Militarization of public security in Mexico advances in the Senate

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Photo: ARTUR WIDAK/NURPHOTO/PICTURE ALLIANCE / Deutsche Welle

During the session of the commissions of Constitutional Points and Second Legislative Studies of the Upper House of the Congress of Mexicothe reform proposal received the endorsement of 18 pro-government senators, and 10 against the opposition parties.

The opinion was sent to the Board of Directors of the Mexican Senate so that this Tuesday (09.20.2022) the 128 senators enter the minutes of legal changes and, if applicable, approve next Wednesday the permanence of the Mexican Army and Navy in the streets until 2028.

4 more years of military in civil tasks

This extension would mean a four-year extension to what was approved in 2019, when the National Guard was created and established the presence of the Armed Forces in civil responsibilities until 2024.

This legislative proposal, promoted by the Institutional Revolutionary opposition party (PRI), has already received the approval of an absolute majority among the 500 legislators of the Chamber of Deputies.

If approved, by half plus one of the legislative plenary session of senators, the changes to the fifth transitory constitutional article will be sent to the Mexican Government for publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation and imminent entry into force.

The National Guard officially entered into civil operations depending on the Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection on June 30, 2019 and since last August it has been attached to the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), in charge of the Mexican Army.

Multiple accusations and a broken promise by AMLO

In his usual conferences, the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, after acknowledging that the security and pacification strategy has taken longer than expected, has defended the approval in the Senate of the reform that passes control of the National Guard to the Army , a body he created with a promise to keep it civil.

“That is the most important thing, that the law was approved so that the National Guard (GN) is operated, has the guardianship, the guide, the example of the Sedena, that is very important,” said the president during his press conference morning, that occasion from the northern state of Zacatecas.

The performance of the Armed Forces in security tasks has caused controversy in Mexico for facing accusations of extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and disproportionate use of force.

Even various national and international organizations such as the UN Office for Human Rights have expressed concern about the decision to cede control of the National Guard to the Mexican Armed Forces, which implies its de facto militarization.

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