Rising Crime and COVID-19 Leave Mexico Leaning on Its Military
MIN READMay 18, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican soldiers drive an army truck in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Oct. 12, 2019.
Mexico is relying ever more on its military to manage the country's perennial security problems, as cartel activity continues to rise against the backdrop of COVID-19. On May 11, President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador’s government issued a decree ordering the army to formally support Mexico’s National Guard in all public safety tasks nationwide for a term lasting no more than five years. While the military’s presence in Mexico's fight against organized crime is not new, Lopez Obrador’s orders to expand those duties risk overtaxing a force that is already spread thin, and exposing the country's army -- still highly regarded by society -- to the same reputational loss that has plagued its police forces. By contradicting his long-held stance against Mexico’s "militarization," Lopez Obrador’s over-reliance on the army will also further undermine his credibility among voters and civil rights organizations alike. ...