Mexican President López Obrador Speeds Up Militarization Efforts in 2021

Mexico City militarizes its subway amidst rising controversy

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has taken measures that have had a major impact on the capital city. On January 17th, he implemented a militarization policy, deploying over 6,000 members of the National Guard in the Mexico City subway and appointing military officer, Luis Rodríguez Bucio, as the new Undersecretary of Public Security. To further explain this militarization, López Obrador approved a law last year that allowed the National Guard to become dependent on the Ministry of Defense to take on public security functions.

The military has also been involved in other operations such as the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, one of the sons of drug trafficker Joaquín ‘el Chapo’ Guzmán, that left at least 29 dead.

This decision has been harshly criticized by Edith Olivares, executive director of Amnesty International, as it violates all international standards regarding the relationship of the Armed Forces with public security as set forth by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Clemente Romero, lawyer and security adviser, points out that with this new policy, Mexico City police have less operational capacity. This criticism was accompanied by the arrest of a young man who was carrying a protest banner in the subway against the new militarization policy.

Many wonder if this deployment will have an impact on the security or will limit freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, an opinion that Olivares hopes is not the case.

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