Public Protests Against the National Guard in Mexico City Metro Station

Activists Demanded the Withdrawal of National Guard and Increase in Metro Budget in Mexico City

On Wednesday (01.18.2023), activists of the student organization “Rethinking Democracy” staged a protest at Centro Médico metro station in Mexico City. The group insisted that the 6,000 members of the National Guard, in charge of the Army, should be withdrawn who have been carrying out station security since last week. Demonstrators waved slogans such as “We are not criminals, we are citizens” and “No military, safe metro” while they also asked for the “immediate” dismissal of the metro director, Guillermo Calderón.

The organization put forward a petition demanding the withdrawal of the members of the National Guard, the dismissal of Calderón and an increase in the metro budget by 50%. They asked Mexico City’s head of government, Claudia Sheinbaum to appear before the Chamber of Deputies due to the current “alarming situation” of the subway.

The deployment of the National Guard followed an accident on January 7th which resulted in the death of an 18-year-old girl and more than 100 people injured. Sheinbaum defended the presence of the National Guard in the metro, citing the “unusual episodes” in the subway, one of the largest commuter networks in the Americas.

In any case, the student activists urged the government to pledge the safety of the citizens by creating a public dialogue and integrating student groups into the Metro Advisory Council to ensure appropriate security and comfortable transportation for about five million daily passengers.

The issue has become a subject of political debate due to Sheinbaum and foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard as they are considered as the possible successors of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the 2024 presidential race.

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