@Guillermo Solguren, La Jornada
On November 21st, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) reported that on March 21st the formation of the National Guard, in addition to asking about the possibility of trial of former presidents for alleged acts of corruption and on the formation of the business advisory board will be tentatively put to consultation. He said that this consultation would take place until this date so that the amendment to Article 35 of the constitution is approved, which would allow the National Electoral Institute (INE in its Spanish acronym) to organize it.
Since the presentation of the security plan of the next government and what would be the National Guard, national and international organizations have questioned this option. “Lopez Obrador commits a colossal error that could thwart any hope of ending the atrocities that have caused so much suffering in Mexico in recent years,” Human Rights Watch said, referring to allegations of human rights violations committed by the military that have been occurring since 2006 (such as extrajudicial executions, torture and disappearance of people). “Lopez Obrador should commit to improving the country’s civilian police forces, a task that, however complex, is essential to sustainably end the violence and abuses that have proliferated in Mexico,” it said.
“It is extremely serious that the next federal government is committed to a militarized security model, as announced last week with the proposal to create a National Guard,” the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations said. All Rights for All” (TDT Network, made up of 87 organizations in 23 states of the Republic), expressed its “great concern” over “the political speed and inconsistency” with which the deputies of MORENA have presented various initiatives for constitutional reform that would allow the creation of the National Guard: “Even more so than the binned Law of Internal Security, the new initiative intends to raise military participation in public security tasks to constitutional rank, as it seeks to attach elements of the Secretariats of National Defense and the Navy to this institution in the work of public security and procurement of justice. In addition to this, its organic link with the Public Ministry puts at risk the advances that the model of delivery of justice is having in Mexico.”
On another note, a letter endorsed by 128 groups and 544 people, organized by Common Cause, makes a strong and urgent call to the president-elect to stop the constitutional reform announced to integrate the National Guard and opt, instead, for the development and strengthening of civilian security institutions. The text supports the reinforcement of the Federal Police, since although it is admitted that “it was abandoned during recent years, it considers that it has research, technological and operative capacities that allow contemplating a civil option for the attention of high impact crimes.”
AMLO, for his part, says he made this decision because the police bodies have no capacity to guarantee the country’s security. “The fact that the National Guard is attached to SEDENA in operational terms does not mean that the military personnel are responsible for security,” he says. “They will have a training process different from the military one, training to perform the tasks of public security,” including topics on the new criminal justice system and respect for human rights among others, he said.
For more information in Spanish:
AMLO prevé consultar en marzo sobre Guardia Nacional, juicio a expresidentes y consejo empresarial (Proceso, 22 de noviembre de 2018)
AMLO anuncia consulta sobre juicio a expresidentes, la Guardia Nacional y el consejo empresarial (Animal Político, 21 de noviembre de 2018)
Organizaciones de DH cuestionan plan de seguridad militar de AMLO (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2018)
AMLO: las críticas al controvertido plan de seguridad en México presentado por López Obrador (BBC, 20 de noviembre de 2018)
ONGs y especialistas piden a AMLO dar marcha atrás en Guardia Nacional (Forbes, 20 de noviembre de 2018)
Guardia Nacional, el gran error de AMLO (Sin Embargo, 19 de noviembre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
National: CNDH Asks SCJN to Declare Interior Security Law Unconstitutional (November 7th, 2018)