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Senator Julio Menchaca,

Chair of the Justice Commission of the Mexican Senate


We would like to express our deep concern over the chapter on legal capacity of people with disabilities in the current bill to create a Unified Civil Procedure Code for Mexico. We strongly urge the Justice Commission of the Mexican Senate to reject this reform because it contradicts Mexico’s human rights obligations under article 12 (2) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which Mexico ratified in December 2007. The bill could also contradict multiple Supreme Court rulings that found that guardianship systems are prohibited under the Mexican Constitution.

As currently drafted, the bill conflates supported decision-making, whereby persons who would like support in making legal and other decisions have the right and can access systems to realize this right, with substitute decision-making, whereby another person has the authority to make decisions on behalf of a person deprived of the right to do so.

Specifically, article 480 of the bill allows a person with a disability to request supported decision making, but also allows others to request support for a person with a disability, without requiring the person concerned to consent. Those who can make such a request include spouses, descendants, parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, in-laws to the second degree, a previously appointed guardian, heirs, and others. It also allows DIF (Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) and the public prosecutor’s office to make such a request for support for a person. 

However, the system is not designed for genuine supportive decision making and instead replicates guardianship, or substitute decision-making.

Article 483 of the proposed bill requires that a person with a disability seeking supportive decision making (or for whom others are seeking such support) undergo a medical evaluation and conditions the person with a disability’s ability to appoint a supporter of their own choosing to the level of autonomy they are deemed to have. If the medical examination determines that an individual is not fit to make such a selection, a judge is authorized to appoint a so-called supporter, without the consent of the person concerned, although the preference would be for someone the person selected themselves. The judge also determines the scope of the support provided, without the consent of the person concerned.

Article 483 specifies that the court may, as a last resort, rule that the support person should control all the person with a disability’s assets and administer their property. The court could also rule on whether the person with a disability needs support to perform parenting duties. The person with a disability has the right to appeal against the appointment of the so-called supporter.

Such a system is not a genuine supported decision-making system, whereby a person retains autonomy to make decisions themselves, with support as necessary. Instead, it replicates a substitute-decision making system, or guardianship, in violation of Mexico’s international human rights obligations and in contradiction of Mexico’s constitutional court rulings.


Mexico’s international human rights obligations

Article 12(2) of the CRPD specifically provides a right to legal capacity for persons with disabilities, which includes the right to exercise all of their rights and have their decisions recognized by the law on an equal basis with others and without discrimination based on disability.[1]

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), which monitors implementation of the treaty, has urged Mexico to ensure any reforms on legal capacity are rights-respecting. In its 2014 concluding observations, the committee recommended that the Mexican government suspend any legislative reform that would perpetuate a system of substitute decision-making and… take steps to adopt laws and policies that replace the substitute decision-making system with a supported decision-making model that upholds the autonomy and wishes of the persons concerned, regardless of the degree of disability.”[2] It also recommended that, in consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities and other service providers, Mexico “review all federal and state legislation in order to eliminate any restriction of rights stemming from a declaration of legal incompetence or on the grounds of a person’s disability.[3]

According to the CRPD Committee, all people, including people with disabilities, maintain a right to legal capacity "simply by virtue of being human" and people can therefore not be stripped of it.[4] The exercise of legal capacity is "the key to accessing meaningful participation in society" for all persons, including persons with disabilities.[5] For example, the CRPD Committee has found that legal capacity "acquires a special significance for persons with disabilities when they have to make fundamental decisions regarding their health, education and work," while the denial of legal capacity has led to numerous violations of these rights for persons with disabilities.[6]

The CRPD Committee has repeatedly found that legal regimes that deprive persons with disabilities of their legal capacity and assign others to make decisions and exercise rights on their behalf - such as guardianship - violate article 12 of the CRPD and should be abolished.[7] The Committee noted that where “a person’s disability and/or decision making skills are taken as legitimate grounds for denying his or her legal capacity and lowering his or her status as a person before the law,” such provisions are a “discriminatory denial of legal capacity” in violation of article 12 of the CRPD.[8]

