Mexican leader authorizes 4 more years of military policing

A legal reform passed in 2019 created a quasi-military National Guard, but allows the president to use the armed forces in “extraordinary” circumstances, as long as they are subordinate to and supervised by civilian authorities. ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty

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“This decree doesn’t make any attempt to justify what is ‘extraordinary,'” said Mexico security analyst Alejandro Hope, noting it could create a perverse incentive for the army to stop sending soldiers to join the National Guard. The army has supplied and trained the vast majority of the approximately 100,000 guard members; as long as the Guard is considered under-strength, the army will most likely be allowed to continue operating as it has done for years. The Defense Department regulates itself.”

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“The participation of the armed forces in public safety should be under extraordinary conditions, and should be regulated, reviewed, subordinated and complementary” to civilian authorities, according to the decree. Mexico saw 3,078 homicides in March, up 0.5% from the 2,948 in March 2019. Trending News

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However, he noted that “on the ground, this decree doesn’t change much. By themselves. Mexican soldiers and marines have been implicated in serious rights abuses, and activists have pressed Mexico to train and equip enough civilian police to take over from the military, who were sent out to fight drug violence in 2006. Killings have leveled off, experts say, but at very high levels. Mexican president authorizes 4 more years of military policing

May 12, 2020 / 5:13 AM
/ AP

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Mexico City — Mexico’s president published a decree Monday authorizing the armed forces to participate in civilian law enforcement for four more years, to March 2024. The decree also states “the duties which the armed forces carry out in the context of this decree, will be under the supervision and control of the internal affairs office of the corresponding department.”Hope noted “it says they should be supervised, reviewed and subordinated, but by who? The armed forces already detain people, set up phone taps, they set up checkpoints and detain migrants.”Dozens of bodies found in hidden graves in MexicoAlfredo Lecona, a member of the civic group “Security Without War,” wrote that “for those who ‘already knew’ that the armed forces would be performing police roles until 2024 under the National Guard reform, that is not an argument or justification for AMLO (López Obrador) to grant them a blank check of opacity.”

A soldier secures the area where a clandestine mass grave was discovered at Lomas del Vergel in the community of Zapopan, Jalisco state, Mexico, January 16, 2020. Murder of 7-year-old girl sparks anger in MexicoBut the decree published by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador does little to justify the “extraordinary” circumstances, and says nothing about outside supervision of soldiers. First published on May 12, 2020 / 5:13 AM