Good news, bad news? Mexico just voted to empower its army to have the same power as the police, which essentially federalizes policing in Mexico. The move was done ostensibly to give the military more power to go directly after the drug cartels that are apparently running rampant in Mexico.
The fact that the war on drugs, Mexico-style, has helped create the culture of drug gang warfare seems to be missed by the Mexican government, which, shockingly, may simply be taking advantage of a crisis to create more power for the central authority.
Mexico’s ruling party rammed a bill through Congress’ lower house Thursday giving the military legal justification to act as police, stream-rolling objections by rights groups and opposition legislators who said it would effectively militarize the country.
Supporters of the bill said Mexico’s armed forces have to stay in the streets to fight gangs, given the incapacity or corruption of local police forces. But critics said there should still be a calm, detailed debate about whether the law should allow the army to perform law enforcement duties indefinitely, and with what limits.
The hurried approval process, in which members of the Chamber of Deputies debated and voted on a bill that most apparently had not had time to read, meant a thorough, reasoned debate did not happen.
“Blah, blah, blah. The truth is you always vote against everything,” said Arturo Alvarez, a congressman from the Green Party, an ally of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. “The fact is we still need the army in the streets.”
Read More at Kaplan Herald