The CRPD rejects the notion that persons with disabilities are unfit to exercise agency and make decisions and makes it clear that the will and preferences of the person should be respected at all times.[9] A person’s mental capacity and ability to make decisions can vary depending on environmental or social factors. Instead, CRPD article 12(3) requires that states provide support when needed and requested to persons with disabilities so that they can exercise their rights, express their own will and preferences, and make important life decisions for themselves.[10]

Supported decision-making is a system for those who want assistance in making decisions or communicating them to others. Measures relating to support for the exercise of legal capacity should include appropriate safeguards to prevent abuse.[11] Support for persons with disabilities can take various forms and can include: accessibility measures and reasonable accommodation in understanding information and consequences of legal acts; provisions of advance directives; and the appointment of one or more support persons chosen by the person concerned.

According to the CRPD Committee, in exceptional cases, when it is not possible to determine the will and preferences of the person, even after serious and sustainable efforts have been made, the standard of the “best interpretation of will and preferences” must apply, instead of any “best interest” determinations. This respects the rights, will, and preferences of the individual; the “best interests” principle is not a safeguard for adults that complies with the CRPD.[12]

In line with arguments stated above, the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that guardianship regimes are against the Mexican Constitution. In the most recent ruling, issued in June 2021, the first chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that guardianship is unconstitutional.[13]

The Senate should not miss the opportunity to adequately recognize full legal capacity for people with disabilities on an equal condition with others, and the right to access supported decision-making when they so desire in the proposed draft unified civil procedure code. The Senate needs to closely consult with organizations representing people with disabilities. The processes to discuss the bill should comply with the minimum standards, principles, and guidelines of the Mexican government’s international obligation to carry out close consultations with people with disabilities through the organizations that represent them, provided for in CRPD articles 4.3 and 33.3.

The absence of a consultation process could lead to a failure to recognize current fundamental rights within Mexico’s legal system, notably the right of people with disabilities to autonomy and to make their own decisions.[14]




