On November 29th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) endorsed the agreement through which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) ordered the permanence of the Army in public security tasks. The ruling was resolved with eight votes in favor, two against and one abstention.
In May 2020, the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, PAN member Laura Rios, had filed a constitutional appeal on the grounds that AMLO intruded on the powers of the Legislative Branch by publishing this agreement.
Minister Ana Margarita Rios Farjat explained the fifth transitory article that the president used to issue his agreement was clear in empowering him to dispose of the permanent Armed Forces to carry out public security tasks. “For this reason, the contested agreement does not imply any interference from the Executive branch”, she said. For his part, Minister Arturo Zaldivar (who voted in favor) insisted that this decision “in no way means that this Court is authorizing the militarization of public security.”
The same day, members of civil organizations held a protest in front of the SCJN facilities to demand that the ministers speak out against the militarization of the country. They painted the slogan “No to Militarization” on the sidewalk, in front of the access door to the Court. They delivered 75,000 citizen signatures collected through the change.org platform.
Before the ruling of the Court, PAN senator Damian Zepeda Vidales declared that “I believe that the Court has come up with some very regrettable decisions, and if they do not like that we tell them that they are subordinated to the interests of the Executive Power, so let them rise to the task, because what I see is more and more automatic votes and some tricks to justify what they are voting for, incredible. Sad and unfortunate the role that a part of the Court is doing in these years in this country.”
For its part, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) expressed that it could exacerbate the “already high level of violence” and favor human rights violations, referring to the concerns previously indicated. by experts from the organization, in which they pointed out the possible consequences of the presence of the army in these tasks. It warned that the Armed Forces would carry out activities that “are not theirs and for which they have not been trained, which could favor and maintain the commission of serious human rights violations.”
Likewise, the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (Centro ProDH) affirmed that “an opportunity was lost for the Judiciary to act as a counterweight to militarization in the country.” Likewise, it called on the Court to address the other unconstitutionality claims that have been filed on this last issue and the National Guard.
For more information in Spanish:
Las oportunidades perdidas de la SCJN (La Jornada, 1ero de diciembre de 2022)
Fallo de SCJN sobre Ejército podría exacerbar violencia: ONU-DH (Aristegui Noticias, 30 de diciembre de 2022)
Avala SCJN apoyo de fuerzas armadas en seguridad pública (La Jornada, 30 de noviembre de 2022)
Condena Damián Zepeda aval de la SCJN a militarización; “ministros hicieron trabajo sucio”, denuncia (El Universal, 30 de noviembre de 2022)
Corte avala acuerdo de AMLO sobre permanencia del Ejército en las calles (29 de noviembre de 2022)
Organizaciones civiles exigen a ministros de la SCJN frenar militarización (MVS Noticias, 29 de noviembre de 2022)
For more information from SIPAZ: