Human Rights Watch says militarization of Mexico has made the country more dangerous

The international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) pointed out that the constant use of the Armed Forces has provoked greater violence in Mexico.

They argued that during the six-year term of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, new records in violence have been reached.

Within its 2023 world report, the organization established that “since the start of the war against organized crime in 2006, violent crime rates have suffered a drastic increase in Mexico, and reached historic levels during the government of the current president.”

The organization highlighted that “efforts to reform the police and prosecutors have been ineffective. Congress, controlled by López Obrador’s party, dissolved the Federal Police in 2019. It formally transferred police functions to the Ministry of Defense in 2022.”

In addition, the organization remarked that President López Obrador has expanded the work of the Army and has increased its budget significantly.

“President López Obrador has considerably expanded the budget, autonomy, and responsibilities of the Armed Forces, deploying them to perform hundreds of tasks traditionally performed by civilian authorities, such as law enforcement, customs, irregular immigration control, the execution of social programs and the administration of public works projects”, they stated.

According to HRW, these measures have led to human rights violations at other times. “Since 2018, the number of complaints before the Human Rights Commission against the Army and the National Guard has constantly increased. In 2021, the commission received 940 complaints of this type, the highest number in eight years,” they reported.

At the same time, they noted that “from 2007 to September 2022, the Army killed 5,335 civilians, according to government data.”

The international organization recalled that when soldiers are accused by civilians of having committed abuse, they must be tried in civilian courts, something that “rarely happens.”

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