Nombre  Organización 
Javier Carrasco Solís  Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal
Amalia Gamio  Experta Independiente Internacional
Jonas Ruškus  Expert-member, Vice-chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations
Tina Minkowitz  Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry
Catalina Torres Cuevas, activista  
Santiago Corcuera Cabezut  (a título personal)
Catalina Pérez Correa profesora
Elena Azaola  
Adalberto Méndez López  Miembro del Consejo Consultivo de CNDH  
Lídice Rincón Gallardo  Presidenta de la Fundación Gilberto Rincón Gallardo, A.C 
Marco Antonio Vargas Solís  Fundación Gilberto Rincón Gallardo, capítulo San Luis Potosí
Disability Rights International   
Silvia Quan  Colectivo Vida Independiente de Guatemala
Maria Teresa Fernández Vázquez  Entropía Social, A.C. 
 Miguel Valdés Villarreal M Laguneros por la paz
Sandra Padilla Zaldo  
Karina Cruz Cruz   
Martín Carlos Sánchez Bocanegra  RED Impulsando la Justicia 
Víctor Lizama Sierra  Sin Colectivo, agrupación plural mexicana de Personas Expertas por Experiencia y activistas en discapacidad psicosocial y Cultura Loca. 
Isabel Alondra Peñaloza Cruz  Escuela de Otoño de Sin Colectivo, A.C 
Irma Teresita Aguilar Camacho   Sin Colectivo A.C
Tania Martínez  
Oscar Sánchez Hernández   Sin Colectivo
Sofia Olvera Galarza  Escuela de Otoño de Sin Colectivo, A.C
Eunice Díaz de la Vega  Sin Colectivo
Cristian Mendoza Vázquez  
Cristian Mendoza Vázquez  Abogado independiente promotor y defensor de los derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad
Guillermo Garcia Naranjo Urzaiz  
Norma Maldonado  Hermanos en la Discapacidad A.C. 
Verónica Rocha   Proyecto Autismo San Roberto, Torreón, Coahuila
Bárbara Anderson   Yo También AC
Flavia Anau  Piña Palmera A.C
Raquel Enríquez  Piña Palmera. A.C
Josefa Patricia Matías  Piña Palmera, A.C, Oaxaca
Fátima Patricia Hernández Alvizo   
Alicia Ramos Núñez  ECQUI A.C. 
Alberto Pastor Escobar  
José Alberto Martínez Rubio  Consejería de Alumnas y Alumnos de la Facultad de Estudios Profesionales Zona Huasteca UASLP
Jesús Puente Martínez  Asociación Potosina del Deporte sobre Sillas de Ruedas A.C
Emilia Griselda Cruz Diaz  Familias y Retos Extraordinarios A.C, Jalisco
Roxana Pacheco Martínez  Fundación para la Inclusión y Desarrollo de Personas con Discapacidad (FINDEDIS, A.C)
María Guadalupe Castro Zaragoza   FINDEDIS, A.C
Martha Beatriz López Vértiz  FINDEDIS A.C
Palmira Martínez Cárdenas  
  Alianza SIMA
Elizabetha Consuegra Ríos  Activista independiente por los derechos humanos de las mujeres con discapacidad psicosocial 
Centro Integral de Rehabilitación Infantil A. C.   
Palmira Bothi García  
Alejandra Ballesteros Castañón Organización de invidentes Unidos de Jalisco A.C. 
Ninfa Raquel Monarres Madrid  Esclerosis Múltiple Jalisco, A.C
Jesus García  Asociación Buscando tu Propio Camino
Taurino Ortega Íñiguez Asociación de Deportistas Sordos del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.
Claudia Marcela Serrano Michel  Un milagro para Romina, A.C
Edith Pérez Rodríguez  Voz y Dignidad por los Nuestros, A.C, San Luis Potosí 
Lilia del Carmen Sandoval Soto  Dar es Amar A.C 
  Un Salto con Destino 
Leticia Bejarano FAO, A.C.
María del Socorro Piña Montiel Movimiento Asociativo Jalisciense pro Personas con Discapacidad, AC.
Ma Guadalupe Mendiola Acosta   
Martha Nelva Camarena Núñez   
  Colectiva Libre Cultura de Paz desde las Mujeres Diversas Cosmovisiones
Juristas Académicas Mexicanas JURAME
Ana Laura González Aguilar  Unidos Guadalajara, A.C
Claudia Navarro Mariscal  Talleres de Formación Independiente, A.C 
Eugenia Zuñiga Pérez Bolde  Hogares de la Caridad A.C 
