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Mexico supreme court strikes down military control of public security

Mexico’s supreme court docket struck down on Tuesday a part of a legislation pushed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that aimed to place day-to-day public safety forces underneath navy management.

López Obrador has tremendously expanded the navy’s powers, including duties from constructing and working infrastructure to controlling customs. The normal leftwinger says the navy is extra reliable and environment friendly than present authorities, however his critics say the measures permit him to bypass guidelines on transparency and planning.

Simply months after taking workplace, López Obrador scrapped Mexico’s Federal Police and changed it with the Nationwide Guard, which initially got here underneath civilian management. Final 12 months a brand new legislation tried to place it underneath the operational and monetary management of the defence ministry, however its implementation was suspended by the courts pending Tuesday’s determination.

Analysts mentioned the supreme court docket’s 8-3 vote positioned an vital brake on militarisation in Mexico, a difficulty that had been creating for greater than a decade however has accelerated underneath López Obrador. The choice means the Nationwide Guard should stay underneath civilian management.

“It’s a wake-up name for the president’s occasion . . . to know that in the event that they maintain legislating with their again to the structure it can backfire in the end,” mentioned Juan Jesús Garza Onofre, a researcher at Mexico’s Nationwide Autonomous College (UNAM).

Earlier than the choice López Obrador mentioned that hanging the measure down can be a “monumental mistake” that may injury the nation. The navy has been a central ally for his political initiatives to construct a brand new airport and vacationer railway.

“It’s a military that comes from the individuals, it’s not a military of the elite,” he mentioned final week. “The officers of the best rank, the generals of division, don’t belong to the oligarchy . . . they’re kids of farmers, employees, retailers.

“The troopers are the individuals in uniform,” he mentioned.

A part of the Nationwide Guard has targeted on containing migrants attempting to succeed in the US and patrolling highways, making fewer detentions than the police.

Mexico’s murder fee was at a file degree from 2018 to 2020 and is barely down since then, in keeping with statistics physique Inegi. Legal teams management drug routes and extortion networks with impunity throughout swaths of the nation.

Different vital supreme court docket votes are anticipated within the coming months, together with on López Obrador’s electrical energy reform and on a package deal of electoral legal guidelines that may slash the finances of the INE election authority.

Although the problems at hand can be completely different, the truth that eight justices voted towards the federal government on Tuesday may sign rising confidence within the court docket, analysts mentioned.

“There’s a change of narrative . . . the waters are altering contained in the supreme court docket,” Garza Onofre mentioned.


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