President Andres Manuel López Obrador announced on Tuesday, September 27th, that a popular consultation will be held to determine whether or not the Mexican Army should extend its presence in the streets until 2028.
Mexico City, Sep 27 (EFE).- The Mexican president announced this Tuesday that his administration will hold a “participatory exercise” on January 22, 2023, to ask the population if they want to keep the Armed Forces in the streets to carry out public security tasks.
“A great consultation will be held in which the people of Mexico will be asked if they agree that the Army and the Navy continue to participate in public security tasks until March 2028,” said Adán Augusto López, Secretary of the Interior, at the president’s daily press conference.
The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, revealed that he will conduct this exercise after failing in the Senate, last week, a constitutional reform that would extend until 2028 the powers of the Armed Forces to carry out public security tasks.
Although he had first promised a consultation, the president now called it a “participatory exercise” because the Constitution prohibits consulting the population on issues of national security and the Armed Forces. (As if changing the term was enough not to violate the constitution).
In addition, the Ministry of the Interior (Segob) will organize the exercise instead of the National Electoral Institute (INE), the autonomous body in charge of all the elections and consultations.
“It will not be binding, but what matters to us is that progress is made in participatory democracy,” argued the president.
The Secretary of the Interior affirmed that they will install at least one “popular opinion reception point” in the country’s 68,989 electoral sections with the support of citizen volunteers, who will also count the results and present them on January 24.
The Government will ask three questions, the first will be: “Do you agree with the creation of the National Guard and with its performance so far?“
The next one will be: “Do you think that the Armed Forces, the Army, and the Navy should continue with public security work until 2028 or should they return to their headquarters in March 2024?“
And finally: “What is your opinion, should the National Guard become part of the Ministry of National Defense or should it depend on the Ministry of the Interior or on the Ministry of Public Security?“
This “participatory exercise” (as AMLO called it) will be celebrated while the controversy grows in Mexico over the militarization policies of López Obrador, who recently enacted a legal reform that transfers control of the National Guard to the Army, a body that he promised to keep civilian when he created it in 2019.
A group of independent experts from the UN Human Rights Council warned on Tuesday, September 27th, that these reforms “have been promoted to the detriment of Mexico’s international obligations on human rights.”
López Obrador’s consultations have caused controversy before, such as the one he promoted in 2018 to cancel the construction of the Mexico City New International Airport (NAIM) or the one in March 2020 to stop a Constellation Brands brewery plant in the northern city of Mexicali, Baja California.
“In a democracy, the people rule and cannot be ignored,” Obrador declared on Tuesday, September 27th.
Millions of Mexicans are not happy and do not agree with the way their president twists and turns the constitution in favor of his own personal agenda.
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