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News > Mexico

AMLO's National Guard Bill Moves Through Mexican Senate

  • Mexico's President AMLO at an event at the Wilson Center in Washington, U.S. September 5, 2017.

    Mexico's President AMLO at an event at the Wilson Center in Washington, U.S. September 5, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 February 2019

Opposition parties say the newest version of the bill eliminates several important meausures to protect citizens. Morena says they could be included as Senate debates legislation Thursday. 

A Mexican Senate commission passed legislation approving the president’s proposed National Guard, while opposition leaders walked out of the session in protest to a slew of changes to the measure.

 Mexico: President-Elect's Party Submits Bill For National

The most final version of the bill was approved by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (AMLO) Morena party in the United Commissions to the rancor of opposition parties on Monday who say that AMLO’s party made several major changes to the bill he and Morena legislators had promised to keep in.   

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Senator Claudia Ruiz Masseu added it didn’t make sense to approve the measure by the committee when a two-thirds majority of the Senate is required for constitutional reforms. The legislation proposes to modify at least 12 other constitutional articles.

Opposition party members tweeted that the latest version of the law is “regressive” as Morena eliminated the 60-day deadline for the three complementary laws to be passed, including the Law of Use of Force needed to clarify and support parts of the National Guard law.  

Other changes made to the original bill debated by the Senate back over the past month are that the supposedly ‘civil’ National Guard will be overseen by the military leaders from the “National Defense and Navy."

The previously approved version required the new National Guard to collaborate with local police forces. This requirement was eliminated from the version passed by the Senate commission on Monday. Wording for the National Guard to “respect human rights and the gender perspective in the exercise of their functions," now reads that only "human rights will be respected."

The representative in Mexico of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jan Jarab, said on Monday that the National Guard increases the possibility of detaining suspects in military prisons.

The creation of Mexico’s newest security force has created controversy since AMLO first proposed it back in November, prior to his inauguration. Mexican civil society organizations say they were hoping for a “different strategy” such as improved police training and but not they say would be continued “military on the streets,” according to IPS News.

Morena Senator Ricardo Monreal said that no one should be concerned as the full Senate will debate the law on Thursday "with the changes that endorsed in commissions."

PRI members said it will not support the project under its current terms.

On Nov. 14, Mexico's then President-elect AMLO presented his 2018-2024 National Peace And Security Plan. He stated that his policy proposal includes the creation of a 50,000-member National Guard.

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