In Mexico, constitutional reform allowing military to perform police work passes, pending majority of state legislatures' approval
By 14 October 2022
Flag of Mexico (photo credit: DavidRockDesign / pixabay)
Mexico’s Congress has approved a constitutional reform that allows the armed forces to continue performing domestic law enforcement duties through 2028.
Putting soldiers on the streets to fight crime was long viewed as a stopgap measure to fight drug gang violence, and legislators had previously said civilian police should take over those duties by 2024.
But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador supports relying on the military indefinitely because he views the armed forces as more honest. The president has given the military more responsibilities than any Mexican leader in recent memory.
The reform backed by López Obrador passed the lower house late Wednesday, and must still be approved by a majority of Mexico’s 32 state legislatures.
Most experts agree that Mexico needs better-paid, trained and equipped civilian police. The army and marines were called in to aid local police forces in 2006 in fighting the country’s well-armed drug cartels. Mexico’s state and municipal police are often corrupt, poorly trained and unprofessional.
But López Obrador has relied almost exclusively on the military for law enforcement. He eliminated the civilian federal police and created the National Guard, which he now wants to hand over completely to the Defense Department.
Read the full article here: AP News