PanamaTimes

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

Mexico to hand army control of National Guard, sparking outcry

Mexico to hand army control of National Guard, sparking outcry

Opposition lawmakers pledge to challenge contentious bill, which rights groups say gives too much power to the military.

Mexico’s Senate has passed legislation that would transfer control of the country’s National Guard over to the military, a contentious move that rights groups and opposition lawmakers say gives too much power to the armed forces and could lead to abuses.

The Senate’s 71-51 vote in favour of the bill on Friday comes after the lower house of Congress already approved the measure. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expected to sign it into law.

When the National Guard was created under a constitutional reform in 2019, it was placed under civilian control – but most of its training and recruitment has been done from within the country’s military.

Lopez Obrador, commonly referred to as AMLO, has waved aside concerns over the increased militarisation of public security, saying the guard must now be under military command to prevent corruption.

But opposition parties have said they plan to file court appeals challenging the new legislation, which they argue violates the Constitutional guarantee on civilian control.

“Public safety is not achieved by violating the rule of law, by violating the Constitution,” said Senator Claudia Anaya Mota of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.




The Mexican military has been criticised for a record of abuses and rights groups have warned that removing civilian control over the National Guard could lead to similar violations.

“We have already seen the disastrous results of the militarization of public security forces in Mexico over the last 16 years,” Edith Olivares Ferreto, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico, said in a statement on Friday, criticising the Senate’s decision.

“We call on the executive branch to design a plan for the progressive withdrawal of the armed forces from the streets, prioritizing the strengthening of civilian police forces and the development of public prevention policies aimed at guaranteeing public safety.”

Nada Al-Nashif, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also said that “the reforms effectively leave Mexico without a civilian police force at the federal level, and further consolidate the already prominent role of the armed forces in security in Mexico”.

“The security forces should be subordinated under civilian authorities,” Al-Nashif said in a statement.

But Lopez Obrador on Friday lashed out at critics, including the United Nations.

“When did the United Nations take a stand?” he said during a regular news conference, questioning what the body had done to prevent war from breaking out between Russia and Ukraine.




“These organisations that supposedly defend human rights, almost all these organisations are made up of people on the right from different countries of the world … because they earn a lot of money for simulating, for pretending, for being go-betweens for authoritarian governments,” he said.

Mexico has seen record levels of violence in recent years, and members of the opposition and activists have accused the National Guard of various cases of abuse.

The ranks of the National Guard, made up of more than 110,000 members, are largely filled with members of the army and marines. Those officers retained their place in the military and were considered on loan to the guard.

Before coming to power in 2018, Lopez Obrador had pledged to send the military back to the barracks. But he has tasked them with a wide variety of assignments, including fighting drug cartels, helping with various infrastructure projects, such as a new airport in the capital, and building bank branches in rural areas.

Late last month, a Truth Commission investigating the 2014 disappearance of 43 students said that six of the students were handed over to an army commander who ordered that they be killed. The shocking revelation directly tied the military to one of Mexico’s worst human rights scandals.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×