Mexico to hand army control of National Guard, sparking outcry | Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador News

The Mexican Senate has passed a law that will transfer control of the country National Guard over the military, a controversial move that rights groups and opposition lawmakers say gives too much power to the armed forces and could lead to abuse.

The Senate’s 71-51 vote in favor of the bill on Friday came after the House had passed the bill. Chairperson Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expected to sign it into law.

When the National Guard was created under a constitutional reform in 2019, it was placed under civilian control – but most training and recruitment is done from within the military. of the country.

Lopez Obrador, more commonly known as AMLO, has dismissed concerns about increasing militarization public securitysays that the guard must now be under the command of the army to prevent corruption.

However, opposition parties have said they plan to file a lawsuit in court challenging the new law, which they say violates the Constitution’s guarantee of civil control.

Senator Claudia Anaya Mota of the Institutional Revolutionary Party said: “Public safety is not achieved by violating the rule of law, by violating the Constitution.

The Mexican military has been criticized for abuse record and human rights groups have warned that removing civilian control of the National Guard could lead to similar violations.

“We have seen the disastrous results of militarize Edith Olivares Ferreto, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico, said in a statement Friday, criticizing the Senate’s decision.

“We urge law enforcement to design a plan for the gradual withdrawal of armed forces from the streets, prioritizing the strengthening of the civilian police force, and developing overt prevention policies to ensure safety. public.”

Nada Al-Nashif, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, also said that “the reforms effectively left Mexico without a civilian police force at the federal level, and further strengthened the force’s already prominent role. armed in security in Mexico”.

Al-Nashif said in a statement: “The security forces should be coordinated under the civilian authority.

But Lopez Obrador on Friday criticized critics, including the United Nations.

“When did the United Nations take a stance?” he said at a regular news conference, questioning what the agency had done to prevent war from breaking out between Russia and Ukraine.

“The organizations that are supposed to protect human rights, almost all of these organizations are made up of right-wingers from different countries around the world… because they make a lot of money modeling. simulate, pretend, to be traitors to authoritarian governments,” he said.

Mexico has seen record levels violence In recent years, members of the opposition and activists have accused the National Guard of various abuses.

The ranks of the National Guard, which include more than 110,000 members, are mostly members of the military and marines. Those officers retained their positions in the army and were loaned to the guard.

Before coming to power in 2018, Lopez Obrador pledged to bring troops back into barracks. But he has given them many tasks, including fighting drug cartels, helping with various infrastructure projects, such as a new airport in the capital, and building bank branches. in rural areas.

Late last month, a Truth Commission investigate The 2014 disappearance of 43 students says that six of the students were assigned to an army commander who ordered their killing. The shocking revelation directly tied the military to one of Mexico’s worst human rights scandals.

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