Mexican President Orders The Military To Attend Public Safety

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 4:22pm
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Office of the Mexican President
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addressing the National Guard.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico will experience a new phase in its fight against crime, as the president ordered the military to help with the task. And while some see it as an opportunity to stop violence,  skeptics fear a militarization of the country. 

The president instructed the armed forces to help the National Guard until the end of his presidency in 2024.

Some analysts and human rights organizations say the decision will militarize the country and give more power to the president.Others say it reveals flaws with the year-old National Guard. 

Sergio Bárcena is a politics researcher at Mexico City’s Tec de Monterrey. He says militarizing the streets would come at a high political cost. 

“It would be a counterattack to his own entire discourse of ‘hugs and no bullets,'” said Bárcena.

Bárcena explains the order follows a constitutional amendment approved last year by the majority of parties. However, he says it’s unclear how the presidential orders will be executed.

“What the government is really saying is that the National Guard was not really functional,” the professor said.

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