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  • The national guard is the first of its kind in Mexico. President AMLO has been determined to make it an active force for civilian protection against drug cartels and organized crime despite public protest

    The national guard is the first of its kind in Mexico. President AMLO has been determined to make it an active force for civilian protection against drug cartels and organized crime despite public protest | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 April 2019

The army general fought against drug cartels in Mexico's northern and western states during the so-called 'War on Drugs' that began in 2006.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) named Army General Luis Rodriguez Bucio as commander of the nation's new National Guard and announced the security force’s general staff.

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Gen. Rodriguez Bucio, who said he is in the process of retiring, is expected to take on the position starting immediately, National Post reported.

The National Guard will eventually be under the civilian authority of the Public Safety Secretary, Alfonso Durazo. General staff will be made up of representatives of the Secretariat of National Defense, the Navy, and the Federal Police.

After several rounds of debate the Mexican Congress approved the creation of a National Guard of 60,000 troops to combat Mexico’s ongoing crisis of public security Feb. 28. Last year the country suffered its highest murder rate on record. AMLO assumed the presidency in December 2018 and has inherited the crisis.

For AMLO, the guard marks a pillar of his plan to confront organized crime and stop an increase in violence. The president conceded to national and international human rights organizations who warned that the formation of another security force would only increase violent crime in Mexico, by previously signing an agreement with the United Nations promising to train the newly instated National Guard in matters of human rights starting in April.

U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said the accord showed "the highest standards in human rights."

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750 Military Killed in Mexico Since 'War on Drugs' Began

Since late 2006, when the 'War on Drugs' began in Mexico, vicious internecine strife among drug cartels and their clashes with state forces have been blamed for more than 200,000 deaths in the country. The government has succeeded in taking down cartel bosses, but that has often led to fragmentation of gangs and even more killings.

Luis Rodriguez Bucio is a veteran of the country’s cartel wars. Born in 1956 in Condembaro, Michoacan he started his military career in 1973 as a cadet at the Heroico Military School.

In 1989 he was transferred to the Presidential General Staff where he served until 1990 as Deputy Chief of Section Four. He has served as head of the Third Section of the Second Infantry Brigade in Military Camp No. 1-A, as well as commander of the Second Special Forces Battalion in Temamatla, among others.

He has taken on drug cartels in northern states including Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua, as well as western states of Sinaloa and Durango, National Post reported.

Drug cartels like the Sinaloa, one of the most powerful drug trafficking operations in the country, and the Zetas, have sown insecurity and peril for ordinary people in various regions where they carry out illegal and illicit operations including human organ harvesting, torture and murder.

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