Jessica Gabriela Rosas González   
María Ivonne Vargas Contreras  JAB Coloreando tu Vida, A.C
Ludivina Calderón Flores   Fibrosis Quística de Occidente, A.C
Pamela Meza  Mírame, A.C
Manuel Padilla Núñez  AMPEV, A.C
Ana Guadalupe Herrera Amaral  Asociación Deportiva, Cultural y Recreativa Silente de Jalisco, A.C
Dr. Jesus Navarro   OMER 
Zaira Guadalupe Vázquez Figueroa   Una Segunda Mirada A.C. 
Maria de Lourdes Ibarra Franquez  Presidenta de Integración Nacional de Mujeres ARALIA-INAMUJ A.C, Nayarit
José de Jesús Gutiérrez Rodríguez   Asociación Mexicana de Psicólogas y Psicólogos
  A Velar Por Ti A.C.
Juana Teresa Huerta Huerta  Fraternidad Cristiana de Personas con Discapacidad de México
Laura González Bon   
Erika Antonia Hernández García  Proyecto de Redes Sociales ONG
Leticia Jacobo Meléndez  FYAPDI, AC.
Adriana Favela Martínez  Centro de Integración Tapalpa, A.C.
Alejandra Valdés Teja   gestora cultural independiente
Valeria Guzmán Díaz  
Kennia Velázquez   
Diana Martínez Jasso  Instituto Iberoamericano de Turismo Inclusivo
Luis Carlos Murguía Curiel  FYAPDI, A.C
Evangelina Orozco Hernández  Asociación de Distrofia Muscular de Occidente AC.
Alejandro Pérez  Presidente de la Asociación Bastón Blanco, Jalisco 
Itandehui Reyes-Díaz  Laboratorio de Investigación Feminista
Melissa Ceja Covarrubias   
Ángela Salazar Acevedo  
Juana Guadalupe Arreola Villafranco  Fundación de Apoyo para la Educación Especial, A.C
Fátima Bautista Hernández  
Graciela Hernández Reynosa  
Orlando Bautista Hernández  
Yael Bautista Hernández  
Estela Evangelista Torres  Catequesis Especial 
Claudia Elizabet Uribe torres  
Cecilia García Gallegos  Amor a la Familia y Ayuda a la Comunidad, AFAC, A.C.
Claudia Elena Vargas Guerrero   
Asociación Hidalguense  Fisioterapia AFHI, A.C
Gerardo Martín Ramírez Villarreal  
Marcela Páramo   
Matías Santiago Alaniz Alvarez  
Juan Medina Sandoval   Rodando con el Corazón, A.C
Gabriel Martínez  Libre Acceso, A.C 
Blanca Ramírez  Libre Acceso, A.C.
Karina Bárcena Anguiano   Libre Acceso, A.C.
Lourdes Bahena   Libre Acceso
Ricardo Emmanuel Ortiz Carreón  Red Nacional de Ciegos, Jalisco
Mayté Juárez  
Patricia Ramírez F.  Experta independiente
Susana Rojas Dávalos  Sociedad de Padres de familia de la Comunidad Down de Guadalajara, AC.
Sergio Arturo Avalos Magaña  Asociación Mexicana del Síndrome de Costello
Paula Ximena Méndez Azuela  A título personal 
Federico Isaza Piedrahita PAIIS Uniandes
María Silvia García Vázquez  Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos, SLP
Saúl Fuentes  Coral, Centro Oaxaqueño de Rehabilitación de Audición y Lenguaje, A. C.
Emma Yolanda Escobar Flores  RIECHIAPAS, A.C
Maria Graciela Iglesias  Secretaria Ejecutiva del Órgano de Revisión Nacional Argentino
Pamela Molina  Fundación DECIDE
Asociación  Educación Especial MAS+, Centro escolar y terapéutico, A.C
Asociación CEDUE A.C.
Andrea Parra   Red Latinoamericana Artículo 12
Áine Kelly-Costello   activista con discapacidad
Piers Gooding  Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, Australia 
Elizabeth Harrington  BSc MPhil (Cantab) PGR
Fernanda Santana  Associação Brasileira para Ação pelos Direitos das Pessoas Autistas (Abraça)
Erich Kofmel   President Autistic Minority International 
Celeste Fernández  Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia, Argentina
Guillermo Sánchez   Sin Retorno Agrupación 
Pamela Smith  Sociedad y Discapacidad, directora ejecutiva, Perú
Jorge Adán Flores Franco  Un salto con Destino
Susan L. Hardie  Executive Director, Canadian Centre on Disability Studies Inc. o/a Eviance
Juanita Sierra Carmona  Centro de Orientación Múltiple para Personas con Capacidades Diferentes (COMPECADI, A. C)
