Wednesday, 12 Dec 2018

Mexico's high court adopts law on the maintenance of order by the army

MEXICO – The Supreme Court of Mexico struck down a controversial law signed last year that created a legal framework that allowed the military to play a policing role in most of the country. forces in public safety.

The deep-rooted corruption and ineffectiveness of local and national police forces has led Mexico to rely heavily on the military to fight drug cartels in some parts of the country.

But military commanders have long expressed concern about what was essentially an open-ended police mission. The armed forces have been involved in several cases of human rights violations.

On Wednesday, the president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced a security plan that would also support the army. He proposed forming a National Guard composed initially of elements from the Navy and the Army Police, as well as from the Federal Police.

After drawing many criticisms, including from human rights organizations, Lopez Obrador Thursday sought to distinguish between his plan and that of his predecessors. He said the congress would seek constitutional reform to allow it.

"Because I do not want to use the army and the navy as they did for public safety work if they are not allowed to perform these duties," said Lopez Obrador.

The international human rights group Amnesty International, however, said the Supreme Court's decision should prompt Lopez Obrador to rethink his security plan.

"The declaration of unconstitutionality of the Homeland Security Act seems to offer the government of President-elect Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador a detailed plan for the swift and orderly withdrawal of military forces from their security activities," Erika Guevara Rosas Americas director of the group, said in a statement. "It is worrying that the president-elect has put forward a security proposal that essentially repeats the failed model of militarized security that has led to the commission of serious human rights violations by the armed forces."

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