Constitutional reform extending use of military for public security goes to Mexico state congresses

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Monday, October 17, 2022 - 5:40am
Updated: Monday, October 17, 2022 - 7:26am

Mexico’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies have both approved a constitutional reform extending the use of the military for public security through 2028.

Now the measure needs to be approved by a majority of Mexico’s 32 state congresses. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador strongly supports the measure, and his party Morena — together with its coalition parties — enjoys majorities in more than half of those legislatures.

“We’re very disappointed and upset about this,” said Tyler Mattiace, the Mexico researcher for Human Rights Watch.

He noted that the military has been used in public security for many years, and during that time violence has increased, the effectiveness of law enforcement has declined and the armed forces have been implicated in serious human rights abuses.

“Everything indicates that this is a strategy that has failed,” he added.

The reform also comes in the wake of damning revelations about the military, both through the government’s investigation of an infamous 2014 mass disappearance case and a massive leak of emails detailing — among many other things — controversial surveillance, sexual assault coverups, and the drafting of legislation that serves its interests.

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