Alanna Whitney  Autistic Minority International
APFDC - BE'NIN 200  
Aldo Chavarría Montiel   Don Bosco Sobre Ruedas, A.C
Diane Kingston  Sightsavers, United Kindom
  Documenta, Análisis y Acción para la Justicia Social 
Stig Langvad  
  Zanzibar Association of the Deaf (CHAVIZA)
José Celso Soto Hernández  
Héctor Iván Ruiz Aguirre  
Ron McCallum AO, Emeritus Professor Chair of the CRPD Comittee 2011-2012
Mary E Crock, University of Sydney  
Theresia Degener, LL.M. Chair of the CRPD Comittee 2016-2018
Sandra Marques  Mecanismo Nacional de Monitorização da implenetação da CDPD
Kenia Berenincee Rooque Velazquez /  Esterreo Lluvia
Amalia J. Peláez Álvarez Organización de Rehabilitación e Inclusión Laboral
Alma Lorena Leyva Luna  Centro Especializado en Múltiple Discapacidad y Sordoceguera, A.C
Imed Eddine Chaker ATDPH
Itzel Romero Rosales  
Mario Alberto Reyes Ocádiz  
José Luis Torres Chacón   
Amalia Méndez   
María Guadalupe Quijano Orvañanos Residencia Hogar José Barroso Chávez, IAP
Patricia Román   
María Carolina Martínez Romo   
Ernesto Rosas Barrientos  Institución CONFE A Favor de la Persona con Discapacidad Intelectual, Institución De Asistencia Privada
Rebeca Alcira Zavala Martinez  CONFE 
Alma Delia Alvarez Amieva  CONFE
Mónica Zampella  CONFE
Diego Espinal Baeza CONFE
Karina Colín  CONFE
Erika Aydee González Valencia CONFE 
Elizabeth Hernández Ruiz   CONFE
Javier Quijano  CONFE
Omar Atl Ramos Reyes  
Lilia Patricia González Montes de Oca  
Aarón Ernesto Flores Velasco  A título personal
Regina Velasco Margain  Comunidad Educativa Incluyente IAP
Alma Angélica Rodriguez López  Escuela de Otoño de Sin Colectivo, A.C
Irma Lizette Michel Reynoso  Casa Down de Mazatlán, IAP
Jorge Bernardo Trujillo García  
Alma Adriana Carmona Enríquez  
Laura Gabriela Monroy Carmona   
  Instituto Nacional para la Atención de la Salud Mental
Juan Eduardo Reyes Retana   Presidente de Proyecto Camina, A. C.
Fernanda Estenoz Carrasco  Terapia de Lenguaje, Apoyo para el Aprendizaje y la Inclusión
Guadalupe Villanueva  
Leticia Hernández   
Hyung Shik Kim  
Mónica Perrusquía Rivera  APAC Querétaro, I.A.P.
Camerina Robles Cuéllar  Discapacitados Visuales, I.A.P
José Luis Galeana Beltrán  Vida Independiente México, SLP, A.C
Carlos Daigoro Fonce Segura  
José Artemio Rovelo Garrido  
Gina Contreras  
Tania Karasik  
Sylvia Rochín  T- ac-ZORA consultoría en DEI 
Maria del Rosario Méndez Galván  Centro de Atención para Niños con Daño Cerebral M.NP.
Julio Cesar López Pinto  Fundación Mexicana de Integración Social, I.A.P.
Ruth Calcáneo Hernández   Instituto Mexicano de Oftalmología I.A.P
Raquel Jelinek  Servicios de Educación Especial, CISEE, A.C.
Dalia Berenice Fuentes Pérez  Dhesarrolla, A.C.
Brenda Moreno Sarmiento  Mentes con Alas, A.C
Mohammed Tarawneh  CEO Global Village
Raquel Carrillo Palomera   Megavisión, IAP /
Federico Núñez Perea   RENAPRED
Guadalupe Gonzalez Ramos  El Arca de México, I.A.P
Araceli Bravo Orduña  Directora de El Arca en Querétaro, I.A.P
Ivonne Rodríguez  El Arca
Emmanuel Córdoba  El Arca 
Martha Alba Meneses García  El Arca en Querétaro, I.A.P 
Alberto Alarcon Morales  
Márgara Bravo  Fundación Owen, I.A.P
Rubén Martínez Pérez  
Julia María Ortega Morín  Fundación Estancia Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, I.A.P
Al Vallejo  Estas Tijeras Cortan
Juventino Jiménez Martínez  Punto Seis AC. 
Martha Harfush Meléndez   
Maria Elena Cabello Torres  CreeSer, Comunidad Terapéutica
Alejandro Gallardo Lopez   Movimiento Nacional por la Inclusión y Democracia de y para Personas con discapacidad 
Lourdes Sarvide Álvarez Icaza   FHADI. IAP
Enrique Grapa  Inclúyeme
Mario Alberto Moreno López   
