The United States criticizes that López Obrador has consolidated the role of the Mexican Armed Forces in the security of Mexico and assigns them other functions that have nothing to do with the military.
MEXICO CITY, (May 18, 2021).- The Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) warns that in Mexico the Armed Forces could take control of the Federal Government without the need of a military coup due to the weight they exert inside and outside the security sphere.
In militarized Mexico: the war is lost, but peace does not come, Stephanie Brewer, director for Mexico and Migrant Rights at WOLA, analyzes the growing influence of the Mexican Armed Forces under the Presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
With security in the hands of the military, and with the armed forces as executors of important components of the government project, it is possible to question what margin of power the civilian government retains compared to the military establishment ”, she points out.
Brewer recalls that López Obrador came to power in 2018 with a commitment to transform the failed security strategy of the two previous governments, which was largely based on the deployment of the Armed Forces.
However, she points out, the Mexican president has deepened the militarization of security and has taken it to other aspects of the country’s life.
This 2021 will be two years of the Law that created the National Guard, a supposedly civil security body, dependent on the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC), which actually operates under the coordination of the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena).
Most of the around 100,000 members of the National Guard are military, their territorial deployment is carried out from barracks and their commander is a general, ” criticizes Brewer.
Although as candidate López Obrador gave reasons to believe that he would take the role of the Armed Forces in the security strategy, as president of Mexico he consolidated his role and assigned them another range of functions.
Now, the Mexican Navy Secretariat (Semar) has control and administration of the country’s ports while together with Sedena it assumes control of Customs.
The Department of Defense is also responsible for priority projects like the construction of the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), the Maya Train Project, and branches of the so-called “Banco del Bienestar”.
The Semar, meanwhile, will be the guarantor of the Corridor Transístmico .
The director for Mexico and Migrant Rights of WOLA defends that in any Latin American country the accumulation by the Armed Forces of civil functions “sets off alerts.”
It states that although Mexico has not suffered any military coup, “the weight of the Armed Forces inside and outside the security sphere may mean that a coup is not necessary for the military institutions to exercise levels of power that, without constituting a military government, do not speak of a healthy democratic institutionality ”.
Source: López Dóriga
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