is general when thethreat by force against the sovereignty of a country as well as its territorial integrity .


The state of siege has a certain degree of importance because on some occasions it is the only means to provide protection to the population in countries that are being invaded or subjected to war or in those cases that, due to the situation, may alter the order and reduce the amount of food and basic services in a region. However, this state must be treated with great care because its importance could go to a lower level if governments take advantage of it to prevent the people from expressing themselves.

Examples of state of siege

  • In 2001 , the president of Argentina Fernando de la Rúa established a state of siege due to street protests in which 39 people were killed.
  • Colombia is one of the countries that has established a state of siege the most, mainly to control the advances of subversion and of groups that are not on the fringes of the law, however, what it produced was a significant violation of human rights and the freedom of citizens .
  • During 1973 in Chile , a state of siege had to be implemented after a major military revolt occurred in the attempt to overthrow President Salvador Allende .
  • In 1976 , Argentina entered a state of siege while the coup against María Estela Martínez de Perón was being carried out .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *