Many of us grew up during Felipe Calderón’s six-year term, with gunfire as background music and the perpetual company of heavily armed military cars on our streets.
It’s been a long time, but we seem to have ingrained this idea of the army as the only possible solution to the violence in Mexico. It still seems that the solution is fire with fire and wait for everything to burn.
Although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had originally spoken out against the militarization of the country, he now seems to be promoting it.
Amnesty International stated:
“Militarizing public security will generate more human rights violations, but on Saturday, September 3, the Chamber of Deputies approved the presidential proposal that grants SEDENA operational and administrative control of the National Guard.”
This means that the army now has the power to exercise authority in tasks that would correspond to other public security forces, such as guarding crime scenes or interrogating civilians.
The danger of this decision lies in the fact that the army is not trained with civil security in mind. Much less equipped to adequately deal with the diverse situations that a public security force must face on a daily basis.
Public security issues require a gender focus, mental health awareness, empathy, and a respect for human rights that the military has not demonstrated to date.
Since 2014, SEDEÑA has been the subject of more than 4,000 complaints to the CNDH for human rights violations.
These complaints include degrading and inhuman treatment, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and even torture and murder.
Emblematic cases such as Fernández Ortega vs. the State, which reached the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2010, show that women and girls are the greatest victims of militarization. Before the new government decisions, what steps are being taken to protect them?
Last week the independence of Mexico was celebrated; This narrative was reaffirmed that war brought us freedom and that the State can only be built on blood. But I think it is time to reflect on what freedom is and who has access to it in our country.
Who sheds the blood that is glamorized as a sacrifice for the common good?
It is time to reflect on the meaning of freedom, security, and how it can co-exist.