According to English major newspaper The Guardian, Mexican president-elect’s new plan to fight crime looks like the old plan.
In opposition, Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised to pacify the country by taking troops off the street and sending them back to their barracks.
This week, lawmakers from his party proposed to keep soldiers on the frontlines for the foreseeable future with the creation of a national guard.
The new force would combine military and civilian police under a single military command to “prevent and combat crime across Mexico and [would be] endowed with the discipline, hierarchy and ranking of military institutions”, according to proposed bill published in the legislative gazette on Tuesday November 27.
López Obrador – known as AMLO – takes office 1 December, after winning election on a populist promise to pull Mexico out of a worsening spiral of crime, corruption and inequality.
He arrives as the murder rate reaches a record high, and 12 years after the start of a militarised crackdown on organised crime which has left more than 200,000 dead and more than 37,000 missing.
The rule of law also remains as fragile as ever, while police forces are plagued by corruption and incompetence
“More than 90% of crimes end up going unpunished, and the country is still seriously suffering from not having a professional police force,” said congresswoman María Alvarado of Amlo’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
But critics of the plan accused the incoming president of pursuing the same short-term thinking as his two predecessors. Felipe Calderón first deployed soldiers against the cartels in December 2006, arguing it was temporary measure until police forces were prepared to take on the task.
They have remained in place ever since.
“Amlo’s security plan is the same as Calderón and [outgoing President Enrique] Peña Nieto, but on steroids. More soldiers, fewer civilian controls; more soldiers, fewer police,” tweeted political science professor Denise Dresser.