Ysabel Araceli López Cardoso  
María Magdalena Vázquez Mina   Gigi´s Playhouse México I.A.P.  
Mariana Conde Mena   Familias T21, AC. Familias Extraordinarias
Casa María Goretti, I.A.P  
Aarón Chóng Hernández  
María G. Salmón Roiz  Fundación Inclusión 360 
Marcos José García Rodríguez  INPer
Juan Luis Macías Trápala  
Pamela Aguilar   Pavarur, A.C 
Marco Antonio Cortés Fernández  Humanartec, Inclúyete
Quetzalli Cortés Rocha   Humanartec, Inclúyete
  RED de Discapacidad del Estado de Querétaro
  Centro de Apoyo y Calidad de Vida CALI A.C.
Eva Esquivel Baqueiro   
María Dolores Bernal Vega   Grupo Pertenecía 
Martha Vargas Lopez  Instituto Pedagógico de Leon A.C.
Carmen Yessenia García  Fundación Juárez Integra A.C. 
Delia María Henry Rodríguez   WMF Foundation, A.C
Mariana García Guzmán  Unidos Somos Iguales, Ciudad de México, I.A.P
Nahomy Herrera   
Alma Estela Perera Poot  Ramon Vargas
Josefina Hernández Fernández   
Francisco Ramón Graciano Maldonado  
Adriana Larrea  Taller del Arca
Dulce María Caballero Encalada  Presidente de la Asociación Yucateca de Padres de Familia Prodeficiente Mental, A.C.
Ernesto José Velasco León  Comunidad Educativa Incluyente, I.A.P
Eva Regina Uitzil Yam   
Chehaly Torres  
Verónica Montes de Oca Zavala UNAM
Alicia Chong Hernandez    
Teresa Sánchez Calderón  
Alejandro Figueroa Cuevas   Adelante Niño Down, A.C
José Frías Franco  Parejura S.C.
Rosaurora Espinosa  Integrante de la Red Nacional de Promotoras y Asesoras Rurales
Lili Buj  
Magdalena Villagordoa Mesa   
Miguel Ángel Pulido Ramírez  
Cecilia Campos Peraza CEDIDOWN
Alejandra Zamorano  CEDIDOWN
Montserrat Coral   CEDIDOWN
Verónica Rubio   Fundación Josefa Vergara y Hernández, I.A.P.
Maria Guadalupe Larios García Residencia Hogar José Barroso Chávez, I.A.P
María Ofelia Lazcano Núñez  Centro de Desarrollo Humano D.I. Zazil. A.C 
Carlos Hernández  
Irma Iglesias Zuazola   Down 21, Chile
Guillermo Ramírez Rentería   
Juan Carlos Martín Coronado  
Raúl Montoya Santamaría  Colectivo Chuhcan A.C
Laura Gonzalez   El Arca, Querétaro  
Yolanda Velázquez Rivera  El Arca, Querétaro
Laura Elena Flores Olague   Presidenta de Integración Zacatecas, A.C.
Margarita Martínez Espinosa  Frente Nacional para las Madres Solteras 
Adriana Curiel  Fundación Madre Rita Scarafile
Nohemí Márquez López   Enlace Animal, A.C
Carla Ingrid Del Olmo Macedo  
Yamily Burgos   
Patricia Andrade Bambarén   Sociedad Peruana de Síndrome Down  
Azucena Hernández Ramírez  
Gabriela Rocío Gómez Ríos  
Nashyeli Lozano Merino  
Libertad Hernández Santiago
Human Rights Watch  



[1] CRPD, Art. 12(2).

[2] CRPD Committee, Concluding Observations for Mexico, (2014) para. 24

[3] CRPD Committee, Concluding Observations for Mexico, (2014) para 24

[4] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 1, Article 12: Equal recognition before the law, UN Doc. CRPD/C/GC/1 (2014), para. 18. para. 14.

[5] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 1, Article 12: Equal recognition before the law, UN Doc. CRPD/C/GC/1 (2014),. para. 13

[6] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 1, Article 12: Equal recognition before the law, UN Doc. CRPD/C/GC/1 (2014), para. 8

[7] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 1, Article 12: Equal recognition before the law, UN Doc. CRPD/C/GC/1 (2014), para. 7.

[8] CRPD Committee, General comment No. 1, Article 12: Equal recognition before the law, UN Doc. CRPD/C/GC/1 (2014), para. 15,

[10] CRPD, Art. 12(3).

[11] CRPD, art. 12(4)

[12] CRPD, General Comment no. 1, para. 21.

[13] Amparo 4/2021


[14] Ley General para la Inclusión de las Personas con Discapacidad, art 5, V


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