AMLO’s security plan: Will it really bring the murder rate down?

On November 14th Mr López Obrador, who will become president at the beginning of next month, announced his plans to deal with the crisis.

His eight-point proposal restates campaign promises to end corruption and poverty and recasts the consumption of drugs as a public-health issue. His much-touted “amnesty” for some criminals appears to include scope for reducing the sentences in exchange for co-operation with authorities and reparations for victims. The plan also contains a vow to abjure torture. It is unclear whether any of this will bring the murder rate down.

Mr López Obrador’s most controversial idea is the creation of a national guard under the control of the army. This would require changing the constitution, under which all public-security institutions are subject to civilian control. In 2006 Mr Calderón deployed the army to fight drug gangs. Mr López Obrador described the deployment as a failure.

Now he seems to accept a policing role for the army. “In the end politics is about choosing between inconveniences,” he said at the plan’s unveiling.

Absent from it is any proposal to strengthen the state and municipal police forces that do most of the law enforcement, or any mention of how the next administration might implement a criminal-justice reform that has already begun. More attention to those areas would bolster the state that Mr Guzmán helped undermine.

Source: The Economist