But this contains politics! (sorry, not driving really dried up my car content more than usual)
Mexico’s congress passed a law creating the National Guard to the dismay of human rights activists, the UN, the opposition, and even the most important Representative from the ruling party, Tatiana Clouthier.
The National Guard will take some of the work away from the Federal Police and the Army. It will be a centralized preventative and investigative security service made up of members of the army that overwent “special” training in order to carry out civilian policing.
In reality, the administration of this force will be carried out by the typical civilian commanders from the federal police, but the members and the structure are similar to that of the army. Any legal challenge brought up to the members of the national guard will supposedly be handled by civil courts, they will also be tested for proficiency... like teachers were.
Many say that this new force will be very similar to Spain’s Guardia Civil. But those human rights groups had legitimate complaints. Plus, any legislation approved unanimously by PRI is not a legislation to be trusted.
The groups say that it normalizes police militarization in the country, and it weakens municipal and state autonomy, which was sort of a big deal. But it passed anyway with 72% of votes in favor.
Centralizing police forces became a fad across state legislatures back in 2015. Now most states, and 70% of municipal forces are beholden to “mando-unico” which means they obey state commanders and coordinators rather than local leaders. While the National Guard doesn’t do this, it will increase the presence of federal law enforcement officials in cities across the country significantly. Basically meaning states will probably be lazy and stop properly maintaining their own forces.
I honestly don’t know how to feel about the national guard... primarily because I won’t see them. Mexico City is one of the few areas of the country above the UN’s threshold for “sufficient cops per citizen” We don’t really get to see feds here, and it won’t change any time soon.
What I do know is that these will be some very strange times for Mexican policing and justice, specially since Mexico still...technically... has a compulsory military service (which I did not do because I’m a dual citizen). I also know that the more they focus on protecting cities, or populated areas, the less the feds will concentrate on guarding the speed limits on their vast array of highways.
Here state police have zero jurisdiction on federal highways... reducing the number of federal police officers and exchanging it with National Guard members means that, yes, Mexican highways will continue to be racetracks.
I guess there must be a silver lining to this.