“Militarization does not lower the levels of violence, it increases them.” Manuel Bartlett, 2017
Militarization is no guarantee of success or failure of the National Guard. The years that we have lived through the militarization of public security, which is at least since the 1980s, have been of increasing violence and crime. The discussion that we are seeing today about the National Guard reflects simple political positions, it does not really focus on the causes or possible solutions of violence or crime. That is why the parties have exchanged their positions: those who supported militarization today reject it, those who repudiated it today support it.
The Senate is about to vote on the constitutional reform initiative that would extend to 2028 the period in which “the President of the Republic may dispose of the permanent Armed Forces for public security tasks.” Morena and the PT, who voted against Enrique Peña Nieto’s Internal Security Law, stating that it represented an unacceptable militarization of the Federal Police, today support the initiative, while the PRI and Acción Nacional, who supported the 2017 legislation, reject the actual. The Internal Security Law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2018.
I am convinced that the National Guard should be civilian, but I understand that this does not really affect its effectiveness. It is just as false to say that the armed forces generate more violence, as Manuel Bartlett asserted in 2017, as it is to argue today that only a National Guard managed by the Ministry of Defense guarantees security and respect for human rights.
The National Guard currently has 114,000 troops, much more than the 37,000 of the Federal Police and the 5,000 of the Gendarmerie at the end of the last administration. However, there have been no significant improvements in public security since it began operating, even though it must be recognized that it was only founded in March 2019.
The important thing at this time is not the assignment or command of the National Guard, but whether or not it fulfills its responsibilities. The constant changes in structure, with the creation first of the Federal Preventive Police, then the Federal Police, later the Gendarmerie and now the National Guard, have had negative consequences because they have not allowed the corporations to stabilize and accumulate experience . The fact that the new managers have come to fire those who were previously is also counterproductive.
The key to police action in countries that have achieved good levels of security, however, is not the federal or national police, but the local ones. Let’s remember that most crimes are common law and not federal. However, our federal governments have not paid enough attention to them because they do not control them. In 2020, according to INEGI, there were 225,544 police officers assigned to state security institutions, a drop of 2.6 percent over the 231,491 in 2019. The salaries they earn are very low and their preparation more.
If I were a senator, I would reject extending the period in which the armed forces can continue doing police work. I would require the federal government, however, to make a serious effort to build a better civil National Guard and, in addition, to establish programs with the other orders of government to strengthen the state and municipal police, which are the ones that really have an impact on the family safety.
For President López Obrador, the disqualifications of his peace plan in Ukraine, which has been considered pro-Russian by Ukraine, is “a mental vulgarity that is suffered when there are no convictions, when there are no ideals or when acting based on political interests. or economic. All those who think differently are perverse.