@Gobierno de Mexico
On May 11th, a decree was published that will attribute extraordinary public security tasks to the Armed Forces for the next five years in aid of the National Guard (GN). The document is titled “Agreement by which the permanent Armed Forces are available to carry out public security tasks in an extraordinary, regulated, supervised, subordinate and complementary manner” and aims to ensure that the GN develops its structure, technical capabilities and implementation throughout the national territory by this means. This decree complies with the fifth constitutional transitory article on National Guard that Congress approved last year. It argues that this auxiliary work of the armed forces must not exceed a period of five years (until March 2024, seven months before the end of the six-year term of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO)).
The decree provides that the military participate in “safeguarding the integrity of people and their assets; guarantee, maintain and restore order and social peace, as well as prevent the commission of crimes” in immigration control centers, federal highways, railways, airports, customs, fiscal areas and urban spaces considered as federal areas, among others.
The text published in the official government gazette does not clarify who will have command of the military forces dedicated to these tasks, since it only instructs the secretary of the branch, Alfonso Durazo, to coordinate with the secretaries of National Defense (SEDENA) and the Navy- Mexican Navy (SEMAR). However, it indicates that the supervision of members of SEDENA and SEMAR will correspond to the internal control bodies of each agency, so that the Ministry of Citizen Security and Protection will not have the capacity to sanction members of the armed forces under its coordination.
Opposition parties questioned whether the decree is giving powers to the Armed Forces that exceed what the Constitution mandates, because it does not subordinate military action to civilian command in matters of security and that it formalizes the militarization of the country.
For its part, the group #SeguridadSinGuerra (Security Without War), made up of more than 30 civil organizations, expressed its rejection of the decree, considering that “it has a series of gaps, including the need for the temporal and geographical scope in which the Armed Forces will act with powers of public security, does not contemplate accountability mechanisms, nor does it guarantee that the armed forces will subordinate themselves to a civilian power.”
“A government that is truly committed to the demilitarization of the country and the construction of peace should not issue an agreement of this type, but rather clear rules, precise objectives and a system of supervision and accountability while they continue on the streets,” the collective said.
The decree also generated reactions on social networks with labels such as #FueraDictaduraMilitar (Military Dictatorship Out) or # ResistenciaPorMéxico (Resistance For Mexico), with comments expressing concerns that it could affect the liberties of citizens or accusing AMLO of having a contradictory discourse by opposing the militarization of the streets during the six-year terms of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, and Enrique Peña Nieto, but legally empowering the Armed Forces to carry out public security actions.
For more information in Spanish:
AMLO ordena la intervención del Ejército en labores de seguridad pública (Proceso, 11 de mayo de 2020)
Senadores de oposición chocan por decreto de AMLO (Proceso, 11 de mayo de 2020)
La oposición y sociedad civil protestan en la Red contra decreto que da facultades a militares(Sin Embargo, 11 de mayo de 2020)
Con decreto de AMLO, militarismo salió del closet: colectivo Seguridad sin Guerra (El Universal, 11 de mayo de 2020)
Se oficializa el apoyo de militares a la GN (La Jornada, 12 de mayo de 2020)
AMLO legaliza intervención militar en 12 tareas policiales; ONG acusan falta de plazos y controles (Animal Político, 12 de mayo de 2020)
For more infrmation from SIPAZ: